It isn’t often that I take on a commercial photography project if it doesn’t relate directly to my passion as a portrait photographer like the set of 50 headshots I recently did for a local accounting firm (more on that later). Last year, I challenged myself to dive headfirst into Project 52, a set of weekly photography challenges and assignments put together by the great @wizwow, Don Giannatti.
This is a great project for any photographer at any stage of professional development to take on as Don takes you through each assignment, you upload your entry into a Flickr thread along with hundreds of others, and then he holds a live online critique during the week to give you feedback. It really does push your boundaries as a shooter. Unfortunately, life and all that comes with it started to snowball and I had to drop out of the projects shortly after completing the photograph you see here.
In the short time that I was a part of Project 52, I did push the envelope beyond what I was normally used to especially when it came to commercial photography. For the seventh assignment, Don asked us to create a couple of images for a point-of-sale display for a local cellular phone company. Since the height and width were defined for the use on the display, I knew I had to shoot for a tall and skinny layout.
At the time, I was exploring blown-out white backgrounds using only my studio strobes and I decided to try my hand with that look in these commercial photography shots. I also needed someone to model the phone and, since time was short, I went with the only guy I had available at the time: myself.
So, if you’re adding this up now, I have the camera on a tripod, two monolights pointed at the background behind me at full power to blow it out, plus a single speedlight with a softbox in front of me to light my face, as well as a remote control for the camera in one hand and the phone in the other. I can’t juggle to save my life, but I sure can multitask!
It took me about 30 frames to finally end up with the lights and posing the way I wanted them. I wasn’t completely happy with the final result honestly, but I do feel it’s something out of my normal wheelhouse and helped me to explore a new avenue I wouldn’t normally have explored. Next time, I would definitely spend some time securing a separate model so I can keep my focus where it needs to be: behind the camera and working the lighting of the scene.
What do you think? Comments? Critiques? Fire away in the comments below!