J-Glory product shoot

I use curtains as props in my shoots and on few occasions they’ve been a part of my scene – indoor architecture, interior design shoots, etc. Like many photographers, I too use them often as backdrops for my portrait shoots. That apart, I’ve never actually shot curtains as a main subject matter. This summer, I was asked to do a product shoot involving curtains and pillow covers – part of a new line-up for J-Glory curtains, an online store based out of Switzerland. I gladly accepted the opportunity. Stephan and Ruth Meyer are a great couple. They own J-Glory business which is mainly managed by Ruth with Stephan providing necessary support. 
 I did quite some research on several online curtain stores. To portray their curtains, most of them use large living rooms, with polished interiors and other props such as sofas, tables, flower vases etc. Ruth wanted something different than the usual.

She wanted a bit of grungy and (sort of) antique looking environment to portray the curtains. She wanted us to shoot in an abandoned factory which had those grungy walls and really XXXXXXL sized windows! I found the idea to be extremely interesting and an intriguing one. In such an environment the curtains would stand out well and pop out at the viewer. Besides, it was indeed a different concept.




So on a sunny Saturday morning, we landed up at the factory. I surveyed the surroundings and we decided to choose one of the large windows as a backdrop.




Now one of the important aspects in online textile sales – be it curtains or clothing materials – is the colour integrity. The colours must look as real as possible. And for the first time I put to use my X-Rite ColorChecker card. X-Rite is famous for their colour calibration devices and reference patches. Recall Pantone colour patches for painting your homes? Yeah, these are from X-Rite. I shot an image with the colour checker card held in front of the curtains to use this as a reference for colour correction, later during the post processing. I would do this every time the ambient light changed. The white balance was manually set to around 5300K for all the shots, so that during post, I can use the colour checker card and compensate.


The curtains were hung on a rod supported by two tall light stands on either side. Before each shot Stephan would ensure that the folds in the curtains showed well by moving his hands through the material from top to bottom. He’s one tall, 7-foot something guy; heck he’s taller than fully extended light stands!
One of Ruth’s concerns was that the curtains should show-off its translucence – the ‘see-through’ aspect of the curtains. By partially placing the curtains against the window light, we could achieve this.

 

The shoot went on for about 5 hours and we shot some 40 odd curtains with different colour combinations. It was a busy small area with curtains being ironed on the side before we hung them up. Although a tad hectic, it was a total fun time.
Once the shoot was done, our hungry stomachs searched for restaurants nearby. Ruth knew the town like the back of her hand and we went to an Italian restaurant nearby for some warm food.
Check out J-Glory website guys ( http://www.j-glory.ch/ ) – they practice fair trade and get their unique beautiful collection made in Cambodia. This also offers employment opportunities to their partners in Combodia which was one of Ruth’s primary motivations to establish J-Glory.
Finally I welcome you to leave your thoughts/comments/questions in the comments section below.