Telling the story

Commercial advertising photography needs to tell a story in an image.  When I shoot product or industrial jobs, the focus is on a line of items being sold by the company to the consumer.  In the case of an industrial photo shoot, a new or unique machine may the feature.

product without scale

Products, particularly industrial products are difficult to discern size without the added element of a hand or something to give scale.  The images above depict the mystery of size.  The specifications and dimensions are typically listed on the sell sheets or website, but simply seeing the image, one cannot decipher size.

Adding a person

Sometimes, finding a willing participant to act as a technician in order to give scale to a scene is the biggest challenge.  By this I mean, finding an employee who is a well dressed representative of the company isn’t always easy.  (I typically leave it up to the marketing director to set that up beforehand.)

In the forthcoming examples, you will see images without scale indicators (people) and below that you will see the same scene with a person added.  In all of the samples, it will be obvious that the images with a person brings everything into perspective.

stacked curved industrial material

…and now with the added warehouse technician.

stacked curved industrial material with hand

Industrial pipe alone, against the wall…

industrial pipe against the wall

Workers add scale.

workers add scale

We don’t know how large this electric motor is.

electric motor in factory.

Now we do!

large electric motor with plant technician testing product.

Massive  or miniscule?

machining steel


measuring the final product

Another example of machinery uncertainty and then elucidation…

industrial fabricating machine without technician

The technician finishes the story.

Industrial fabrication machine with operator.

Whenever I am on location photographing a machine or industrial product, I always try to shoot an image with an operator at the machine or handling the product.  Of course the client will get an image without the person too.  Most of the time, the shot with the person is used as the final.




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