I recently worked on creating campaign assets for a London-based perfume brand called Percy & Reed. It was a fun project to undertake, as the product is light and playful, as opposed to the more serious, achromatic work I’ve done in the past. This client wanted to push their new product and had a good idea of what they expected from each visual. The product style is flowery and fun and incorporates lots of natural ingredients and flavours. With fragrance photography, it is about portraying these smells and senses all visually. The buyer needs to be able to imagine the fragrance from the image.
For this project, the campaign consisted of creating 4 unique visuals. The first visual needed to be of the product with the ingredients. Which included rhubarb, peony, and roses. This was intended to be used as an online banner and social media. The second visual was of the product laying on a bed of roses. The third image of the product (flat-lay) with the ingredients around it. The fourth image was a creative one using their floral pattern.
This was the image of the perfume spray bottle floating on the water surrounded by several objects. The client requested the rhubarb and peonies in the shoot. I felt the water base would be an interesting touch. The final image may look simple enough, but it took around 900 different test shots until I found one that was just perfect. It was challenging to create a shallow pond of water and add the necessary ingredients to create the composition. It took the whole day to set up this shot, as I needed to rearrange each item to fit properly in the frame. With commercial photography, you need to pay attention to detail. All of my test shots were good, but it is about not settling on the first set of results.
Bed of Roses
The spray bottle on a bed of roses was another example of a creative shot. This setup more straight forward. Working with live props, like fruits and flowers, puts pressure on how long you have to shoot before they spoil. The flowers can quickly wither and lose their colour or freshness. The price of roses is surprisingly high, so I only purchased a single bunch. This bouquet was then duplicated and merged together in PhotoShop to create the illusion of many flowers. In the final image, you will see at least 50 rose heads, but behind the scenes, I only had 7 – 8. With careful editing and strategic placement of the flowers, the end result is pleasing. One does not immediately notice the similarities in the flower bunches
Back to Basic
A simple birds-eye-view shot of the perfume bottle surrounded by several active ingredients. A very clean, minimal product shot that helps portray what the contents are made of. You can see several flower petals, some leaves, and the other ingredients. To shoot this, I placed a large, yet soft, floodlight vertically over the where the product lay. With fragrance photography, the goal is to draw connections with the final product and its scents. The bottle itself is not a strong enough cue in stirring these fragrances in a buyer. But with the rose petals, sweet peony, fresh rhubarb, and leaves, the viewer can quickly conjure up the relevant smells.
Honey and Fruit
This image needed to include the Percy & Reed product pattern of floral branches. I took the perfume spray bottle and placed it on its side. I then laid out several ingredients in the shape of a V. This created the illusion of the bottle spraying out the perfume. Rather than the liquid spray, the ingredients, like rose petals, honey and rhubarb made up this movement. Then, I took the floral illustration and enlarged it over the v-shape spraying effect.
The client was satisfied with the work I delivered. Their art director in London mentioned that they would like to use me in further campaign work. Overall, I am extremely happy with the visuals I created.
If you are interested in fragrance photography or want to learn more, sign up to my mailer. I have several courses available on my website that can help you improve your commercial photography skills and learn how to replicate the type of images I create.