In the focus of events, or What remains behind the scenes of advertising photography?
30.08.2011 8628

In the focus of events, or What remains behind the scenes of advertising photography?

At least twice a year, when samples of new collections are ready and laid out on shelves in showrooms, they are already waiting for customers, their manufacturers are faced with a serious issue for themselves - a photo session, which is simply necessary to create catalogs and promote the brand to the market. It is good if the company has long established contacts with photographers, and the shooting mechanism has been worked out. And if not? Then wrangling begins on the topic: what, who, where and to whom to shoot. SR talks about the peculiarities of working with photographers and the most interesting techniques for advertising footwear shooting

Meanwhile, each of these issues requires separate attention from the company. Do not assume that the only one who can solve them will be the photographer, who was previously elevated to the status of God by pr-agents. The maximum that he will agree to (naturally, in addition to his immediate duties) is to express his point of view on the subject of shooting, well, he will also recommend a stylist or designer with whom he works. But the choice of shoe models, fashion models and the location of the shooting itself is up to the customer. As a last resort, he will recommend a manager specially designed to solve organizational issues of the photo session. “Ideally, at least six people should participate in organizing and conducting a photo session,” says Vladimir Vybornov, a photographer and technical consultant in the field of professional and amateur photographic equipment of the Sivma company. - As a rule, this is a manager (he is a conceptualist of shooting), a designer who will subsequently deal with the processing of photographs and design of advertising products, a stylist (if a model is present in the frame), a photographer and his two assistants. However, if the plans are to conduct a global image photography, then the number of members of the film crew will increase significantly. " Actually, this must be taken into account when planning a project.

Image vs catalog

Immediately it is necessary to distinguish between image shooting and photography for the catalog. The latter is considered to be more technical and, as a result, not so creative. In fact, the photographer is able to deal with it alone. Having set the light in the studio, having decided on the background and location, he simply changes model by model, without really thinking about the creative component.

With image shooting, everything is much more complicated. Its main difference is the presence of the plot, the idea that is understandable to the consumer, which the picture should carry. Therefore, one white background and a pair of fashionable shoes will be clearly not enough. “If we are talking about shooting shoes, then she (shoes - MV) must be the acting “person” in the frame. Of course, there is a framework defined by a client or an advertising agency, in the latter case they can be very narrow, ”says photographer Olga Fomina. - It’s good when an image is born in the head of one person and it is he who is engaged in its execution, which is currently extremely rare. Photographers who offer their creativity and then perform post-production often achieve remarkable results. ”

By the way, about photographers ... Despite the fact that today there is a great choice of them, and the competition in this market has reached, perhaps, its highest point, there are still few real professionals.

You can get acquainted with some of them, as well as their work, on professional sites, for example, Here you can chat with your favorite photographer and get detailed information about him and his activities.

But do not forget that the shooting schedule for professionals is very tight, so you have to agree on the upcoming project in advance. With the timing of the work, some questions may also arise. Identifying them is easier when it comes to catalog shooting. Then they will directly depend on the number of pairs of shoes, the organization of the customer and the photographer. The concept of “timing” does not fit with image-taking at all. After all, if you do it quickly, there are many chances to get a "semi-finished product" as a result.

Each photographer defines a pricing policy independently. Some set their prices before each shooting, focusing on the complexity of the task (the convenience of the chosen shooting location, its concept) and based on market conditions. Others have a fixed bar, say 2–3 thousand euros per day, and worry little about the state of “market prices”. Naturally, the services of a makeup artist, hairdresser, stylist, location manager and casting are not included in this price. “Personally, I just name the price for which I am currently ready to do this work,” explains Vladimir Vybornov. - The prices are born by the artist himself. And to a greater extent they depend on how he evaluates or overestimates himself. ”

White on black

Traditionally, shoe cataloging is usually done on a white background. Subsequently, this facilitates the work of the designer imposing the catalog. White background is easier to adjust to the strip than, say, brown or yellow. According to Olga Fomina, “a white background is not necessary, it is universal, and therefore convenient and widely used. As a rule, against a white background there are no contraindications for any products. If we are talking about shooting for a catalog, then the background in this case should maintain the shape of the product and, as snipers say, “work along the contour”. But the choice of background, even in the framework of catalog shooting, can be a successful creative decision and make the picture more motivating to buy. ”

Meanwhile, it is no secret that 90% of any collection is black and brown models. Therefore, the photographer faces the task of removing them in such a way that they do not turn into a total dark mass in the catalog. “Catalog shooting is a simple, but still production chain, consisting of a client, photographer, designer,” Olga continues, “and each of its participants can have a bad taste and poor technical capabilities. In this chain, the shoes themselves participate fully, which is also depressing and has a quality that excludes any opportunity to present oneself to the world beautifully. But she, too, must be sold! In this case, everyone should try: the client - not to meddle, and the photographer and the designer - to synergistically contrive and at all costs give the product, in fact, non-existent qualities and advantages that are very clearly visible on the created images. ”

Usually in catalog shooting shoes are removed from one angle. However, this is not a rule that must always be followed. It is better to take a benchmark on the shape of the shoe and choose a different angle for each of them. “How to remove an egg?” This refers to chicken. And such pictures were taken by many famous masters, and they had little choice on which side to take it off, ”says Olga. - Of course, photographs for the catalog should be informative, clearly show the shape, properties and qualities of the product, the texture of the leather, the main elements of the product, and this largely determines the choice of angle, lighting and background that we have already talked about.

Let's not forget that there are catalogs intended for wholesalers, and the information content of the image in this case is of paramount importance. And there are catalogs for the retail buyer, where the creation of motivation for the purchase of the product is the main task, and simple information is not enough. For this, various technical and creative techniques can be used - for example, perspective distortion (women's boots shot from below with a wide-angle lens, possibly with correction of perspective distortions by camera movements), choice of color tone (suede shoes in warm, even yellow-red colors) , elements of the seasonal environment in the frame for which this shoe is intended ... The more professional the photographer, the more he will not be guided by the rules, but by his experience and vision of this product, the wider the range of technical of which techniques are available to him. ”


It turns out to be the most difficult to remove openwork shoes. Indeed, in texture it is thin, and sometimes inlaid with precious stones, decorated with metal details, embroidery. Therefore, 90% of the success of this shooting will depend on the professionalism and experience of the photographer. More precisely, on how faithfully he will be able to set the light to demonstrate the beauty of the texture. “Most often, when working with fur or the same openwork footwear, photographers use“ honeycombs ”- special devices that provide hard-wired lighting,” says Vladimir Vybornov. - With their help, it becomes easier to convey this texture itself. If on the shoes, in addition to everything, there is also some small decor, say embroidery or a drawing, then on the advertising layout it makes sense to place their enlarged image. ”

To emphasize the material from which the shoes are made, studio light should be as close as possible to daylight - 5600 Kelvin. Photographer David Fedulov advises using diffused light that evenly lies on the entire surface. However, he insists on attracting additional sources of light, such as corner light, due to which shoes will look most advantageous from a certain angle. “Any shoe has a geometric shape. More often, it is based on a square or a cylinder, ”says David. - The most important thing in the picture is to convey the volume. This is achieved due to the fact that each surface of the shoe - vertical, horizontal - is separately illuminated by different light sources. In particular, if the model is with a heel, then it should also be highlighted from the side of the sole. If the shoe has a textured pattern, it should also be highlighted with a thin beam of light. In particular, and in order to separate the object from the background, emphasizing the shape of the part.

In second place by the complexity of shooting - patent leather shoes. It reflects light well, but glare. “Patent leather, especially black, can be lost at maximum densities and will be black dips and highlights,” says Olga Fomina. - For this purpose, there are various lighting accessories, light cubes that can cope with almost any task. In this case, the black color will be readable, and the highlights highlight the beauty of the varnished product. "

Search a woman

The purpose of any advertising campaign is to draw attention to the product, to encourage potential buyers to purchase it. Accordingly, an advertising picture simply must be bright and memorable. This is not even discussed. Well, what helps her to be so? What attracts people's attention? What is capable of bewitching and compelling, bending over a photograph in full detail to consider it? Some weaknesses, instincts of survival, self-preservation, if you like, have always been characteristic of man. But sex works best in advertising. And arguing with this is useless. “Not playing human instincts in this area is simply stupid,” says Vladimir Vybornov. - Of course, it is customary to consider sex as a base instinct, but nevertheless, advertising based on it has been working for many decades. Moreover, with the same success, she will continue to work. Is always". That is why the female body will always be in demand. Moreover, both in the advertising of male and female product groups. "Legs! Of course, beautiful legs should excite the buyer’s imagination in shoe advertising. With a graceful knee, a thin ankle, - Olga considers. - The girl puts on her heels not in order to stand first in the line, and, of course, not in order to get Dostoevsky from the top shelf. Subconsciously, she wants her to be eventually taken over by a man. Female legs and in advertising can work very well. Let there be a face in the frame - a smart one, penetrating into the consciousness of a man or confident and domineering ... I am “for” if this person has beautiful legs. ”

However, the main danger lies simultaneously in the legs, Vladimir Vybornov is sure. “When removing“ cut off ”legs, one must be extremely careful. Since it is likely to get a negative perception of this work by buyers. Psychologically, individual parts of the body or objects in the context, say a piece of strawberries, are perceived more complex than holistic ones. Therefore, the legs for such a photograph must be set correctly. ”

And one moment. A fashion model should not distract attention from the product with its appearance or posture. That is the law.

Nevertheless, top shots are obtained only in the case of an integrated approach to the photo shoot. When the concept is thought out, a successful model and fashion model are chosen. When the photographer clearly understands his task and knows exactly how to solve it. When a designer competently processes a photo, creating an advertising layout from it. In this case, there is no doubt in the effectiveness of the advertising campaign, since the successful work of all the links in the "advertising chain" will certainly bear fruit.

At least twice a year, when samples of new collections are ready and laid out on shelves in showrooms, they are already waiting for customers, their manufacturers are faced with a serious question for themselves - a photo session, ...
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