Smoked Pheasant Advertising Shoot

Set shot of smoked pheasant. Single softbox, Canon 5d mark iii, 24-70 2.8L


Now a few months back I did a lot of photography to help with the launch of a new product. The “hero” in this case is smoked pheasant, only available from the Apley Estate in Shropshire. It makes a change from the event photographer stuff, I do shoot a lot of products for commercial use and this one was interesting because the initial shoot was so early that the product wrapping hadn’t even rolled off the machines at Badgerprint, who produce all of the material for Apley Farm Shop.

Wind on a few months and I decided to do another shot, this time aiming at magazine advertising. Although pheasant is seasonal and there were enough produced by the smoke house to last through the summer, there’s a lot of alignment with the shooting season which kicks off in October, so customers may be more inclined to buy it then. I wanted to get this in the bag (so to speak) in good time.

Smoked Pheasant-in packaging. Elinchrom 44cm Beauty Dish, Canon 1DS Mark iii, 24-70l f2.8

I had an idea some time back to shoot on a highly reflective surface with a black backdrop to get some depth into the shot and pop the colours more – I thought it would emphasise the colours of the vegetables more and make the product more compelling with the gold packaging. Once again I used a single light but positioned to avoid reflections from the packaging, with a reflector to pull some detail into the shadows. It worked exactly as I wanted and only took about twenty shots to get it refined. The main light is a 44cm Elinchrom beauty dish which I really like for product shots like this, it’s very crisp and even, so not just for portraits and the light can be softened and controlled by adding internal diffusers.