Madrid 2006. Stephen Riley, Photographer, Somerset
I’ve spent my week doing sensible product photography – furniture – so this is me loading up a pic for no reason other than fun. It was shot some years ago in Madrid. Indeed, the shots taken for the furniture firm are now theirs, and it would not be appropriate for me to reproduce them here, so you’ll just have to take my word that the furniture was very fine indeed and the photos I created did it justice!
I first started using a camera in earnest in the mid-1980s and from then onwards I was periodically asked to take photographs for commercial purposes, but only in 2011 did I turn properly pro. Since then, I think it is fair to say that there are two areas that come up time and again in the work I am asked to do: buildings and products.
Under the heading buildings, there are areas such as architectural photography, for firms that build or enhance structures, and property photography – showing a home off at its best to attract buyers. Within this, interior photography looms large, as it takes very particular skills to get a room lit evenly and to include as much as possible of the room whilst holding its geometry in place. There are then, of course, those shoots that combine these – those for hotels, for example, where the character of the hotel needs to be captured, but so does the comfort of the rooms.
Product photography is similarly varied. It can include everything from tiny, jewel-like objects to food to industrial components to furniture to ships. Everything has a way or ways in which it can be photographed which capture something of its essence.