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Studio Set Design

Studio Set Design

When photographing products in the studio, I am finding more and more that the client is looking for ways of adding value to the images. How can a simple product photograph be elevated to say more about the brand? We can change things up by taking the final image away from being just a product in a space, to being a product in an environment. Establishing context in the studio situation can be found through creative adaptation of the basic set formulae, a floor and a wall.

The Simple Floor and Wall

This idea is certainly not revolutionary in itself, however if we start to think about the treatment of the surfaces and the look and feel of the images, we begin to make progress. In studio set design we have the luxury of having virtually any texture, paint effect or colour we can devise. When working on shoots for Bowers and Wilkins we have experimented with brush marks and textures. It is always nice to say we always do things for real, but sometimes postproduction techniques are required to either manipulate the set finish or to add layers of detail over the photographic result.

Multiple Walls and Plinths

This is a great way to add value and to get away from the traditional tabletop studio surface. Plinths can interact with other plinths by overlapping or being side by side. Variable hights and sizes add variety and interest. Moveable modular sets have been found to offer a multitude of ways of creating a dynamic image that has depth. Plinths can be made from wood, however sharper more clean ways exist with Perspex finishing and even metal.

Lighting and Control

No matter what final effects are going to be layered on post shoot, we always stay true to elevating the look and quality of the photography with high level thought out sympathetic lighting. I am saying it this way, as no one set is ever lit the same, certainly not to gain the same result as before. As usual, the relationship between myself the creative director and the client is key to ensuring we tailor make our lighting to fit the signed off visual and end result. Every product needs to be thought about, and each set will have something about it that we need to discover and lock into our execution.

So that is how we do it, but what about the process?

The Process of Design

The idea for the set always comes out of the early discussions with the client about what it is they wish to achieve with this set of images. If it is a product launch, we like to understand who the customer is, what is their demographic, what language is the client going to be using in their marketing whether in socials, web sites or in store. What considerations are there around the geography of their customer base. Is this a one solution fits all or do we need to be changing colour schemes to suit different markets.

From this deep level of understanding we can start to get a feel for what will work. How we progress forwards after that is a steady process of looking at logistics and practicalities.

Arrange a call with me to discuss your next studio set.