Commercial Photography for Catalogs

Creativity in photography is NOT just about fanciful or unusual imagery.  It’s also about how we approach subject matter that demands the utmost in accurate reproduction of subjects that require reliable constancy across a wide array of colors, or projects extending over a period of time.  This is one reason why I like to say I’m a photographic troubleshooter.

Redland Brick contacted me about photography for their upcoming catalog.  Redland has brick manufacturing facilities all over the eastern US, from the Pittsburgh area to Connecticut and south, to the Carolinas.  They are major players in manufacturing brick for construction of homes, businesses, schools and other commercial applications.  Their Williamsport plant, near Hagerstown, MD., is also headquarters, so that’s where assistant Sam Levitan and I went.  Over a two day period, we photographed hundreds of frames, as seen below.  These would then be used in the catalog as you see at the bottom of the post.

If you’re selling color sensitive items, as bricks are to architects and designers, you want a photographer who can provide you with the accuracy necessary to allow them to make proper decisions.  You also want a photographer who can scale the sizes of the subject matter so there is no guesswork involved in the size relations from one photograph or subject to another.

082 Pastel Rose ANT O/S

Catalog photography requires consistently accurate images

Accurate not only from one session, but also for projects that may span months.  Otherwise, you face possible unexpected cost increases as print shops struggle to control something that should have been correct from the start.  Either that, or your advertising material suffers, lowering its effectiveness and potentially wasting your advertising dollars.

It is the barest beginning to expect sharply focused and properly exposed photographs in commercial photography of this kind.  One must also be able to gage whether the surface of a subject is affecting it’s reproduction; i.e. is the surface absorbing light more than other items?, and if so, what to do about it.

It demands a photographer with a knowledge of light and lighting, color balance, of lens diffraction issues, optimal apertures and parallax control among many aspects.  This is not photography in “Auto” or “Program” modes, but instead requires manually metered control of exposure, custom white balance, focus control, perhaps stacked focus….  Then how to efficiently communicate all that to whichever firm will be printing the catalog.  Otherwise, the risk of a photographer providing you with photos that are not technically sufficient is huge.

Commercial photography at these levels also requires back up equipment – not just multiple cameras and lenses, but multiple studio lights and their components, props and accessories, the presence of mind to make the switch when necessary, as well as how to maintain the equipment on and off site, and the tools to do so on the fly when things go bump on the job.

 The skill, experience, tools and talent to meet all these is the foundation of my 30 years in commercial and advertising photography. 

I’ll be happy to bring these assets to your needs, too.  Call 724-730-8513.

082 Pastel Rose ANT O/S

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