For some reason only known to the Gods, almost every product photography shoot I undertake is challenging…primarily because my clients ask me to photograph highly-reflective products. The most difficult shoot that I have completed to-date were these aviator’s glasses which have a reflective surface designed to protect a pilot’s eyes from being attacked by lasers during the landing process. Which, unfortunately, is an all too common occurrence.
Adding to the difficulty of the laser-reflective surface, was the curvature of the lens which picked up every corner of my studio in its reflection creating quite a problem.
I could not use a conventional ‘shoot tent’ because the eyewear would pick up ever thread of the shoot tent fabric in its reflection. Almost everything that I tried failed. Sure, I cold have cleaned up the images in post-processing but I felt that the product image would not be ‘whole’ because of the amount of post-processing that would have been required. So, my challenge was to shoot the reflective film and maintain its integrity with minimal post-processing.
Solution: build custom shoot enclosures using large sheets of white foam board with lots of duct tape and furring strips. The shoot enclosures were wide and long but not very high. The objective of these shoot-enclosures was to ensure the only part of the enclosure which reflected in the glass would be the nice even surface of the foam board and in this way I could capture the beautiful color gradients on the lens surface.
There is a tendency when prospective clients call to request a price for a product photo shoot that they balk at the quoted price. This I understand, they believe that you put the product on a still life table, take a few photos and the job is done! Not, so!