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Product photography

editorial book stills for a magazine

YEAR

2014

CATEGORY

Photography

PROJECT ROLE

creative director

photographer

OVERVIEW

This project was created within a photographic manipulations class. The class was set up to mimic the real-life working process for commercial photography. The objective for this project was to create editorial photographs for a magazine that would go next to an article about books and reading. The photos had to showcase 3 penguin books and had to be shot in the studio with appropriate lighting. Further, we were encouraged to use appropriate props.

The Story

To create a book still representative of books and reading that could accompany a magazine article, I firstly tried to gather what reading means to me. I love reading fictional books and always enjoy emerging fully in the story. I always find it hard to stop and find myself captured in this “other world’. Seeing books as other worlds suggest a similarity between reading and travelling, which is another of my favorite things. In order to present these penguin books, and also inspired by “Around the World in 80 days” one of the books I had chosen for this assignment, I chose to go with a travel theme.

That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without ever moving your feet.

– Jhumpa Lahiri

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CHALLENGES

The assignment involved penguin books, which are usually classics. The challenge of the assignment was to present these classics, with the simple penguin book cover in an interesting and modern way that could be displayed in an editorial style magazine.

SOLUTIONS

In order to make it an interesting composition that relates to my main book and inspiration “In 80 Days Around the World” as well as reading in general, I decided to pick an overall theme. Comparing reading to travelling. To portrait this idea I undertook research into of different maps.

 

THE PROCESS

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TARGET AUDIENCE AND NEEDS :

Readers, book lovers, imaginative people

The audience is interested in books and is most likely well read. They may be familiar with the book displayed. As every reader has their own imaginations and interpretations of the book, it is important to keep the design quite simple and leave room for interpretation. The compositions for the book stills have, therefore, been kept to quite simplistic. This simplistic design further serves the purpose of the photos accompanying a magazine article. The photos as visual information are meant to accompany and support the writing, as well as to spark the readers interest. This has been considered in the choice of the light and friendly color palate.

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Artboard 1-80

 

VISUAL RESEARCH

Research was undertaken regarding general book stills, as well as for possible themes related to the books contents, and themes related to reading and travelling. 

 COMPOSITION

Research on existing book stills was used as inspiration for the set up, the lightning and and the overall planning.

CONCEPT

Research on different kind of maps was conducted to source the right props for the travel-themed photo shoot.

INSPIRATION

Luiggi Girri’s maps were an influence on a possible mood and atmosphere of the final images.

PLANNING

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Moodboard creation

In order to communicate the overall theme, mood and idea to the client and have a first feedback before actually creating the final work, a moodboard was crteated. This is also a good guide to refer to when conducting the actual shoot

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TEST SHOOTS

Following the feedback on the moodboard, props were sourced and first test shots were underdone with the resourses available. This way it could be insured that the studio time was well planned and could be used efficiently.

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STUDIO WORK

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LIGHTNING DIAGRAMS

Following the feedback on the moodboard, props were sourced, and first test shots were underdone with the resoursec available. This way it could be insured that the studio time was well planned and could be used efficiently.

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THE SHOOT

To optimize the outcome of the studio time the books were photographed in many different positions, from varying angles, and with different props.

 

CONTACT SHEET

After the shoot a contact sheet was created and printed out. This way the images could be compared and the most successful ones could be picked. This was also the first print test, so colors could be adjusted accordingly in the post production.

THE FINAL OUTCOME

Pristine – simplistic – academic – adventurous – informative – relatable

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RETOUCHING

As the final step, the most successful images were edited in photoshop to do color correction and edit out any small blemishes the books had.

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VALUE PROPOSITION

To meet the objectives of the project, the composition was developed to be a simplistic and clean image, that would support and invite to the accompanying text, but not take away from it. Travelling, as the topic of the composition, is a relatable context as it is something reading is often compared to. The use of the map invites the reader to come on an adventure and dive into the world of the article.

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