Assisting Angus McDonald – Russell Hobbs Shoot
Brief: To photograph the packaging shots for the 3 new Russell Hobbs products, for release in Europe and specific prop shots for France.
Client: Russell Hobbs
– Angus McDonald (photographer)
– Jo Brewer (Home economist, Food stylist)
– Gary Austin (Graphic Designer- Elmwood)
– Chris (Creative director – Elmwood)
– Matt (Russell Hobbs brand manager)
– Deanos (Russell Hobbs brand manager)
– Emma (Hand model, designer from Elmwood)
Tasks set for me by Angus:
– Main task today is to keep the clients entertained.
– Go to Maplin to collect extension cable and adapter
– Help set up lighting and camera before shots are taken.
– Help Jo to prep the products (3 products = waffle maker, pancake maker , stone grill)
– Prep and make lunch at 12pm for all.
– Keep shadow out the way.
– Find, collect and iron given props.
Task 1 – Sent to Maplin to collect a adapter for this plug, EU>UK. Without this crucial adapter the shoot could not commence.
Task 2 – Setting up equipment. This was the initial set up of the equipment, in comparison to previous days we had to use the white screens to bounce light off. The reason behind setting up the lighting and equipment in this way was to create a light that look like daylight (as if we were in a kitchen), this set up also helped deal with the fact that there would be a body in the surrounding areas off the shot and a hand coming into the shot demonstrating the use of the pancake maker. Essentially I learnt how to bounce light to create daylight.
Essentially the direct light from the lighting equipment bounces onto the white screen behind which then disperses light on the prop-set up below, the light is not to harsh or obvious neither does it look un-natural. This is a great way to create the sense of natural light through artificial lighting.
TASK 3- testing the pancake maker. After collecting the adapter Angus instructed me to test the products to make sure they were fully working and intact ready fore Jo to prep the food.
Once Jo had prepped the food after numerous attempts to create the perfect pancake mixture with perfect rounded edges the scene was set up, that big white board infront of the shot is me holding a reflector.The purpose of the reflector I am holding (for all of 118 shots) is to had shine to the knife that the hand model is holding.
A mixture of Russell Hobbs representatives, Elmwood designers and photographer Angus discussing the composition of some of the props on set of the pancake maker product shot. Having so many people in the studio giving different opinions was a interesting experience, for such a small set-up it was interesting to see how intricate and small details made a huge difference to the reaction and opinions of the clients.
Keeping Shadow entertained was also on the list of tasks that I had to do. With so many people in the studio and so much going on keeping this guy out the way and entertained was crucial for Angus to be able to carry out his work and concentrate on delivering to the clients.
After cleaning up the props and food for that shot it was time for Jo to prep the materials for the next shot which essentially were waffles with a selection go toppings related surrounding them.
After almost 2 hours prep for this shot which included positions, shooting, adding props, moving props around, shooting , stirring the juice, shooting, adding reflectors, adding props, shooting, replacing props this was the initial set-up.
Hitting 4pm the Russell Hobbs clients had made it clear to Angus what was expected from the shoot after discussing ideas, at this point we started to work on the 2nd shot of the waffle maker. Here’s a quick snap of Angus, Gary and Chris discussing how they are going to execute adding the toppings of the waffles to the set-up. It is interesting to note that even adding small things like toppings to the waffles take careful consideration, the chocolate sauce would become to hard by the time that the other toppings had been placed on therefore things like this need to be planned, timed and shot separately. Te conclusion we drew to this dilemma being that we would shoot 3 separate imaged and put them all together in post=production.
PHOTO MANIPULATION – In this case it was a mutual decision on all three-parties that merging three images would be the best possible route to go down baring in mind the materials (toppings) that they were using and the application of these onset. In instances like this photo manipulation i used to bring the best quality and the best representation of the toppings to final image. It is used out of reluctancy rather than being the first resort mores the last resort and the best option for this particular shot and this particular usage opt props.
A bit blurry but at around 7.30pm we managed to get on the shot on point and wrap up for the evening. Even though we intended to take 3 shots sometimes perfecting 2 shots takes longer than planned, scheduled and expected however two more days ahead meaning an earlier start in the morning getting the third shot in before taking the next few before the clients arrive.