Part Three: Chicago State of Mind/Proofs in the Product

Since my return from Chicago I have been wrestling with why it wasn’t my kind of town, and the only thing that I could come up with was that it was already too much like Toronto and that it overly represented the things that the “old me” would have loved. Things like shopping at Brooks Brothers and walking through conservative America might have lost its charm for me. Who knows?

Onto other matters…the book being published out of Dublin has finally released a proof of the cover I photographed for the editor, Tim Conley. I rather like how the whole thing looks quite posh and modern with the subdued palette the designer chose. I cannot stress enough how important I felt this was to accomplish for me; shooting an academic book cover is a big deal, and they even cited my website on the back cover.

I also received pdf proofs of Paderno’s latest packaging for some photos taken around the same time as the book cover shot. While I cannot show the box designs, I can show the two images used as the main shots for the boxes. These two were among my favourite two product shots until I did the most recent shoot last week [every shoot gets a little better], as they just have a professional look to them. Part of it is the Hasselblad lenses that I am using on the Canon EOS 1DmkIII, and the other part is probably that I am getting more confident in how to use the lighting to match the product.

All-Rights Reserved - Copyright 2009 to Padinox and Anthony N. Chandler Photography

I would say that the corkscrew is my style of shot I favour, but it is not always appropriate. Product photography really needs to focus on audience and media, so it is important to have a clear idea of what a manufacturer’s brand focus is. It helps that I grew up with the Paderno brand, and have a really clear idea of what they represent. It has been amazing to work for the company over the past year and begin to see my own work grow leaps and bounds.

All-Rights Reserved - Copyright 2009 to Padinox and Anthony N. Chandler Photography

The second shot was a challenging composition with a stainless steel cocktail shaker. The trick was to light both the drinks and the reflective steel while still keeping the recipe engravings clean. This particular shoot taught me one vital wisdom: never shoot without tonnes of ice cubes on hand. We had to do this over two days because the ice melted while I arranged the composition and lighting. The product photography has been going really well this year, and takes up most of my free time, but it has let me build a top rate collection of equipment and I have learned so much from all of the experiences it has allowed.

So what is on for the next few months? It looks like there will definitely be a journey back to Prince Edward Island in August, as I would like to see my family, take V. to meet everyone, and to do a series of stock photos of the Island to create a library that advertisers could purchase. I haven’t really had the opportunity to do that type of project before, but I have a pretty good idea of what to shoot and who might be interested in purchasing the work. India, Italy and most of the other international travel looks like it is off the menu for now due to some positive developments for V. that I can’t talk about yet. I am running out of American cities that I can spend a week in, too. Regardless, life has a way of presenting new opportunities at every turn, as long as one keeps his head about him.

Lastly, this is now known as my Hasselblad Squint, wherein I look like an idiot every time I take a photo in public. I should have the Chicago negatives next week. Oh, and I should have a new portfolio of images for the web site going up next week, so keep checking in.



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