Commercial photography is a big part of our daily work. I love it. To create images that attract attention, sell a product and are pleasing as images in themselves is quite a challenge. Product shots in a studio are the most straight forward. We control the environment and are therefore quite relaxed. We choose how much coffee and biscuits accompany the shoot (A lot), we decide what music is played (music is important during photography for some reason) and so on.
When we have to photograph somewhere out of our control it becomes more interesting. For example we were recently asked to create images for Er Ya Tea’s new website. The brief was simple: Take pictures of their wonderful and exotic teas being served in a restaurant environment at the rather splendid Cafe Sia in Broadford. Simple and straightforward. Sort of. Like all cafes/bars/restaurants Cafe Sia maximises it’s capacity by not wasting space. We like having space to move around and adjust the lighting of our subjects. Cafe Sia would be open to the public during the shoot so we couldn’t push everything out of our way and take over. We would need to be careful…
There would be no walking backwards looking through a lens until the shot looked right. We might end up ploughing through someones lunch. No wandering around talking to ourselves while composing a shot either, that might make the customers uncomfortable. Especially when we are both doing it.
We split tasks, Rosie taking tethered tripod mounted shots while the I did hand held images. We would swap around every so often and this not only stopped us suggesting/arguing about set ups it was also very efficient. Tea was photographed while still steaming hot and food while still looking freshly cooked.
When it came to portrait images of Er Ya Tea’s proprietor Lorna we fell into our usual roles . Rosie on the camera me with in charge of lights and reflector.