Shooting in tight spaces (with low ceilings)



I was recently hired to photograph engineer Neil Ferrier for Orange Coast Magazine.  The magazine requested a portrait of Neil with wrap around lighting sitting with some of his amazing products.  Different locations came up but didn’t pan out so Neil suggested shooting in his garage where he moves inventory in and out.  Most photographer’s have done a shoot in a garage one time or another and know the limitations but this was an extra challenge because of ceiling storage racks which made a low ceiling extra low.  There was one certain area that made the most sense as far as where to set up the backdrop and place lights, so we cleared a few things and pulled the table in.  I knew I wanted to use a Softlighter for my key, it’s shallow profile provided the opportunity to press it up into the ceiling as far as I could and adjust the angle until I got the desired look, I also knew it would spill onto the products in a controlled way.  A larger front fill was used along with two 30 degree gridded heads as rim lights and the background was lit with a collapsed umbrella.  I was tethered into Capture One Pro 7 and my main goal was to use the wrap around setup in a subtle way.

Neil is a former Oakley engineer and the co-founder of e-tail business Discommon Goods which makes amazing items for men: straight edge razors, whiskey tumblers (Neil has an extensive whiskey collection), bottle openers, leather watch and passport wallets – he even had a motorcycle that he built in the garage.  We shot on an extremely hot day which made things more challenging but rolled with the obstacles and had a fun shoot.