Winter Shopping Shoot for iStock
The last two years we did shopping related shoots for iStock as Christmas seems to be one of the most popular times for stock photography. I always approach my shoots from a customer’s and designer’s perspective. Its safe to say that designers love photos on white backgrounds just as much as photos on single colored or themed backgrounds. It just depends on what that designer is looking for at any given moment. A good designer can take a subject on a pure white background and place it on anything, hence the argument that white background images are better sellers. I would recommend shooting on all sorts of backgrounds and see which ones sell better.
As far as this shoot goes, I wanted to give a Christmas / Winter feeling, so we worked with the classic colors of the season, red, white and green. Mary (the model) and I wrapped a bunch of presents to use as props, and in some of the shots we stuffed a shopping bag with money to use as a prop. The winter cap and the scarf are great additions to these images as they really make the images pop. We tried without the hat and scarf and it just didn’t look the same. Accessories can be a huge!
As far as the shoot went, I used a standard lighting setup for the white background shots. Two Alien Bee 800’s on the left and right to blow out the background and a medium softbox for the key light. For the images of the red background, I simply used a medium softbox. It was more then enough to illuminate the red seamless paper. It also create a natural vignette look. All images were manually whitebalanced using a WhiBal at first and then setting the actual temperture on the camera.