What made us happy as kids? What makes us happy now? Though our wants may change over the years, there is still a bit of the playfulness of youth still in us that is reflected in the products we now buy. I wanted to explore this concept and create a playful series depicting how even through the ages, the joys of our childhood are still present in the purchases we make.
For the first image of this series I wanted to use the classic “ball pit” of everyone’s youth and a designer handbag as my then and now ideas.
I started making a list of what I would need to make this shoot happen. The trickiest part was figuring out how many balls I would need. With a few calculations and a lot of hope, I decided to go with 500 balls. Yes, 500! It sounds like a lot but on the day of the shoot, I realized that this wasn’t even close to the amount I actually needed. So I had to improvise. Instead of filling the whole box with balls, I used bubble wrap to fill it up halfway and placed the handbag at the center of the box. I then started filling the box with balls and placing them around the handbag.
For the Light setup, I used a Siros 800 S with a standard Reflector with a medium honey grid as my main light and placed it on the top left side of my box. To diffuse & soften the hard light a bit, I placed the diffusion panel on the left side of my Handbag and pointed the Siros 800 S through the panel.
At first, I tried a softbox but wasn’t completely happy with the effect as it created a reflection in the balls. So I placed a large white panel on the opposite side of the box. This then acted as my fill light.
As you can imagine with just one light, the setup is quite flat. You can't appreciate the texture and the shadows of the bag or the balls. Nor is the eye drawn to the bag, the color needs to pop and bring focus to the bag. For this, I used the Scoro 1600 S and two Picolites. On the first Picolite I used the Fresnel Spot fully zoomed in and hung it above the handbag. This helped to create longer shadows and emphasize the details of the bag. With the second I used a fine honey grid, placing it at the top of the box so that the inside of the handle of the bag was highlighted. This helped to create the contrast between the bag and the balls.
There was, of course, quite a bit of maneuvering to be done to get the bag in just the right angle for the final picture. And finally, I had it! From concept to final image this is what went into making this photo happen.