It is quite intimidating to be asked to photograph products - especially ones that you know have been crafted with skill and love.
For this assignment I was asked to photograph the extraordinary horticultural pots made by Yannick Fourbet (aka, the French Potter) at his Atelier in Central Otago. Alongside this I was also asked to photograph the wine, produced on his wife, Philippa Fourbet's award winning vineyard, Domaine Rewa. Two very different products, united by high quality and now by a photo shoot.
Showing scale, showing detail, subdued lighting
Capturing really large pots to give them both scale and also to stick within a consistent brief was a little challenging (not helped by the torrential rain as many of the pots had to be manhandled inside). The images needed to portray the size and detailing on the pots and, at the same time, be photographed in a manner that was consistent with the aesthetic of the brand.
Classy, classic and Central Otago
Photographing wine is also a bit challenging. There is always a need for shots as crisp as a chardonnay for advertising in magazines etc, but this is a little uninspiring for something that is so delicious. The brief was for photographs that also were consistent with the aesthetic of the Atelier (The French Potter).
It's funny how simple shots seem to take more energy than things that are complicated - consistent with Mark Twain who once said, “I didn't have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote you a long one” - often distilling things down to what is important is much harder (and takes more effort) than firing off photographs that are busy and complicated.
After spending the day at the Atelier I did enjoy a nice pinot in front of the fire.