In the Studio: Shop Northernly

Keri at Shop Northernly is killing it.  From the moment I visited her site I knew that she had discovered (read: developed through blood, sweat, and tears) the magic combination for small business success.

Unique & Quality Product + Focused Product Offering + Authentic Brand Story + Clearly Defined Brand Aesthetic

When she contacted me about creating a few banner images for her Minnesota based handmade scarf company. I literally COULD NOT WAIT to get started.  Partially because I shoot a lot of amazing paper goods and always jump at the opportunity to shoot something outside of that category and secondly, because I knew that what she wanted (dark, moody, rustic) would be such a challenging and refreshing departure from what I am typically creating for clients (bright, feminine, minimalist, on white etc).  I also loved that her Pinterest inspiration board for our shoot contained like six images. This girl knew what she wanted and that helps me SO much.

I created two banner images for her targeted at increasing sales during her most crucial time of year-  the cool weather months and holiday gift giving season.  One of my very favorite parts of product photography is the challenge of creating a story for a banner image. The first image was created to transport you to a crisp fall day. Fall leaves, pinecones, warm apple cider, homemade pie, your favorite chunky  scarf…I’m just saying, I think we nailed it. It was 95 degrees here in Tampa when I shot this and it took everything in me not to turn the AC down to 62 and wrap myself in one of her gorgeous soft chunky knit accessories!

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My favorite elements styled into this image were the cute little acorns, the apple slices with the stars cut into them floating over the cider and the cherry pie with the amazing textured crust.  That combined with the mix of wood tones and browns and the unbelievable texture of her scarves just made the image come to life.   Can’t you just FEEL how soft these scarves are by looking the image!?

 

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The second image that we created was specifically for the winter holiday gift giving season.  The story that we wanted to tell was about a thoughtful gift giver wrapping up a luxurious collection of scarves to give to the special ladies in her life.  We went with a clean Pottery Barn/Restoration Hardware aesthetic in a gorgeous black, white, green and gold color palette and it is possibly one of my favorite images to date!2014 Shay Cochrane

Other then then ridiculously luxurious black and white fur scarf being featured (which is absolutely as soft as silk!) my favorite little detail in the image is the kraft paper gift tags (courtesy of my amazing assistant Kelly!), one of which reads “To mom with love.” To me it is often the smallest detail in an image that really brings it to life and draws you in to the story!

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We think that Keri’s images look simply stunning on her site! Don’t you!?

Shop Northernly

 

You know you want to go check out her shop now and snag one of her amazing scarves!  Let me point you in the right direction!  Check our her gorgeous shop here and make sure that you get one of her black and white fur scarves. They are unbelievable. I can’t wait to wear mine!!!

Fall is in the air!

Well, that’s not entirely true…here in FL it is still a muggy 85 degrees but I’ve heard rumors that in other parts of the US there is this season called “fall” that everyone seems to get really excited about.  With Pumpkin Spice lattes (iced of course) in hand over in the SC Stockshop, we slipped on our flip flops, slathered up with sunscreen, grabbed our sunnies and ventured outside to shoot two fall themed stock sets just in time for you to begin to plan your holiday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday shop announcements…or just to make your shop and social media marketing a little bit more cozy!

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Each set comes with 3 image variations for you to use throughout your shop banners, website, Etsy shop, Facebook and Instagram announcements, and newsletters.

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These images are available in the shop for a limited time!  Grab one here and make sure that when you post to Instagram you tag us with the #scstockshop hashtag so that we can all be inspired by how you use your shop images!  And be sure to follow the shop on Instagram (@scstockshop) for new inspiration every day!

 

 

Interview with Go4Pro Photos
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I recently had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with Leah Remillet from Go4Pro Photos for one of her Video Fridays. If you are a photographer and are not familiar with Leah or Go4Pro Photos, you must check it out immediately! Leah is a professional photographer who opened her business is 2008. She has since grown her business and expanded her focus to reach other professional photographers, with the mission of helping them achieve success. She speaks a lot about the difficult journey owning business aims to be a friend on the lonely road of entrepreneurship.  You can tell why I like her so much!

Leah offers mentor sessions, retreats, and workshops through her training program The Thriving Photographer and offers amazing free resources for professional photographers through Go4Pro Photos. Go4Pro is an excellent resource for photographers where Leah’s focus is on her “three P’s: Purpose, Passion, and Profits”. I highly recommend you check out her site and see for yourself all of the excellent content she has shared. If you are looking for a place to start, I personally enjoyed the interview on Building a Luxe Senior Photography Brand with Amanda Holloway (who I am actually traveling to Texas to shoot for next week!) and the Q&A on Photography Business Competition. Or you can start with my interview on Product & Photography Styling below.

Leah and I are also giving away an exclusive free Stock image to Go4ProPhotos.com readers along with a little e-book on how you can incorporate styled photography into your brand aesthetic. You can pick that up for yourself on Leah’s blog. Thank you again Leah. It was truly an honor to be interviewed and featured!

Shay Cochrane Photography Freebie

 

In the Studio: Taryn St. Michele

Ya’ll I have been SO excited to share these images with you!!  Earlier this month I had the pleasure of styling and shooting for Taryn St. Michele, owner and designer behind the Taryn St. Michelle shop on Etsy.  Taryn is in the process of expanding and having a website created and contacted me to style and shoot a few gorgeous home page banner images and themed styled headers before the launch of her new site.  Taryn sells gorgeous gold foil prints and travel themed photographic prints with a feminine high fashion fashion feel .  When a client has a clear vision for their brand it makes my job so much easier (and more fun!) Taking cues from her brand inspiration Pinterest board I created a cohesive set of images that all carry the specific aesthetic theme that would be representative of her brand and would connect with her ideal client.

I am SO happy with every single image that we created.  Maybe because they all appeal to my own bright minimalist feminine  aesthetic.  Regardless, I am so proud of these images and am happy to share them with the world.  Go check out Taryn’s shop and show her some love. You know you want that gold foil lip print ;) Have a beautiful week friends!

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All of my secrets
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 (Image by Cheyenne Shultze)

If you handed me a .97 cent paintbrush from Michaels craft store and asked me to paint a cat the result is going to be pretty pathetic.  If you handed me a $97 professional grade paint brush from Michaels crafts store the results are going to be…equally horrendous.  Its not that a professional paint brush isn’t 100% better than a cheap kids paintbrush, it’s that the key element necessarily to get a good final product is still lacking…the skill of being an excellent painter.

It’s for this reason that I don’t get caught up in “having the right gear” for the job and instead push myself, an encourage others, to work with what they have.  In reality, I am working with the exact same gear that I used during my 8 years as a wedding photographer with the exception of a new more functional tripod (pictured here).  But, for the sake of hopefully keeping you from going out and wasting money on a bunch of gear that you don’t need, I wanted to share the basic gear that I use for natural light product photography with you. My hope is that you will be unimpressed and subsequently encouraged that you can go out and create with what YOU have. I’ve divided it up into what I consider to be “essential gear” and then additional helpful items.  Keep in mind that the exact type or quality of the camera, lenses and flash are not the most important element so much as that you have a camera, a lens, a tripod etc to start with.  You can create amazing work with almost any gear if you apply yourself to learning about lighting and exposure and the basic photography principles of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance.  Its not that the expensive gear is not better, its that, like the paintbrush analogy, it does not compensate for lack of technical and creative skill.

THE ESSENTIALS 

  • CANON MK III (I shot my first two years as a “professional” with a Canon Rebel and high quality lenses and have upgraded slowly over many years.)

  • 24-70MM 2.8 L SERIES (I invested in good lenses early on and have had the same lenses for 8-10 years.)

  • 50MM 1.2 L SERIES (Yes, I only own two lenses.)

  • MANFROTTO 055X PRO B TRIPOD (Makes all the difference for overhead shots.)

  • MANFROTTO 498RC4 BALL JOINT HEAD (I don’t know anything about ball joint heads – Can’t say if I love this one but it gets the job done.)

  • FOTODIOX 5 WAY REFLECTOR/BOUNCE (Generally use the silver side and position it opposite my light source.)

  • SAND BAG OR COUNTER WEIGHT

 

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

  • FOAM BOARDS (white and colored)

  • OVERSIZED ART PAPER OR MATTE BOARD (I have shot on a number of surfaces and it has taken me a long time to figure out what works best for me.)

  • CANON 550EX FLASH

  • INTERFIT SUPER COOLIGHT 6 AND STAND (2)

FAVORITE GEAR RESOURCE: WWW.BHPHOTOVIDEO.COM

For more training on product photography visit www.shaycochrane.com/live.

 

 

 

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