Get Better Content: Key Trends & Ideas To Up Your Creative Game
BY KEV HISCOE, SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER
Meet Kev, a Senior Photographer and one of Powerhouse’s longest standing veterans. He’s shot everything from tents to tortellini and, in his 12 years with us, has picked up a fair amount of insight into what works, what doesn't and what's next when it comes to commercial creative content…
Q. How have you seen content trends shift over the years?
"If you look at all the big supermarkets, they’re moving away from the rustic wooden look and more towards neutral backgrounds with warm boards and minimal propping.
It’s all about minimal nowadays – having very few props but props that match into the same colour palette. Muted greys and Scandi influences are still pretty big at the minute, as are artisan one-off props and handmade unique pieces."
Q. What do you predict the ‘next thing’ will be for commercial content?
"Trends stem from anywhere. If you look at high-end fashion designers, for example, the colours and themes that they set with their creations you can see trickle down into the high street. From here, they get picked up by the major food retailers and feed the next season of food photography. It's similar for Homeware brands too.
As we move into shooting AW18, you know the colours are going to get deeper and richer. Marbles, polished concretes and general grey tones don't look like they're going anywhere fast but more of the light green and teal tones that are being used for SS18 look as though they'll shift into warmer hues as the seasons change."
Q. If you could give a client 3 pieces of advice for a shoot, what would they be?
1. Shots vs. Crops.
"Know the impact of different crops when it comes to allocating time to your shoot. It’s a common misconception that multiple crops can just be taken from the one shot – in fact we re-compose for each size of shot required. It certainly doesn’t add tonnes of time, but will add time nonetheless so make sure you’ve built in this contingency."
2. Be mindful of scale.
"Too often we’ll have clients turn up with props that in themselves look beautiful, but practically don’t work because of their size. Remember, you’re wanting to hero the product. Your viewer naturally sees the negative space rather than the positive if products and props are out of scale."
3. Build in creative time.
"If trialling a new creative route, we always recommend having a test day beforehand. It allows for more open experimentation and alleviates a bit of the pressure when it comes to getting this signed off. Setting strict deadlines throughout a shoot day can often be counterproductive if working with a new style so it’s better to buy yourself some time and not rush the final result."
Q. How do you feel businesses could up their creative game?
"It’s tough as often they’re tied by brand guidelines. We shoot with a wide variety of food clients, for example, and no two are the same – some are all about mess and ‘crummage’, others are more clinical. Some prefer realism, others would rather feature a dish on a painted background. The key to pushing creative within these constraints is with lighting – creating more mood, shape, shadows and contrast. When you feel like you’ve got your shot, THAT’S when you want to push it further."
"We often shoot a lot of test work where, naturally, no guidelines apply and we get full creative license. In doing so, we spend a lot of time researching, looking at new trends and techniques and as do the stylists we shoot with. Just like us, stylists are experts in their field and know what’s up and coming. We love sharing this collaborative work with clients, it gives them new trialled, tested ideas and helps push the creative boat out."