Featuring a few things currently hanging out on my vanity, probably feeling squished what with the mountain of perfumes and candles and general paraphernalia I’ve got stacked on one teeny surface. Thought I’d share some of my first impressions before I dive into the formal
Elie Saab Le Parfum EDT Purse Spray
The EDP has gotten too heavy to wear in this ridiculous heat (the last time I climbed into my car, it was 113 degrees and I felt like I was sitting in a mobile oven), but the EDT is just right. The packaging is the coolest thing ever too; you twist the cap and out pops the sprayer! It’s a conversation piece if I ever saw one. Haven’t worn the scent more than once so far, but it seems to be a toned-down version of the original, with a fresher, cleaner profile.
May Lindstrom Skincare
I was positively beside myself with glee when I received a box from the lovely May Lindstrom the other day. If you’ve purchased anything from the line before, then you know what I mean. The care that goes into the packaging and wrapping is just incredible, and inspired me to get fancier than usual with my product shoot. I’ve yet to test the magical powers of The Clean Dirt, but I slathered myself with The Good Stuff pre-Tolkien time last night and it was…beautiful. I’d been expecting a formula along the lines of Rodin Olio Lusso, but what came out was bronzy and twinkling, like a galaxy in liquid form. I don’t think I’ve been this pleased with sparkles since I first beheld a Christmas tree.
*Update: Tried it again, and it’s actually more like an olive-oil colored carrier with drops of sparkly balsamic vinegar…try to imagine that if you will.
Salvatore Ferragamo Acqua Essenziale
You would think my guy friends would be more eager to claim free product, but no dice. Still in the process of finding a guinea pig for this one, although who knows? I might just end up keeping it for myself. Sniffed the bottle briefly today, and it smells like boy. Expensive boy.
Senna Summer 2013 SunGlow Collection
Senna’s Summer collection, which I’m still in the process of photographing, comprises two separate looks. There’s Bronzelite, featuring all the usual suspects to give you sun-kissed skin and eyes. Then there’s Emerald Isle, which I’m so glad someone finally decided to do…all that bronze and gold does get a bit repetitive after awhile. First of all, there’s an orangey-red lip lacquer paired with a green eyeshadow. I know it sounds like the tackiest Christmas in July pairing, but the result is so resort-chic. From the looks of things, it’s shaping up to be an excellent summer.
While I’m on the topic of shooting product, I thought I’d talk a little bit about some of the things I’ve learned over the course of many shoot sessions for the blog. A lot of these tips and ‘rules’ may be specific to my preferences and personal aesthetic, but I do think they’re worth putting out there. Everyone has their own style when it comes to photography, so take what’s applicable to you and feel free to leave the rest. And of course, I owe all this knowledge to my brilliant high school photography teacher, whose advice has proved invaluable, and not just where cameras are concerned.
- There is no shot like a night shot — There are many bloggers who seem to have the daylight shot down. I am not one of them. For product, I prefer to shoot at night with an artificial light source. It lets me capture much cleaner, sharper lines than the diffused light I get during the day. For example, the Infallible shadow on the left was shot in natural light, while the one on the left was shot at night (in a freshman dorm room, mind you). Note how in the latter, I was able to define every single edge of the lucite because I had greater control over exactly where the light hit.
2. Let there be (one) light — In general, if you get the perfect lighting you’re well on your way to a perfect shot, regardless of your camera. It takes me quite some time to produce a handful of images because I’ll spend ages moving my product around and fiddling with lighting before snapping each picture. This process is a whole lot easier with a single light source. I’ve seen many bloggers shoot with two lights and produce a beautiful image. But for me, two lights is one too many. One light source means more control. If I need to bring more light to the opposite side of a product, I use white paper or mirrors to reflect my original light source. Likewise, if I need to darken a certain area of a product, I use black paper (although I’ve gotten far too lazy for this step lately).
3. DIY it — If you’ve got some spare time on your hands, this doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby. There are tons of great make-it-yourself tutorials on everything from lightboxes to diffusers. I’ve even seen DIY ringlights, if you’re feeling particularly ambitious. My shoot space might be on the verge of falling apart because of my less-than-perfect building skills, but hey, that’s what duct tape is for.
Which products have you been loving lately? Do you shoot during the day or at night? Any tips & tricks to share?
Full Disclosure: The items featured in this post were provided for editorial consideration and review. All opinions are my own. For more information, please see my disclaimer.