As a lot of you know, I began work as a product photographer for a new company in Salt Lake City called Style Haven. Style Haven is part of a much larger and well known company, NPS (National Product Sales). NPS has conducted business in Utah for 50+ years.
For those of you who don’t know, NPS is a company that re-sells products that were either lost in shipment or have damaged packaging. The items are brand new and are sold at a very high discount.
Style Haven is the high end clothing department of this, selling name brand clothing up to 75% off!
I was hired on as NPS's very first photographer in mid July of 2018. As of now there has been mass improvement in the photography, yet there is still much ground left to cover.
When I first arrived, the camera settings were way off, and the lighting was less to be desired. I knew the potential this site, and business had and was more than excited to offer my expertise to aid the success of this awesome new company!
It takes a special kind of patience to slowly improve. A great part of me wanted to simply scrap everything and give NPS my large shopping list to get these product shots up and going!
However, I understand that with a start up company like this, explaining the 'why' and educating the team is the best way to move forward. A lot of times people know what they want but not how to get there.
NPS knew they needed a dedicated photographer, someone with an expertise and understanding of lighting and photography, I feel very lucky they chose me.
The photography aspect is one part of a larger machine. As such, the developing team has their hands full! with tracking of thousands of items to making sure shipping is correct, it is no wonder that the scale of this business is massive. My photo improvements have been slow so far. I have done my best with what I have, but i am assured that when some of these other aspects are figured out my end of the business will get a little more attention.
The challenge of Style Haven that is unique to its own, its the very fact that we never know what is going to come through that door to be photographed and listed. This means as a photographer I need to be adaptive and ready for any challenge. The second challenge of Style Haven is the sheer quantity of product that we have. We have thousands and thousands of items all needing to be placed for sale. My job is to also develop super efficient, fast and high quality photographs ready for eCommerce sale.
My approach? to get it as right as I can in camera. With shooting on white and keeping the lighting the same, I want the results to be quick and consistent. After a few tests I have found that the quickest way to illumintate a nice white background is to light said background independently. What better way to do this than to have a light source BE the background!
I created a diagram to showcase my idea and the developing team as well as NPS are on board to help me get the plan implemented. After some discussion the lighting equipment has been ordered and should arrive shortly! The entire process is being redeveloped with the best that technology has to offer. We are working on advanced automated background removal techniques, as well as auto crop and preset edits. Think Capture One but much faster and much more customization. Also there has been talk of full 360 degree product photography ;).
Style Haven is a frontier into a new way of approaching the e-comers market. We are unique in our product selection and randomnesses of our inventory. This causes many challenges, yet I am more than excited to be apart of the lead developing of such new innovation.
All in all, I have greatly enjoyed my time here at Style Haven. I look forward to better improvements as well as great success in our sales. As a commercial photographer with great understanding, this has tested my patience. All i want to do revamp everything to be the high level I professionally know I can achieve. Time will tell of the success and who knows how big it can get!