One + One + One = Final Image

I was recently asked by long-time client University of Tampa to photograph a dark blue spherical crystal globe award that sits atop a clear crystal base, and which sits atop a blue velvet box. I took one look at this thing and actually thought the task was quite literally impossible. At least impossible to shoot in one single shot.

Lighting is always at the heart of any assignment, but this one was a doozie! Knowing quite quickly that one shot wasn’t gonna cover this one, I went to work setting up and lighting 3 separate shots. One of the dark globe, which actually glows a beautiful deep blue when you hit it with the right light. The challenge here is that when you’re lighting a crystal sphere, everything in the room, and even somewhat behind the sphere is reflected on the surface. Pretty tricky to choose where to put a light when you know it’s going to be reflected in the globe. I lit with a single light source that left a hot spot, which I corrected after the fact.

Second, I created a second shot where I lit for the clear crystal base, paying close attention to the legibility of the etched graphics. The only way to get these to show up was to light against a dark background so that the etched detail would reveal itself.

Lastly, I lit a simple gray background shot that would tie everything together. Here are the separate shots that contributed to the final, and of course, the final image, which I put together in photoshop while doing a little reflection management and cleanup.

Quite simply put, this was the most complex process I’ve ever used to come away with what could be misconstrued as a ‘simple product shot.’

The moral of the story is that sometimes, we have to let go of impossible and find a solution, no matter what. Enjoy!

Thompson Studios to become Thompson Brand Images! – Marketing Photography Case Study: Cross Creek Ranch

Hello! Regarding the first part of this post’s title – yes, we are re-branding and couldn’t be more excited about it. You will be the first to know when we release the full new identity and logo. AND, as if that weren’t enough, we will soon be announcing the grand opening of our new home studio in Lutz, which is 90% complete! Stay tuned!

This is also the first in what will be many posts entitled Marketing Photography Case Study, and in our first, we take a look at Cross Creek Ranch, a high-end, highly successful Wedding Venue located in Dover, Florida.

Challenge: Wanted staff portraits and group portraits congruent with the beauty of their property and venue.

Solution: I suggested they use their absolutely world-class, gorgeous outdoor grounds as a backdrop for their images, which they instantly resonated with. Owner Bonnie McSharry was so into the spirit of the idea, she had her staff dress to the nines and get makeovers!

Client Comment: “Awesome experience and we received incredible results. When you are marketing your brand and are including your team it’s always great to have photos of yourself that you really like. EVERYONE on our team loves their pictures!! Bob totally captured our style “brand” with his creativity. He nailed it!”

Bonnie McSharry, Co-Owner


Here are the resulting images from a robust day of shooting: