I was asked to help take photographic images of jewelry for a budding jewelry company which was something which was unique to me as I was allowed to take the potographs in my own time and had to simply set up a small studio set up in my home. I used a basic lamp as my light source and laid white paper down as a simple back drop.
I really enjoyed this mini project because it allowed me to practice advertising type photography shots and I was under no pressure to get the photographs done. It gave me time to plan and experiment with the jewelry and take photographs which I had planned and thought out the composition.
I took over 100 photographs however these are the ones I like the most and so I edited these and have chosen to keep them as part of my advertising experience. I haven’t really tried this type of photography before so it was useful for me to do so.
For the 201MC work experience module, I began by joining art photography student Louise Ivory. She studies at Derby University for a degree in art photography, and so I decided working with her would help learn more about her style of work. She has her own studio backdrop and lights, and so I hoped this would help with my knowledge of studio photography
Some of Louise’s work;
We began the first shoot by setting up the back drop and lights, and planned how the photoshoot would work.
Louise’s project focussed on fashion/art photography and looked into what colours and patterns represented people personally. She asked women to volunteer what colour or pattern would best describe them and I myself took part in this.
From the results she gathered she designed and made outfits for each woman to wear and photographed them with a backdrop of the same pattern. After the photographs were taken she would then blur out the model’s face to further emphasise how irrelevant the person became when enclosed in the pattern.
Through the photoshoots I learnt how to set up the backdrops for each individual photoshoot and then how to set up the lights. The lights we used on the shoots were flash and so I helped set up the sync to the camera which was really interesting for me because I haven’t previously used flash very much.
Through assisting on several shoots, I then took my turn in front of the camera, which was not something I enjoy doing but I am always willing to help out others with their photography in any way that I can.
One of the reasons I wanted to work with Louise as part of my module is that her ideas are always really interesting to me and this project was in particular one that I wanted to see more of. I really like the idea of the face being blurred as this is the kind of image I like to see, with the strange art like feel to what originally looks like a fashion image.
Evaluation of work experience
I really enjoyed this work experience and I’d say that I gained more confidence about working in a studio envirnonment and also camera controls. I think the main aspect of my work I need to work on is my confidence with the camera settings and also the way I instruct people. I have a tendency to keep quiet and not really say the directions I should say and I think through feeling comfortable in this work experience placement, I have improved the way I communicate and direct others.
Through this studio practice, I learnt more about the lights and emphasised my knowledge of how to put them up. We worked on ways to create different forms of light and also where best to place them and this also helped with my knowledge and confidence about studio lighting.
Along with working the studio lights, I also practiced with the Nikon camera we used to take the photographs and this was really useful because I got the opportunity to use a different camera to my own. I had a play around with shutter speeds and also the white balance which was useful when working out how best to take the photographs.
With the images collected, I spent the next day editing the images. Louise wanted the face to be blurred or removed so I tried different methods of doing this.
This gallery contains 2 photos.
As part of the work experience module, I contacted Gems tv about a possible placement as I knew that the studios were based in Redditch where I live. I was lucky enough to be able to go down to the studio as much as I could and wanted, in between work and university commitments As part of my time there, I managed to spend a while with each of the TV channels in their studios. I began at Rocks TV which is the American jewelry channel which Gems TV runs for American audiences. In my time spent on Rocks I began by sitting in the gallery and observing how the director works, how they control the shots the camera men make and how they communicate with the producer, who feeds cues to the presenters and also controls the information that goes onto the screen. It was really interesting to observe how everyone communicates, with everyone wearing headsets and being fed instructions so that everything flows perfectly.
I then had the opportunity to shadow one of the camera men in the studio and they showed me the controls of the camera, with each camera having a zoom and focus, which was pretty much all you needed to capture the shots needed for the products. I was also allowed into an unused studio upstairs which allowed me to practice using the cameras without being on live television.
After spending a lot of time shadowing the camera men I was then allowed to take control of the camera when the channel was live, which was very scary however it was good to learn how it really works and feels to be in complete control of the camera on live television.
I then spent a bit of time on Gems TV which is the UK jewelry selling channel. Again I shadowed the camera men and was allowed a go on the camera live on air. I spent a lot of time in gallery and this allowed me to better understand the backstage work of the tv channel, which was more interesting to me than the studio side. I really enjoyed watching how the programme is put together and how camera angles and wording on screen can all affect the success of the channel.
I also managed to spend some time on the Jewelry Maker channel which isn’t filming 24 hours a day unlike Gems TV and Rocks are filming all day. This was more laid back than the other channels as it is slower paced than the others and I enjoyed the more laid back feel to it.