Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of a professional photo shoot? Georgie Stephens gives us a glimpse at life behind the lens…
The main focus here at Rencraft is on designing and manufacturing tasteful, top quality kitchens; however, once this is done our work is still not yet complete. The final stage of our development, for any of our products, is to document the appearance of the final outcome through photography. At the photoshoot for all our kitchens, there are of course similarities in the approach to different tasks, but each also has its own varying details, in order to maintain the uniqueness of a design and its surroundings. Within these repeating stages there are many different considerations, some focussed on exploring the features of the kitchen, some to highlight complimentary details of the existing house, and others are simply on a more practical scale. It is these different actions, which combine to create the entire photoshoot process, which I will be detailing in this short article.
To start with we focussed on how we were going to style the kitchen. What props would we need? What colours would work in the room? And how much space did we need to fill? For this photoshoot we made a short trip up to London Bridge, where we visited Borough Market. After spending more time than intended at the varying dessert stalls, we moved on to what we were there for, picking out some edible props for the shoot. Once we had circled the market several times, we finally picked out something suitable, an elegant triangle of parmesan, which had crumbled slightly to leave one side with a rugged, exciting shape. At the same time we picked up some salami, before heading back to Sevenoaks on the train.
Fast forward two days to the morning of the shoot, we had also gathered a large, rustic loaf of sourdough bread, a selection of fruit and herbs, and a bottle of red wine. The task now was to arrange them appropriately, so as not to distract from the design of the kitchen, but enhance the daily use of the room. We began by organising different sets along the island unit, constructing a fruit bowl out of apples, grapes and celery, combining the bread, market purchases and wine on a wooden chopping board, and adjusting pre-existing decorations and utensils in the room. Once this had been completed, the camera, which meanwhile was being set up by the photographer, came into play.
To start with we didn’t use the camera for any final shots, but used its perspective to study the positioning of the props. Our next stage, with the photographer, was to re-adjust our set up, removing unnecessary items and sometimes replacing them with a better fit. In this stage of adjustment we also cleared up the surrounding area, for example removing the barbecue outside from the edge of the front on shot. Around this point the photographer also began to take control of the lighting in the room, and taped black fabric to the large wall of windows besides the stairwell.
Once this was all complete the photography could commence, working different angles in the room to highlight different features of the kitchen, and using lighting props to change the exposure of a shot. One issue with this specific design was the mirrored splashback, reflecting the camera in every image of it. As a result certain photos would require Photoshop, to remove the unwanted tripod shape from the final image.
Once we had taken all of the different angled and detailed shots we wanted, the task was simple, return the kitchen to its original state, and take our props home for a delicious, well-deserved lunch!