Recently I was given the opportunity to do lifestyle photo work for a company called Creative Women. Creative Women has been selling textiles designed as a counterpoint to mass-produced, modern living for over ten years. Creative Women employs artisans in Ethiopia and Mongolia to hand make lightweight blankets, hand towels, table runners, and so much more. “By creating a sustainable niche for these artisans, Creative Women helps to ensure their craft supporters health, education, and economic stability of their families” - Bekah Fry (Creative Director).
I was tasked by the Creative Director Bekah to take photos of all the textiles they sell on their website. I've shot product photos before, but what made this shoot especially interesting was the lifestyle element. Instead of doing the stereotypical white backdrop product photo-shoot, lifestyle shoots add home elements and accents into the photo, creating an atmosphere for the products to live in.
The shoot took place at a space in downtown Lancaster called Hingework. Previously used as a cigar box factory, the space was transformed into a collaborative workspace for creatives in 2016. The large open floor plan of the office room creates a unique environment for creatives to either collaborate on new ideas or projects, or simply work independently.
Hingework has a few different rooms, but my favorite was an all white room used as a photo studio. Everything from the walls to the ceiling is painted white, including a brick wall in the back of the studio. Windows run up and don the side of the room, letting in tons of natural light. Typically for I shoot like this I would be using flash, but for most of the shots I got, I was able to use the natural light coming in through the windows.
In total, Bekah and I spent about 12 hours in the Hingework studio staging and shooting the photos; it was a lot of fun. For anyone who is looking to buying hand made textiles, I would highly recommend Creative women. Their products are extremely well made and their cause is noble.
Until next week! - Evan