by Mike Faga, CEO and photographer
Green Olive Company, a leading olive oil and vinegar company in Columbus, OH contacted us about some marketing help. They have a product they want to showcase: a corporate gift box of high end olive oil and vinegar. Say no more, I was excited for this mix of food and product photography.
We started out with a concept: to create a feel and a look that would be appropriate to have olive oil not only be the centerpiece, but wouldn’t take away from the experience that Green Olive Company provided. The end result would be four images, a horizontal and a vertical version with and without the gift box.
The owner of Green Olive Company, Lisa, and Alexis and I got to thinking about what the photo should look like. I had my image in mind: a lay flat photo with the olive oil taking center stage, surrounded with everything you’d have with olive oil: fine meats and bread, varieties of olives to show that there are many kinds of oils, garlic, corks, and other props for texture. The other set of images needed to be vertical, and more commercial. The vertical image needed to encapsulate the storefront we were in, but vague enough to be used by itself without knowing the store.
Here’s how we accomplished this:
- Consultation to determine the scope of the images
- Figure out props, layout, and lighting needed.
Here is the initial image we conceptualized:
As you can see, nothing too special here. The idea is solid: a lay flat with the olive oil in the center nestled in the gift box. The props compliment the products, but we have a few problems:
- The wood is very plain, and sort of runs together. Not difference in tone.
- The lighting is dark and flat. There is no depth in the image.
- The overhead lights in the store cast a shadow of myself over the table.
How do we combat this? Here’s the plan.
We take the table and add a Godox strobe with an umbrella to bring the light around to multiple angles throughout the table. I considered a soft box but two things got in the way. First, space. We were in a storefront that didn’t have the room to setup a large soft box. Second, the umbrella allowed the light to flow out and not be so directional. I liked this because of the harsh edges and variety of shapes and textures on the table.
Then I added a silver reflector to the opposite side of the table. I got up on the ladder and took the shots needed.
The strobe was around 1/4 power or 1/8, I think I played around with it to find a good reflection point. Didn’t write it down for later. My Nikon D610 was at 44mm with a Tamron 24-70 at f/7.1 and ISO of 400 and shot with a shutter at 1/125.
We are getting better! I knew that I’d have to edit the tone of the wood in post, and we were never going to get rid of that shadow cast without really overpowering the glass in of the bottles.
I was happy with this shot in camera. Now let’s get into the final edit. By using Lightroom and Photoshop to correct the wood tones, fix the shines on the metal and the glass, we balance our lights and create our final image!
The entire photography session only took an hour and a half, and the images were done very quickly since we had everything planned ahead of time. By using Studio MFP, Green Olive Company got 4 professional and creative images for their marketing.
And that’s the final! Check out the rest of the images from this shoot: