For nearly 2 decades I have been working full time as a commercial photographer and my focus was always purely on still photography. But in the last year I started shooting some video footage for editorial purposes, stock, and now for commercial use by my clients as well.
On a recent assignment for a new product launch I shot a combination of lifestyle photographs with models and a video with one of the models assembling the product. I also created a second video of the product assembly process using a series of still photos I shot of just the product itself which combined the mediums of both still photography and video together into one.
The job required setting up separate lighting for both the stills (using strobe flashes) and the video (using continuous lighting). I also did all the post processing work on the photos with the models, editing of the videos with graphics and music, providing all the photography equipment, lighting, sourcing the male model, providing a makeup artist and all else needed to carry out the shoot.
This assignment was for a new company that has created an innovative and affordable standing desk product called The Well Desk. The concept of the product is simple, but yet functional. It allows people working in occupations where they normally sit for many hours a day to stand up and do their work at a computer on their feet. Standing while working reduces back pain, reenergizes and increases blood circulation. The notion behind The Well Desk is that it is small, lightweight, inexpensive and portable. So it is something that anyone can simply set up on top of their existing work desk in less than a minute.
Initially my assignment on this project was just to create lifestyle photographs of the models working at a Well Desk plus some simple isolated shots of The Well Desk by itself to be used for creating product layouts, an assembly manual for the product itself, and other photo uses for the Well Desk website.
But since the product is being sold entirely online, and needs to be assembled by the customer when he/she receives delivery of the product, it became clear that I needed to create a couple of videos of the product too in order to show people how fast and easy it is for anyone to assemble this desk on their own.
The first stage was of course the core model shots. As you can see below, the shots I created give a clear perspective of the size, scale, look, and feel of The Well Desk being utilized on top of an existing office desk in a workplace environment.
The photos I shot of the models are a wide ranging series from many different angles. Some vertical, horizontal, tight crops, wide angle, some from above, etc but I just included a few of the shots here to give you a general idea of the style I shot. On all 3 of these shots I layered in a computer desktop screen onto the monitors in post to replace the lifeless black screens that would appear in the photos otherwise without the compositing I did.
Next we have the assembly video. The idea with this video was to create roughly a one minute video using one of the models, the product, some catchy music, and the client’s branding to create a short TV-like commercial that shows how one can easily put The Well Desk together on their own and get to work with it all in under 1 minute.
The music I included in the cut of the video below may not be the final music used by the client, but I put it in this example of the video as I think it adds some good fun to it all. The client’s own version of the video also wont include any of my own branding in it.
The third segment of the assignment was to shoot a series of still photographs showing the desk in various stages of assembly to then be used as separate photographs for the product’s assembly and instruction manual. However, we then came up with the idea to turn this set of still photos into a video that can also be used on the website or in other ways as well.
As we already had the 1 minute advertising video with the model for the web site out of the way, the idea was now to create a shorter second video of only about 30 seconds in order to show how the desk actually comes together by assembling it step by step. This second video makes it much easier for someone to visualize assembling the desk on their own and a better way to help a customer understand what will be required for setup than if you were only to show a series of still images laid out in either a printed manual or in an online PDF.
For me this turned out to be an interesting project because I produced a number of different types of visual media for the product and, which involved not only my experience in still photography and post processing of photos, but also my skills in shooting and editing video.
In the end, I brought together a finished set of visual media pieces that the client can utilize in both still and moving imagery in order to present his product to his customers in the best of ways.