I’m learning to value the process, the middle part, the more that I do photography.Josh Caudwell
In this episode, I speak with still life photographer Josh Caudwell. Josh has taken photos for Tom Ford, Vogue, Ray Ban, GQ, and many other companies and publications. He takes imaginative and professional photos of products that will undoubtedly impress you!
We talk about:
- Still life photography techniques
- Josh Caudwell’s experience with burnout
- How he builds sets for his commercial shoots
& much more!
This is a great episode for anyone who wants to improve their still life and commercial photography skills. Whether you’re interested in the art of still life photography or the business of commercial photography, you’re likely to find something useful here.
Here is a preview of our conversation with Josh Caudwell.
Q: What advice would you give to still life photographers who want to make their images stand out?
Josh Caudwell: Being in tune with feeling an emotion – I think that’s really important. When I’m working, when I’m creating an image, I will play and try lots and lots of different things. I’ll try and create that sense of play by balancing things on top of each other, throwing things in the air, trying different lighting, and just seeing how it looks.
Reviewing the images on the screen, I’ll just try and listen to my feelings. I’ll try and see which images speak to me. Sometimes that can be hard to put into words, but you just know when something is working and when there’s a good feeling there.
Q: What kind of products are the most challenging to shoot?
Josh Caudwell: The most challenging things to photograph are bottles, so perfume bottles and alcohol bottles. There’s so much going on there with it. The liquids inside the bottles, the way that the glass behaves, and the way it refracts light and shadow.
Actually, I think that is part of the appeal for me. That sense of slight chaos, the sense of something exciting going on there with the way that the light spills through the glass and out onto the background. I think that’s where there’s a lot of beauty. I love playing with light and glass in that way.
Q: How much editing is typically required for commercial photos?
Josh Caudwell: Every image that I put out into the world has some Photoshop to varying degrees. Sometimes, that’s very minimal. At the other end of the spectrum, there could be a huge amount of editing. There could be lots of photo compositing to bring together different images and to create something that would be impossible to build.
It really does vary hugely, but certainly for commercial projects, the message is one of idealism. It’s very polished. That’s generally the aesthetic of it. There is usually quite a lot of editing. That takes quite a long time.