What Does Advertising Photography Mean

What Does Advertising Photography Mean

When someone says they need advertising photography, what exactly is it they are looking for? Generally, when you, your company, or an ad agency are looking for advertising photography they are looking for a set of photographs that help them or their client sell a product or service. How these photos are taken depend entirely on the nature of the thing that is to be photographed.

For example, a yoga studio might want to run some online and print ads to increase foot traffic at their location. There are instantly many different options for the sort of photographs they could take that would help them sell their service. The most straight forward photo might be of someone performing yoga stretches inside of the studio itself. If the studio space is exceptionally beautiful then this would be a great way to introduce potential customers to the efforts you’ve gone through to make your yoga studio inviting. It would also speak to the level of professionalism and dedication you have to making the yoga experience a good one.

Another type of advertising photo might be to focus more on a metaphor rather than a literal representation. A group of stones stacked on top of one another on a beach would project the feelings of both balance and relaxation – two major components of Yoga. Other imagery, not just metaphorical, are also linked with Yoga, such as pictures of lotus flowers, and sunsets. 

Another example would be that of a product you are trying to sell. The best way to sell a product is to convince a potential buyer that their quality of life will increase if they own what you’re selling. Our favorite tech giant, Apple, is a master of this technique. When they are trying to see you their latest model iPhone they use advertising photos in a variety of ways. They show you photos of how cool the phone looks. They show you photos of people dancing while listening to music using their phone. The show you pictures of photos of the new phone can take. The list goes on and on, but the important thing here is that they don’t use just one approach in their advertising, instead using literal and metaphorical photos in conjunction to tell a compelling story as to how their product can impact your life. 

You can also get creative like we did for this photo featuring Mike’s Hot Honey. The whole concept here is that they infuse their honey with chilies so it has some serious kick to it. When it came time for us to create an advertising photo we though it would be fun to depict the honey as being so hot that it was actually on fire! Now, obviously the honey doesn’t just spontaneously combust when it comes into contact with air, but this simple effect of adding fire tells the interested consumer at a single glance that it’s definitely hot!

The best advertising photos have the same qualities that make any photograph exceptional: A great story. This is why the best ad agencies make the big dollars – the consistently come up with the best stories. So, next time you or someone in your company is wonder what advertising photography is and how it can help, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what to look to look for and how to get started!


Benjamin Lehman is a Commercial Advertising and Portrait Photographer in the Cleveland, Akron, Canton and Northeast Ohio Area. 

Getting Your Drive to Photograph Back – Fighting the Quarantine Blues

In times like this it can be hard to find your artistic inspiration

It’s the late Spring of 2020 – Covid-19 is still gripping the world and everyone is trying to cope with a new reality where maintaining healthy business and personal relationships amid all of the distancing can be challenging. 

No two people are alike, and while some might find themselves thriving in strange times like these, others may be having a hard time even getting out of bed in the morning. For me personally, I was strangely invigorated at the start of the pandemic; it’s a weird feeling to live in a moment that you know will earn a very large place in modern history. However, as the days turned to weeks turned to months, the novelty wore off and I found myself emotionally stepping away from the activities that used to stimulate me. Instead, I played a lot of video games, watched a lot of YouTube, and quite honestly spent a lot of time bummed out by that fact that I couldn’t get inspired. 

Inspiration Is A Funny Thing

Inspiration can sneak up on you, it can abandon you, it doesn’t always answer the door when you knock, sometimes you can access it on demand, but other times it’s no where to be seen. For me, personally, as an artist, being inspired is the difference between being energized and excited versus being bored and defeated — and that’s how I was feeling, defeated, robbed of my artistic excitement. I had to really take a few days and ponder what it might take to snap me out of the funk and decided that often, when I was working with a client, the challenges of their projects would often give me the fuel I needed to find inspiration.  I love design challenges and while it’s not always a 100% chance that any given project is going to inspire me, I realized I needed to give it a shot. Only this time, I was going to give myself the project in an attempt to get my artistic motivation back on track.

I resolved to give myself a project that I would be normally excited for: A tech-based product shoot. I looked around my office at the multitude of gadgets surrounding me and quickly found some old hard-drives that had been wiped cleaned. I’ve never opened a hard drive before, and since I am a curious-type person, I quickly got excited at the idea of lifting the lid off of one of these old drives and then photographing the exposed bits.

After removing 5 screws and uncovering the disks or, “Platters”, as they are known, I then spent the next few hours crafting the composition and lighting until I finally had a picture I was genuinely excited with. I mean, I know it may sound silly, but just having a picture I was proud of really awakened my creativity and gave me a strong incentive to keep going. A few days later I was on a job that spanned 3 days of portraits in over 8 different locations, still carrying the enthusiast with me that I had found with that one hard drive photo back in my studio.  As I finish this blog post I am preparing to go back out and scout 3 locations for another portrait project, excited to have reconnected with my have my creativity.

Benjamin Lehman is a Commercial Photographer in the Cleveland, Akron, Canton and North East Ohio Area. 

Watch us Live on Twitch.Tv/Warriorbeatorg

Watch Benjamin Lehman Photography on Twitch!

We’ve teamed up with Warrior Beat, a non-profit that works with veterans suffering from PTSD, Anxiety, Stress, Depression, and other mental and physical ailments, to add photography and #ArtTherapy to their already impressive streaming line up that consists of drumming therapy and meditation. Benjamin Lehman Photography streams on the channel 3 to 4 times a week and usually can be found around 3pm EST.

Do Warrior Beat a favor and sign up for twitch and give them a follow – it’s free!

Shades of Difference and Direction « Joe McNally’s Blog


Source: Shades of Difference and Direction « Joe McNally’s Blog

Hard sun, big silk, beautiful light. Pretty simple. Take a nuclear blast of sunlight and tame it by interfering with its blazing, destructive path with a simple swatch of white material, and it arrives at your subject’s doorstep (face) as cuddly and friendly as a golden retriever puppy. Get fancy and add a simple white fill card to bounce a small amount back and up into the face and you got dead bang gorgeous, wraparound light. Friendly and glow-y. Below, shot at 1/3200 @ f/1.4, Nikon Z7105mm lens.

Now, I dealt myself a pretty easy hand of cards, here, having Rae Stoetzel in front of my lens. Easy-going guy, great face, fun to work with, patient beyond. (Just like all of our photo subjects, right?) But easy-going was the watchword of our workshop up on Prince Edward Island, at Dave Brosha’s beautiful, patina laden barn. Pictures everywhere up there. So thankful for the invite to come and teach. Would do it again in a heartbeat.

This is a Lastolite 6×6 Skylite panel on two c-stands overhead of him, interrupting the flow of hard sunlight, baffling it, and smoothing it out. The silk, mind you, is hovering just out of camera frame, very close to him. That’s the key. Get it as close as you can. There’s a fill board under him, kicking up some fill, and I’m shooting at 1.4 with that great looking barn for a backdrop. Boom, we’re done. Shoot like this all day, except for the fact of the sun moving, making it necessary for you to move the silk. Which I have done on jobs. Literally, all day. Move the silk. Luckily, that is usually a 12×12 silk, on a frame, supported by high rollers, which have wheels.

Okay, great light, easy-peasy, as has been said. But, shooting all day like this would have a sense of sameness to it. How do you take this gentle, overlarge swatch of light and shift it, play with it, directional-ize it?

Enter the Profoto B1-X, fitted with a 4′ RFI Octa softbox. First, the B1-X remains, for me, the quintessential big flash for location work. Yes, you can go bigger, and sometimes you need to, but the B1-X, at 500 watt seconds, pretty much covers the waterfront and then some on maybe, like, 90% of potential jobs? Easy to use, versatile as hell, and a dead bang dependable wireless transmission system makes this light indispensable.

And then, put the 4′ Octa on there and it’s magic. The 4′ size makes it big enough to be big, and small enough to maneuver, for instance, under a low slung silk. Hand held! All BTS pix shot by Annie Cahill.

The result is you have more exposure leverage over your background, and you can punch and swing the the direction of the light just about any which way, without robbing the essential soft quality of light the silk presents. The Octa fits right into the light pattern. Big and soft, but with a bit of punch.  Below shot at 1/2000 @ f/2.8 with the Nikon Z7 and 105mm lens.

Simple, subtle, effective.

Rescue Adoption Fair Photos!

If you were at this weekend’s Rescue Adoption Fair, you can find your photos here!

Pet Photos June 22

Canon explains why EOS R doesn’t have IBIS | Digital Camera World


When the Canon EOS R was revealed, the first thing many people noticed was its lack of in-body image stabilisation (IBIS). 

The missing feature became even more pronounced at Photokina 2018 with all the new cameras boasting IBIS – including Fuji’s new GFX 100S with its monster medium format sensor.

So, with the internet rife with cynicism and speculation, we went straight to the horse’s mouth and asked Canon why it opted not to include in-body stabilisation on the EOS R.

“We feel that in-lens IS is the optimum system for image stabilisation,” explained Canon UK’s product intelligence consultant, David Parry.


The Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is one of the EOS R lenses that boasts stabilisation

The Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is one of the EOS R lenses that boasts stabilisation

“With an in-body IS system you are creating something that needs to work over lots of different types of lenses and different lens groups, so you don’t get a dedicated system for that particular lens.

“All lenses move in different ways, and you get different types of shake depending on what kind of lens you’re using, so dedicating the IS system to the particular lens is, for us, the optimum way of doing it – but that’s not to say that we aren’t looking at in-body IS.”

It’s fair to say that Canon traditionally takes its time and is rarely the first to bring a feature to market, from touchscreens to shooting video on DSLRs. When it eventually does bring something to market, though, it tends to be among the best in class.

In other words, then, Canon will introduce in-body stabilisation when it’s good and ready. And when it does, it’s likely to be incredibly good.7

Source: Canon explains why EOS R doesn’t have IBIS | Digital Camera World

Shooting OnStage in London | Joe McNally Photo

I shoot a lot in front of live audiences, sometimes sizable ones. The places where I do this, let’s face it, are hardly inspirational. They tend to be gray, or beige, or black. The walls are blank. They recede by design. Hence, onstage, when I look out at this bland space, I will, at least occasionally, think of taking a ride into the valley of the gels, as friend and peerless shooter Greg Heisler used to describe it. In these blank rooms, color is often the first refuge I seek.

It was such a day last week in London, at a lighting seminar created and staged by Nikon School UK and Neil Freeman, a talented shooter who runs the wonderful educational programs with a great team in the UK for Nikon. We had help from the stalwart crew at Lastolite by Manfrotto who stepped up and brought tons of kit to play with.

I had MMA fighter Alfie Davis, who’s on a winning streak, and competing next in Dubai. He’s a great physical presence, so a rim-light type of an approach worked. Put red gels on two SB-5000 units in the back of the room, controlling them with radio and winging them right at Alfie. The overhead light is the Speedlight 2 softbox, with a grid, but it really just lights him a little and gives that highlight in his hair. The main deal is a blue gelled flash I have banging into a silver tri-grip reflector that he is actually standing on. The whole thing was an impromptu wing and a prayer in terms of a lighting solution, and our enthusiastic crowd helped out by standing and cheering Alfie in the background. Nothing like a little audience participation!

It was a very different approach for Alfie out on the street. One Speedlight through an Ezybox hotshoe soft box, and done. Less glitz, more character.

More tk….

Source: Shooting OnStage in London | Joe McNally Photo

Here’s a Reason Not to Upgrade to That New Mirrorless Camera | Fstoppers

One of the most common questions photographers have is “should I upgrade my camera?” It’s right up there with “what lens I should buy” and “can I take selfies with this?” (That last one isn’t actually a common question.)

You may really want that Nikon Z7 or that Canon EOS R, but do you really need it? Whenever I ask myself the same question, I remind myself of a simple phrase that I tell my students thinking about a new camera: Your camera never takes pictures any worse than the day you brought it.

I own a few older cameras. Some I bought for nostalgic value and other were my daily drivers for a time. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of G.A.S., but after having kids, that sort of thing grinds to a halt (diapers are expensive). Now, I’ve learned to really appreciate and use the cameras I’ve got, and in addition, it makes me really think about making every camera purchase count.

I recently got the pang again when I saw the new mirrorless offerings from Nikon and Canon. On paper, they’re specced really well, and one of the new RF mirrorless system lenses from Canon would scratch an itch I’ve been commenting about for a long time: a standard zoom that’s faster than f/2.8, my white whale, the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM. Such a lens coupled with a new, slick-looking EOS R bodyseems like an amazing combo.

Read More: Here’s a Reason Not to Upgrade to That New Mirrorless Camera | Fstoppers

Quick and Fast Portraits

You can take portraits with impact in minutes.

I am going to keep this blog post short and sweet, but the gist of it is as follows: You don’t need to spend hours, or even days, planning for a portrait that will have visual impact.

My last portrait gig happened like this – friend called and said, “Hey, there’s a cool building being demo’d across the street. Bring your camera, I think you could get some cool pictures.”

So that’s what I did. I grabbed my camera, two speed lights, a small 24″ softbox and drove over. Once I got there my friend, Trevor, and I walked over to the build which had been partially demolished over the last week. Just looking around you could see that Trevor was right, this was a great place for portraits. So I found a few angles I liked, got Trevor into position and started taking some pictures. And… that was it. Total time, not including driving time, was like 15 minutes. 

What makes this so easy is the small size of my kit, my Canon speed-lights and their ability to transmit TTL data. 

In picture 1, I am on the street, about 5 feet below Trevor, so when he kneels down I am able to be below him, which gives him a sense of presence in the frame, but I am also about to compose my photo so that I can still see the remains of the demolished building in the background. I exposed -2 ev to reign in the background and then push +1 ev of light through the TTL system to make Trevor pop out.

In picture 2 I’ve cheated and covered my speed-light with a full cut of CTO. I then lied to my camera manually balanced the camera to 3200k to convince it that it’s actually shooting a tungsten colored scene. In essence, I’ve told the camera the photo I am taking has too much orange in it, when in reality only my speed-light is emitting orange light. Thanks to this trickery, the camera sees my subject lit by the speed-light as correctly color balanced. However, the sky and the background, which is not emitting any extra orange light, is rendered in shades of blue. Cool, right!?

Benjamin Lehman is a professional commercial photographer in the Canton, Akron, Cleveland and Northeast Ohio Area. 

A Lost Summer’s Evening

A Lost Summer's Evening

Photos from sunset.