Still life photography, between commercial photography and art

"A good photographer is someone who communicates a fact, touches the heart, makes the observer become a different person," argued Irving Penn, an American photographer who made still-life, a brand of style.

Contained in his thinking is the soul of excellent product photography: going beyond what the image shows in order to get closer to the story. Put another way, the success of a product photograph lies in its being more than just a showcase; it consists in its potential to fascinate and reveal the not immediately perceptible aspects of reality.

A new vision can more than just the product. We at Wesual, who make still-life photography one of our company's flagship services, are also convinced of this. Home living and food photography are the areas of focus for our commercial services, both through print (catalogs, brochures, etc.) ande-commerce.

Photo by Rob Grimm

Photographing a dish, a product, or a design object becomes an aesthetic and communicative project, where the focus of the message is not so much the final product but the set of values, concepts, and attributes that it invokes. In two words we could sum it up with object and story. This is how behind the simplicity of an image lies the complexity of its staging, lighting, and choice of context. A delicate combination of composition and care, in which the balance between technical preparation and aesthetic sensitivity plays an essential role.

Some of the most significant contemporary photographers in the still-life photography genre inspire our work. These include Rob Grimm, one of the most highly regarded photographers in the field of food & drink photography and creator of RggEdu, one of the best providers of tutorials and paid courses on commercial photography.

Photo by Rob Grimm

Japanese Kenji Toma transitions from commercial to proper art photography without flinching or jolting. His essential and delicate style combines complexity and harmony to perfection, as seen in his work for cosmetics and high fashion products.

Photo by Kenji Toma

Diametrically opposed, but equally elegant, is Mitchell Feinberg 's "luxurious" style, which stands out for its great care of backgrounds, becoming one of the world's top jewelry and accessories photographers. In his 15-year career, he has built a large and prestigious client base, shooting major campaigns for Louis Vuitton, Bulgari and Yves Saint Laurent, as well as editorial content for The New York Times, Style Magazine and Vogue. An artist without limits, as also evidenced by the commission received from National Geographic for a series of photos depicting footwear, discovering peculiar accessories, evidence of the passage between different cultures, peoples and countries united in style.

Photo by Mitchell Feinberg

Among our own photographers, it is worth mentioning Maria Vittoria Backhaus from Milan, a pioneer in the field of fashion photography in Italy, whose art has made meticulousness and attention to detail the hallmark of her personal aesthetic of mise en scène . Backhaus's photography unfolds in an interweaving of poetics in which the distinction between art and photography recedes into the background.

Photo by M. V. Backhaus
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