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Making Men in Hairnets Look Good….

My most wonderful friend Claudia, who was a classmate of mine at the London College of Communication last year, was getting married in June… and she wanted me to come back to London for her wedding. So as a way to get me there, she asked me to photograph her wedding. At first I said, “No way.” Because with the American dollar being almost half the value of the British pound, there was no way I could afford to go… but then I got creative.

Before I went to London, I sent out a few eager emails to everyone I know saying that I was on my way and ready to work. Luckily for me, I have another wonderful friend in London, and she works for Gabrielle Shaw Communications, a PR company that I did work for while I was living there last year, and sure enough they had some gigs for me.

The first of the two gigs was for Bio Green Dairy, they produce a yogurt drink and they wanted to have images that show that they are a small family-like business and that they do all the work from start to finish. The owner saw my website of children and weddings and (somehow) thought I would be a good fit.

I was very excited to go to a yogurt factory, it would be my first factory photo shoot. But as soon as I walked into the factory, I realized I had a big challenge ahead of me. How do you make an all white room, men wearing all white jump suits, and a white product look good in florescent lighting. And to make it more challenging, I arrived without a flash (because I was living out of a bag and spread between three houses, in three different parts of London, I didn’t have my flash with me… opps.)

So, with no other options, I put my camera’s ISO on 3200, my aperture as low as it could go and I held the camera very very still. And then when I returned home, I searched the Internet to find Photoshop techniques that would turn my horrendously lit and very uninteresting photos into something, anything more. Relying on Photoshop is something new to me. Up until now, I have not manipulated my photos, besides the typical darkroom maneuvers, but this was an emergency, and I have to say, I think it worked out better than I was expecting. If you are interested in knowing the Photoshop trick click here.

And this time, I am sad to say, the Rolleiflex did not succeed. There was just not enough light, color or contrast to make even a black-and-white film photo look good…. oh well, the Rollei can’t win every time.

On a sad note, the only cow at this once dairy farm is now on Bio Green’s truck. The cows, where Bio Green used to get their milk, are now gone and instead the rancher is raising horses. As a result of the loss of local agriculture, Bio Green now has to order powdered milk for their yogurt.

About the author paige green

Paige Green is a documentary and portrait photographer, whose storytelling approach to photography frequently addresses issues involving agriculture, land use, and food. Her work is featured in nine books and has been published in Glamour, National Geographic Traveler, New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Country Living, House Beautiful, and Culture. Paige lives in Petaluma, CA with a house full of boys.

All posts by paige green →

3 Comments

  1. […] but this time, thanks to the two-story wall of windows, it was much easier to photograph than the yogurt factory I photographed a couple of hours earlier that […]

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  2. i really like the yogurt photos. especially the guy holding the big bag, which i can only imagine is powdered milk. they look cool and make me want to eat yogurt.

    Reply

  3. […] to the two-story wall of windows and the color red, it was much easier to photograph than the yogurt factory that I photographed a couple of hours earlier that […]

    Reply

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