Interview part 1
Owen Raggett specialises in design photography and he uses his expertise to create a visual narrative. This involves creating images for product design, interior design and architecture that tell a brand’s story. His photos capture space and light to express the unique character of a brand, and to connect it with the mindset of its customers.
“As a photographer, I help create a visual narrative that expresses a brand’s personality and brings it to life.”
Interview part 2
Less plastic, more honest
“The development in design photography the last five years in Europe has been towards working more with natural conditions, instead of staging everything as if it’s the next Star Wars film. People want a good story, but they are increasingly looking for the down-to-earth approach in the way a brand is represented. Images have become less plastic and more honest, especially those catering to the mindset of discerning, repeat customers. Truthfulness and taste are the key values. Which means that overly photoshopped images that don’t give you an idea what a place, product or person really looks like are generally dismissed as spin.”
Stripped back design
“A design development I find interesting is the stripped back, deconstructed urban feel you see more and more in restaurants. People don’t want flamboyant or ostentatious statements anymore. They appreciate the concrete floors, exposed ceilings and interesting artwork, or well-designed chairs and tables.
Interview part 3
Don’t mess with your roots
Outdoor lifestyle images also have to be both believable and interesting. So it’s important to use a few minimal touches; to avoid over-propping or over-stylizing, and lots of supplemental lighting. It’s a very different aesthetic. My favourite analogy is blues music: with blues you strip everything away until there’s nothing else that you could remove without it being detrimental. So you have the absolute bare bones. Once you’ve done that, you can then think about adding a few things in very selectively. But you don’t want to mess with your roots.”
Leaving in the rough edges
“For the OASIQ shoot we were at a beautiful natural location, and when it turned out that the weather was atrocious most days, we incorporated the conditions into the result. This makes the images feel authentic, believable. So we didn’t postpone the shoot, we just photographed between the showers and left in the rough edges. It’s not postcard perfect, but it is real outdoor life.”