Led by a passion for beauty, design, fine watchmaking and photography, bringing this together has been the most rewarding experience of my career. I especially love shooting IWC watches as they have a very defined style and purpose, elements I always try to capture in my shots.
While daydreaming of a time when lifestyle watch photography could be done on location, being asked to stay at home during a pandemic encouraged our creativity in producing imagery in different ways.
To set up a lifestyle shoot of a watch, a good location matching the watch collection is required. The right props often go hand in hand with such location, which can be quite simply your home, carefully selecting the right spot and objects to use in the picture.
Here a couple of easy steps to successfully capture a watch at home in a first setting, using common everyday objects.
The first step is probably the most important, and it happens all in the head: imagine the frame you want to produce, in our case a morning routine on a work table. Then it’s important to make sure the spot is pristine, better to remove dust and stains in real life than in post-editing.
Starting from a blank and clean canvas, bring in the props: a coffee pot goes nicely with a coffee cup, a water carafe with a glass. A scented candle, a computer, an agenda with pen will do the trick to stage a work set up. Keep a central spot free to place the watch before shooting, and don’t forget to pour yourself a cup of coffee, the more useful the props, the better and authentic the end result!
Before placing the watch, make sure the time is correctly set: 10:05 and a couple of seconds, as the ideal and perfect shot will feature a dial displaying 10:08 and 37 seconds. In this way the hands create a smile shape on the dial. To be even more positive, the date should be set on the 25th, known to be payday in Switzerland!
With a soft cloth, remove all fingerprints and place the watch in the spot left free in the middle of the scenery.
The trickiest part, which doesn’t require any professional skills, is to avoid strong reflections on the face of the watch: this can be done by using a reflecting screen or simply by choosing your angle wisely. Move around the watch looking through your viewfinder, you will shortly find the perfect angle that displays less reflection on the dial. You shouldn’t aim for perfection, as a bit of reflection is natural and brings life to the picture.
In the second styling (photo gallery below) I decided to go for a pre-dressing cocktail party on a sunny Sunday afternoon shot. First things first, location: a corner of my staircase, using a valet, then adding a shirt and a suit. Some extra props, such as a tie, sunglasses and finally the watch. Choose the spot wisely, and move it if necessary, depending on which angle you are going to shoot.
As a commercial lifestyle photographer, I can only encourage the use of a tripod, which allows to open more the diaphragm, resulting in a very focused shot.
Styling step 1
Styling step 2
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Styling step 6
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