Business Class magazine is a brand new industry magazine telling success stories from business owners around the country. For its first-ever issue, editor Isaac Bober really wanted to make a splash and stand out from the crowd.
He approached Image Workshop photographer Sharon Blance to shoot the cover story for the magazine’s launch – featuring Chris Gurney from Bakers Delight, who was instrumental in growing the brand for over a decade.
The magazine wanted high quality imagery that would pop off the page, something eye-catching with an offbeat point of difference. Even though Business Class is an industry publication we wanted to aim high, drawing inspiration from the likes of Forbes, Wired and Fast Company.
Sharon developed a number of creative concepts for the images and we shot them in our North Melbourne studio, with plenty of stunt bread on hand.
For the ‘bread rising’ shots we employed a number of tactics to get them to look right. We knew we’d most likely be shooting dedicated shots of the bread to get just the right angle, and them comping it in to the final shot. But it needed to look realistic – and that meant Chris’ body language had to match up.
Our brain picks up many tiny postural cues and if they’re not congruent an image will just look ‘wrong’ (even if we’re not sure why). The best way to get someone to look as though they’re tossing an object in the air is to actually have them do it – this ensures the hand and arm posture is natural and if they’re looking at the object it also creates the correct ocular convergence which goes a long way to creating a natural looking image.
For the image above we gave Chris one of our studio light covers (basically an oversized metal cup) and had him toss and catch it to get the postural details right. The bread was added in post – though we did shoot it on the day in the same lighting setup to ensure the consistency of lighting on both the loaf and Chris was identical.
The cover image was created by shooting directly down with Chris lying on the floor (he was a great sport and was happy to do the weird things we asked of him). Sharon carefully styled bread products (that she’d carefully selected from our local Bakers Delight that morning) around Chris.
We wanted the final image to have a surreal edge to it, as if Chris was standing up, so the studio lights needed to by positioned relative to him in the same configuration we’d use if he was upright, to make the shadows and lighting look natural. Another challenge was to make many subtle adjustments to his posture so it wasn’t apparent he was lying down, while also keep Chris comfortable while we dialed everything in. The results worked a treat and made a fantastic cover to launch the magazine.
Sharon also shot some ‘without bread’ portraits of Chris – above are a couple of our favourites.
Chris was wonderful to work with and his enthusiastic participation was truly awesome and he trusted that it was all going to look awesome even when Brence was puppeting loaves of bread around him :)