Once again, my business partner Tom Kirby and I have teamed up for a commercial photo assignment. I handled the location photos and Tom shot in studio for an industrial protective gear client. This scenario has worked well for us in the past and this time was no exception.
Photographing heavy industry can often take place in less than sterile environments. Noise, dirt and occasionally foul odors can be part of the occupational hazards of industrial photography, but it can also be fascinating to see how America really works behind the scenes. Truth be told, I’m always glad to be on this side of the camera.
I’ve always loved photographing shiny things – doesn’t really matter what it is. Reflective things like a car, jewelry, or in this case, an industrial tool, all fascinate me. Controlling reflections to reveal the shape as well as to make a compelling photograph, is my kind of challenge. Spiralock makes this tap for cutting threads that lock a bolt in place without a lock-washer. I just like the way it looks. As always, I’m interested in your thoughts.
There are plenty of dangerous places to work around Detroit. But working in a hazardous environment should not be hazardous to your health. Providing that protection is my client’s job. My job is to make their product interesting to look at. I did the studio photography and Dave did the location photography for the project. We are always interested in your thoughts and comments.
I was recently hired to do a photo shoot at Toyota Boshoku, an interior trim facility for the automotive industry. As in nearly all photographic assignments, there were challenges that awaited me. For this particular photography project, time was limited and decisions had to be made quickly once our scouting with the client had been completed.
For this lifestyle photograph, one of several created that day, we temporarily employed one of the staff seamstresses to assist us. We set up quickly using just a key and a rim light, mixing with the ambient light of the facility. Our client was pleased with the results as we were able to help tell their story of quality automotive finishing.
Industrial products often have a story to tell, like how or why they enhance production, or the utility of a specific product. It’s my job to tell that story visually. How do all those parts fit together to make a connector? As always I am interested in your thoughts.
I enjoy the opportunity to work with good designers and art directors. Their collaboration invariable produces better photographs, brochures, catalogs, ads and websites. I had the good fortune to work with Designers & Partners on this project. This photo was assembled in Photoshop from individual shots of all of the parts our client makes for a 9 speed transmission. Shooting shiny parts is almost always fun. As always, I am interested in your thoughts and comments.
Detroit seems to revolve around cars. Almost everything is related to the auto industry in one way or another. Aftermarket parts and original equipment parts make up a large segment of the Detroit economy. Shooting exhaust systems and the mechanics who work on them is just another part of the automotive universe. As always I am interested in your thoughts.
Corporate portraits can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Most often it seems executives need head-shots photographed against a simple seamless or traditional portraiture backdrop. I photograph many executives each year this way, both in my Troy, Michigan studio and also at the subject’s business headquarters. But environmental portraits, or more specifically as in the photo below, an industrial portrait, brings with it more challenges and often times a more enticing photograph.
This particular portrait was photographed inside a forging plant, which was hot, dirty and noisy. It was nearly impossible to communicate with either my photo assistant or my corporate clients by speaking, so hand signals became my primary source to convey directions. As with any corporate portrait, the subject is the star, but an environmental portrait can also help tell the client’s story.
It may look like this was shot in a gritty, dimly lit industrial warehouse, but in fact, it was shot in the relative comfort of our studio. I found a floor to shoot at a factory nearby, and stripped that in under the lift truck. I love that photography can portray an alternate reality. In fact, that’s the core of our business, to make things look better than they actually do. In this case, few industrial warehouses with this lift truck would be quite so gritty. These are high-end lift trucks and more likely to be found in a modern commercial warehouse that is clean and well lit. I like the tough gritty feel though, as it does communicate that it’s a durable, well built machine. As always, I’m interested in your thoughts.
One of the really great things about being a commercial photographer is the glimpse we get into processes or industries that normally go unnoticed. We did a shoot for a company that makes, among other things, speaker grills for cars. As we shot, our client explained why his product is superior to his competitors’. This is not only interesting, but helps us highlight or emphasize the important features or manufacturing processes.
This is another job that Dave and I used a tag team approach to execute. As usual, I completed the studio portion of the project, while Dave did the location shooting.
I suppose you could call this industrial photography. It is for business to business communication. It is as likely to be used in a powerpoint presentation as in a trade show, trade ad, brochure or web site. The key point is that our images help clients communicate their story more effectively and help enhance their overall image.