The job was to photograph garden furniture and fencing products using the grounds of the Madeley Court Hotel as a location setting and backdrop. I was originally approached for this shoot by Utopia Consultants who were representing their own client, The Grange. They knew I had experience in this area of photography and was also familiar with the client’s brochures and marketing materials. From the initial briefing, I understood that I had two days photography maximum with a lot of products to cover, the aim would be to use all available light from the beginning to the end of the day. For a little preparation, I was given a copy of ‘The Grange’ product brochure and some location shots of the Madeley Court Hotel, so that I might have an idea of the site and products to cover.
On the morning of the shoot, I walked the grounds of Madeley Court to seek out locations to build the sets, finding the best spots for each piece of furniture. I wanted to put them in an order that I would be able to follow the sun around the site so that each shot was completed maximising the time and light that we had available.
Having formulated a shooting order the next step was to explain to the team of workmen, supplied by the Grange, in charge of set construction of my plan. I also discussed with Kerry, representing Utopia Consultants, in more detail what the client required from each shot in terms of set dressing and style.
On this shoot, I used top of the range Canon EOS-IDS Mark III camera and a set of tilt/shift lenses to keep the perspective correct. Working with available light I also employed the use of poly boards and flags to help control and direct the light as much as possible.
No real problems were experienced as such other than the typical British weather. Shooting in October towards the end of day one, the sky became grey/black very quickly and started with a few spots of rain. I got around this by pushing the exposure a little and adding a warm-up filter, but of course, a little later the sky opened up and that was that for the day.
Day two, horror, fog, cold and damp, fine for me but for the female models wearing summer wear it was a very cold start.
I got around the weather by shooting tight next to large garden walls and greenery. I also put in just a little fill flash on some of the shots until the fog started to clear. But the light did remain a little flat for most of the day. Some of this would be rectified in post-production using Adobe Photoshop.
What would I have done differently?
If the budget and time had allowed, on some of the shots I would have used electrical lighting to give the images a bit more punch and vibrancy. This would have incurred extra time and thus costs but with a client on a limited budget and with a large shot list this wasn’t feasible.
If you have products that need photographing on location then why not give me a call on 07774187252 to discuss. No question or request is too trivial.