Voyage + Heart

Product Photography for Article & Goods: Small-Batch Everyday Luxury for the Modern Individual

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Sam Chen is the designer and founder of Article & Goods, an independent brand offering premium, genderless leather products without the retail makeup typically seen by those in similar industries.

In a market flooded with poorly-made leather goods, faux leather which does not stand the test of time, overly branded accessories covered in monograms and embellishments, or designer goods that cost an arm and a leg, Sam saw that there was a void that could be filled. It was in this moment, in June 2015, that Article & Goods was born. Placing a high value on diversity, open-mindedness, inclusion, and fair trade, they offer to the world well-made and well-designed leather essentials.

Often times, retailers will mark up their product by 8x to 10x it’s value, but Article & Goods wants to be the change. Disrupting the leather industry, they’ve taken on a business approach that shortens the supply chain and removes the middle-man, allowing them to offer fair and honest pricing for the consumer without sacrificing on quality. Working with genuine leather because of its quality and longevity in comparison to vegan leather (its plastic counterpart), Article & Goods is meticulous about the details, hand-selecting all materials to meet the highest standards. They’ve partnered with a small, reputable factory in Guangzhou, China that prioritizes craftsmanship. Seasoned and skilled leather artisans handmade each product in small batches so as not to overproduce, thereby limiting waste.

Intentional in their designs, every item is refreshingly simple, functional, and made to last. Removing the unnecessary bells and whistles that are heavily overused by many designer brands, the clean lines of these products are a minimalists dream!

While visiting their website you might be lucky enough to stumble upon a Second Quality Sale. Rolled out three years ago, you can choose from a limited number of pieces showing minor cosmetic defects and variances, up for grabs at a generous discount! You can also gain access to early-bird pricing by pre-ordering new arrivals. This helps fund production, as well as gauge how many units are needed, so as not to create a surplus — a far cry from fast-fashion brands who mass produce and end up with piles of unsold merchandise.

A hybrid of Japanese-zen-minimalism and Scandinavian style, one look will tell you that Article & Goods is heavily influenced by architecture, sculptural designs, shape, and lines. Keeping this in mind while planning their photos, I incorporated lots of texture, walls (a go-to for their visuals), and neutrals (grey tones in particular) to blend seamlessly with their brand aesthetic.

Worth every penny, support Article & Goods by browsing their shop or following them on Instagram. Or visit their sibling brand, Thesis of Alexandria — a women's demi-fine jewelry brand which Sam started 7 years ago prior to starting Article & Goods.

YOU DESERVE BEAUTIFUL, INTENTIONAL, COHESIVE IMAGERY THAT SHOWS OFF THE QUALITY OF YOUR PRODUCTS!

Have an online shop? Are you launching a new product? Just need an updated set of photos to share on your website, store, blog, or social media accounts?

Your business is only as professional as the images you represent it with, and in today’s world of entrepreneurship, strong photography is a must-have! Why? Because first impressions matter, and when your imagery is high-quality, your audience perceives your products and brand as high quality. When you run a product based business, investing in professional photography should not be negotiable! It’s a necessity, and if you want your business to grow, including it in the budget needs to be a priority.

Don’t know where to start? How about right here! I’d love to work closely with you to style and photograph on-brand imagery that elevates your online presence, so that you can convert visitors to paying clients, make more sales, and spend more of your valuable time living the life you imagined! If you’re ready to tell the world that your business isn’t just a hobby, but offers value, drop me a message telling me about your needs, and let’s work together to fulfill them!

Slow Fashion: Well Worth The Wait

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Have you ever heard the saying “good things come to those who wait”?

This outfit taught me about patience, and reaffirmed the importance of shopping with slow, conscious brands.

Unlike fast fashion labels, where garments are pre-produced and shipped out as quickly as possible, slow fashion brands take their time and do things right. They produce garments that are timeless, meaningful, and of quality, using materials that are more friendly to their health and the environment.

When I order from slow-fashion brands, I don’t expect to receive a notification one day later saying my order has been processed and is on it’s way to me. I understand that being made-to-order there may be a longer wait before receiving my items (these pants, for example, took six weeks before being ready to ship). It’s a small price to pay when you have the opportunity to support small brands that prioritize an ethical working environment, produce only as needed, and minimize waste.

The end result? Well worth the wait!

My outfit was made with love and care by women who I know love what they do, are treated fairly, and who run their business with intention. And now I have a garment that I will treasure for years to come, and that reflects my values and style.

Moral of the story?

Two day delivery isn’t all that it’s cracked up do be, and if you’re willing to slow down, it could result in something so much more special! 

Now Offering Additional Licensing Options For Product Photography Clients

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The images provided to my clients are typically more than enough for the day to day, as they can be used in a multitude of places to help share the story of the brand and attract customers, such as their website, shop, blog, and social media accounts!

That said, it recently came to my attention that a client needed photos for a third party’s e-commerce site. Despite doing my best to offer solutions, and taking into account my workload and the very short timeframe I was presented with, I was unable to accommodate their requests in a way that satisfied both of our requirements. Being that my goal is always to serve my clients, fulfill their needs, and provide a positive experience beyond any expectations, I knew I had to create a plan for the next time this scenario presented itself.

In an effort to always continue improving, I’ve spent blood, sweat, and tears (time, money, and a whole lot of effort) working around the clock, talking to the right people, educating myself further on extended types of licensing, and learning new programs, so that the next time a client finds themselves in this situation, I have an answer ready to go and can help them right away!

If you find that you need more usage rights than those included in the base price of your chosen collection (for example, on the e-commerce website of retailers that may sell your products), simply make a note in your email to me — you’ll receive a custom and fair quote based on industry standards to license the image(s), so that you can use them in the ways your business requires.

Some of the factors that may be considered are:

+ Number of images (quote based per image)
+ Size of the image
+ Whether the image will be used in print or online
+ Scenario (e-commerce, ad, educational products, etc)
+ Length of license

Not every business needs extended use out of their images — the majority of my product photography clients come to me simply needing content for their website and social platforms — so to keep my services as accessible as possible, this will be an add-on option only. You may also be happy to know that licensing may be purchased at any time, so if you’re a past client who’s already received your images, but suddenly need to use them for commercial reasons in a way not previously approved, just let me know. I’m always happy to help!

Communicating your needs to your photographer is incredibly important, and helps ensure they are fulfilled. I genuinely want to thank the client referred to in this post for providing me with your feedback — because of it, I was able to make the changes necessary to better my experience!

My mission, my why, is to help every brand I work with thrive by providing them with professional, high-quality imagery that strengthens their brand, converts visitors into paying clients, and provides value. I hope that this new offering is one more way I’m doing just that!

Is there anything you want to know about copyright, print release, and licensing? If so, send me an email to submit your questions. I’m working on a detailed blog post, which I’ll be sharing in the near future, about the differences between these types of usage rights, why they may or may not apply in your scenario, and how to make certain that you’re able to use the images in the ways your business calls for!