CASE STUDY: Meritor – Stylized Commercial Product Photography Project in Troy, Michigan
Agency: HMH Agency and Traffic Digital Agency
Creative Director: Kathy Suchowiecki
Photographer: Marek Dziekonski
1st Assistant: Shane Tincu
2nd Assistant: David Heslip
Brief: To design a bold and dramatic lighting concept matching Meritor’s Run With the Bull campaign and to photograph 60 parts maintaining consistent aesthetic.
Genre: Commercial Product Photography
Location: Troy, Metro Detroit, Michigan
Meritor’s Global Brand Manager – Kathy Suchowiecki reached out to us looking for photography that would match their new, bold, “Run With the Bull” branding. One of the main objectives was to produce images that were outside the box, clean and dramatic in an effort to separate them from their competition.
After brainstorming and settling on the visual approach to the photoshoot, we set off to pre-production. The first problem we tackled was logistics. The parts we needed to photograph ranged in size from smaller gears to very large tridem axles. To move all of the parts to a studio setting would require multiple truckloads with multiple forklifts loading and unloading. The cost was prohibitive so I set out to come up with a solution that would allow us to efficiently photograph the parts on-location, at the storage facility.
The main challenge was coming up with a lighting diagram that would:
– accommodate product sizes from about 8in to about 10ft
– keep the look consistent across images
In absence of the overhead grid typically found at photography /cinematography studios, I knew I needed to come up with a custom lighting solution that can be set up/torn down quickly on location. I decided to design something around my carbon fiber 30ft car camera goalpost rig. The goal was to accommodate 4 lights and to act as a softbox to allow for better control of light spill. For optimum flexibility I settled on using 2 8x8ft Westcott Scrim Jim Kits with 1 stop diffusion fabric for the final size of 8×16 feet. The next step was figuring the fabric. I chose black ripstop for the exterior of the softbox material and lightweight silver lined fabric for the interior. I’m lucky to have a mother in law who is an expert seamstress and who offered her help in sawing it all together. To rig the setup to my goalpost I used a Matthews grip, heads, grip arms, superclamps and baby pins, all mounted to Matthews Studio Equipment’s Hollywood BAby Jr Tripple risers.
To accommodate a large background and help us control ambient light a little better we asked the client to set up 3 20×30 ft sections of black fabric. For the backdrop itself we used a 10×20 ft gray Westcott Wrinkle-Resistant stretchable backdrop. Here is a timelapse from the day of on-location setup:
Thanks to all the time spent on pre-production and planning, the photoshoot went very well leaving agencies and the client very happy. Here are some of the final images.
Whether you’re looking to launch a new product or are an established company in automotive, aerospace or industrial industry, if you are looking for Metro Detroit, Michigan based, experienced commercial product photographer for your upcoming project, or if you are in need of a cost estimate for your upcoming photography needs, don’t hesitate to reach out – I’d love to chat!