Late 2012, The Headphone Book hired me to shoot a couple of images for their spring catalogue. It was my first commercial shoot in several years, and the first I had done without proper equipment. To my name, I had the following Nikon strobes: SB24, SB28, and SB700. I also had a Nikon D800 and a Zeiss 100/2 Macro Ai lens and a 600mm x 600mm black acrylic board. They needed the photos pronto. I huffed it to the nearest home centre (a two minute walk) and came back, squared away. In my hands were two squares, both styrene, both roughly 5mm thick.
I propped them up on pillows, about a metre from either side of the headphone, and a final flash hitting the back of the acrylic board. It was a tight fit. But the output was good, and I had my first client since 2009 or 2010 or so. Woohoo! Today I use much larger lights, but employ the same principles: shine light on what’s important, angling the object to show off its best stuff. That’s all it takes.
Of course, headphones – cables in particular – can be tricky to shoot. In order to make good images, you have to be inventive (and sometimes destructive). But a little bit of equipment can go a long way. I ended up writing a bit about the HD700, particularly happy about how comfy it was. My first year back was tough: I didn’t have the dosh to purchase a studio, so I made do with sub-par space. Now I have a clutch of good clients, a dedicated macro photography studio, and headphones and earphones and jewelry on the brain and behind the lens 24/7.