This was a job for a client I had worked with a few times before. This gave me an advantage in terms of product knowledge and some understanding of the company ethos. The location was also local to me which makes lugging equipment around that little easier. Sidhil had recently designed and manufactured a cutting edge hospital bed, the Innov8. We needed to photograph this product for promotional materials, for both print and screen, as though it was on a working ward.
The shoot took place at the manufacturers in Halifax and we were also given access to a prototype self-contained portable hospital unit. The unit was located within the main engineering works of the manufacturer and so there would be very little available light for the job. This was unfortunate as the brief lent itself to a soft natural light, so I chose to use lamps as opposed to flash photography.
The low ceiling of the self-contained unit made it more difficult to set the lighting up as I would have liked. I felt the best way to go would be to bounce the light back in from a mix of reflective boards and the ceiling itself, this would also help to reduce any hard shadows and achieve the softer look that we were aiming for. Or at least that was the plan!
Two models were used on this shoot one professional playing the nurse and a volunteer whom would double as a hospital patient lying in the bed. As things turned out the female model happened to be a working professional nurse as well as a part time model. This was very helpful as she explained how a nurse could or couldn’t move, lift or help a patient in line with best practice and the law. This stroke of luck resulted in many more useable shots that didn’t break any health and safety laws.
After a mix of test shots were taken with positioning and repositioning of lights and white boards the shoot itself went along fairly straight forward. Working with the client we would discuss the aim of each shot one after another. The client had created her own detailed shot list and knew what each would be used for.
We shot pictures straight into a laptop allowing the client to preview the images as we worked through the list. This also allowed for on the fly correction, tweaking angles for the best composition. We shot a mix of images from the main ‘hero’ shots to images showing the movement or functions of the bed itself, perfect for sales materials.
One key image that I thought worked well was a ‘night time’ shot (last shot in the slideshow sequence at the top of the page). The aim of this image was to demonstrate the under bed spot lighting, a unique feature of this bed model. I achieved this by simply turning out the main lights and using the small amount of available light coming in behind the camera adding a filter and going for a long exposure to soak up the light. I needed to still show the ward for context but wanted to give the feeling of an early evening. The resulting shot shows the manufacturer’s product in a positive light, lending to the patient a sense of security, safety and comfort.
”I have worked with several photographers over the years, however Nigel is the only one who has completely understood how I want my products to be shot, he has the patience of a saint and his skill with lighting is quite remarkable, he never fails to make my products look fantastic.”
Kim Robinson – Marketing Manager – Sidhil ltd.
If you’ve got a large product to shoot either in the studio or onsite then why not give me a call on 01422 410455 and we can discuss your project. In conjunction with the design and marketing agency I work for we can also build bespoke sets to put your product in the best possible location.