Back in June, I was hired by UCS Spirit for a fun product shoot involving some incredible National and Olympic athletes. UCS wanted to update their catalog with some of their new and improved products and wanted to keep to the high-key set-up that they had used in the past. I worked with their art director to come up with a lighting scheme that would really show off the sculptured physique of these athletes without being too harsh. We were looking for a happy medium between the flat look of most traditional product photography and the contrasty hard lighting often seen in Men’s Health magazine. To accomplish the look, we went with a classic cross-lighting setup, using Profoto Pro heads and three Profoto 8A packs. We used an 7-foot Octadome as the key to create soft shadows, then placed an open-faced kicker across from it to create a little more definition in the subject’s body and the products. Two diffused strobes were aimed at the backdrop and fill was placed right behind me to blend overall shadows in the subject. Accent lights were placed wherever necessary to highlight an area.
The biggest challenge were reflections, especially in the bigger products that were impossible to move once they had been placed. But with the help of flags, we were able to get some really nice shots of their products in use. Here are just a few of the images we created: