Client: TXM Plant
TXM Plant is a national company servicing the rail/road construction sector. They support the maintenance and operational requirements of the UK's rail industry by providing tailored solutions, suitable for small-scale jobs to more complex projects.
The marketing team at TXM outlined a need for consistent professional imaging. Up until now, their image stock had been gathered from the workers at the various sites using their mobile phone cameras. This approach resulted in low quality, poor lighting, and an inconsistent style. The intention was to harmonise the look and use the pictures on specification worksheets that clients can download from the new website.
Another requirement was to create a high-impact 'Hero' style image to act as the front cover of their website. They want a dramatic image of one of their plant machines to carry the message and stand out from competitors.
Execution and Delivery:
Prior to the shoot, I completed a reccy at TXM Wigan site where we viewed their site facilities. We spoke about the health and safety requirements of the environment and undertook a pre-site induction. I identified 2 areas that we could work with. An area to shoot the machinery that was inside a service and repair garage, that way we could maintain consistency of lighting and control camera perspective. This would also ensure that it was repeatable when they had more plant machinery to photograph in the future.
For the spec sheet images, it was always our intention to remove any distracting backgrounds, so it didn't really matter what was behind the machinery. I just needed to make sure the area was large enough and clear enough to set up lighting to cover the area.
Looking at the 'Hero' shot location, we choose a test area outside. This area is used to simulate real-world work situations, so was the ideal spot to try to recreate the look we were after.
The shoot went fairly smoothly, with the odd hold up as expected with large construction machinery. For the plant machinery indoors we predominately used portable studio flash lighting. In large areas like garages and warehouses, it's almost impossible to flood the area with just flash, so we supplemented the scenes with the available ambient light, this has the added effect of lifting the shadow detail. The timelapse below gives you an idea of the area we were working in. We shot multiple angles of the rail machinery but settled on just one or two angles for inclusion into the spec sheets.
The exterior shoot was a little tricker as we had to work hard to exclude lots of extraneous plant accessories, the test bay was right next to a lay-down area. Ideally, this shoot would take place on a railway siding in a pretty location away from any other machinery or buildings, but that's not the life of an industrial photographer. Looking at the scene, I realised they'd be quite a bit of Photoshop retouching and made sure to outline this to the client. This style of photography requires treating each surface with studio flash and a large amount of layering and masking in post-production. Given that I'd be completing that already, I was pretty comfortable in removing the buildings and construction artifacts to create an image with a high impact.
This is the final image provided to the client. I chose a very low perspective to add drama and use the railway lines to be a suitable area to retouch above, the lines acting as a horizon and providing foreground interest. The clutter has been removed, replaced with a more aesthetically pleasing background.
These images were very well received by the client. The resultant hero images have been used widely in articles and magazine front covers across the rail sector. The client also left a very lovely testimonial too, see below.
We hired Greg for the photography of a number of our road-rail vehicles and attachments for use on our new website and various marketing materials. Greg was very patient in understanding our needs, ensuring a COVID secure environment, while being flexible on the day, working around our engineer's busy schedules. I had never worked on a professional shoot such as this, however, Greg had several great recommendations on the day to really capture our vision. The result was a number of fantastic hero images and stills for our specification sheets. We have since received great feedback from our customers and internally. On behalf of TXM, I would highly recommend Greg on his professionalism and level of expertise, and I look forward to working with him in the future.