B&H Portfolio Development

The next subject has been percolating in my mind for a while, as I’ve struggled a bit with how I wanted to style it and how it needed to be lit.  It is a knockoff of a bottle of “M by Mariah Carey.”  The bottle has a butterfly as the cap, and the bottle has a very unique color, almost a purple / magenta mix.  After doing some research on the internet into what aromas were in the scent, I decided to go shopping to see what flowers I could find.  I brought the cap of the bottle with me to see if I could find flowers that matched the specific color.

Michael’s was again the store of choice, because they have a crazy variety of fake flowers.  I started out by looking at the flower selection and found several with blue and purple tones.  I picked up a few bunches.  I then headed over to the paint area, because I decided for this image, I wanted to paint a background to pull the various colors together.  I bought bottles of white, blue and purple paint and some brushes and sponges; I knew I had a blank canvas at home.  Deciding I had already spent enough money, I went to the check out before I did further damage to the bank balance.   

Once home, I started on the background, because I wanted to give each paint color a chance to dry before painting the next color.  I started with the purple and got a good base down on the canvas.  After an hour or two, I grabbed the white and added that judiciously around the canvas.  When that was dry, I picked up the blue, intending to use a sponge to dab little spots of blue around, because I didn’t want it to be a main color.  After doing that, I didn’t like how it looked, so I started blending the three colors a little more heavy handedly, and finally got it to a place where it was satisfied.  

My first attempt was in line with many of the “floating” images I’ve been working on lately.  I balanced the bottle on a small light stand using some sticky tack with the freshly painted background hanging behind it. I set up a shallow depth of field so the background would appear out of focus in  behind the product.   That image is below left:

The second attempt, above right, was to place the product on a piece of glass, to get a reflection.  I pulled the background to the edge of the glass so that the background would reflect in the glass as well, and provide a seamless background. 

For the final image, I introduced the flowers.  I scattered them around the front of the scene, and in my opinion, they helped to tie in the background.  See that image below:

I forgot to take a behind the scenes shot…but for all the images, the lighting was relatively simple.  I used two strip boxes, one to the left of the product and one to the right.  I cut out a white card in the shape of the bottle and placed it behind the bottle so it would reflect light back through the bottle and not show the busy background.  I used small white cards hand held under the “wings” of the cap and in front of the bottle to reflect some light in those areas.  Each of the images was a composite of approximately 3 images to incorporate the light introduced by the hand held card.