Pack shots, as images of products and objects are often called, can be the life blood of many magazines, papers and catalogues. A press photographer will often get a call to go to a shop and buy a product and get a picture of it for the paper. Often you won’t have the luxury of a pack shot table, which is a piece of curved white perspex on a frame, which enables you to easily make the object, float on white and you have to improvise.
The image to the left was shot for the Daily Express, and was done with a roll of white paper and an off camera flash in a soft box. The image of the Munchies was also for the Express and was shot on a full size product table with lights above and below the packet, which is why it is shadowless and floats on the page. The interesting thing about this particular image is that I was only told that it was needed thirty minutes before deadline, I had to buy it, photograph it and send it down the wires in that time to get it in the first edition. Due to the digital cameras and the first roll out of high speed broad band, this and six other products were at the picture desk twenty miles away in twenty five minutes.
The largest and most complicated pack shot I was ever in volved with was the on of all the available England World Cup memorabilia, which was shot for the Daily Star Sunday. The picture desk booked an upstairs studio and it had no lift al all, yet alone a goods one. The fotball table we got up in pieces and reassembled, but the motor scooter was not going up the stairs at all. The only way to do this was for the stylist to lay out all the items apart from the scooter and leave a gap for it. We then printed out the images, went downstairs to a smaller studio, put the scooter on a white background and shoot it at he exact angle in needed to be at to fit in the other image. I ended up using several parts to the image and combining them to make a two page spread in the papers world cup supplement.