Q&A with Deborah
How did you get into taking pictures for a living?
I got my Bachelors degree from Southern Illinois University in Cinema and Photography with a minor in Art. After graduation I moved to the Chicago area where I started assisting area commercial photographers. In my “spare” time I worked really hard on producing new work for my portfolio and honing my craft. After several years of assistant work, I started calling on design firms and advertising agencies. Finally getting my foot in a door, my first big project was with a small agency shooting a recipe book for an Oster bread maker. My first big national ad job was with Leo Burnett for Jockey Underwear. The rest is history. I’ve been shooting professionally now for over 20 years! Time flies when you’re having fun. :)
Tell me about your 360º photography studio setup! For starters, what kind of camera do you shoot with?
For web based, 360º projects, I shoot with a Nikon D800 or a D600. My studio is a ground level, 2500sf space with a full kitchen, prop room, client area and room for 3 shooting bays. I’ve been at this location for almost 14 years. I have ample lighting gear to accommodate even the most complex lighting needs
What type of products are you particularly good at creating 360º views of? Do you have a specialty?
I prefer to shoot small to medium table-top sized products like shoes, jewelry, purses, accessories, food, beverages, perfumes, bottled products, packaging, toys, housewares, plastics, sunglasses, etc. Lighting set-ups are customized for the specific characteristics of each product. I love using light to bring out textural detail or to accentuate shape by placing beautiful highlights on reflective surfaces.
Describe your ideal client for shooting a 360º view.
Any sized company that values and respects the work we do is an ideal client. While a beautiful, successful end result is the ultimate goal, we truly value the connections we make with our clients and have met some wonderful people in this business. We’ve had some of our clients for 20+ years.
For 360º photography, do you prefer shooting in high volume or low volume?
Medium to high volume works best for us but it really is project specific. We have an obsessive need for perfection in our imagery but still manage a quick turn around. Smaller projects are okay, too.
What kind of things do you do for fun? You know, outside of work?
Right now I’m obsessed with training my 8 month old Lab mix puppy. We’re getting there. She often comes to work with me. Other interests include hanging with friends and family, throwing a ball for our puppy, vegetable gardening, cooking, hiking, sunsets on the beach, throwing a ball for our puppy, traveling, camping, kayaking, swimming, fishing and yes, throwing a ball for our puppy – not necessarily in that order. :)
Who are some clients you've done work with in the past?
We’ve shot for many of the big ad agencies in Chicago as well as a handful of design firms and client direct projects. Our client list includes McDonalds, Coke, SCJ, GSK, P&G, Kohls, Sears, Pampered Chef, BeechNut, Groupon, Allstate, State Farm, The Greater Chicago Food Depository.
How does your pricing work for 360º product photography?
Each project is unique and therefore each quote is customized based on shot count, turn around time, product type and lighting complexity. A large group of similar items sometimes take less time than a smaller group of very different items.
What's a memorable project you've worked on in the past?
They’re all memorable! :) But one of the most meaningful projects recently was for one of my favorite long time clients who recently quit her agency job and started her own business. She has really beautiful products and her site will be up soon. Check it out - http://stonebonewoodcloth.com/
What's the best way for someone to get in touch with you?
Call or email. My phone is almost always on me and I check email constantly.
heydeb[at]dfletcherphoto.com | +1 (312) 421-2530