Award-Winning Product Photography by Joe
My creative photography has won me numerous accolades in international photography competitions. I have won awards in a variety of genres including architecture, fine art, landscapes, monochrome, open avant garde, travel, fashion, beauty, wildlife, portraits and still life. Some are from photoshoots in my free time, doing things I wouldn’t normally get to do for clients. Others are very much part of my work as a commercial photographer. The award-winning product photos shown in this portfolio are partly commissioned and partly from portfolio building creative shoots that I have done to showcase my style.
Gold Award-Winning Product Photographer
The Societies of Photographers run monthly online photography competitions open to their members across the world. These competitions attract entries from keen amateurs and professionals, including some of the top photographers in the industry. The images are judged online with the best receiving “Highly Commended” awards or the coveted “Gold” award. From the Golds awarded, they choose an overall “Judges’ Choice” as the best entry for that month. The monochrome Steltman watch above and the Vision & Time Skeleton watch below both received Gold awards. The bottle of Bulmers not only won Gold, it also was the Judges’ Choice for September 2019.
The 007 aftershave bottle has an interesting embossed surface that catches the light from various angles. I lit it slightly from the side to bring out the textures. The hard edged vignette was added afterwards in Photoshop to refer to the common imagery associated with the James Bond movies. This image won a Gold award in the monochrome category of the March 2023 Societies monthly competition.
I enter competitions to help keep me sharp and producing work of a high standard as recognised by my peers. Winning awards for my photography confirms that I am indeed at the top of my game both in the technical skills needed to create high quality images and also in terms of creativity.
The image of the Sekonda ladies watch below won a Gold award in the January 2023 Monochrome category of The Societies of Photographers competition. I styled it using just a few sheets of textured white card.
The next image won Gold in the Illustrative category of the March 2023 Societies competition.
Award-Winners in International Print Competitions
Porsche Steering Wheel - Merit Award
The 20×16 international print competition at The Societies Convention is one of the most prestigious photography competitions in the world. I entered for the first time in 2022 with my print of the Porsche steering wheel and was delighted to win a Merit award rosette. This meant that the print hung alongside the other award-winners in the Convention photography exhibition in London.
I shot the Porsche steering wheel above for BF1 Systems in Norfolk. They supplied a rig to light up the buttons so that we could display the setup at its best. I lit the steering wheel using multiple lights and reflectors to keep a high-end luxury feel, accenting aspects of the shape and materials. The final print was done on lustre paper with a black window mount. Lustre helps to keep a high level of contrast and detail, with deep blacks.
Ibanez Universe Guitar - Merit Award
I originally shot the image of the Ibanez Universe electric guitar when I was preparing my Fellowship qualification panel. It didn’t make it into the final selection of 20, so I thought I would enter it on its own a year later in the Open category of The Societies of Photographers 20×16 international print competition.
The print scored 81 – earning it a merit award. The judges commented on how clean the image is as a product shot. The pickguard is a mirror, so it needed careful lighting to make it look interesting and reflective without being too dark or too bright. A soft gradient of light on the bottom left follows the curve of the body of the guitar, showing off its shape.
For more guitar images please visit my guitar photography page.
Finalist - 2023 International Print Competition - Excellent Award
I styled the Limit ladies watch simply using some white foam blocks. After testing a few papers, I chose to go with a photo rag paper for the final print. This had a matt, textured finish that suited the image well. The mount was a slightly textured white card. The Judges at The Societies of Photographers scored it 86 in the “Excellent” scoring category. It went on to be a Finalist in its section (“Open”).
Award-Winning Still Life Photography
All of the images in this section won “Highly Commended” awards. I enjoy creative advertising photography and like to use lighting, styling and sometimes also special effects to achieve memorable images. Splash photography has become more popular in recent years and it can deliver great results. Freezing liquids in motion like this can give a dynamic feel to an otherwise static image.
Award-Winning Product Photography with CGI
CGI has become ever more accessible and able to produce believable photorealistic renders. So, it is no surprise that some photographers are turning to CGI for new ways to create backgrounds or scenes for their product images. The two “Highly Commended” award-winning images below both combine photography with CGI. The product itself is a photograph from a studio shoot. I built the surrounding scene/background in Blender and then combined the render with the photo in Photoshop. This can not only enable things that would otherwise be very difficult if not impossible to do in real life, it can also save on waste products that can be the by-product of building sets.
Images from Product Photography Qualification
My Fellowship qualification panel with The Society of International Commercial & Industrial Photographers was a set of 20 creative product photos of guitars. I used complex lighting setups with tilt-shift lenses to achieve unusual angles and bring out the features of each instrument. These images are a selection from the set. View the full panel of guitar photos in this article.
Judging Photography Competitions & Qualifications
In December 2022 I qualified as a full Judge with The Societies of Photographers. This involved detailed training and regular judging alongside an experienced member of the team to learn what was required. After passing the final assessment they welcomed me onto the Judges Team and I am now qualified to judge all of their international competitions and photography qualifications. It is a privilege to be on “the other side” able to hand out awards to other photographers to celebrate their work.
The above images are from the official Societies of Photographers event photographers and were taken during the 20×16 international print competition. I was judging on a panel of 5 judges. The prints are viewed in a light booth to ensure neutral , even lighting. The images below are from one of the Fellowship qualification panels that I judged at the 2023 convention.