I have lost the bug that a photographer needs to really be interested in their craft. As much as I love watch and macro photography, I’ve hit a point where the results are fairly predictable. I’m not the best out there, but I’m good enough for what I’m doing with it, and so the incentive to really push myself hasn’t been strong.
The lack of updates on WW.P is a good example of that diminished passion.
But, but, a couple of months back a talented photographer (Janet Davie) came into my life and gave me a inspirational whallop: try taking pictures of people… wearing the watch.
Turns Out, Lifestyle Photography is a Lot of Fun!
While it’s satisfying to take great photo of something in the photo booth, it’s even more satisfying to capture a great image on someone’s wrist. It adds an entirely new dimension to the picture, where it’s still about the watch, but not only about the watch.
I also found that processing the images was more satisfying, as less time was spent removing particulates from watch faces and more time was spent appreciating the image itself.
Getting My Feet Wet With the Timex Waterbury & Waterbury Chronograph
I connected with Jonathon Cariati at Paradigm PR about doing a review of the Waterbury for WYCA (give it a read here) and he sent over a brown leather and cream dial on rose gold Waterbury Classic, as well as a black leather on white dial and rose gold Waterbury Chronograph.
Well now, time to break out the camera and try some things.
First Learning: Lighting is Tricky
I picked up an inexpensive studio set from Amazon that contained a backdrop/backdrop stand, two umbrella lights, and some bulbs. This complemented my two three-stage studio lights. However, as I quickly found out, without isolating the light sources (I was competing with sun coming in from the windows), the subjects will look… off.
Despite that, Melissa (model and wife) did an excellent job showcasing how the Waterbury is a great fit for any wrist- female or male.
Despite the awkward lighting, Melissa and I quickly fell into a groove. I directed how I wanted her to showcase the watch, and she posed naturally. Some shots, like the above, came off a little forced. A decent picture, but not quite as natural as I wanted.
As the shoot went on, both she and I fell into a groove and it became evident behind the lens. The shot above is one of my recent favourites, and not just because my wife looks like a supermodel in it.
She looks insightful and interested, and the pose isn’t too unnatural looking. It feels warmer.
Wine may or may not have been involved by this point. Who knew a Timex could be this sexy?
Taking the Party Outside
The morning after Melissa and I spent a night in the studio, Don (from Gracious Watch / Instagram) came by for lifestyle shoot number two. This one was from 8:15 – 9:15 am on a Saturday morning, and the sun was beaming.
The lighting felt much better and the weather couldn’t have been more cooperative. With the Waterbury Chronograph on his wrist, and with a coffee on his hand, a shooting we a went…
While shooting the breeze on the front porch I decided to warm up the camera and snap a few. Don came dressed in a casual denim on denim ensemble, and somehow the Waterbury Chronograph felt right at home.
Given its white dial, rose gold hands/pushers, and black leather strap, I’d have thought that it would have clashed with the denim. I was wrong. Turns out I have no sense of style, but that’s okay, I’m just the photographer.
Don rolls in a slick little car – a ’15 Audi S3 I believe – and I wanted to get a few shots of him in it. Don wasn’t so sure that the shots would turn out, but I had faith that it’d come together.
I love being right.
Second Learning: Small Changes Make a Big Impact
When shooting macro, I get laser-focused on the technical aspects of the shot. Everything is metered and measured, from the angle of the watch in relation to the light source to the settings on the camera. Everything is dialed in.
While shooting lifestyle, I quickly found that such a level of technical control is almost impossible to achieve.
That’s a good thing, too, because camera settings play second fiddle to the model, environment, and lighting of the space you’re in.
For most of the shoot I left the camera in shutter priority mode and focused instead on shot composition. That’s my biggest weakness and, honestly, more fun to work on.
Here’s Don with the same Waterbury Classic that Melissa had showcased the night before. It’s interesting how a suit coat and dress shirt take a watch that seems sensual and fun on Melissa’s wrist and make it dress-appropriate on his.
That’s what I’m discovering about lifestyle photography that I really love… how the person and the place change the look and feel of a watch.
With two shoots done, I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to my next one. Looks like that passion I lost has been found again.