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Gabby Catalog - Birmingham AL Interiors Photographer by Tommy Daspit

 This shot is a blend of strobe and ambient light but mostly strobe. That allows me to more precisely control the color, shadow, and depth of light. Even with strobe the goal is to create an image that looks natural and truly represents the feel of the space.

This shot is a blend of strobe and ambient light but mostly strobe. That allows me to more precisely control the color, shadow, and depth of light. Even with strobe the goal is to create an image that looks natural and truly represents the feel of the space.

A few months back I did a photoshoot for Gabby, the luxury indoor furniture line of Summer Classics. They wanted me to shoot their upcoming “Illuminate” catalog images. These weren’t the individual item shots done against a solid white background. Rather, these are what are called “Cadillac” shots and vignettes. I was to create the images that would show the furniture, lighting, and accessories in use and in a space. My job was to give the catalog viewer a better sense of how the items would come together in a real home. This is very similar to an interiors shoot that I might do for an interior decorator or designer. Now that the catalog is out I can share some of the images we created (see the catalog here).

For two days we took over the home owned by Jana and Danny McEachern of J&D Farms, in Gadsden. The Gabby team took out most of their furniture and replaced it with the catalog pieces. Each vignette was carefully crafted and staged by the amazingly talented Chris Hutchens, Gabby’s creative director. He really appreciated one of my favorite pieces of kit, my Camranger and iPad set up. Normally, the photographer gets the shot basically framed up and the designer goes back and forth to look through the camera as the shot is being arranged. Move a couch, go look through the lens, move it again, go look through the lens. On and on this goes. It can be a little less that ideal. With the Camranger I’m able to set the camera up, turn on live view, and hand an iPad to the designer. They can see in real time as they move things around, add and subtract props, and know exactly how the shot will look when put together. It has totally revolutionized the process. We can now get more shots in and the results are more inline with the artistic vision the creative team has!

I loved working with the entire Gabby team. The opportunity to collaborate with so many talented creative minds, with a great setting, and fantastic subject matter is amazing. It’s why I love what I do for a living so much! Be sure to check out the December issue of Veranda Magazine for a shot I did with Gabby for a full page Ad!

A capture from the catalog. It never gets old seeing a caption and page number along with your images! Again, this is a blend of strobe and ambient exposures. The chandelier was added from a separate image in post.

Chris is doing some finishing touches on the styling while I'm getting a color reference target shot. I'm triggering the camera from the iPad with the Camranger. The graycard I'm holding will be used in Lightroom to set the color temperature. That way the colors of the products are accurately represented in the final results. The chandelier was added in post on this image too.

Spiral Staircase Product Photography in Downtown Birmingham Alabama by nikonic1976@yahoo.com

One of the great things about being a commercial photographer is the uniqueness of each job. Unlike weddings or portraits which follow a pretty consistent formula, each commercial photography assignment presents unique challenges. Even if the basic subject is similar from one job to another, the vision of the client and the goal they are trying to accomplish will be different. As a commercial photographer I’ve created ad campaign images for a birdseed manufacturer. Photographed models posing as college students using a dorm installed washer and dryer for the company that made them. I’ve even photographed a concrete house for a magazine. So when I was contacted by a company in Indiana about photographing a spiral staircase installed in a downtown Birmingham office I was not at all surprised.

Now, you might think that shooting a staircase would be pretty boring. For some photographers I’m sure it is. For me though, it was a unique challenge. I needed to choose the right angles, depth of field, and lighting to best show the product as it was in the working environment. The office space itself was beautiful but poorly lit. Using only natural light would have made it look like it was in a cave. Clearly that would do the client no good. So I experimented with different strobes, with different light modifiers, in different positions, and at different powers until I had what I felt would show off the product and it’s environment without looking like it was unnatural.

I feel like the final product was successful in accomplishing that goal!

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