What do these images have to do with each other? by Sean Fenzl

...and why I've decided to abandon the hyper-curated tight 10 image portfolio. 

The bottle cap image is something that was the result of some fun 'what-if' experimenting in the studio late one evening... and I somehow felt compelled to add it to my portfolio.  At the time, one of the few images in my portfolio that were not 'commercial' in nature.

The falling cameras at right, are the results from a client that was inspired by the bottle-cap image enough to reach out and say.. can you do something like that.. but with cameras? 

So there's the rub - you never know what might connect with someone. 

I've expanded the categories, started sharing more images in each category, and this blog will expand on those further.  There's also a link to my 'Filmstagram' - which is my Instagram feed dedicated to film only.  It's a good honest look at my community, friends, family.  Maybe through what you see, you can get to know me a little! 

I'll follow up with a post about the camera shoot below - it's a good one.

Macro work used on website

Macro work used on website

Art Gallery Documentation by Sean Fenzl

Installation by Ron Tran

Installation by Ron Tran

It's been an honour to work for the Nanaimo Art Gallery over the last year. 

A thank you to Curator, Jesse Birch as he's taken the time to expand my knowledge on each show.. making each show deliver more impact, and become more memorable.  Honestly, if you can attend an opening or one of the tours, it will broaden your view immensely! 

Below, is a small sample gallery of what we've seen over the last year:

In the last few months - the Nanaimo Art Gallery has gone through some much awaited renovations, and I encourage you to come down and check it out! 

Dawn welcomes you to the new space! =)

Dawn welcomes you to the new space! =)

Fathom this. by Sean Fenzl

Often we're tasked with the opportunity to give life to a still subject.  To consider it's design, to highlight a surface, a detail, to invoke an emotional response to the quality.  

..and with no props, in a dark studio, painting our vision with the light, these images were created for the fathom device, which is the hub of a managed bluetooth proximity network.


Here's the entire unit on it's own, (captured on white) on the company's website:

Pre-Production Tips: Wine Bottles by Sean Fenzl

"Pre-production" is a term used in photography for tasks we can do PRIOR to the shoot to ensure the best results. 

In terms of photographing your bottled product, this means starting with the best 'model' possible.

Here's a couple of tips to help you pick the right bottles. 


1.  Watch the seams.

Barely noticeable at a glance, but certainly noticeable by the camera, please select bottles that have the seams to the sides of the bottles.  In the image below, it runs right through the label, fine for the shelf, NOT GOOD ENOUGH for your product photos.

2.  Bottle, capsule, and label condition.

The camera spares you nothing when capturing detail - look over your bottle choices carefully for: 

  • Scratches on glass from transport, leftover glue from labeller
  • Nicks, scratches, rips, water or other damage to label
  • Label Application:  Is it on straight?  Are there bubbles behind the label or waves in the paper?
  • Capsules: Some are heat-shrunk on the bottle and can get warped - pick the best one and/or provide extra capsules.

Here are a few bloopers for example:

Capsule left.. no way.. capsule right.. not too shabby... we can work with that.
"Wavy" label application.  Details, details!

"Wavy" label application.  Details, details!

Stained labels.. obvious, yes.. but sometimes not as obvious as this.  Look close. Real close.

Stained labels.. obvious, yes.. but sometimes not as obvious as this.  Look close. Real close.

Rips and tears - photoshop to the rescue?...  It's possible, but with a little attention in pre-production, we'll save time in post-production.

Rips and tears - photoshop to the rescue?...  It's possible, but with a little attention in pre-production, we'll save time in post-production.

What Else? 

There are a number of things I'll need to know depending on your application - Is there a Graphic Designer involved?  Do you want a black background? white background?  on a set?  on location?   Is the final image a small ecommerce thumbnail image, or is it destined for a tradeshow banner?  Do you want a reflection - what kind? shiny? matte? black reflection? shadow?  Do we want a highlight on one side of the bottle, or both?  Perhaps one of the highlights should look like a window?  Is the photographer crazy about details?  Yes, yes he is.

Ideally, the next step is to contact me to assess your specific needs.  I often combine basic 'ecommerce' head-on product shots with a collection of more dynamic and dramatic images of the products that become really useful collateral to have for print pieces like rack cards or tradeshow signage... just one way to get 'more' out of your shoot.

That "Back to the Blog" post... by Sean Fenzl

I miss sharing MORE in my blog... so it's back on!  

I hope to start by re-sharing some tips I had on my old blog - things that helped my clients in their decisions as they looked to assign a photographer for various tasks.  

Beyond that - it'll be nice to show more behind the scenes here so you can see what's shakin' at the studio... and get a look into the hard work we put into these images.

I've also made some updates in my portfolio including a new section "on black": 

because... well.. because having things "on white" inevitably lead to the question "can you shoot things on black?".  Who knows, we may see a whole run of these galleries... on red..  on green... =)

Also, I've changed my perspective on the small curated photographer's gallery of the past... things may get a little prolific around here this year.  The days go by, we work non-stop and the portfolio grows almost uncontrollably... This year I SHOW MY WORK and see what comes back.