Photography Services in Houston, Texas
We focus on three types of photography at our studio: Food Photography, Product Photography, and People Photography. Each come with their own set of unique challenges.
Houston has an impressive food culture. The variety of restaurants is one of the best things about this city. There's quite a lot that goes into taking appetizing food photos. Of course there are the technical considerations, like the direction of lighting, achieving critical focus, and the use of depth of field to direct the eye where we want. But there are also stylistic decisions to make, like how the food should be plated, what's in the background, and from what angle should the photo be taken.
A big part of our work takes place before the shoot. We collaborate with our clients to determine the overall look and feel that we're going for, we draft a final shot list, we determine what props and backgrounds we'll need, and how we want to style the food. Proper preparation is hugely important for a successful shoot.
Below are some examples of a food photography shoot we did with Bernie's Burger Bus, a local Houston restaurant.
In the behind-the-scenes image above, you can see that our main light is positioned camera right. This gives us beautiful side lighting, which is popular in food photography because it creates highlights and shadows throughout the dish, that show off the texture of the food. On camera left, we have a white bounce card that is reflecting some of the light from the strobe back into the shadow side of the burger.
There's a second light on camera left with a snoot that is firing a pinpoint of light directly onto the burger and filling in even more shadows. What you can't see in the photo is the third light, which is actually under the table. The third light is being fired through a blue gel which turns the textured grey background blue.
Typically, we would avoid the color blue entirely in a food photo shoot (the color blue is an appetite suppressant, not ideal for a restaurant!), but Bernie's uses a navy blue throughout their brand, so we made a deliberate decision to match the color.
Don't forget the details!
When shooting food photography, it's important to show the details. This is why it's crucial for a food photographer to have a macro lens in their kit. A macro lens is capable of focusing from a very short distance, allowing you to really fill the frame with the details you want to show off. These shots were taken with a 50mm macro lens from just a few inches away.
Showing off the restaurant's atmosphere
Bernie's Burger Bus has a pretty rad interior. Going back to their roots of being a food truck that served burgers & fries out of a school bus, the interior buildout has a nostalgic school theme. The kitchen has a school bus facade and the restaurant's entrance is lined with lockers plastered in stickers and graffiti. We wanted to include the amazing atmosphere into some of the photos. To achieve this look, we balanced the ambient light of the restaurant with studio strobes.
Capturing flat lay photos of all the dishes
At the end of most food photo shoots, we like to take all the dishes and create a flat lay collage. This simulation of a table full of food puts the viewer into the restaurant experience. It's easy to imagine you're right there, looking down at all that delicious food. This image was captured using only natural light, coming in from the top of the image. We used a reflector just out of frame below the image to bounce some of that light back into the table.
See more images from this photo shoot in the Bernie's Burger Bus project in our portfolio.
Products need photography in order to sell, there's no getting around it. And the better the photography, the more intrinsic value a potential customer will place on that product. When shooting a series of products, it's important to capture them consistently. This means ensuring you're able to replicate the background and lighting when future products are created. Sometimes it's a better fit to shoot the product in use. It just depends on the product and the final look you're hoping to achieve.
Products come in all shapes and sizes. Below are some examples of our product photography and an explanation of how we achieved the images.
In the behind-the-scenes image above, you can see that this image was created with a simple, one-light setup. We placed a 3-foot round softbox above and behind the boxes. This creates a soft, directional light coming from the top of the frame and gives us nice, soft shadows on the near side of the boxes.
View the rest of the product photography from this shoot in our Lil' Franz project.
Capturing a collection of products
We photographed this jewelry shoot at the client's office. We wanted to bring an entire collection of jewelry products into one frame. Rebecca Lankford Designs had a huge variety of styling props on hand. We went through all the props with them and styled this scene. The dark table top, wood blocks, and background put the emphasis entirely on the jewelry.
Isolated product photography on black and white backgrounds
Quite often, a classic white background or black background product photo is needed. Replicating these standard setups consistently is important. We achieved these looks using white and black seamless paper rolls and two lights in softboxes. One placed above camera left, the other placed above camera right, both aimed towards the cans at a 45 degree angle. You can actually see the reflection of the lights near the top of the cans.
The bottom line: if you want to sell more products, invest in high quality product photography.
When photographing people, it's important to have an understanding of lighting principles and how the direction of light should inform the pose. It doesn't matter if you're selling clothing, jewelry, or a gym membership. Your photos will have more impact with people in them.
When we see images of people wearing a shirt or a pair of glasses we want, it reduces friction in the buying decision. We're able to visualize what those products will look like on us. To achieve a successful fashion photography shoot, a lot of planning and organization is required.
Photo Shoot Planning: Hiring Models, Booking Studio, Location Scouting, Shot List & Timeline
There's plenty of work to be done before the shoot takes place that impacts the outcome. When needed, we coordinate with modeling agencies in town to hire models. We reach out to photography studios to book time. If the shoot will take place outdoors, we'll scout locations beforehand to ensure we're prepared for any challenges that might present themselves. A shot list is critical to ensure that you don't overlook any shots. Lastly, a thoughtful and realistic timeline is important to keep the shoot productive and on pace.
Consistent Images for E-Commerce Platform
If the intended use of the photos will be on an e-commerce website, it's important to have consistent color throughout the series of photos. We achieve consistency by setting a custom white balance based off a grey card. Doing this a few times throughout the shoot, especially if the lighting conditions or setup changes, will ensure accurate colors throughout the images.
Lifestyle Imagery for Marketing and Digital Advertisements
It's important to get away from the white backgrounds of the studio to add some variety. With the locations scouted in advance, we're able to efficiently get around and capture what we need at each one. We bring lighting gear and modifiers to use, depending on the available light at each location. This allows us to supplement or entirely change the lighting and the final look of the image.
Headshot & Portrait Photography
Not everybody who gets their photo taken is a model. Some of us regular folks need a headshot or portrait taken from time to time. It's beneficial to represent yourself professionally on the social networks you use. We're able to capture headshots in our studio or on location, wherever that may be.
If you want a traditional business headshot on a white, black, or textured background, we can do that at our office or we can bring a studio setup to you. We'll get studio lighting set up and have you pose in front of a variety of backgrounds. Seeing the options on the computer in real time, you'll be able to pick your favorites straight away. This allows us to deliver final edits efficiently.
The headshot above was photographed on location in the client's home. You can see poster board used for the background along with some lighting equipment to give the headshot a professional quality. Both of the images below were shot in our office using standard white and black backgrounds.
Maybe you want to incorporate a specific environment in the background of your portrait. We could use your office as the backdrop for your photos, like we did in the two images below. The image on the left was taken at an architecture firm's office, while the right image was taken in the lobby of an optometry business.
We have battery-powered lighting tools and a variety of modifiers that we can bring to just about any location. This allows us to work in outdoor environments without needing electricity. Shooting outdoors, you never run out of location options.