White Background Product Photography

Sport is only second to religion in terms of group social passion.  We wear our teams colours with pride – it tells the world we’re part of a tribe.  There’s an emotional value invested in the brand which is the envy of many a business owner, politician or FMCG Product Manager.  What happens when the online merchandising channel is poor and doesn’t live up to the brands status?  You update.

What ever you are selling – you, your products or services, your company; one of the most effective ways to increase your online sales is good photography.  For online shops that begins with good consistent product catalogue photography – ie the minimum – your products on a clear white background – 9/10 they’ll then sit nicely on a web page and look good.

As part of the new Dragons online shop one of the core elements was to make sure the photography was consistent.  There were over 150 initial products to shoot – ranging from Dragons jerseys to bottle openers.

The white background effect was relatively easy with little products but was a challenge with a six foot mannequin. 

Technically it’s all to do with lighting and exposure you want your object correctly exposed; maybe a -2 stop to the left or right to create a sense of depth and your background +2 stops or above so that it’s over exposed (white).  If the background is too hot it will produce too much back rim light hitting your subject and blur your edges.  Even with my lighting optimised there was still time in Photoshop to dodge.  

Once you have that you can get more creative (equals more budget) and bring in story telling elements.

Dragons Merchandise

The Best You Can Be


Meet Miss Kathy Burns, she’s not only beautiful (looks and personality) but incredibly talented – she can sing, write scripts and perform.  But there’s always more than just looks, talent and skills – it’s what drives people that’s really interesting – what pushes them to be the best they can be – what’s their motivation.

Kathy has just got back from 5 weeks up in the Northern Territory making learning fun for indigenous kids in remote communities.  She’s also been selected as a singer in the Army Reserves to entertain the troops.  Her alter ego “Ava” is the CLIVEvideo Online Presenter Coach – her role to provide tips and tricks to help web presenters – whether Senior Executives; sports people, actors or small business owners – to deliver natural, warm, engaging, polished performances – to be the best you can be.  At the end of the day, a bit of polish increases website conversions.     

Kathy Burns - Presenter Coach

Boredom and The Art Of No

Have you ever left a movie theatre before the end of film; or stopped reading a book 1/2 way through it; maybe you’ve just got up walked away during a dinner date?  

Boredom, irrelevance, it’s just not interesting enough or relevant to earn your attention and engagement.  Yet in this information rich mobile connected age we are never (allow ourselves to be) bored.  

TEDxSydney – Genevieve Bell, Corporate Anthropologist

Recently named one of the top 50 most creative people in Business (Fast Company), Genevieve Bell is an Intel Fellow and director of the Interaction and Experience Research Group within the Intel Labs who leads an R&D team of social scientists, interaction designers and human factors engineers to drive human-centric product innovation in Intel’s consumer electronics business.

Every Moment Is Now #TEDxSydney

Last year I sat at home in my PJ’s by the fire and watched the TEDxSydney video stream, tweeting and blogging – inspired by Rachel Botsman, Sebastion Chan, Justice Kirby and others.  Afterwards set up a Google alert so I didn’t miss the event again. 

This year I’m there/ here/ live, camera, i-phone, open mind, excited for the day ahead.  The excitement is knowing that new seeds will be sown – new thoughts and threads – new inspirations which will influence not only my photography and writing but my businesses, my life, those around me, the way I think, the messages shared.

It’s interesting how in this digital age of short attention it’s the elements of being involved at live events – the “at the game experience” – that creates a heightened sense of involvement that brackets out your full day calendar.

There’s no just click away option – every moment is now – life’s like that 

#TEDxSydney & a large Winter swell

When you love something you don’t focus on the negatives – it’s an unconditional love.  For surfers it’s the perfect wave, for golfers the swing, for artists the realisation of the inspiration.   It could be said of many things – a parent seeing their child grow to be happy and successful; a gardener seeing their flowers boom; the business owner reaching a milestone; the doctor receiving a loving thank you note from a cancer patients child or TED – an idea worth spreading that changes perspectives and creates a groundswell.

So much news focuses on the negatives yet there are always positives.  

Tomorrow I’m going TEDxSydney with open eyes, ears and mind.   It feels like paddling out into a large winters swell.

MG and the King

Passion drives us to take risks and step outside our comfort zone – it’s hard to believe it was 20 years ago big Mark Geyer fronted up to King Wally Lewis during the 1991 State of Origin.

I love my Rugby League, it’s the game I grew up playing as a kid and into my late teens.  It’s a tough sport – it’s big hits without the pads, it toughens you up and teaches you lessons you don’t always learn is in school rooms (like proof reading). Things like if you throw a punch don’t be surprised to get punched back (and sometimes harder); that team work and common passion drives success.  Back then there was no big pay cheques and cotton-wooling of players in a protected bubble from the real world. 

On the eve of the NRL State of Origin clash between the NSW Blues and the Queensland Maroons – the Cockroaches and Cane Toads, this reenactment of classic Mark Geyer and Wally Lewis stoush – you can see the video here

If you don’t have passion for what your doing then stop wasting time and do something you enjoy.

MArk Geyer and Wally Lewis



Scott Maxworthy is a photographer, CEO of Internet Video Production company CLIVEvideo.com , digital strategy advisor to the St George Illawarra Dragons and long suffering Cronulla Sharks supporter.  You can connect with Scott on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin

It Always Depends On The Talent

To write a good article depends on the writers talent and skills – it’s usually a very solitary thing.
To get a good photo for a photoshoot I’d maybe shoot 100-200 shots in a 2-3 session depending on the model and if any other crew; from that I usually get a dozen or so “good shots”.  Then there’s roughly 1/2 an hour in Photoshop per image.  It always takes time and depends on the models talent and the photographers skills.  The more skilled you get the more automatically goes into the shot.
With professional video you shoot for a day – then allow a day’s edit to create a one minute clip – scriptwriters, actors and directors talent, editors skills, the much more people involved. 
For a 15-30 sec CLIVEvideo – there’s usually about two hours writing the script; up to an hour online presenter coaching; up to an hour and many takes to get a natural engaging delivery.  A professional presenter will deliver the script perfectly in 1 or 2 takes.  
It comes down to objective and conversion.
Everything depends on the talent, skills AND what results you want!