At Bloom, we make it our mission to inspire creatives and give them the tools they need to take next steps in their business. We absolutely love featuring work of industry professionals we adore, and love it even more when they are connected to Bloom in some way! Today we're interviewing Andrea Pesce, a wildly talented photographer, about her process in creating unique, branded images and shooting interiors for her clients. Andrea will be teaching the photography portion at our Charlotte, NC workshop on July 20th. We can't wait!
Although Andrea is first and primarily a natural light wedding photographer, she has been extremely successful in putting together lifestyle photography packages for her clients as well. We love the creamy, airy, and personal photos she achieves for clients and we think stylists, photographers and bloggers alike can all find a takeaway for their business throughout her story and knowledge.
1. Tell us about your lifestyle / branding photo sessions. How have you seen the images you produce positively impact a creative business owner?
For starters - I love working with creative business owners! Well, branding and Lifestyle sessions evolved over time from a need of non-photographer business owners to have quality custom images for their sites and solid images for social media and blog content. I have been able to see clients greatly benefitted from these sessions by setting themselves apart from others in their industry by having unique, professional and consistent imagery that matches their brands and showcases their products. Their clients recognize their images, are drawn to the fact that they are unlike any other business owner and really connect with their life-behind-the-scenes content. All of this has built a trust with their clients that shows they care about all of the little details.
2. What gear did you use to shoot this?
This particular session was full of beautiful natural light from Alisandra’s office windows, so the only gear I needed were the basics I carry with me to each shoot: Nikon D610, 50mm 1.8, 35mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4. You can read a short review and why I love these pieces here, but I always bring more than my bag to lifestyle shoots. Natural light is beautiful and my preferred light source, but if you only rely on natural light I can promise it will fail you at some point! Often times when I shoot these lifestyle sessions, I am traveling distances that are too great to reschedule or walk-through before the day of, so I have to work with what is available. To ensure I’m not stuck in a windowless room (or a house in the woods on a rainy day) I bring these daylight lamps, a tripod and a reflector to each session.
3. If you used off camera lighting, what was your set-up and why?
I have found that in general, off camera flash has a very distinct look that feels quite the opposite of “lifestyle”. Instead I bring in stationary daylight lamps (mentioned above) if a space is too dark to create a more naturally lit space. The other benefit is that unlike a strobe, the light remains consistent instead of flashes popping every few minutes/seconds.
4. We are sure variety is key in these shoots for your clients. How many detail and portrait shots do you aim for?
I always start the branding and lifestyle process by meeting with clients to get to know them, their style, their business and what a day in the life of running their business looks like. I find that simply getting to know them helps keep it fresh and from two session feeling exactly the same. As a general rule for each session I capture a wide horizontal, vertical and detail shot of each part of the space we are in, and for portraits I try to get a balanced number of shots that set the scene and "tell the story", while also capturing the classic portraits.
5. How is shooting interiors different from other types of sessions?
Other than lighting, the most obvious difference is the space! There never seems to be quite enough of it :) Telling the story of a stationary and limited space is far different than a family, an engaged couple or a bride and groom. While shooting interiors I’m constantly looking for the angle and perspective that looks the best, while still telling a story and ensuring all lines are straight, pillows are fluffed and frames are upright.
6. Any advice for photographers new to shooting interiors? Any tricks or tips?
Be sure to have a wide angle lens handy such as a 35mm, but be careful not to shoot so wide that the room and people are distorted. Also, don’t be afraid to rearrange! In small spaces sometimes the simplest items can be a distraction from the story that is unfolding and the part of the room you are capturing. Try moving the coffee table out of the frame of the fireplace, or even sometimes using items blurred in your foreground can bring another part of the room to attention. Just try different arrangements!
7. Do you bring anything else with you, other than camera gear? (Flowers, books, props, etc…)
In general I don’t bring my own props, because I believe in keeping the story as authentic as possible. However, fresh flowers or greenery are always an easy way to bring a space to life and if there are empty bookshelves or parts of the room that need to be enhanced I have been known to scour other rooms of the house for treasures. :)
8. From a styling perspective, how do you and your clients prepare for these shoots? If the branded photos are for their website, do you work together to create photos that will be in a similar palette as the website and brand?
As I mentioned, I sit down with each before their session to ensure we are on the same page and so I have the chance to get to know their personality. If they have also booked a custom stock images, then from there I have a questionnaire we talk through about their branding and create a Pinterest inspiration board. While many creative fields are similar, some are also very different. Each client has their particular needs and style, so we talk through the ways they utilize images on their site, social media and storefront.
How have you seen branded photos like these, make a positive impact for businesses? If you're a photographer let us know if you've ever done interior shoots and what gear you use!
Do you have a real wedding, styled shoot, interiors shoot, bouquet recipe, or something else you think would make a great fit on The Bloom Workshop blog? We'd love to see what you have in mind! Please send a preview of the shoot (it must be professionally photographed) and a brief description to firstname.lastname@example.org for considering. Use subject line "Bloom Blog Submission". Thank you!