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On today's blog, we'd like to introduce you to local photographer, Keith Berson. Keith has been kind enough to share his expertise in product photography to help us with a little "to-do" list for planning your own shoot and has extended an exclusive offer to our Jackalope Community!
Hey there Jackalope community! I'm honored to be here as a guest blogger. I will tell you though, I am not a blogger or writer at all. I am a professional photographer who loves working with artisans, crafters, and designers. When an entrepreneur approaches me about photography for their product, I often find myself playing the role of a creative guide through the process. When it comes to creating imagery that represents your brand, you probably want various images for different uses. The more you plan your shoot in advance, the more successful it will be! If you have no idea where to start, then hopefully you will find this helpful.
WHAT KIND OF SHOOT ARE YOU PLANNING?
A great way to get started is by making a "shot list" of all the photos you want to create. This will help you figure out the size or scope of your shoot. Highly stylized images might be used for marketing via social media, on a booth sign, or on your website banners. It may be a still life of your product with other props, or an actual person interacting with the product. These types of images are meant to be narrative, and will help you connect with your demographic. You may also need basic product photos to be used for online stores, etsy shops, or to apply to sell in craft fairs. These shots are meant to show what the product looks like up close, without other objects to distract from your product. Often each product will need several angles, or extra detail shots to fully describe it.
If this seems like too much to take on all at once, the best thing to do is to figure out what your top priority is. Once you have that first shoot day under your belt, you will be able to easily plan your next steps. Each shoot comes with its own set of preparations and decisions that need to be made, and after each shoot experience, you'll be more ready for the next one!
PLANNING THE SHOOT
Let's dive right in and say you have a group of products that you sell online and at craft fairs, and you need a group of images that show each of your individual products in a way that cleanly and consistently represents your brand. You might also need some group shots to show multiple items together, which would help convey your aesthetic. The simple and traditional way to handle this would be to shoot everything on a white backdrop. However, that doesn't mean you can't be a bit creative with simple product photography. It's perfectly fine to choose a colored or textured background that compliments your product or branding. Some examples of this could be a table top, patterned fabric backdrop, or organic elements. This shoot should be done in controlled lighting to be sure it will remain consistent, and can be repeated should you add more products.
If you already have basic product photos, maybe what you really need is more stylized images for your website and social media. Grabbing people's attention online is often half the battle! If you're planning a still life or flatlay shoot, you will need to think about location, sourcing props and styling each set up. If you want to reach a specific demographic, you may decide that you need to have people interact with your product in the photos. Now you have to think about casting, wardrobe, hair & makeup, location, and possibly permits to shoot. Every product comes with its own unique challenges, but there are plenty of ways to make your product look desirable to potential shoppers.
MAKING IT HAPPEN
Photos are an essential part of your business, and the more preparation you do beforehand, the easier your shoot will be! Plan a prep day before the shoot to get everything organized. Double check you have all the products ready and safely packed for shoot day. Look very carefully at all your product to make sure it is photo ready, meaning it's the best example of what you have to offer. No crooked labels, scuffs, or scratches. Go though all your props and organize them as well by shot so nothing gets forgotten. Most importantly, find experienced team members that can be an extension of your creativity, and help actualize your vision.
- Communicate with your photographer (and stylist if you hired one) so your goals are clear.
- Give photo examples of other brands that are doing something similar to what you want to create.
- Don't try to take on more than you can handle in one day. You don't want to be distracted by missing products or props, cleaning or prepping product, giving directions to lost team members, figuring out lunch or coffee, or any other unforeseen occurrence.
If you think through your needs ahead of time, then on shoot day, you and your photographer can be focused on the creative side of things. Remember that photos are the #1 way to show people your brand!
More About Keith Berson Photography
Keith is always available to give free consultations to anyone planning a photoshoot. Sometimes you just need someone to ask you the right questions to get you going in the right direction.
In addition, Keith will be offering special pricing to the Jackalope community! Anyone who books and completes a shoot before the Spring Pasadena 2018 Jackalope Artisan Fair (coming up on April 28th & 29th) will receive a 25% price reduction on photography services, just mention Jackalope when booking!
At each Jackalope Denver event we select a nonprofit as our event beneficiary who betters the community and inspires us to do more. Zane Beadles Parade Foundation does just that, and this Spring we are very excited to work with ZBPF, learn more about them below and come show your support on May 19th & 20th!
1. When was Zane Beadles Parade Foundation founded and why? In 2013, Zane Beadles – former Denver Bronco currently playing for the San Francisco 49ers – established the Zane Beadles Parade Foundation (ZBPF). ZBPF is a non-profit organization focused on providing experiences to distract our pint-sized warriors from their daily treatments. Studies indicate the experiences patients receive outside of the hospital is just as important as the treatment they receive in the hospital and positive experiences can improve a patient’s quality of life, stress level and recovery. In 2017 through our Greatest Gift program ZBPF has sent over 50 families in SF and Denver to cheer on the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers, helped deliver 30 Bags of Fun with the Gabby Krause Foundation, hosted 4 pancake breakfasts and built a new Sports Court at Brent's Place, sponsored a Holiday Extravaganza at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children for 50 families, and the Winterfest at Cherry Creek North!
2. How did the name come about? While Zane was playing for the Denver Broncos the offensive line chose spirit animals. The elephant was selected for Zane because of his size, he offers protection, strength, power, stability and wisdom. Elephants offer good luck on a long hard journey and strength to make it through. The elephant was selected to represent the foundation as the Zane Beadles Parade Foundation. Zane believes life is about the journey not the destination and is dedicated to making the journey better for others.
3. What makes ZBPF so unique and special? The foundation is a start up and Denver is the home of our Foundation. ZBPF is special and unique because even though we were started in Denver, we continue to make an impact in Salt Lake City, UT where Zane played for the University of Utah, in Jacksonville Florida where Zane played for the Jaguars, and currently in the bay area as he plays for the SF 49ers. We are committed to collaboration, and partner with organizations to ensure a level of dignity and financial respite so that our partner’s can continue to offer all of their services to our families at no cost. Frequently totaling more than $1 million per child, the expenses associated with oncology care are devastating to a families financial wellbeing. Many families have been impoverished by their child’s disease; often a parent must stop working to care for their child. The average income of our families is $50k – that is if both parents are able to keep their jobs. The families we serve require a minimum stay in the hospital of 120 days and incur more than $10k in expenses. ZBPF’s goal is to raise funds to assist the families with their expenses as well as provide programming opportunities and experiences they would not otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy!
4. Why are you excited to partner with Jackalope this Spring? Because the festival is also a start up started by 2 hip, fun girls with a strong desire to give back to the community! Our values strongly align and we admire the fact Jackalope gives artists a chance to make a difference. Also, our families love art and it is used as a form of therapy for them. This will give ZBPF a chance to increase our exposure in the community as well as collect much needed art supplies to put in the newly established Zane's Zone-these Zones will be no procedure zones and allow the kids to just be kids! The Zone will also have an adult area in order to provide a place for them to work and spend more time at the hospital with their children.
5. Where can we learn more about ZBPF and how can we help? On our new website at www.zanesparade.org. You can help us spread the word about all the wonderful work we are doing in Denver, Salt Lake City and San Francisco!
This Spring Jackalope Pasadena decided to welcome Brighter Future Charity as our event beneficiary! Although the fair is as always free to attend, we want to encourage donations to Brighter Future and the families they help. Learn more about them below why we want to help out!
1. When was Brighter Future Charities Founded? Brighter Future was founded in 2013
2. Why did Brighter Future start? BFC was founded as a result of our founder, Mila Larios, noticing a sincere lack of inclusive support programs for families affected by autism. After one of her good friend's children was diagnosed with autism, Mila set out to create a support program to help others affected and bring about awareness in the surrounding communities.
3. What makes Brighter Future so unique and special? One of the main things that makes BFC so unique is our focus on connecting our students with the community. So often you hear stories in the news of individuals with developmental issues only when speaking of motive or crime. BFC works to give a real face to the story of autism and help communities understand how to support those with autism. Not only that, but we work to showcase and support our autistic artists, who teach workshops and sell art at events to raise money for autism.
4. Why are you excited to partner with Jackalope this Spring? We are excited to partner with Jackalope in the Spring after having such an amazing fair with you last fall. Our artists got so much out of seeing all the different ways in which they could turn their passion for art into a vehicle towards independence. Not only that, but our group could not get enough of the amazing activities offered to Jackalope patrons.
1. How did you get your start in the handmade community? I’ve been drawn to creating and promoting handmade creations from a young age. When I was younger, I’d go to work with my mom who was a graphic designer and worked in an office full of women owned businesses. There I’d sit under her desk and draw…sometimes on the walls… and make things from everyday objects. I was incredibly fortunate that the designers, architects, and other professional women in the office would buy my colored paperclips and eraser sculptures and show me what it was like to support each other and the joy of having someone want something made by hand. This feeling of community around creation was present through my college experience where I studied theatre – the art of creating what you need because there’s never enough in the budget to “just go buy it.” I also started working for an American craft artist/ gallery at that time and fell in love with the idea of art being accessible for anyone.
2. What/Who is your biggest inspiration? My biggest inspiration is my mom, Ann, who is the other half of Period Six Studio. She always taught me that people, no matter how different, have shared experiences and their stories are worth listening to and retelling.
3. Tell us a few favorites of yours (animal, tv show, weekend activity, food etc)? A few of my favorite things… polka dots, rusty things, my dog Malcolm and husband Toby, Gilmore Girls, Broadway musicals, and a beer & chocolate combo to top off a day of bump skiing.
4. What do you love most about the handmade movement? My favorite part of the handmade movement is seeing how people who where displaced from jobs in the recession or found that there were no jobs for them out of college have carved out places for themselves. By taking nontraditional career paths they’ve had to build upon what lights them up. I feel privileged watching aritsts grow and change and feel honored when they trust us to tell their stories.
5. What is the most important feature in an artists application for you? For me the work itself is the most important feature. The joy, thoughtfulness and attention to detail is all reflected in the work itself. That being said, make sure there’s good pictures to represent it in the best light.
6. What are you looking forward to the most in joining the jury panel with Jackalope? I am excited to join the jury panel to meet other people who share my passion of the handmade and to see the scope of what people are creating!