My dad was a photographer. And in case you didn’t know, he was realllllllly great at shooting product photography, specifically reflective metals. The reason this is so hard to photograph is because anytime you actually try to shoot the product, it reflects back everything…like the camera, the photographer, the lights. everything. It was a lot. It was frustrating. And it was hard.
I remember watching him shoot these products for hours in the studio. He’d get mad, move things around and somehow end up with images like this:
Companies loved it. THIS was his bread and butter and why he was medical companies’ go-to for over thirty years. When companies would call him for a job, he would ask them if they wanted it shot sexy? Then the marketing manager would be like…. “Huhhh? Sexy?? Rupert, they’re metal knee implants.”
I mean, right?? I used to ask him the same thing, “How can a metal knee be sexy, dad??”
And he would say, “Because of the shadows.”
He was so right. Shadows are mysterious. They make us wonder… “What are we missing? What’s hiding in the dark?” And they force us to use our imagination to fill in the blank, which is usually way sexier than seeing everything well-lit.
To play with light, we must first UNDERSTAND light. And you cannot have light without dark.
So I want to urge this. Do not be scared to have shadows. Do not be scared to not see every single thing lit up and perfect. It’s one thing to have an image that is poorly lit. It’s another thing entirely to manipulate lighting in order to create visual interest.
Maybe that’s not your brand. Maybe that’s not your style. But shadows are in every single photo, so you might as well make them sexy. 😉
Till next time!