For me, photography is a hobby. I can use my time behind the camera to enjoy my other hobbies and interests like bicycle racing and the outdoors. Taking pictures for yourself of something you love makes things easy. You know what to expect and what you want. Actually, making a great image is never all that easy but the hunt is part of the fun. Though, when we always do the same thing we can start to get complacent instead of growing.
Recently, a friend of mine asked me to do a photoshoot for a new product that he is launching. I felt honored that he liked my style enough to even consider me. After a few moments, the honor wore off a bit and fear crept in. What if I didn't do a good job, what if things didn't turn out, what if ... . As soon as I realized what was going on in my brain I tried to push out the negative thoughts. Then I was more excited than scared. I decided to fully embrace this challenge. I know nothing about doing a product photoshoot, but I'm getting comfortable with my style and I do know what I like. The product, a Naked fuel/hydration belt for runners, is something that I like and the idea of getting out on the trails was exciting. Challenge accepted — time to grow as a photographer.
Armed with a camera, a flash and a sense of excitement we headed out to the trails early one morning. The trails were shrouded in fog and clouds, which was absolutely perfect for the vibe we were going for. We got several great shots, mostly lifestyle-type shots, but some of the close-up product shots were lacking. My shutter speeds weren't what they should have been and I didn't offer enough coaching and direction so some of the shots weren't what I had envisioned. I chalked this up to a learning experience and we scheduled a second day of shooting. On the second day I was more structured with what shots I wanted as well as making sure the camera settings where spot on. I'm happy to say that you can still teach this old dog new tricks and the day two shot was great. While we didn't have the beautiful fog (it was a crystal clear day), we nailed the product shots and scored a few more lifestyle shots.
Overall I'm extremely happy with how the images turned out and that I pushed the boundaries of my skills. The amount of things that I learned over the course of the two shoots is incredible. I will be more prepared and comfortable with things like this going forward. Hopefully there will be other photoshoots in my future.
Below are some images from the shoot.