Nicholas Mosse is a wonderful range of pottery from Bennettsbridge in Kilkenny. Nicholas himself set up the pottery in the old mill in the 1970s and has enjoyed great success over the years with range of spongeware pottery that harks back to simpler times.
I’ve been lucky enough to be shooting their range for the last few years since they launched their online portal catering for the international market. The initial shoot was two full days on site getting through over 900 pieces, all shot in a prescribed fashion, evenly lit but with some form, white background, for each relevant angle. As the range grows and new pieces arrive, they send crates of immaculately wrapped pottery up to me in Dublin, which I shoot in studio and poorly re-wrap and send back to them. If the send up 6 crates, by the time I shoot and attempt to re-package it swells to 6 crates and a couple of extra boxes – I can never match the packing skills of the crew at Nicholas Mosse.
So the key to any large range production shoot is consistency and efficiency. Obviously colour and lighting are kept to exacting measures and then you need to have a set way of shooting a range, so there’s a visual language that the end user, unknowingly, enjoys. It means all plates are shots square on, all jugs start with handles on the left and rotate, lids are shown on and to the left side – these are simple enough things but need to be kept consistent so that range can be clearly read.
And you need to be militarily organised. If you’re not you start wasting time and losing hours, or worse reshooting. Having a system where you can maintain light setups (with all reflectors and blockers, taped up props etc included) means you can rattle through a good range efficiently and accurately, its the only way to shoot product photography.