Retail photography for major fashion brands is practically an art form. Drawing the consumer into the space and heightening their desire for the beautiful fashion accessories is intrinsic to the shoot. Here we take a look at Bottega Veneta’s largest store in the Middle East through my lens.
Founded in Vicenza, Italy in 1966 by Michele Taddei and Renzo Zengiaro, Bottega Veneta is a brand synonymous with fashion. The clothes and accessories and elegant and understated, but extremely covetable. When I was approached to capture the interior of their Dubai Mall space, the brand’s largest store in the Middle East, I was excited to showcase the Bottega Veneta philosophy with my photography.
The store was designed by the brand’s former Creative Director, Tomas Maier. The warm neutral tones with metallic features complement the aesthetic of Bottega Veneta.
Before – interior photography of Bottega Veneto, photo by Gerry O’Leary
Planning retail photography
As this was for one of the jewels in the crown of the fashion brand, it was important to get some perfect photos to show it off. These images would be the first time many people would see the Dubai Mall store and would be used in magazines and on websites, as well as other promotional materials.
Luckily, we had brand guidelines, expert visual merchandising, and my steady hand to bring this store to life through images.
The first photographs of the luxury fashion store
Light is one of my favourite topics to expound on, as it’s one of the tools I use every single time I step behind the camera. While I’m a huge fan of natural light and use it wherever possible, I could see that I needed to be careful when photographing the Bottega Veneta Dubai Mall store.
The first thing to consider was the light coming in from outside and the number of reflective surfaces in the store. I had to ensure that the products were the focus of the image and that the colours popped.
Grabbing the viewer’s attention
Although it may seem like slight or almost imperceptible changes from the before image to the after, in fact, this kind of staging takes time.
I had to decide which accessories to move and check that the angles were aligned when viewed through the lens. I had to balance the natural light with my own artificial lighting to achieve the desired effect and ensure the products were highlighted (and also that the image gave a true representation of how they look to the human eye). Although luxury products are present in this image, it isn’t product photography! As a purveyor of expert photography services, my goal is to invite the viewer to come into the space to experience it for themselves.
The careful design behind retail photography
This isn’t just one photo quickly made into two – it’s the result of planning, staging, lighting, and taking plenty of photos along the way. Then it comes back for retouching, but only when I’m satisfied that I have captured the best on the day. Sometimes I think, “yes, that’s the one,” while other times, it is a composite of photos taken throughout the photography shoot.
Each step that goes into a beautiful retail photograph is vital. We’re all part of the creative process of the brand, and designing the perfect image is my role.
I offer professional retail photography in the Middle East and across the globe. If you’d like to learn more about my professional photography to elevate your brand, please get in touch.