Richard Boll

Category Archives: Commercial Photography

Five Favourite Photography Projects from 2023

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Filed under Advertising, Advertising Photography, Commercial Photography, Corporate headshot photography London, Corporate Photography, Editorial Portrait, Fine Art Photography, Luxury product photography, Photography Projects

2023 gifted me with interesting and varied photographic shoots from still life to portrait, to corporate headshots and lifestyle photography. Here, I share five of my favourite photography projects from last year and the story behind each image.

Memento I – Still-life Photography

Fine art still life photography by Richard Boll from the project Memento.

In September, I stayed in a villa in the mountains of Majorca. Whilst there, I turned the spare room into an improvised photographic studio. It was a great space to work in as I could use the existing shutters and curtains to precisely control the level of daylight.

I explored the grounds of the villa for objects to use in a still-life project and found some citrus fruit in various states of decay. I loved the beautiful colours of the rotting fruit that went from almost black to deep purple through to burnt orange.

This still life photography project was inspired by Memento mori, an element of visual language used in classical painting for centuries to remind the viewer of their mortality.

I placed the images into antique picture frames as a reference to classical painting and successfully entered it into the South West Academy Open Exhibition in Sidmouth, Devon. A series of 10 photographs from this project were also entered into the Sony World Photography Awards.

2. Yarli Allison – Visual Artist Portrait Photography

A photographic portrait of the fine artist Yarli Allison taken in her studio in London.

Yarli Allison is an artist born in Canada, raised in Hong Kong and is currently based in London and Paris. Her artistry uses an interdisciplinary approach that crosses sculpture, installation, CGI, moving image, drawing, poetry, tattoo, and performance.

She has been a subject for a personal project I started in 2022, producing portraits of Visual Artists. As part of this project, I shot some studio portraits in a suitable space in her London studio. Allison organised her wardrobe, choosing a range of different outfits to wear. It was a collaborative and creative process working with Yarli, making mutually agreed decisions on ideas and approaches for the shoot.
It was particularly satisfying to have time to play and experiment with lighting and different approaches to portraiture with such a great artist.

This portrait of Yarli is one of my favourite images from the shoot. I love her wardrobe choice and I feel the image captures her profound strength of character and identity. You can see some of Yarli’s work on her website here.

3. The lasts of Thomas Patrick John Anson, 5th Earl of Lichfield – Still Life Photography

Fine art still-life photograph of the John Lobb wooden lasts of the 5th Earl of Lichfield.

John Lobb have been crafting exquisite bespoke footwear and leather goods for Royalty and celebrities alike for over 170 years. Central to their process is a pair of unique wooden lasts made to the exact specifications of the wearers’ feet.
In 1863, John Lobb received its first Royal Warrant after crafting a pair of riding boots for the then Prince of Wales. Since then, they have continued to craft bespoke footwear for ongoing generations of Royalty.

As part of a long-term project, I photographed the complete collection of significant John Lobb wooden lasts. It was great to photograph the lasts of Thomas Patrick John Anson, 5th Earl of Lichfield as part of the project. Known as Patrick Lichfield in his professional life, he joined the Grenadier Guards in 1959 and on leaving the Army in 1962, he began to work as a photographer’s assistant. He was asked to take the photographs of the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981, and went on to become one of the UK’s best-known photographers.

I used the same technical approach for this image as for the other photographs in the project, incorporating focus stacking to achieve a sharp image throughout the depth of field, from the top to the bottom of the wooden last. You can see more images from the project here. Original limited edition prints can be purchased here.

4. Swaine London 1750 – Still Life Product Photography

Still life product photography of luxury bags and an umbrella for The House of Swaine.

Swaine London, established in 1750, is one of the oldest and most prestigious luxury brands in the world, providing the finest handcrafted leather goods, hats, and umbrellas and supplying to the TV and movie industries since the 1950s. For example, Swaine have supplied Poet hats for every Indiana Jones film, including the original Herbert Johnson hat worn by Harrison Ford in ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ in 1981.

Swaine have commissioned my work as a luxury product photographer for a range of projects. This image featured on their website was from a shoot for their Christmas promotional campaign photographing a range of luxury leather products arranged into a still-life image. The shoot was a collaborative team effort working with the Art Directors from Swaine.

5. Newcore Capital – Corporate Lifestyle & Headshot Photography

Corporate lifestyle photograph taken for Newcore Capital in London by Richard Boll Photography.

Newcore Capital was founded in 2011 and is a Certified B Corporation. As a specialist investor in social infrastructure real estate in the UK, Newcore invests in assets that are integral to the needs of society. I’ve been commissioned to photograph several corporate portrait and lifestyle projects for Newcore Capital in the past.

In 2023, I carried out two Newcore corporate photography projects. The first was a corporate lifestyle shoot in the summer, and a range of different shots of staff in informal meetings were set up. It was an enjoyable and productive shoot, making the most of the natural daylight that was available.

The second shoot was a large-scale corporate headshot shoot at their London offices, producing headshots of every current employee in the company. You can see more of my corporate photography here.

See more photography projects I shot in 2023 including Derwent London and the OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie.

Cavendish rebranded from BECG Group commission fresh and up-to-date corporate headshot & lifestyle photography

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Filed under Birmingham, Commercial Photography, Corporate headshot photography London, Corporate Photography, Corporate Portraiture, headshots, Location Photography, London, Southampton

Cavendish

Cavendish (formerly the BECG Group) is a multi-award-winning communications consultancy that specialises in working with corporate and political organisations. Their recent rebrand has unified the Group’s four sub-brands: BECG, Cavendish Advocacy, Liberty One, and LoveThat, marking its journey to become a full-service international communications consultancy.

With a 150-strong team of consultants, their collective knowledge, abilities, and expertise span many different sectors, including Energy & Utilities, Infrastructure, Property, Health & Wellbeing, and Fast-moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).

By combining the company’s specialist corporate communications, public affairs, digital engagement, and creative services teams, the new Cavendish brand will offer its clients a fully integrated solution with the ability to deliver impactful, multi-discipline strategies and campaigns.

Corporate Headshot & Lifestyle Photography

Over 3 consecutive days, I visited the Cavendish Headquarters in London and two of their regional offices in Southampton and Birmingham. I produced a wide range of corporate headshots and lifestyle photographs of their employees that were commissioned to update and reflect their new branding.
The images that were generated combined a range of photography including staff working in their offices, having creative meetings, socialising, and going for walking meetings outside. I also took a range of corporate office lifestyle photography of office interiors and exteriors.

Day 1: Southampton

A man in an office in Southampton taken by corporate lifestyle photographer Richard Boll.

Day 2: London

Two women talking in an office in London in a photograph taken by corporate photographer Richard Boll.

Day 3: Birmingham

Corporate lifestyle photography of two people on a bench in Birmingham for Cavendish by Richard Boll.

The 3 day shoot

In all of the locations, we took pictures inside the offices as well as outside to get the benefit of natural light. During the shoot in London, we took photographs in Westminster due to Cavendish’s specialism in working with political organisations.

As part of this shoot, I also arranged for a hair and makeup artist who I’ve worked with before to be on hand for the headshot photographs. The headshots taken have multiple uses. Cavendish can use the images for their website, and also for LinkedIn profiles, presentations, promotional and marketing materials, editorials in magazines, etc.

A video crew was also in attendance on these shoots creating content at the same time. Combining two mediums to get moving footage and still images is a fairly common scenario on the corporate photography shoots I carry out.

A close-up photograph of marker pens in an office photographed by Richard Boll.

Corporate Lifestyle Approaches

There are two main approaches I tend to use for corporate lifestyle photography. One approach is to take ‘fly on the wall’, documentary-style photographs showing people naturally working at their desks or engaged in meetings around the office. The other is to set up mini scenarios which could be between 2 and 10 people. For example, arranging staff to sit together in a formal meeting, having creative conversations about specific projects, or social scenarios with colleagues meeting up for coffee or having breakfast in the offices. It’s good to mix up these photography approaches to show different sides of office life.

The 3 day shoot was really enjoyable and it was great working with the Cavendish team on this rebranding project, and to see the images being used so extensively throughout their website.

To find out more about the new Cavendish brand, visit their website and see more examples of my corporate lifestyle photography work.

Luxury Brand Product Photography: Diageo Present Eight Limited Edition Scotch Whiskies in Original Fine Art Print Boxes

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Filed under Advertising Photography, Commercial Photography, Product Photography, Studio Photography, Whisky photography

Diageo Luxury Limited Edition Whisky Presentation Box

I was commissioned by the boutique content marketing and digital commerce agency Precious Media, on behalf of Diageo, to take studio photographs of an exclusive luxury presentation box containing 8 limited edition whisky bottles. Diageo was founded in 1997 and is a global brand leader in premium drinks, known for products that include Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Guinness, Baileys and Captain Morgan. Only 20 whisky presentation boxes were produced. 10 were sent to the UK’s leading whisky critics and 10 were made available for sale. Each presentation box was created with 8 bespoke compartments, to hold one special edition miniature scotch whisky bottle inside.

Original fine art prints were specially commissioned by several talented artists to be featured on the outside of each drawer and whisky bottle. These designs are also included in the presentation box as limited edition prints.

Whisky presentation box photographed for Precious media and Diageo in Jet Studios in London.

8 Limited Edition Single Malt Scotch Whiskies

Each of the 8 whiskies have a unique flavour and character. The tasting notes for the whiskies are as follows:

1. Singleton: Delicate. Light. Perfectly balanced. Uniquely versatile.
2. Clynelish: Muscular and slightly peaty.
3. Oban: Elegant. Mature. Fruity flavours with rich peat smoke and spicy wood.
4. Talisker: From the Isle of Skye. Captures the elemental wildness and beauty of its birthplace.
5. Lagavulin: Intensely flavoured, smoky and rich.
6. Glenkinchie: Known as ‘The Edinburgh Malt’. Fragrant. Light. Subtle. Floral.
7. Mortlach: Known as ‘The Beast of Dufftown’. Bold flavour. Refined. Complex. Elegant.8. Roseisle: Light. Grassy spirit. Nutty. Malty.

Studio photography of whisky bottles for Precious Media.

The creative process & studio photoshoot

The one-day photoshoot took place at Jet Studios in Fulham, London. It was a collaborative team effort, working alongside several creative art directors and a product stylist. My photographic assistant, Lee Thompson, was also on hand to assist me with tethered shooting and studio lighting throughout the day. Before the whisky product shoot, several weeks of meticulous planning and preparation took place, to decide on the range of images needed on the day, including discussion on optimum lighting, backdrops and angles. There were also ongoing creative conversations on the day itself, to discuss the best approach for the brand photography and any minor changes required.

Close up whisky branding photography for Precious Media.

The brand shots were a combination of illustrative, e-commerce product photography against pure white backgrounds, and creative, stylised shots with a mixture of close-up images showing the finer details of the whisky bottles, and wider overhead photographs of the complete product set depicting the presentation box, 8 whisky bottles and fine art prints. The creative images were shot against a pre-painted backdrop the product stylist had prepared in advance. As the camera was tethered to a laptop, the client was able to remotely view the digital photographs in real-time as they were being produced, providing instant feedback and sign-off for each shot. This made for a highly efficient and collaborative approach to the studio photoshoot, where both the client and the agency were very happy with the final results.
It was a very successful shoot that was well-planned and executed with great lighting, styling and art direction.

Studio product photography of a bottle of whisky and a glass by Richard Boll.

 

The final images have been used on Malts.com. See more examples of my brand product photography work.

Hospitality Photography: London’s iconic OXO Tower Restaurant showcase delicious British menu, mouth-watering cocktails and stunning views

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Filed under Commercial Photography, Food photography, Hospitality photography, Lifestyle, lifestyle Photography, London

OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie

For over 25 years, the OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar and Brasserie has offered a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy memorable food and drink experiences, using only the best of British seasonal produce and serving the finest wines.
Situated on the 8th floor of the iconic OXO Tower on London’s South Bank, the restaurant boasts stunning views of St Paul’s and the river Thames. From birthdays and graduations to a romantic meal out, it’s the perfect setting for any special occasion with the views to match.

A member of staff at the OXO Tower Restaurant Bar and Brasserie in London with a tray of drinks.

Double Commission

I first shot promotional images for the OXO Tower Restaurant last summer and then again a few weeks ago. Both shoots were really enjoyable and generated some great content. The restaurant is a fantastic environment to photograph in. Due to its top-floor location and floor-to-ceiling glass windows, the natural light up there is great with nothing to block the view.
It’s a real gift to be asked to take photographs there and the staff are great to work with too. Typically, a shoot like this would take about 3 to 4 hours starting at around 6pm in the evening. I took a range of different photographic shots including still-life food and drink, documentary lifestyle, the interior space of the restaurant, and the outside terrace area.

Hospitality photography taken for the OXO Tower restaurant Bar and Brasserie in London by Richard Boll.

Food & Drink Photography

The food and drink photography shots were the most formal and composed, similar to taking a still-life photograph. It was an honour to take images of some stunning plates of food that had been specially created and prepared for the shoot by Executive Head Chef Jeremy Bloor.
I combined the approaches of photographing the dishes on a table set up for dinner and incorporating waiting staff holding plates of food. As well as delicious food, the restaurant is well known for its mouth-watering cocktails and I shot several composed images of these throughout the shoot.

Food photography at the OXO Tower restaurant in London by Richard Boll.

Documentary Lifestyle Photography

I always enjoy using a ‘fly-on-the-wall’, documentary photographic style here, as it gives a real flavour of the buzzy but relaxed atmosphere in the restaurant. For example, I photographed lifestyle shots of staff behind the bar making cocktails, kitchen staff preparing dishes and the waiting staff serving food and wine.

It’s always interesting shooting in a live, natural environment where there are customers and staff present. The atmosphere at the OXO Tower is great and really lively. Both of the shoots were dependent on the weather (especially the images taken on the outside terrace) but thankfully, I got lucky on both occasions and had natural sunlight and fantastic sunsets to work with.
I’m pleased to report these promotional images have been used throughout the OXO Tower Restaurant website, on their social media, and some of the images have also been featured on the Time Out website.

Drinks photographed in London by Richard Boll for the OXO Tower Restaurant.

Why not try the best of British menu yourself at the OXO Tower Restaurant and sample one of their famous cocktails? See more images from the promotional shoots.

 

How I started my career as a professional photographer.

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Filed under Commercial Photography, Editorial Photography, Photography career, Photography education, Uncategorised

portrait of the photographer Richard Boll in Bolivia

I’ve always loved photography.

It’s been a passion of mine since I was 16 years old. I knew then that I wanted to turn my hobby into a professional career. In 2005, I realised my dream and set up as a freelance commercial professional photographer. I often get asked for advice by budding photographers thinking about turning professional. Here, I share my personal journey and answer some of those questions.

Q: How did you get into photography?

I’ve had various cameras from an early age and always took pictures, but it was only a hobby at that stage. The turning point was meeting a teacher at school who was very passionate about photography. So much so, that he set up a darkroom in the school to give students the opportunity to find out what it was like to shoot film and produce prints. I started with black and white film, using a 35-mm SLR camera and I was hooked, especially producing prints in a darkroom. It’s a bit of a cliche, but to see the image appearing in the chemicals is spellbinding when you first start printing. Producing prints in the darkroom is something I really miss now because it’s just not practical for my commercial work. Digital is far more efficient, but I miss the certain unique elements of using film that are not always carried over into digital photography.

Q: Did you do any photography courses?

I started with a City and Guilds photography course that the teacher was running. He recognised there was sufficient enthusiasm in various students to set up an A-level and I progressed onto that course. It was a very good pathway into the rest of my education along with A-level Art. That combination set me up for my Art Foundation year, which then led on to a degree in photography.

Q: How did you transition from hobbyist to professional?

When I finished my degree at Edinburgh College of Art in 1999, I got a job as a Junior Technician at the college. I then progressed to a Senior Teaching Technician role. It was a great job because teaching the technical aspects of photography is very good for your own technical grounding and personal education. Whilst working there, I started to carry out small photographic jobs on the side. I picked up work for magazines shooting portraits, food, interiors, etc. When I left to become a full-time professional photographer, I already had a portfolio and that’s something I would encourage students to think about.

While you’re studying, think about what happens next. Consider the equipment you own, because a lot of photography students finish their studies and realise that they’ve been relying on the equipment from that course. Some students don’t even own a camera, whereas other students, even though it can be challenging, save up to buy some of the camera and lighting equipment that they need before they graduate. When they leave, they’re ready to hit the ground running.
Having a findable website is really key. You’ll have your professional portfolio online and can get found for the right keywords. That’s how I started to get work.

Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?

I’d advise shooting some black and white film and using a darkroom to produce at least one black and white print. It’s central to the language and roots of photography. There’s an ethos attached to shooting film, that can get lost with shooting digitally.
For example, if you’re using a large format camera, you can only shoot one sheet of film at a time. It might take 20 minutes to take one photograph, potentially a great deal longer. It makes you think about every element more carefully including focus, exposure and composition.

When you take two hours or more to produce a print in a darkroom, it’s a more meditative thought process. I’m not saying that level of thought can’t be applied to digital photography, but when you’re shooting high numbers of images on a digital camera, it’s possible to end up shooting pictures without engaging your mind to the same extent as when shooting large format photographs. Even though I don’t shoot film throughout my working life, I still shoot film for personal projects. I still hold on to that element of extra consideration and thought that it requires. That’s why I would recommend people starting out to shoot some film and produce prints in a darkroom.

Q: What tips would you give to budding photographers?

I would encourage young photographers to hit the books and do a lot of research. I found that really beneficial to my work. During my time at Edinburgh College of Art, I spent a lot of time in the library, working my way through lots of different photographers’ monographs, getting to know their images, and also reading in these books about their work, whether it was an interview or theoretical assessment by art critics. I found all of that research really valuable.

Assisting a range of different photographers is a good thing to do because you will learn different things from different people. I believe that carrying out personal projects, as well as professional work is really important too.

I encourage students to remember that there are many different types of photography you can carry out. Most people see photography as commercial, fashion, or press, whereas there are dozens of photographic roles available. I’m an editorial and commercial photographer, but there’s a need for forensic, archival, medical, and museum photographers for example.

Q: What’s been your career highlight?

My highlight was the combination of winning the Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize in 2006, which led to a commission from the National Portrait Gallery to shoot a portrait photograph of Sir David Attenborough.

Q: What challenges have you had in your professional career?

The challenge of working as a freelance photographer is the consistency of work. You can have ups and downs with very busy periods followed by lulls. When it’s relatively quiet, I try to appreciate having that time. If you’re busy with commercial work all the time, you can’t work on personal projects and I feel that’s really important.

Q: What’s the worst advice you’ve ever been given?

I was given many reasons not to become a professional photographer, such as I’d never be able to afford the equipment or go on holiday because I’d lose all my clients. It was very negative and pessimistic advice that luckily, I didn’t pay any attention to. I’d always wanted to become a professional photographer and turn my passion into an enjoyable, rewarding career.

Read the full story of ‘The Day I Photographed Sir David Attenborough’.

 

Studio furniture photography of Circo chair and Play Storage for The Senator Group

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Filed under Advertising, Advertising Photography, Commercial Photography, Editorial Photography, Furniture Photography, Product Photography, Studio Furniture Photography, Studio Photography

It’s always a pleasure to be commissioned as a product photographer to produce original images of new and innovative designs. The Senator Group has an ethos of innovation underpinned by beauty; a concept that is clear and present in all of the designs that they offer. I was commissioned to take studio furniture photography of two new furniture designs for The Senator Group that included the Circo chair (designed by Justus Kolberg) and Play Storage (designed by Senator’s in-house team). The product photography produced had editorial and advertising potential that creatively expressed the qualities of the designs. More of my product and furniture photography can be seen here.

Art directors: Edward Jonson and Carla Birtwistle
Assistant: Scott Hobson-Jones

Furniture photography of a chair designed by Justus Kolberg. Richard Boll Photography.

Furniture photography of play storage designed at Senator. Richard Boll Photography.

 

 

 

Lifestyle Photography for Wizzard Advertising Agency in London

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Filed under Advertising, Advertising Photography, Commercial Photography, Environmental Portrait, Lifestyle, lifestyle Photography, Location, Location Photography, London

I was recently commissioned as a lifestyle photographer by the London advertising agency Wizzard. The taxi company has taken the risks posed by Covid-19 very seriously and is taking significant measures to protect their customers in London. I was asked by Wizzard to source models for the lifestyle photography and suggest suitable locations in London. The models were then selected and the shoot was carried out in a relatively quiet square in Pimlico in London. Due to the prevalent risks posed by Covid-19 everyone on the shoot was observing social distancing and wearing PPE. More of my lifestyle photography can be seen here.

Taxi driver with PPE mask photographed by London-based photographer Richard Boll

London lifestyle photo shoot of a model with a taxi.

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Global Lifestyle Advertising Photographer for Campaign for Emirates Airline in Dubai

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Filed under Advertising, Advertising Photography, Airlines, Commercial Photography, Editorial Photography, Global Advertising, Lifestyle, lifestyle Photography, Location, Location Photography

I had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with the production agency xpogr in Dubai as a lifestyle advertising photographer for a new campaign for Emirates Airlines.

It was a five-day project, with one day for location scouting with the art director and producer, one day for a pre-production meeting to discuss and finalise all aspects of the lifestyle photography, followed by three days of photography in various locations around Dubai airport.
I flew from London to Dubai with Emirates who kindly provided me with a seat in business class. This was extremely comfortable, and the high level of service was exceptional!

The photographs for the advertising lifestyle campaign were taken in Emirate’s lounges throughout the airport, including the first-class lounge, the Cigar lounge, and various family-dedicated lounges, as well as their dedicated check-in desks, the Spa and the various Emirates dining areas. The campaign was hugely enjoyable and was deemed a great success. I very much look forward to working with xpogr as a lifestyle advertising photographer again soon.

More of my lifestyle photography can be seen here.

london lifestyle advertising photography for emirates airline global campaign

advertising-lifestyle-photograph-of-child-playing-a-computer-game

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London Chauffeur Service commissions Richard Boll as a Product and Lifestyle Photographer

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Filed under Advertising, Advertising Photography, Commercial Photography, Corporate Photography, lifestyle Photography, Location, Location Photography, London

I was recently commissioned by Wheely as a product and lifestyle photographer to produce images for marketing, editorial use and social media for their London chauffeur service. The commission involved a detailed recce of various locations in London prior to the shoot, and liaising with producers, stylists and models regarding the logistics and timings of the shoot.

The company Wheely has launched a luxury ride-hailing app, offering a chauffeur service in London. It is an online service for ordering luxury and executive rides, from licensed and carefully selected drivers. The Wheely chauffeurs all have tested knowledge of London geography and have several years of executive driving experience. The rides are paid for with a credit or debit card linked to a user’s account. The license has been approved in London until 2023.

More of my lifestyle photography can be seen here.

 

Driver in Wheely Mercedes in London

Driver with Mercedes welcoming his passengers using the London chauffeur service.

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Location Lifestyle and Furniture Photographer for AXYL Range of Furniture in London

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Filed under Advertising, Commercial Photography, Furniture Photography, lifestyle Photography, Location, London, Product Photography, Studio Photography

The AXYL collection is a collaboration between Layer Design and the British furniture brand Allermuir. The range comprises of furniture pieces each fully made from reclaimed materials.
It is the first time the London-based designer has collaborated with Allermuir. I was commissioned as a studio furniture photographer and location lifestyle photographer in London in a joint commission from both Layer and Allermuir. Produced with editorial and advertising potential, the images have been published across various design industry platforms including Dezeen, Domus, Urdesign and Designboom.

The studio product photography for Layer was carried out at Holborn Studios in London.

To see more of my furniture photographer work click here.

 

AXYL white table and chairs in still life product photography studio. Furniture Photographer Richard Boll.

AXYL chairs in London product photography studio. Furniture Photographer Richard Boll.

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