Earlier this year, Beseto Medical Group began a re-branding effort for their new mink oil product MK On-U. I took on the photography side of things for their commercial materials, and had a (messy) blast doing so. A little more on that below.
I took on this assignment for two reasons. Firstly it involved two very difficult subject matters – liquid and glass. Secondly, it was a great chance to work with a Korean client. Most, if not all, of my business is conducted in English. But here, I was able to utilise my Korean in not only the creative meetings, but the contract and all negotiations. The biggest challenge their was taking careful note of indirect suggestions and applying them to the work. The concept Beseto wanted to work with was using water to emphasise the moisturising nature of their oil.
Fast forward two weeks from our initial meeting to my wife walking in on me pouring water all over our living room. I needed very little space to create the first shot, so I decided to set it up on a small table and cover our floor with plastic sheets. A sheet of white paper was used as the background and arranged just like a sweep in a studio. I wanted the product itself to be on a slight lean, so I cut a clear PET bottle into a stand that would hold the jar.
From here, I used a medium softbox to back-light the product. This provided almost all the illumination I needed, but I needed one more flash to illuminate the label and bring out the silver lid a little more. This flash was pointed into the white wall behind the camera to act as a sort of ‘invisible’ fill. The final step was to bring some contrast into the jar itself to allow us to see the balls inside. This was done with two black cards, one on each side of the jar. These also reflect in the stream of water, giving it enough contrast to stand out off the white background. Below is the final setup and shot.
The next shot was to have the product dropping into water. This required me to light a background behind a tank of water, then light the product separately from the background. So, two flashes were set up at equal power to light a large sheet of white paper evenly. This was approximately 2 metres behind the tank of water; far enough away that it wouldn’t light the product directly. Then, I placed a small softbox to camera right in order to illuminate the jar. I also used a blue piece of paper to bounce a little colour back into the edges of the bubbles. Then it was on to the messy stuff.Water and air bubbles are so unpredictable that it was a case of making approximately 100 shots and choosing the best parts of each to be merged later in Photoshop.
After choosing the main shot I wanted to use, I removed the tank from set and placed the product on the same angle it had been dropping into the water. For this shot, I removed the blue card so I wouldn’t have any contamination of the colour of the product. This also allowed me to ensure that no dust spots or bubbles were in undesirable places on the product itself. Check the result below.