Visions 05 — Lighting
If you were to choose the most important aspect of a store to enhance customer touch points and experiences, showcase store products, strengthen textures and color, as well as enlighten the consumer journey, it would be lighting.
It is usually the first thing I look at upon entering a space to be photographed. Lighting sources, color temperature, management, direction and intensity all come into play. Bringing a balance to all this is the role of the photographer and experience is key. Having been in pretty much all types of situations and worked through problems in the past, allow me to quickly work on site and decide the best way to go about and address any issues. This enables me to then use the lighting in the way it’s meant-to showcase the space and address the product within.
As a photographer specializing in retail, I learned long ago how to look at a site and visualize what needs to be enhanced. For instance, wood grains have a beautiful texture to them when lit from camera angle and reflectance goes away from the viewer. But unlit, they can look dull and cold. On the other hand, if the angle of the reflection is toward the camera, it may feature very bright highlights that can overpower an image. Therefore, I may need access to spot lights to change angles for this reason.
Color balance is more critical with brighter, neutral sites. Whites and grays as colors can quickly look muddy, warm, cool etc. depending upon the light source and surrounding colors they are absorbing. While newer LED lighting controls allow for the gross manipulation of color as well as fine tuning, it can be difficult to balance to true neutral. Many images require that I spend time cleaning up specific light sources to prevent either off colored neutrals or over saturated colors.