Q&A with David
How did you get into taking pictures for a living?
In high school I took my first photography class my freshman year. I had always envisioned going the science route, most likely biological, but over my 4 years I fell in love with the darkroom. I give most of the credit to my high school photo teacher. He was the coolest “adult” that I met in my teen years. It all came down to my senior year, I had to make a decision between an advanced biology class and an advanced photography class. They were slotted for the same hour. I was pretty conflicted. I liked both quite a bit, but I figured the obvious choice would have to be the one that got me into college and beyond. That is when my photo teacher let me in on a secret… that there are more ways to live and make a living than being a doctor, lawyer, teacher etc. I could study photography in college, make a career out of it! It made perfect sense, but at the same time blew my young mind. From that moment on I never looked back. I applied to art school, moved to NYC, and busted my butt until I had the skill and experience to go it on my own.
Tell me about your 360º photography studio setup! For starters, what kind of camera do you shoot with?
I shoot with a PhaseOne IQ160. The studio is about 1200 square feet. I use what is in effect a large customized light tent so that I can create smooth and beautiful light and reflections.
What type of products are you particularly good at creating 360º views of? Do you have a specialty?
I like the challenge of shiny materials. Shiny and round is tough, and it keeps it interesting.
My specialty would have to be shoes, tech, and lately a fair bit of food photography.
Describe your ideal client for shooting a 360º view.
I love working with small to medium sized companies who care about the quality of their products and the way that they are represented.
For 360º photography, do you prefer shooting in high volume or low volume?
It is nice to land somewhere in-between. Higher volume helps lower the cost to the client, but I like to be meticulous and make sure quality never slips.
What kind of things do you do for fun? You know, outside of work?
Living in the North West it is key to take advantage of the outdoors. The summer is a playground of hiking, fishing, kayaking, biking, and camping. It’s an amazing feeling to hike 8 miles with a 4000’ elevation gain and then jump into an icy alpine lake for a quick swim.
Who are some clients you've done work with in the past?
Contour, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Gatorade, Cole and Webber.
How does your pricing work for 360º product photography?
My rates vary per product, but it is all based on the amount of time it takes. The cost per 360 will vary depending on the size and material of an object. A small rectangular cardboard box would take next to no time, but a shiny smooth metallic bunny that is 6 feet tall would be quite time intensive to light and shoot.
Rates also depend on how alike each product is. When one object is very similar to the next it takes less adjustment and therefore less time to capture the 360 views.
What's a memorable project you've worked on in the past?
We shot a 5 foot high model of a university’s logo. To do it we needed to construct a custom turn table to accommodate its size and weight. This particular client came to us with just an idea, we took on the responsibility to not only shoot, but also create the 3D version of their logo ourselves.
What's the best way for someone to get in touch with you?
Email is best for me, though I am happy to talk with clients directly over the phone as well.
david[at]davidclugston.com | +1 (206) 551-7360