This assignment is similar to many we get in the commercial realm. It is usually for an ad or a collateral piece and it features a product, thing, item, or widget. In order to give the thing scale, or to show it as a dimensional item, a person is included in the shot.

Kinda like a kid and a baseball glove. Or a model and a car. Or a laptop in a lap.

The person is there to provide context for the thing.

The conundrum can sometimes be how it is lit… do we pay great attention to the model or the object?

In this assignment, the object gets our attention and the person can be used as, well, a prop.

Perhaps the item is lit perfectly and the subject is in silhouette? Maybe there is a shadow that obscures the person, while perfect lighting highlights the thing in wonderful product photography finesse.

Friday Images:

Tuesday Images:


Note how this parameter is applied to three beer ads:

The human element can be a full on person, or a hand or a foot or even a pinkie… heh.

The humans become the prop and the items becomes the star.

As applied to electronics:

The product/item you choose to shoot is up to you. How you want to include a human element is up to you, but do keep these thoughts foremost in your planning:

  • How will the human element impact the message of the item I am showing?
  • What part of the human experience with this item do I want to feature?
  • How will the human element compete with the product I am showing?
  • How can I make the product “stand out” from the human element I am using?
  • What roles do color, highlight, shadow, sharpness and composition play in the creation of this image?

Your assignment is one photograph of an item shot with a person, featuring the item as the star. A second shot will feature the person as the hero of the shoot, and the product a prop.

An example of the product as hero in bike ads”

Examples of the human as hero in bike ads:

Images may be landscape or portrait, color or black and white – but both images must be the same ie; both landscape and in black and white or both portrait and in color or whatever you choose, just make sure the images are the same in presentation. They should look like they are from the same shoot, just with some subtle changes to the hero aspect.

Thanks and happy shooting!