Olive Olive asked us to produce an A6 flyer to promote their olive oils and halloumi cheese products to their existing and new customer base.
The new flyer was to feature the olive oils on one side of the flyer, and the other side was to feature Olive Olive’s new village style halloumi cheese along with supporting copy.
Olive Olive oils and halloumi cheese are the real deal. Extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed and unfiltered produced from olives farmed on the Olive Olive owners family olive farm in Cypress. Rachel and I just can’t get enough of the stuff. One of the perks of photographing products for customers, sometimes you get to keep what you photograph.
Step 1 - Shooting the Olive Oil Bottles
I began by focusing on the olive oil side of the flyer. I knew I wanted to create a more pack-shot styled final composition opposed to a traditional still life one. I felt the best way to achieve this and at the same time keep the image as flexible as possible for when I come to post production was to shoot the all the olive oils bottles separately and then bring the whole picture together in post production.
I knew this process would be a much longer one than just shooting one single shot, but I felt that this would give me the flexibility and final result I was after. One of the other advantages to shooting in this way was the vast amount of data and images I would create on disk. I knew these would be very useful for future projects as I could place these bottle shots on virtually any background I choose without the need to reshoot.
Below is a short behind the scenes video of me shooting the olive oil bottles.
The final olive oil bottle images that I ended up with were made up of two exposures and one masking image:
The first exposure of the bottles was lit using a Speedlite flash, single strip box and silk diffuser positioned on the left side of the olive oil bottle and myself hand holding an inexpensive continuous light with a softbox to the right aspect of the bottle. I would move this light around to various positions and use a remote to trigger the camera until I found the light hitting the bottle just the way I wanted.
The second exposure was a nice easy one. Holding a single Speedlite flash just above the camera and facing directly towards the bottle, I would take a bare bulb exposure focusing just on the bottle label. It did not matter that I was getting a horrible specular highlight within the glass of the bottles I just needed the bottle label part of this image. In post production, I could merge this and the previous exposure to get the final image with a great looking bottle and clear label.
The third and image is the masking image. I usually take one of these as it can help speed up the post production work by giving me a mask. This process often can be quicker and more efficient than using the pen tool or any of the masking tools in Photoshop. I find it does not always work out if there have been subtle movements to the set during the shoot but when it does, it is a brilliant time saver.
I repeated these step for all four bottles ending up with eight exposures, 2 for each olive oil bottle. Below is the strip box image, the bear bulb image, the masking image and the final merged image.
Step 2 - Shooting the ingredients
Now I had all the shots I needed of the bottles I turned my attention to the other elements I wanted to shoot. A fresh chilli, some garlic and a single basil leaf. I was not sure if the client would want these to feature in the final flyer or not as although we had discussed the overall design we had not settled on the final text and what its primary focus would be. However, I knew shooting these images would not be a waste of time as they would come in handy for future projects if we decided not to use them on this occasion.
It was important that the perspective of these ingredients matched that of the already photographed bottles, so I made sure I left the setup and camera position that I used to shoot the bottles exactly where it was. That way when I bring the ingredient images into the final composition, they will look natural alongside the bottles and feel as if they are part of the same scene.
Stock Imagery (Not this time)
Using stock imagery is always an option for these extra shots. They are cheap, and there are plenty of them in the many image banks on the internet. However, in this case, it would have probably taken just as long to find the right images at the right perspective online oppose to just actually shooting the shots myself, so I opted for the latter.
While I was shooting getting all the ingredients (especially the chilli and the basil) to sit up in the right position was not easy, but I used some pieces of folded card to get things propped up just right. Along with my setup as mentioned before I also made sure I left my lights in the same location as they were for the olive oil bottle shots so that the light on the ingredients would match the olive oil bottles and appear natural within the final composition.
Below are the finalised ingredients shots.
Step 3 - Shooting the Halloumi Cheese
Now I had the bottles and the ingredients for the first side of the flyer I needed to photograph the Halloumi cheese that would feature on the reverse of the flyer. This shot was going to be much more straightforward as it would be a single shot of the cheese cooked on a wooden board. I used a combination of natural light coming in from my studio window combined with one single hand held Speedlite flash with a couple of MagMod filters and attachments. The MagMod system is something that I have not had very long and is brilliant for colouring and shaping light in all kinds of interesting ways. Check out their website to learn more.
Hand holding the Speedlight flash was surprisingly effective for this shot as I could freely move it around and try the light in all kinds of positions. Eventually, I found one I liked, and I shot a few frames. The final shot consisted of the cheese (which I cooked in my kitchen) laid out on a wooden cheese board and a packet of the wrapped cheese. With a bit of post production work and tidying here and there see below the final shot of the cheese.
With the bottles, cheese and ingredients photographed it was now time to fire up Photoshop and begin the post production work.
Step 4 - Post Production
I started off with some basic image adjustments using Camera RAW/Lightroom before taking the pictures into Adobe Photoshop to create clipping paths around the various bottles and ingredients.
Cutting out each bottle and making clean masks took a bit of time but I knew the better I performed these steps now, the better my finished images would look on the final flyer. I added some shadows and did some cleaning up on the labels and glass along with a little sharpening to get everything just so.
I followed similar step for the ingredients shots creating clipping paths and masks along with touching up the images and adjusting the overall colour and luminance. The cheese image was a bit easier. Just a little touch up here and there and some small adjustments to the overall luminance of the shot to give a more atmospheric feel.
The oils image took the most time. With all the bottles and ingredients cut out and adjusted I had to bring them all into a separate Photoshop document and begin piecing together the final composition. This process took a fair bit of time to achieve the result. I had to make new shadows, adjust the overall luminance of the separate objects and create a background.
I won't go into all the details in this post but let's just say there was a lot of layers. I am tempted at some point in the future to write another post giving the step by step account of the workflow for this stage of the project so keep your eye out for that.
Step 5 - Flyer Design
With all the images complete it was time to begin designing the flyer. I client had given me some of the text and although I knew it was not the final version it was enough for me to start trying out some typefaces and making some initials design decisions.
The final printed artwork was going to be a two-sided A6 flyer. Not a lot of room, so type was going to have to fit on and still be readable.
I eventually settle on using Neuzeit Grotesk and Milkshake for the main heads and Raleway for the body font. The client was already using Raleway, so it made sense to stick with this in the interest brand unity.
I set the fonts using a light green and off white. These colours seemed to work well on both the olive oil side of the flyer and cheese side. I bolded some of the text and added an arrow for a visual cue.
There was a slight change of plan with the cheese flyer. Initially, we were going to have the cheese cooked and a pack of cheese in the shot. However, it proved difficult to get the cheese package looking good to the point the client was happy and even though we tried bending and shaping the pack in all sorts of odd ways it still was not working out. The solution was to take the focus off the package and onto the cheese and use a graphic of the pack label instead so people would be able to associate and recognise the product.
We hope you enjoyed reading this post about the work we did for Olive Olive.
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