A unique take on still life photography
When shooting still-life, finding a unique object that inspires is crucial. Inspiration is one of the most important elements behind a successful editorial shoot, and the success of a creative still-life shoot relies heavily on the concept, story, styling, and objects. It is challenging to capture an ordinary scene or object -such as a vase, no matter how beautiful the design- and look at it in a different or unexpected way. So transforming the environment to reflect a monochromatic aesthetic was our way of seeing the objects in an entirely different way.
Scandinavian design has become synonymous with timeless style, and Denmark continues to produce world-renowned design classics to this day. Scandinavian timelessness is not static; in fact, it is constantly evolving. Design pieces produced by well-known brands such as Muuto, Hay, Normann Copenhagen and Skagerak represent Scandinavian design philosophy that’s characterized by functionality, simplicity, and clean lines (the timelessness) but always with a fresh twist that gives it a uniqueness.
Behind the concept and inspiration
For this particular series, red had to dominate. The shoot is based on minimalistic Scandinavian design objects, and we wanted to build an environment – something surreal – using deep vibrant red, and show these everyday objects in a new light using color.
Since the idea was to build some kind of environment for these beautiful design objects, we thought, why not look for actual landscapes of natural red in the world, and try to relate those still-life images to the real places on earth? We found red rocks and cliffs in Caerfai Bay beach, Wales; Laguna Colorada which is a salt lake in Bolivia that gets its red color from the pigmentation of algae; Hawaii’s red sand beaches; and the Red Beach in Panjin, China – famous for its red grass.
We built our story using these great visual references. We were inspired by these locations that exist on this planet, yet looked alien-like with their deep red tones, vibrant colored sand, rocks, and unique minimalistic shapes of the objects. It made us feel like we were on a different planet after all.
Challenges of the still life genre
One of the most interesting and challenging aspects of this genre is the ability to transform ordinary into extraordinary. Suddenly we can look at the everyday objects in a completely unexpected way, in a way that we have never seen it before. The beauty of conceptual editorial shoots is that the photographer has creative freedom. It’s more about highlighting the story and concept than emphasizing product itself.
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