The role of a photographer is often thought of as exciting and glamorous, especially by those connected to the news and fashion industries. It truly can be a very rewarding profession in terms of excitement and creativity, but it should be remembered that the bread and butter work for most photographers comes in the form of wedding shoots, portrait sessions, and commercial commissions to photograph products marketed by various companies.
Mansel Davies, a professional photographer from Monmouthshire, has a vast experience of the different environments in which commercial photographers may find themselves whilst working on a commission.
For most small products – that is, anything from the size of a small piece of jewellery up to that of a large car - the best results can usually be achieved by taking photographs in the controlled environment of a Monmouthshire studio. With all their equipment on hand, photographers can control the lighting, the positioning of the subject, and many other variables. Lighting is the single most important factor in achieving a good studio picture. Usually, products will be brightly lit from all sides with white spotlights. If there is not enough side lighting, the subject may look flat and two dimensional. Too much backlighting will result in detail being lost. However some commercial photographers choose to use lighting artistically to make a statement about the product. For example, a single shaft of light falling across the product as if through a door which has been left a jar can add a sense of mystery and anticipation. Most items will be photographed against a plain or textured backdrop which does not distract from the product. However, more creative commercial photographers like Mansel Davies of Monmouthshire may use props and settings to add context to their shoots, such as placing a bottle of wine in a wine cellar or a musical instrument on a concert stage. In these cases, the subject will typically be in sharp focus and the background in soft focus.
Of course some items are too large to be photographed in a studio, or they may have to be photographed on location for other reasons. In these cases it is up to the Monmouthshire commercial photographer to make the best use of what is available to them. As lighting is key in all forms of photography, choosing a bright and sunny day is usually preferable. The hours just after sunrise and just before sunset often yield particularly favourable conditions. The next consideration is to shoot from an interesting and informative angle. It isn’t unusual to find photographers perched atop a stepladder or crouching on the ground to get the perfect shot.
The services provided by some businesses cannot be adequately represented by pictures of specific products. For example a website for a dairy farm would be more likely to have photographs of cows than of bottles of milk. For these commissions you will often find Mansel Davies how to debate in the Monmouthshire countryside adding to his extensive file of images.