Archives Posts Tagged ‘Commercial Product Photographers Shanghai’
25Feb 2013New Brand Visuals for KARCHER
04Aug 20123M Product Shots on Red Dot
We are happy that some of our shots which we did for our long-term client 3M CHINA are currently featured on the international Red Dot Awards page, an internationally respected award, given to outstanding product design. From the entire team we like to congratulate 3M CHINA, and especially the lead designer Gimmy, to snatch one of the esteemed Red Dot product awards! You can read the article by clicking on one of the images below.
The jury states “This product idea realises ergonomic considerations and demonstrates a high level of innovation. A convenient window cleaner for hard to reach areas.”
Well done and congrats to Gimmy and his team!
20Feb 2012New Healthcare Gallery
We just added a new healthcare portfolio to our gallery, showing the best healthcare-related photography we have done for various clients, such as SIEMENS MED, MARQUET, OROCLEAN or SONOLIFE. Below are a few previews, click here to see all images. We merged all interior images into our architectural portfolio, and also updated our portrait section..
12Mar 2011Product Photographs for 3M
We just finished a third project for one of our latest clients, 3M. The company is a obvious great client with brands in their portfolio such as Post-It, Scotch Tape, Nexcare or O-Cel-O. We are excited about this new cooperation and have just finished a round of first nice shots for a brand called Filtrete. Our photographer Ray did some simple but fab product shots on a white background. Focus was on making the product the ‘hero’, which I think we quite achieved. Below are three shots of the entire series.
26Jan 2011Ray – Commercial Photographer Shanghai
Ray Sun, originally from Shanghai, is with us since August 2010. Since then, Ray has done successful shoots for a large variety of clients. Having worked for more than 4 years for the Shanghai Media Group, publisher of for example Shanghai Daily, Ray is a very versatile and flexible photographer who is good at and enjoys shooting on many different assignments.
His passion area is high-end still-life and architectural photography.
List of Client Ray has worked for:
19Nov 2010Beautiful Shots of Wooden Furniture
We just finished a small but nice shooting job for a new Danish Furniture client. We absolutely love the beautiful and simple design of the tables and chairs we photographed. Our furniture photographer Ray Sun (view his portfolio) shot the products at our client’s location in a factory near Shanghai. In total he created 32 shots, which than our retouching team touched-up (fix imperfections, clipping path, background knock-out, file naming).
If you also like to get such shots of your products, please contact us!
15Sep 2010Advertising Product Shots for BOSCH
We recently finished a nice advertising photography job including creative retouching for BOSCH China. The shoot was supervised by ad agency INTERONE (Shanghai/Beijing) and took place in our Shanghai photo studio. Photographer was Chad Ingraham, who spent about a day creating exactly the shot which was requested. Have a look at the final print ads below, which appeared in several magazines, including VISION.
20Jan 2010How To Choose A Photographer in China
If you have to find a commercial photographer for your next project in China, there are several things which you need to consider that will affect the outcome of your search. How can you be sure that the photographer is good? How can you know if the photographer offers a good value? How do you know if he or she is the right one for your project? The most important challenge is to better educate yourself to make a thorough decision.
The aim of this article is to offer a recommendation to marketing managers or anyone having to choose a commercial photographer in China.
China offers a wide range of commercial photographers, ranging from individual freelancers to small lane studios to larger photography companies with their own large studios and full-time employees. According to the China Photographer’s Association, there are 12,000 photographers registered in China (and for example more than 2,000 photographers just in Shanghai!).
Regardless if you need to need a product, portrait or architectural photographer, the general aspects which need to be considered when choosing a photographer are universal and always the same. Commercial photographers in China come in various sorts and kinds which can be differentiated and evaluated by following characteristics:
The above points are now explained in detail below.
1. Start with the photographer’s portfolio.
Start by looking at the website of the photographer and see if you like his or her style. Do you like the way the shots are composed? Do you like the atmosphere or tonality of the shots? Photography is highly subjective which means that each individual will have a different opinion on an image. Also have a look at how the website and the portfolio are presented: Does it have a nice look and feel? Is it well-structured and easy to navigate? Does it contain all the relevant information and a bio or vita?
2. Check the experience of the photographer in your area.
Often photographers get questions asked like “I see that you’ve shot oranges but can you also shoot apples!?”. This question is of course beside the point as you can’t expect any photographer to have shot the product you are looking for in the exact style you are looking for. Rather check if the photographer has done some work which is relevant to your area, or in the style (lighting, background, composition) you like but with a different product. A good photographer can easily adjust the shooting style according to your design.
3. Look at what other companies have used the photographer.
Good photographers usually have a loyal base of regular clients which work with them on an on-going basis. Check if the website reveals some information about the photographer’s references. Ideally, the website shows some real comments from clients (testimonial section) with their company names. Established photographers will also always be able to give you 2-3 references which you can contact before signing the quote.
4. Check out if the studio would be okay.
About 70% of all jobs are done in a photo studio and 30% are done on-location (estimated). If your shoot takes place in studio, see if the studio size and location fits your requirements (look at dimensions, ceiling height, floor plan, storage space, make-up room, infinity cove, ease of access, etc.). Ask if the studio fees are included in the photographer’s day rates, also ask for studio half-and full-day rates.
5. Make sure the photographer has a good support team.
Even small photography projects can become pretty labor-intensive. Products need to be picked up or sent and assembled and prepared, models have to be scheduled and styled on time, property release forms have to be drafted, faxed and signed, and so on. Photographers who don’t have a full-time support team, usually consisting of project managers/ producers/ account managers, stylists, photography assistants or runners, end up having to do all those little tasks by themselves. This typically makes them spend a lot of their attention, time and energy on secondary tasks which can (and should) be done by an assisting team member. Ask for other talents who support the photographer and check how experienced they are.
6. Learn a bit about the photographer’s personality.
Photographers are normal people with all kinds of strength and weaknesses. As photo shoots can get quite exhausting, intense and challenging for all involved, so it’s vital that the photographer has the kind of personality traits which are important to you. Consider the testimonial from Mike Gatti (Arnold Worldwide) about the awesome photographer Tom Nagy:
7. Find out about the photographer’s language skills.
Now this is something which is probably only relevant in China – see how good the photographer’s Chinese or at least his English is. Photography is part of the visual communication sphere so it is fundamental that the people involved can communicate well with each other. If a client requests “More Warmth! More Harmony!”, the photographer has no other choice but to ask “okay, but how?!”. Therefore, it’s important that the client and photographer talk at least one common language.
8. Look at the value, not the price.
As prices are always relative, it always depends on what you get in return for what you input. For example, if you pay $10,000 US for a car this might be a great bargain or a total rip off, depending if it’s a Ferrari or a unknown car brand from the former Soviet Union. Same in photography! Good photographers get you what you want efficiently and without loosing any of your time! Bad photographers might also be able to get it done, but they often need much more time and you need to manage them a lot more. Therefore, always consider that your time is very valuable and you should train your photographer to know what you want and like so that you can spend your time on your core business.
9. Equipment is not everything, but it’s a start.
Probably you already know that the best photographers can create amazing shots with almost any kind of camera or equipment, and inexperienced photographers will often explain that they can’t create this or that effect because they don’t have the right equipment. Fact is that equipment is for sure important, but it is also often overrated. Ask the photographer what equipment he is usually using (camera model, lights, computer) and if you need billboard size, what maximum resolution (e.g. 5616 x 3744 pixels at 300 dpi) his images can get.
10. Pay attention to how well the admin side is taken care off.
Some paper work is not avoidable, even in a creative area like photography. The most important documents are: quotations (often referred to as quotes, estimates), invoices and release forms (model or property release forms). See if the documents are setup properly and documented well (numbered, filed, complete information, etc.) as this might become important when there are any legal issues with property owners or models.
Bottom line: Choosing the right commercial photographer for your next project in China is actually an easy task once you know what to look for. The above 10 points should help you to navigate you through your search.
You can also use a Point Rating System (see a sample result below or download the excel file to create your own) if you need to write things down or rationalize your decision to your boss or colleagues. This Point Rating System helps you to look at each factor independently, while coming up with one final result (or sum of points) for each option. The photographer with most of the points should then be your preferred option – and get the job!
You can also download a sample Excel version here !
At the end of December, we started working with one of the largest furniture manufacturer of the U.S. The company has one of Asia’s biggest furniture factories near Shanghai in which a big part of the companies products are produced. The factory also has some basic showrooms, in which following room set photographs have been shot by our team. In total, we photographed three different sets on the same room set, but from different angles.
After the shooting, our retouching team in Shanghai digitally composed various backgrounds into the images, giving the impression that a real green scenery like a garden or green space actually was there. In fact, only a simple looking factory wall in the basement of a Chinese factory was visible (see below). We think the composition turned out nice and the effect looks ‘really real’.
The following article outlines and explains the most important points which need to be considered when planning and organizing an on-location garden photo shoot in Shanghai, regardless if you like to shoot any of following types of products:
- garden furniture items such as patio furniture, seating sets, grills, gazebos, green houses ..
- power equipment such as lawnmowers, blowers, spreaders, chain saws, swishers ..
- gardening or landscaping items such as flooring, pest control, mulch, planter ..
In the past five years we could gain a lot of experience after having planned and executed more than 200 on-location shoots in China, and actually also in Japan, Korea, India, Vietnam or Singapore.
On-Location shootings typically are charged with a minimum of 4 hours (=half-day shoot) as it often already takes 1-2 hours to arrange, pack and load all the equipment into the van and actually getting to the location.
Once at the location, the photography team starts to setup their equipment at the first “scene”, and the first shot is ready to be taken.
Although each on-location shoot is unique and needs to be treated differently from others, generally you will find yourself always dealing with the same “variables”, which will all be explained in greater detail below:
- Planning & Workflow
When planning a shooting of garden related items, you first need to think of the location: Either you shoot your products on a “greenfield” or you ask your photography team to find an appropriate-looking villa with a nice garden or patio area. Both options have their pro’s and con’s which we point out below:
- easier to manage (logistics)
- looks better
- background without ambiance
- higher costs
Rimagine has two experienced landscaping partner companies in Shanghai. Both are internationally-owned companies, designing, planting and maintaining 100s of Western-looking gardens and compounds in Shanghai. One of those companies is usually put in charge of all landscaping issues to set up all the scenes throughout the project plus help out with main logistical issues.
For a two day on-location shooting on the green field of our landscaping partner, following cost orientation might help you to calculate future projects:
- Team of 5 Workers 3,000 RMB per day (=450 USD per day)
Workers can plant/carry/lift/move products or plants, but need orders.
The 3,000 RMB per day are for all the 5 workers.
- Team of 2 Supervisors 2,500 RMB per day (=375 USD per day)
Supervisors coordinate workers and are responsible to build scenes.
The 2,500 RMB per day are for all the 2 supervisors.
- 100sqm of Greenfield 3,000 RMB per day (=450 USD per day)
The greenfields are located in the district of Song Jiang, approximately an one hour drive from our photography studios in Shanghai (without traffic, 30-45 minutes). In total, a complete greenfield plus a team of gardeners could cost you the following for a two-day photo shooting:
6,000 RMB 2 days x 3,000 RMB (5 workers) to carry, move products
5,000 RMB 2 days x 2,500 RMB (2 supervisors) to ensure correct scenes
6,000 RMB 2 days x 3,000 RMB (green field area rental)
1,500 RMB soil, tool usage, etc.
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -
18,500 RMB = 2,700 USD
(not including photography, account manager, retouching and product logistic costs)
Rimagine is experienced in all relevant logistical issues as we have done and organized a big number of logistic-intensive on-location shoots in China. Due to the typically largeness and bulkiness of garden products, we recommend to have the suppliers of the products or our landscaping partner pre-store, arrange and transport all the products to the (various) location(s).
Based on past experience, our team can create between 5 to 10 scenes in one day. Factors which influence the shooting outcome:
- Amount of scenes (a scene is for example: Lawnmover in front of greenhouse)
- Time to setup each scene (this would be done before the shooting starts)
- Setup of lights (we would shoot with battery-driven lights or just use reflectors)
- Location (e.g. distance to studio or from parking lot to shooting scene)
- Weather (if weather prevents shooting, usually 30% of our service fees are charged)
- Props (if any)
With each different scene we shoot, we get a selection of shots that are taken with the same lighting, but with small variations in angle and composition.
Depending on your preference, the retouching of all confirmed shots can be either be done by Rimagine’s own retouching team, or any other retouching team which you appoint.
The team which would plan the shooting and work with you usually consists of:
- 1 Producer project coordination, scheduling, arrangements, props
- 1 Photographer taking the actual shots, consulting in terms of design
- 2 Assistants assist photographer, run errands, move equipment
- 1 Driver van to shuttle team, fetch products/equipment
- 1 Admin Assist. stay in the studio, arrangements, phone calls
Landscaping team typically consists of
- 1 Project Manager coordinating all gardeners
- 5-10 Gardeners build scenes, carry/lift/move products, plant trees
- 1 Truck Driver
A supervisor and some workers:
Team Talent Count.
The core team will be approximately 8-15 persons (not including client). It is advised that at least one client representative is present all the time.
For any on-location / outside shooting, the weather has to be considered. Weather is usually stable and very nice in spring and fall in Shanghai (2nd half of March/April/May and September/ October/ November). Shanghai “has” a rainy season but even within this rainy season it does not rain more than in Germany in fall. The best months to do such shootings are therefore in the indicated months.
Planning & Workflow.
A detailed planning and close communication between you, your photography team, the location owner(s) and the landscaping company are necessary. Rimagine would orchestrate all parties, and your account manager would act as the main coordinator. In general, Rimagine recommends following process:
- Confirmation on location(s) (images/measurements to Hornbach)
- Scene Scribble and definition amount of scenes/where/how
- Detailed cost estimate from landscaping team
- Confirmation and pre-production start
- Suppliers send products to landscaping company
- Landscaping company builds all scenes
- Photo shooting of the scenes, create approx. 60 shots
- Disposal of all used material (either back to supplier, property owner can keep, or dispose)
More Things To Consider:
- Can one member of your team be present during the shoot (ideally to approve images)?
- Do you have examples (or references you like) of past shootings?
- Who is in charge of the landscaping design? (not really necessary for greenfield option)
- Do you have a total allocated budget or do you like us to come up with one?
- From where will the supplier’s send the products? (Shanghai-area?)
We hope this article will help you to evaluate the feasability of planning and organizing a on-location shoot of your garden products in Shanghai.