Today I had the opportunity to take some product shots for a large branding firm in San Francisco, Philippe Becker. It was a fun and interesting challenge as I normally work with people. I just used a white seamless backdrop that rolled down onto a table and used just one overhead soft box for all the lighting. I captured directly to my Mac so I could get an immediate, up and close, review of the shot. They had requested everything be shot straight on with a little shadow to suggest depth. So that’s exactly what I did, and the the soft box lit the scene really smooth and casted a nice soft shadow off to the left.
Yesterday I had the privilege of taking portraits for the team over at Rebel Unit Media in San Francisco. We took an individual portrait of every person on the team on a white seamless background. Each one shows everyone’s unique personality. Here is one of them.
I used 4 strobes: beauty dish with grid on camera right, large softbox on camera left as the fill, strip light on camera left behind the subject for the rim light, and an umbrella to light the background from overhead.
Rebel Unit has a great office on the top floor on a building on California street. We brought some chairs and props out on the roof to really create a unique group photo. I used a just one softbox to light the group. The sun made a beautiful hair light!
Here it is unedited and without any additional light.
Bam! Here it is with light.
Here is a pulled back view of the setup.
Josh and I just lounging around before the shoot!
Big thanks to Rebel Unit Media for making it a great shoot! It was a lot of fun and their personalities really shined through in the photos. And of course a big thanks to Josh Currie for helping on the shoot.
RainStor is a database designed to manage Big Data for large enterprises at the lowest total cost.
They saw a previous job I did and wanted to have me in to take headshots of their upper management while they were all in San Francisco. They liked the look of some earlier portraits I did on brick and wanted to do something similar. Their office is on Pacific Avenue and actually used to be Charles Schulz’ old studio. It’s a beautiful brick building with lots of interior brick walls as well. So we set up to use the brick as the background.
Below is a shot of our setup. On the right is a beauty dish with a grid for the key light, a big soft box of the fill, and a strip light soft box for the hair light. We actually had to shoot over some desks to get the right angle on the brick, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. Below is my assistant Josh, posing in a pulled back shot of our set-up.
Big thanks to Josh Currie for helping out on this job!
You have probably utilized Opower’s creations, even if you’ve never heard of them. Opower is the market leader in customer engagement for the utility industry. When you log in online to view your smart meter power usage – you’re looking at their design. Opower contacted me wanting to make a series of “employee spotlight” videos to roll out in a social media campaign for recruiting purposes. The goal of the videos was to be less about Opower as a company and more about the individuals that work there. I thought that it was a great idea, and definitely in line with the new media landscape. Companies are distinguishing themselves not only by their work in the way they always have, but by the people that make up their company, making them unique.
Below is the combined video of all the employee spotlights merged into one.
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/58062510 w=800&h=450]
While we were there we also took the opportunity to take some pictures to accompany the videos.
We were able to do the interviews and photos all in the same day by having both lighting set-ups ready to go. We chose to use a neutral gray as the background and then create a gradient on it. For the videos we did a left to right gradient and for the photos we created a circular gradient. We had the strobe lights for the photos and video lights set up at the same time so all we had to do after the interview was grab a different camera and turn on the strobes. Below is a shot of our setup for the interviews.
We rolled three cameras to capture a close, medium, and wide of the interviews.
Once the interview was done we would remove the stool and bring in this light to create the circular gradient on the background.
I would have the talent stand in front of the light to block it and and snap away.
The goal of the photos was to create something fun and capture the personality of the employees, not just a formal headshot. I could not have done this job without the help of Alex Collins– DP/Camera Operator, David Helling – camera operator, and Cooper Groosman – grip/PA. Everyone we worked with that day was engaging and fun to work with! I hope to do more work like this soon!