One of the perks of being a commercial photographer is the variety of people, places and things that you are exposed to that you otherwise wouldn’t be. With product and lifestyle photography I’m usually working with products that won’t even be out until the following year, so I’m way ahead of the curve with my gift shopping. Industrial photography often puts me behind the scenes of large operations, in places most people never have a chance to see. I’m constantly learning how various businesses operate, whether it’s a factory that converts non-recyclable plastics into useable oil, a waste water treatment plant in New York City, or in this case, how produce is packaged and distributed to your local grocery stores and restaurants.
Last week I worked with a creative agency in Los Angeles who’s client is one of the largest distributers of produce in the country. The goal was to get commercial industrial photographs that show everything from the gritty warehouse operations to delicious looking packages of produce, and to environmental portraits of the people behind the scenes. Basically, who they are, what they do, and what they have the capabilities of doing.
We shot on-location at the wholesale produce market in downtown Los Angeles. L.A. is where I started my career as a professional photographer while going to school at the Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena. Our days started at 4am when the market was full of activity and energy. Their busy time is between 2am and 7am, although they are 24/7 operations. Dodging semi’s and forklifts before 6am proved to be more effective at waking me up than coffee.
Below are a few of the industrial photos and portraits that we got. Through black and white photos we were able to capture the grittiness desired for some of the warehouse and operations images, and with color, show the beauty and freshness of the product, along with the characters who make a living selling it.