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July 13, 2009

The dangers of product photography

While most of the press either uses official product photography supplied by PR agencies or press centers, or takes quickie snapshots with their smartphones, we here at do it the hard way. We do our own product photography and always make sure that the devices are shown in the environment they are most likely going to be used in. That isn't always easy.

I was reminded of that as we recently needed to do product photography on a good half dozen of rugged machines. These were rugged and ultra-rugged computers designed to be used on forklifts, in trucks, on bulldozers and other such heavy duty equipment. Well, it so happened that there was a significant construction site nearby where a large number of utility company trucks, dozers, graders and lifts were prepping a parcel of land for who-knows-what. Construction hadn't really started yet, and so the property wasn't fenced in, and all that heavy-duty machinery was just a perfect prop for the product photography I wanted.

So I filled the back of my car with rugged computers, seven in all, and headed for the construction site. For a couple of hours, Carol, our intrepid product photographer, posed the machines on bulldozers, trucks and all sorts of heavy equipment, taking a couple hundred great shots. But we were also sweating bullets as all of a sudden it occurred to us that law enforcement might show up and inquire as to what, exactly, we were doing and where, exactly, all those computers were coming from. The rugged tablets, panels and notebooks we photographed looked like they belonged in the trucks we took pictures of much more than they looked like they belonged to us.

As it turned out, while a few police vehicles drove by, no one stopped and asked what we were doing. And so we didn't have to explain why we were carrying about US$25,000 worth of rugged computers from a construction site into the back of our car. Obviously, we could have explained, but it might have taken an hour or two and perhaps a trip downtown in the back of a police cruiser.

Posted by conradb212 at July 13, 2009 09:14 PM