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Personal Work

Almost everything in my portfolio – printed or posted – is personal work. I keep tare sheets from client work, but for the most part my commercial port is comprised of work I do for me.  I may evolve in this thought process, but for now I want to show work that reflects my aesthetic as well as demonstrates how I solve problems with difficult subject matter. This is free from the particulars of how a client wants their product shot.

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. And some of the gifts that are given are magnificent examples of design. This is particularly true of the packaging used in cosmetics and fragrances. Beautiful to behold, very difficult to photograph, particularly if you keep say gift sets with complimentary designs in one composition.

A challenge. But a good way to demonstrate problem solving skills and have a great deal of fun in the process.

This shot of Valentino cologne had the challenge of a faceted, clear glass or crystal bottle paired with a highly reflective bottle of shaving balm:

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. |

You generally backlight transparent objects, which is fine for the cologne but I needed to keep it off the shaving balm bottle – except perhaps for an edge light and gradient on the cap! I chose to use a lighting modifier as the background and light it – an idea I culled from the Hasselblad/Broncolor website. I thought it gave a dramatic, abstract pattern and by lighting strongly in one direction gave dark/light complimentary tones to the different bottles.

This next shot was of an Estee Lauder gift set of her Beautiful fragrance line:

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. |

Again, transparent objects in the same shot with a solid (though non-reflective) one. I wanted to keep the pink color theme so I gelled the background and placed the objects on reflective white acrylic to push that color around. I also used a modified “Clinique” look to the caps to make them more interesting.


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