photographs from northmodern

Generally I really want to take my own photographs at an event like northmodern. Sometimes designers and companies, quite rightly, look concerned … without doubt there are sharks cruising the aisles looking for the idea or even the whole concept to steal and get out fast and cheap and they all have cameras … so I spend quite a bit of my time explaining why I’m interested and why I’m taking photographs.

There are now usually links to a design web site with high-quality publicity shots but often I want to photograph from an odd angle … not to publish an odd photograph but because it is a note to remind me about something or some detail I really liked about a design. And of course, at an event like northmodern, you are seeing so many things in such a short space of time that taking a photo of a name tag or brand logo helps with getting thoughts and impressions sorted out later.

Also, a company’s publicity photo may look too like a magazine shoot and often a slightly less flattering view is more like the appearance the piece will have in a home … when it’s out there in the real world. 

buhtiq31 - the Dutch group of designers were super professional with their information pack which included a plastic clip holding together business card, postcard and information sheet but the clip was also a memory stick with details about the designers, great photos and a look book. As an aside … this is how it should be done: not the specific details of how it was done by buhtiq31 but the level of professionalism - these days there can be absolutely no excuse for using a poor type face or a cheap paper because if that’s what a designer does, however good their product, poor presentation inevitably undermines their credibility.

Of course there are always problems trying to take photographs in a situation like this … not least odd lighting because, for instance, you can’t ask someone on an adjoining stand to turn off a light because it's creating an odd shadow. Yesterday I had just focused on a stool and it was the right angle of view and there was no one walking behind in weird shoes and at that point a bloke walked up, turned the stool through 90 degrees and plonked his back side on it … but how could I complain? He was clearly a buyer and I am clearly not. I never did get the photo.

One photograph I did get yesterday was on the Menu stand. This is the WM Dining Chair designed by Studio WM - the team of Wendy Legro and Maarten Collignon from Rotterdam. I’ve just said I go for the in-your-living-room shot and of course this is anything but that … do you stand your chairs in splendid isolation against a soft-focus mirrored surface in your living room? … thought not ... but even I can’t help but feel chuffed when sometimes I get an arty shot.