Fleurieu Collection by Mark O'Ryan

When Mark (markoryan.com) came to me for our second project, we were both excited! It was a simple request: fill two A3 panels with his iconic furniture sculptures. After some brainstorming and considering our options with respect to the space required, we opted to shoot in the studios loading dock. So with that as my starting point I recognised that this was a great opportunity to try something that I wanted to do for a while but had to wait for an appropriate subject. We had to produce something special, something bold and fearless, something that is normally not accessible. We were going to compose a scene, in black.

Now there are the normal challenges of product photography, such as needing to show glass that is transparent but not too transparent, lamps needing to look like they are turned on, creating pools of shadows and highlights, keeping what we want and not keeping what we don't want. In this shoot the additional level of difficulty was that we also needed to combine three objects, and metaphorically sell it. The solution is simple: shoot separately and compose after. It's always good to have retouching skills as well as ninja skills, but in this instance the former was sufficient. The other takeaway was knowing when to keep going and knowing when to stop, as these sorts of projects are excellent for demonstrate your abilities but also tend to run away with a lot of time.