Wireless remotes are the way to do portraits. These pictures below used two flashes; it should have been three, but I dropped one and broke the wireless receiver. I always have a Plan B, for when things go wrong, and the shoot carried on anyway. One light is warming the background, whilst the other is providing natural clear light on the model. These are my branded apparel, and I want them to appear as bright and clear as possible, hence the style of lighting. However, how do you work with two, three, or more flashes?
I’ve been able to source some essential photography gear from some suppliers, see here. These days, hotshoe flashes are really powerful, so you can make great portraits without old-style expensive gear, but you need your flashes to synchronise. I wish I could source more Godox, but Yongnuo from Hong Kong does the same job anyway. Oh, and I’m considering hosting a workshop, possibly in May, to introduce Portrait Lighting, Posing, and Modelling. Of course, it will be hosted here in Nagoya. If I do, participants will need at least one hotshoe flash that can be triggered wirelessly, digital camera with hotshoe, the camera instruction manual, and a general use lens about 24-70-ish mm in range. Watch this space for news, or follow me on Twitter.
I don’t normally do such a catch up like this, but it’s been a terrible week, and so I’m using the weekend to do office stuff. In my previous blog post I said that I’m considering selling on a lens I don’t use anymore (the Sony SAL 70-300mm G), if you know someone who might like it, please tell them to get in touch with me. I also received the Dobot Rigiet gimbal for shooting videos on my smartphone. I hope to take that out to play tomorrow.
Also in the news, I’ve been in the news! Yay! News about my Kickstarter project has been distributed through a network of news outlets. The cost-share photo shoot is a new concept and an experiment, and I had no idea how it will go. Hopefully being in the news will help spread the word to small companies and startups who would benefit most from this. Anyway, it has made it in the news at Arizona News Online, Colorado News Desk, and other places. Yay!
There are just six days left, and I hope to get just ten companies who might be interested involved. This afternoon I’ve been reaching out to mainly small fashion brands telling them that I can help. I hope to get at least ten! I hope that this can be a success, and so I can repeat this and help these brands and others again in the future. Also, to sweeten the deal, there is a prize for the first company to get on board, where they can win a website (domain and webspace). Details: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/japanesephotos/cost-share-a-product-shoot.
Photo shoot services for lifestyle and product placement for social media.
Japan has a great reputation for quality products and manufacturing; have your products appeal enhanced by being seen in Japan. Give your product an international feel, and a look that seems accepted and normalised in Japan. On the 12th or 13th (and may be 14th) November 2017, my skilled models, makeup artists (mua), and I, hope to shoot a bunch of products like yours. However, we have only limited spaces available. Contact us now if you’re interested.
A cost-sharing shoot is where we have the location, scene, models, and MUA, but need a group of companies to supply the products and the funds to pay for the location, models, mua and me. This means, you share the cost of a shoot, which normally starts at about USD$2000 (AUD$2600), but you save lots of money (about 90% of the cost). This is ideal for small companies, startups, and low-cost products. We cannot do any “explicit” or illegal products.
Photo shoot services for lifestyle and product placement for social media.
The scene: Inside a traditional Japanese (or modern style house, TBC), with a young female adult model. If stretched financial goals are achieved, then we can include a male or another female model. These extra models may be mixed-race or expats.
Theme: Lifestyle & product placement.
Photos intended for: Social media, Amazon, your website, billboards, fliers, brochures, your Kickstarter or other crowd-fund-sourcing page, advertising materials, anywhere.
Getting set up for a shoot in an old style Japanese house in Yokohama. (Photo taken on iPad)
Photo licence: World wide, unlimited-time, unlimited prints, non-transferable (cannot be given to other companies to use, except for media-promotional uses).
Benefits: Low-cost semi-exclusive shoot. You get ten web-sized and ten full-sized photos, and two videos of about 5 to 10 seconds each (intended for Instagram use). Photos will be delivered in jpg, and videos in avi, mp4, or mpg formats. Your product will appear international and normalised in an authentic domestic scene. Japan has a reputation for excellence and quality products, have yours associated with this.
Makeup artist preparing a model for a lifestyle shoot in an old-style Japanese home.
Buy-in: Early-bird sponsors (the first ten): USD$200 (AUD$260; which is only 10% of the normal price of a similar style shoot, ie: a 90% discount) per product (maximum five similar models or prototypes of an item). Second group (next 10): USD$250 (AUD$315), and then the third group: $300 (AUD$380). Limited spaces. We are using KickStarter, and so pledges & payments may be available via Kickstarter; for more information contact us.
Currency: I am Australian, and my PayPal account is Australian, and so the currency for this campaign needs to be based on the Australian dollar. For referential purposes, equivalents are posted in US dollars based on the conversion rate on 19th August. Models and makeup artists will be paid in Japanese yen.
What kinds of products? Anything (that’s legal). Example: cosmetics, shampoos, watches, books, bags, cups, Kickstarter prototypes, clothes, small electronics, small furniture, sports items, whatever.
Where: A house in Nagoya or Yokohama in Japan, which will be similar to the samples on this page.
Final decisions of: Participating models and location.
Products to arrive by: Friday 3rd November (Japan time)
Shoot date: 13th November (Japan time).
First photos of some products shown on social media: Day of shoot.
Photo deliveries: One to five weeks after shoot (post-processing takes some time)
What will the money pay for? The model(s), makeup artist, shoot assistant, me. Our time, cost of materials, transport, minor props, post-processing, other shoot related incidentals. If stretch goals are achieved, then a second model can help. If further stretch goals are achieved then additional models may be required, and a second shoot day.
Eri making paper cranes in a Japanese tatami room.
What will happen: Once the shoot is confirmed to go ahead, we will email you with postage details, and shoot related questions. After confirmation, cancellation is not possible, and so immediately send your products with any artistic shoot suggestions. We will try to follow your shoot suggestions the best we can, but may not be able to use the scene to recreate precisely what you describe. We will of course do our best to deliver high quality photographs that you will want to use. We also hope that you will be so pleased that you will want to tell your friends about us, and use our services again.
During the shoot we will try to show your products in the most naturalistic of settings. We want to avoid kitsch, unnatural, and forced poses; so each shoot will take a little bit of time to plan and prepare, and shoot. After the shoot day(s), there will be thousands of photos for us to process. We will select the best looking photos of your product, process them (with minimal adjustments), and send them to you at the earliest possible time.
Postage of items/products: The items must arrive by the deadline before the shoot. If the items fail to arrive on time they will be returned unopened and we will not be held responsible for delivery delays. Refunds cannot be issued. Also, tell us if the items/products you sent need to be returned after the shoot; bear in mind that you will pay for return postage. The product(s) must arrive by the 3rd November, so that we can organise and plan. It’s strongly advised that you post early, in case there are delays or issues in the shipping process. Any customs fees must be paid by you. We cannot be responsible for products seized by customs authorities; please confirm the legality of your product in Japan before backing this project. Additional customs and delivery charges must be settled by bank or PayPal transfer.
Legal: All items must be legal and legal in Japan too. Japan Customs usually restrict imports of seeds and nuts, and adds tariffs to electronic items. Prohibited items, more info.
Eri enjoying an ice cream on a window sill.
Social media & additional promotion: If requested, your products will be shown on JapanesePhotos.Asia Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr accounts; also on our blog. Send us links to your website and the social media accounts you want in the descriptions or comments. We’ll also follow you, and include your @accountname if possible. The model may also include his/her name and may also share it in his/her account (depends on the model’s own pre-existing contracts). In most cases, JapanesePhotos.Asia will keep the photos on display in our social media feed and will be persistent.
Delivering the photos: This will be done via the cloud. You will get a link and password, and so you can download them all. First deliveries will be within 24 hours, and most will be completed in one to five weeks after the shoot.
Finally, we will be very grateful for your support in this project, and we hope you will be pleased with the results.