William Paltridge and Mark Scadding together combined make up the Double Exposure Commercial Photography company, based in Bournemouth, Dorset UK. They specialize in advertising and commercial photography for media agencies, large retail brands, as well as hotels and restaurants.
Why did you start taking photos and how did your interest in photography start?
We both started taking photographs individually, we had different interests, styles and cameras – this would have been about 8-10 years ago now… When we met at university we decided that we’d set up in business when we graduated. It was more than just a shared interest; it was obviously a productive, creative and profitable partnership.
You are a team – “pair of chaps” – how did that begin and how is that working out for you? Are there any challenges working as a team?
After graduating, we just tried to figure it all out: What should we take photos of, how commercial are we both, and can we create a business that delivers what we think is important to photography and our clients? Working together has the odd moment where we disagree, but that’s a good thing! It informs our practice and we listen carefully to each other, we bounce ideas around and use each others strengths to ultimately produce better photography.
Your product photography shows your passion for composition and detail. What is your secret to photographing commercial objects that helps to satisfy the client’s objectives?
Studio product photography has been our core strength from the beginning. We’re in our element when we have the time to place an object in the studio and creatively plan our attack!
The secret (which shouldn’t be a secret!) is in the lighting. There’s no getting away from the fact that you need an incredibly good understanding of light, form and composition to get a product looking good. Add a bit of our ideas to that and off we go…
What’s the secret behind capturing the story behind the product?
Ah, well that’s all about meeting the client. It’s so important to get a good brief, after all, it’s our task to show their product in the best light – we need a clear introduction to its function and target market. Chatting over coffee and detailed email briefs often provide the key information we need to inform a well-executed shoot.
You also do amazing lifestyle photography. Are there different challenges when you are working with a living and breathing subject matter rather than a static product?
Of course, it’s a different genre entirely. However some factors remain the same. For example it’s still commercial photography, and therefore the shoot has to have a purpose. The model(s) need to be focused, directed, and work with us to sell or inform the client’s audience properly.
Working outdoors is great fun and another critical consideration is choosing appropriate lighting. Getting the colour temperature, aperture and lighting in line with the Art Directors visions for the shoot is the pressure bit, but also the most exciting!
What have been the most enjoyable photographic projects you have worked on together?
There was a great campaign we completed last summer for Dorset-based Coles Miller Solicitors actually, that was a good one. The project lasted all summer, with multiple day shoots inside and outdoors – the models were great, the ideas superb and the finished work really stood out.
The ability to be both assistant and photographer (working as a team) on location is a constant advantage for us, and we hope our work sets our clients apart from their competition.
What kind of a camera and lenses do you primarily use and how do you select your equipment?
We’re Nikon users, always have been. There’s no difference really at the top end though, despite what jokes go around clubs and associations! Once you’re familiar with a brand you tend to stick with it, plus it’s expensive to change. Nikon always updates its professional range, which is advantageous – plus it has a great selection of glass.
We use a variety of lenses on Our Nikon D800e, including: Nikon, Zeiss, Voigtlander, and Schneider. Having a 36mp full frame 35mm DSLR means we can work with lots of lenses (often prime) that deliver stunning resolution, beautiful bokeh and clarity right to the edges.
We always try to choose the right lens for the work we’re doing, that’s just a given really. In the studio we use our Nikon 85mm Perspective Correction Tilt Shift lens a lot. This is a long, straight lens that can shift and tilt to correct perspective and put the depth of field exactly where it needs to be. It’s not a quick lens to use, but it’s the right lens for the work we do inside.
Outdoors we’ve got a soft spot for Zeiss glass, the apertures create such lovely bokeh on the highlights that everything just looks fab!
Can you name some tips for those who want to start a photography business?
Sure. Use the kit you have until it either breaks or you know why you need to upgrade, there’s nothing worse than having all the gear and no idea. We’d also say that bright, colourful and styled work sells, so think about what it is that makes your photography special and then stick to it.
It’s also important to keep learning and filling in those technical blanks, that’s a career long task!
Thanks William and Mark!
And if you are looking for a commercial photographer in Dorset then these are the guys you should talk to. For more information about them please visit their Dorset Commercial Photographer website.