I have been in business 30+ years. I started as an assistant at a catalog studio, Kranzten Studios, and became a junior photographer in 6 months. Left there to work as an assistant for Dennis DuBiel, one of the top food photographers in the ’80s and ’90s.
I started freelancing and shooting on my own in 1984. I shot everything and anything (except food) for many years, even did a stint shooting lingerie catalogs for Playboy! (We can talk more on that later).
I have been shooting food now for almost 20 years, but I still get back to my roots with non-food photos. Case in point:
My client called with an exciting new concept for laundry bleach and fabric softener labels that included fabric floating in water. I had to figure out how to mimic the look of fabric floating in the blue waters of the Caribbean without the actual water…or the sun.
First I researched royalty free images of water backgrounds. Then I had to devise a way to get a piece of material that was floating in air to mimic the floating-in-water concept.
We chose a muslin fabric because we liked the way it reacted to wind and because the blue background we used would show through when I outlined the shot. We bought a piece of white fabric for the bleach and a colored fabric for the fabric softener. Then we experimented with different techniques to create the best effect for the floating look. We tied up the fabric corners and used an oscillating fan to create movement.
My client was delegated to the duty of controlling the fan while I kept shooting to try and capture the perfect “floating” look. We had a great deal of images to choose from and once we selected one, we began to put the image together.
I chose two water backgrounds from stock images—bubbles and a shot looking up out of the water—to give the illusion that the material was floating down into the water. With multiple layers in PhotoShop, we experimented with the opacity of the water shots and the order of the layers to get the best possible feel. I think it worked well! The client loved the shot—we accomplished the objectives on a tight budget—all without getting sunburned.
Any questions or comments please let me know!