ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Gear > Vendors
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-03-2013, 10:23 AM   #1
FakeName OP
Wile E Coyote SuperGenius
 
FakeName's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: San Diego
Oddometer: 1,716
Motorcycle Product Photography

In 1984, I entered the photography business with one goal: Help people sell things.

I've never been a root-and-rock photographer and, armed with a business degree in Marketing a penchant for advertising, and a burning desire to own an advertising agency, I opened a photo studio.



In those days, it was large-format transparency film, Polaroid Type55, giant cameras, tons of lighting and plenty of travel. Catalogs and annual reports drove my business for years, with many small clients and a few large ones now and then. Never shot a wedding, and would prefer to insert hot needles into my eyeballs.



In 2000, I threw the digital switch and never looked back. Hassleblad flogged, view camera gathered dust. Computers bloomed where paste-up tables once sat, and color printers sat in piles of failed prints. Darkroom converted to prop storage and makeup areas. Post-production became a powerful tool. Photo assistants became digital techs and cameras have become connected, on the other end of a very long cable, to retouchers in an adjacent room or another country, all in real-time.



I've downsized a lot now- closed the big studio two years ago, and spend a lot more time as "dad" rather than "boss". But I still do a fair business between school drop-off and pickup, much of which is product photography.



I like product photography- it helps people sell things. I like working solo in a darkened room with lots of lights and music. Some of those things are items over which people sweat, labor design, build, redesign, retool, rebuild, give up, re-energize borrow money, spend money, raid savings accounts, re-purpose and eventually try to sell- I admire that.



Which brings us here to ADVrider. For some time, it's been driving me crazy (not a long ride to get there, mostly smooth pavement) that so many vendors to the motorcycling industry try to sell their products with some of the world's worst photography. Images shot on bedsheets in the backyard, images taken (stolen?) from internet posts. "See larger image" links with images the size of a postage stamp. Out of focus or unfocused images with odd shadows, strange reflections or simply too small. I've seen peer-to-peer forum posts asking for a clearer picture of XYZ's product, because they're considering a purchase but can't see enough details to make a buying decision from XYZ's website.



I'm not arguing my sanity, but this does not contribute to it.



So I'm offering my services. Send me your products, I'll shoot them and send them back. I'll make them look like they're worth the investment you've made. I'll make them look like they're worth the price you're (appropriately) charging. I'll help your customers make their buying decision quickly and easily, putting more money in your pocket. I'll honor the products you sell, give them the love they deserve. And if you sell stuff that fits a 990 Adventure, I'll make it especially attractive!



It started several weeks ago- I was doing a product shoot for another client, and the UPS guy dropped off some parts I'd ordered. Nice parts- beautifully handcrafted, and I almost didn't order it because the online images looked so bad. One in particular was not an inexpensive item, but when it arrived, it was amazing- nice bit of kit. I took it out of the box, walked over to my product setup, cleared off my client's work and set the part lovingly into the beautiful studio light. Looked great- well worth the money.



I did the same thing with a few other items I'd bought- what a difference!



ADVrider rules make me state a price, but I'm not selling a static object. Prices will vary- a lot- based on number of items, complexity, and, frankly, if it's something I want to own. But for ADVrider vendors and friends the type of image shown in the examples below, one can figure right around $125 in fees per final image. That includes the license to publish the image as you wish, except for third-party sales. This also includes knocking out the background and providing a grounding shadow similar to the samples here, as well as a nice bit of retouching. In the business we've called it many things, but I call it widgets-on-white.



Complexity opportunities abound for more money- color changes, on-bike installations, step-by-step instructions etc. Want to send me a prototype and have it "fixed" to look right? No problem- it's just a little more. But for most small products, $125 will get you close. Send me more in a batch? Price gets better- send me a list. Does it fit a 990 Adventure? Let's talk, maybe I need it.



So- here are the samples I've mentioned. Some are from the moto industry, others are from former clients- just to give you an idea of the widgets-on-white aesthetic. I'm not picking on anyone specific here- you might (or might not) recognize a couple of these, and feel free to visit their sites to see what their current images look like- I think these images look much better. Click on them to see the very large view.



ADVriders, PM is your friend- let me know how I can help you.


Thanks.






















__________________
ADVdiscount Motorcycle Product Photography


2011 White 990 Adv S
2014 500EXC Black
FakeName is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-2013, 06:53 PM   #2
KingOfFleece
SplitWeight(tm)
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Western New York
Oddometer: 720
I'm sending you one-soon!
KingOfFleece is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2013, 05:28 AM   #3
liferider
Never It's enough
 
liferider's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Patagonia
Oddometer: 648
May be I won't be a client, but just need to say good luck in this new market segment. For the sake of image quality!
.
__________________
'Long Life to Dirt Riders'
__________________________________________________ _______
Argentina-Chile-Peru - Home of the Dakar ... again ... and again... and again!
liferider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2013, 08:00 AM   #4
FakeName OP
Wile E Coyote SuperGenius
 
FakeName's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: San Diego
Oddometer: 1,716
Quote:
Originally Posted by liferider View Post
May be I won't be a client, but just need to say good luck in this new market segment. For the sake of image quality!
.
Thanks. My expectations are appropriate to the market. ; )

Help vendors understand your frustration by sending a link to this post as a gentle hint. I like to see people sell more of their products.
__________________
ADVdiscount Motorcycle Product Photography


2011 White 990 Adv S
2014 500EXC Black

FakeName screwed with this post 04-12-2013 at 03:54 PM
FakeName is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 02:11 PM   #5
guiri
Looking for a good home..
 
guiri's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Outside Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 1,118
I really like the pic of the skid plate. :)
__________________
Tired of dropping your helmet? Get the Helmet Hook by EXTUFF.BIZ Post in the sales thread that you're interested and then PM me for member discount...
guiri is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 02:16 PM   #6
FakeName OP
Wile E Coyote SuperGenius
 
FakeName's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: San Diego
Oddometer: 1,716
Quote:
Originally Posted by guiri View Post
I really like the pic of the skid plate. :)
Thank you for saying so! Beautiful fabrication skills from that builder.

I can shoot a solid image, but if I had to weld something like that, it'd be quite an embarassment.
__________________
ADVdiscount Motorcycle Product Photography


2011 White 990 Adv S
2014 500EXC Black
FakeName is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 02:40 PM   #7
guiri
Looking for a good home..
 
guiri's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Outside Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 1,118
Well, it's like me. I have certain skills but there are things I couldn't do well to save my life and I literally mean to save my life...
__________________
Tired of dropping your helmet? Get the Helmet Hook by EXTUFF.BIZ Post in the sales thread that you're interested and then PM me for member discount...
guiri is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 04:33 PM   #8
kelsow
Beastly Adventurer
 
kelsow's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2004
Location: Halifax Nova Scotia
Oddometer: 1,119
Best of luck with this. I know exactly how much work goes into making product shots look as good as possible.
What you are charging is a bare minimum as the amount of time involved in simply lighting, let alone cleaning the images in photoshop can run into hours.

I look forward to seeing more samples if your clients will allow.
__________________
"Kelsow's helmet is so tight, it cuts off the circulation to his personality."
Location: Doucheonia
Ride: 2010 BMW F800GS
Site: dualsport.ca and rideatlantic.ca
kelsow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 04:39 PM   #9
FakeName OP
Wile E Coyote SuperGenius
 
FakeName's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: San Diego
Oddometer: 1,716
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelsow View Post
Best of luck with this. I know exactly how much work goes into making product shots look as good as possible.
What you are charging is a bare minimum as the amount of time involved in simply lighting, let alone cleaning the images in photoshop can run into hours.

I look forward to seeing more samples if your clients will allow.
Yeah, this is not a high-profit market segment - I'm just interested in photographing products I like for people that deserve it.

I have other work, and have the advantage of a well-established production workflow.

Truth is, that fee is more than most will spend...
__________________
ADVdiscount Motorcycle Product Photography


2011 White 990 Adv S
2014 500EXC Black
FakeName is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 05:37 AM   #10
KingOfFleece
SplitWeight(tm)
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Western New York
Oddometer: 720
Cover was sent out yesterday USPD Priority Mail.
THX again
Jim
KingOfFleece is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2013, 06:45 AM   #11
KingOfFleece
SplitWeight(tm)
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Western New York
Oddometer: 720
WOW! The shots look absolutely fantastic.
Well done, sir. Well done indeed.
KingOfFleece is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2013, 10:07 AM   #12
FakeName OP
Wile E Coyote SuperGenius
 
FakeName's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: San Diego
Oddometer: 1,716
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfFleece View Post
WOW! The shots look absolutely fantastic.
Well done, sir. Well done indeed.
Thanks for your business- I enjoy helping out.

KingofFleece's products are a little tricky- when properly installed, it is difficult to "see" them- to visually differentiate them from the factory seat material.

Here's what I mean:



The cover fits the seat so well it is difficult to demonstrate them without the customer's eye skipping right over it. The product looks just like the seat- it conforms nicely to the lines of the seat, the texture of the material is smooth and compliant. I can use some light sources with different nature- a large, soft light from the top, kicked by a hard light as a edge/skim- that will accentuate the detail of the material. But if one can tell it's a seat cover, the product wouldn't be very good, right?

So, to tell KoF's story at a glance, we use some images to let customers know it's a very high-quality, high value product, not some old baggy old showercap.



Shape form and texture- create an image that makes a product look three-dimensional in a two-dimensional space. Show conformity of the stretchy material, but give enough visual clues to help them understand it's a cover.

At that point, however, the product begins to look like it might be difficult to install. People think they need to be an upholsterer or something and would have to bust out their glue pots and staple guns.

So we serve them this:



AH! Now the customer sees how it is installed and realizes it's pretty easy to do.

But what if we're running an ad, and have 1/10th of a second to get their attention and tell the story? Well, through the magic of digital imaging, we can do that.



One image tells the story. This helps the KoF reduce costs by running a smaller ad, or increase effectiveness by running a larger, or a larger number of ads. An image like this can become an icon of the product line and sell a lot of products.

But wait- we need something more "editorial", something that suggests richness, attention to detail, and speaks more to KingofFleece as a brand as opposed to simply a collection of products. And since the cover is there, the lighting is there and I have a camera (with a lens!) I can bust out something like this:



An image like this is great to have in the arsenal- it can be the cover shot for the FB/Twitter page, a background for other images on the website or for "press releases" as an institutional image. It suggests the idea of value.

I had fun with this shoot, and thanks for your business, Jim!






__________________
ADVdiscount Motorcycle Product Photography


2011 White 990 Adv S
2014 500EXC Black

FakeName screwed with this post 05-14-2013 at 02:51 PM
FakeName is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2013, 06:09 PM   #13
ciedema
мотоциклист
 
ciedema's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: On the road! Finally!
Oddometer: 1,913
Hey this is pretty cool. I wish you well and wish more vendors would use this (or similar) service. When looking at a product I often want to see more detail than their current images show, I am constantly disappointed. Seeing some of the products that you have photographed here and comparing them to the images on the vendors website is quite a contrast.

Edit: And smart - for example with the seat cover the temptation for the amateur would be to photograph the underside of the seat to show how it is fitted, what you have is given the same result whilst still having a nice image.
__________________
Stories from the Seat Facebook My Photos Cannonball Charity Ride
Personal Attacks - the last refuge of the intellectually impaired.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XR650L_Dave View Post
The only guaranteed route to failure is the attempted solution of problems through the application of ideology.

ciedema screwed with this post 05-13-2013 at 06:21 PM
ciedema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2013, 06:46 PM   #14
guiri
Looking for a good home..
 
guiri's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Outside Charlotte, NC
Oddometer: 1,118
As a former photographer, big time online shopper and much more (related to this) I heartily agree.

Nothing worse than stinkin' pics or small pics or when you click to get a big pic but you get the same size pic, etc, etc.

More people should invest in good pics and then take the time to actually display them properly.
__________________
Tired of dropping your helmet? Get the Helmet Hook by EXTUFF.BIZ Post in the sales thread that you're interested and then PM me for member discount...
guiri is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-14-2013, 02:14 PM   #15
FakeName OP
Wile E Coyote SuperGenius
 
FakeName's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: San Diego
Oddometer: 1,716
You are both kind- thanks. I appreciate you took the time to compare existing work with the samples- I don't want to call anyone out in particular, everyone should make their own decision, but I believe fresh, quality images will sell more product.



Thanks again for your kind words and observations.
__________________
ADVdiscount Motorcycle Product Photography


2011 White 990 Adv S
2014 500EXC Black
FakeName is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 06:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014