Late last year, Jeffrey Han of 7Pipe contacted me. He said that he'd noticed me because of my smoke pictures, and that he wanted to develop a new, much more polished brand look for his smoking pipe. His product was one of the first, if not the first, of its type, but lately the niche had become saturated and he was looking for ways to stand out from the crowd. Jeff wanted to create some beauty shots of the product, with smoke, as well as some clean, catalog-type shots, and several lifestyle shots, all to use throughout his marketing efforts. He had high aims, which is great, and some budget restrictions, which made for a challenging situation. I developed a half dozen different scenarios that I thought would meet his needs, with a decent range of costs (here's the proposal, if you're interested). Jeff decided on a number of shots from me, and decided to work with an additional photographer for some other shots.
The pipe comes with a glass insert, but you can get a bamboo one, if you prefer.
The integral lighter is genius, if you ask me.
The back cover adheres magnetically; remove it to change the insert or access that little compartment.
The hero shot. We actually drilled out the back plate so I could put a little light through the glass bowl.
This is a surgical-grade glass insert. Jeff is not messing around.
The beauty shot. I think we did about 75 frames of smoke. I drifted the smoke through the hole we drilled in the back plate so I could be sure we captured realistic behavior.
For a studio guy, I've been amazingly lucky with the weather lately. The coast was socked in from SF to Monterey, but this little cove was clear. The budget being what it was, we were relying on luck...
Another budgetary relief factor, we showed up and asked locals to model. Directing these skaters was like herding cats. Nice guys though.
And finally, here is the new website for 7Pipe.