Yeshen Venema
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Blog for Photographer Yeshen Venema. Features tips, links interviews and behind the scenes stories.

Independent Shoots: Part Two.

It's been a busy start to 2013 and it shows no sign of slowing up - I'm very grateful, don't worry!

Last week I shared Part One, so here's the second part, looking at my recent shoots with Clemmente, Ville et Campagne, Papercut Writer and Cole of London.

First up, Clemmente. One of my first clients actually, and always a fun shoot. The website concept is based around the house of a young boy, so you can explore each of the rooms and find themed gifts along the way. On these shoots we often get through over 100 products, so being well prepared is crucial. We spend time setting up a simple setting with appropriate props and backgrounds, then shoot each gift range. For this shoot we did a mix of study and dressing room. For Clemmente, I always shoot at the seller's home, they are fortunate to have a big skylight in the living area - so all natural light was used here.

Some picks from the Clemmente shoot, see more on my Flickr stream.

Another early client for me was Ville et Campagne, run by a lovely lady named Florence who designs and imports French-style linens and cottons for the bedroom, bath and lounge. The first few shoots we did were lifestyle, at her home, but this time she needed cutouts on white. This is something I do for most of my clients now, as the press demand it. You can achieve good results at a home studio, but bright lighting is crucial. Without bright, daylight quality light, you'll have a very hard time in post-production getting the whites to actually look pure white without washing out the product. I did this shoot at my home studio over a weekend. Over 70 products were covered in total, which we hope will generate some much-deserved press coverage!

Ville et Campagne images, browse more from previous shoots on my Flickr stream.

Papercuts are all the rage these days, perhaps the screen printer Ryan's Town has something to do with it? Like photography, It's an art that requires a lot of patience, so I find it fascinating. Papercut Writer (love the name!) got in touch last year and I've since done two shoots with her. The most recent was another 'on white' shoot, so I used my home studio setup. Soon I'll be share some tutorials, showing how I set up my lights and backdrops for different products, it's always a challenge with limited space.

Papercut Writer shoot, see more on my Flickr.

Looks like I'll be doing another papercut shoot with Rosie and The Boys, which will involve a drive deep into the Bedfordshire countryside (can't wait to escape the city)...

Last, but not least, it's Cole of London. I met Sarah Cole at the Spirit of Christmas show last November. Her bone china mugs and accessories are full of personality, featuring her quirky illustrations of famous writers, Greek Gods and Kings & Queens. Her previous work was as a documentary camera woman, so in between numerous cups of tea we shared our stories of adventures behind the camera. This shoot was a mix of on white and lifestyle, so I brought my portable lighting and background setup - we were very pleased with the results.

Cole of London shoot, see more on my Flickr stream.

Other shoots coming up this year include soft furnishings on location with Made and Told, Indian food and a cooking workshop with Anilia's Sauces and prints, stationary & kitchen accessories with Ham Made (another awesome name!) - so look out for more posts where I'll share the results.

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If you're an independent designer/maker you can take advantage of my half price shoot offer until the end of April 2013.