My Favorite Product Photography Photoshoots

Inspiration

Now that #socialdistancing is the new norm, weddings and music festivals are cancelled, and most of my photography jobs are postponed, I’ve been brainstorming ways to keep practicing photography at home. One really creative way to do that is through product photography.

I’ve been doing product photography for quite awhile now, starting when I moved to NYC a few years ago. In between my freelance jobs, I’d reach out to brands and trade them product for a studio photoshoot. Luckily, now I actually get paid to do product shoots, which is awesome! So on that note, I thought I’d compile a mega blog post with my favorite product shoots I’ve done over the years.

Most of these shoots I’ve done in my apartment, but some were on location in stores or studios. You’ll notice that I love to shoot food and desserts, and that’s because I usually get to eat them after the shoot, hehe. I also shoot fashion and lifestyle products, and really anything that can be photographed in a fun and vibrant way. I try to keep that theme throughout, so my still life work still matches my portrait work.

And now, without further ado, here are my favorite product photoshoots from the past few years.

Fruition Chocolate Collab

Fruition is an awesome chocolate company with colorful packaging that was lots of fun to photograph. You can check them out here.

RDKL Skincare

I had a lot of fun adding sprinkles to this line of skincare products, and of course I went with a pink aesthetic for this shoot. Check out their website right here.

Cookie Do NYC Shoot

I’ve done a few shoots for Kristen Tomlan of Cookie Do NYC, but this one at their downtown location was my favorite! We spent all day creating flatlays and various cookie combinations for their social media and website. Check out their delicious creations here.

Babeland Toys Photoshoot

I have to say, I’ve had the absolute best time working with Babeland in NYC. I’ve done two shoots for them. The first was at my apartment, and the second was at their Soho location. They are always down for super bright and colorful shoots that convey fun and playfulness. Have a look at their website here.

Taste Republic

Last year I helped Taste Republic kick off a huge rebrand for their products and packaging. They wanted intricate flatlays of their various pastas for the website. They were also open to the idea of movement and GIFs, which I LOVE making when the opportunity presents itself. Grab some of their pasta right here.

DL 1961

This is an upscale denim company based in NYC and a few years ago I did a quick shoot for them at their storefront in the city. Have a look at their website here.

Hammond’s Ice Cream

I found Hammond’s when I was in San Diego and I asked if they would want to do a shoot for social media. They loved the idea so I went in for the day and got some great shots. And yes, they let us eat any of the ice cream we wanted. It was heaven. Get a taste of their offerings right here.

The Cookie Club

The Cookie Club is a new bakery that opened in my hometown this year. I wanted to practice shooting dessert, so I went in for a test shoot at their location and I love how adorable the shots turned out. PS their cookies are delicious. Head to their website here.

TheSmartFashionistas Makeup Line

A friend in NYC had a new line of cosmetics being released, and she asked me to take some product photos for the website. You can check it out right here.

Baked in Color Cookies

I stumbled upon these stunning cookies in Columbus Circle one day and thought, “I have tho photograph them.” They were also down for the idea, so it worked out perfectly! Check out Baked in Color here.

Ona Bars

I shoot various social media content for Ona Bars every year. I usually do lifestyle images for them, but for the last shoot they asked for studio shots. It was really fun getting all the ingredients together and playing around with the compositions for these. Check out Ona here.

Miscellaneous

As I was digging through the archives to find all these photos, I stumbled upon some other photos that weren’t for full shoots, but were still cool product shots, so I wanted to include them to because I love how vibrant they are! Again, the majority of these images were photographed on the floor of my apartment, so I hope that helps you realize that the possibilities for what you can create at home right now are nearly limitless!

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favorite product photography photoshoots I’ve done lately, and maybe it has inspired you to try some at-home photoshoots as well! If you need some ideas, have a look at my self portrait series I created this May. I’d also love to connect with you on my Instagram, and make sure you head over to YouTube to check out my Gaby Answers Questions series, and for my full photography portfolio, you can go to my website to see lots more sparkly and fun imagery. Lastly, for more content like this, subscribe to my email newsletter! Every few months, I send out latest projects I’ve been working on, photo tips, and inspiration images. If you have any questions about any of the above photos, or any photography questions in general, email me at gdeimz@gmail.com. Thanks for reading!

Faddy Mag Feature

Inspiration

I submitted some images to the Italian publication Faddy Mag to be featured and they were released in the latest issue for May! It came out today and I’m so excited to share the shots with you guys.

These were images that I collaborated on with some of my British friends (including my bestie Sara!) while I was in London. We took the train out to Brighton Beach for the day and did this shoot. The bird image on the second page is one of my all-time favorite photos.

You can check out the spreads below, and the entire magazine here (my images are on pages 20-25!)

Image Credits:

Photographer: Gaby Deimeke

Model: Steffi Green

Makeup Artist: Emilie Mahglam

Wardrobe: Megan Knape

Creative Director: Sara Barrow

Here’s a Quarantine Freebie!

Inspiration

Today someone messaged me and asked if she could use one of the photos I had recently posted as her phone background, which gave me the idea for a little freebie–because hey, we’re in quarantine and sprinkles make things better.

Here are two computer background freebies:

You can download the cake pop picture here and the cookie picture here. And two phone background freebies:

The three cookies image is here and the closer cake pop shot is here. Enjoy these sweet photos and try not to get hungry while you look at them 😉

These are from a photoshoot I did this week with The Cookie Club and the sweets they have are absolutely delicious! If you’re in the Mid-Missouri area, I highly recommend you stop by and check it out!

If you use one of these photos as your background, take a screenshot and send it to me at @gdeimz on Instagram. Hope everyone is having a good week and staying safe out there!

xx gaby

Grace and Colin’s Engagement Shoot

Inspiration, wedding photography

I officially had my first social distancing photoshoot this weekend, and I have to say that it was so refreshing to finally be out shooting again! I hadn’t realized how much I missed my job until I was out in a field with Grace and Colin, lol!

I was also excited to try out some new presets I’ve been tweaking, and they turned out so fabulous with the nature-y backdrop (thanks Missouri!). Check out my favorite shots from the shoot here:

The Badass Women Gallery Show in NYC ROCKED!

Inspiration

On March 7, 2020 I hosted a gallery show highlighting the 55 portraits of female founders, entrepreneurs, creators and do-ers that I had been photographing for the past year and a half in New York City. It was a big undertaking for me, and I can’t believe it happened! Let me start off by saying that I was super nervous for this event. It’s my first gallery show in NYC and the first solo event I’ve hosted here, so I wanted it to go well! It worked out perfectly that the next day was International Women’s Day, and March is International Women’s Month, so we were feeling all the girl power vibes that weekend.

Before the event we had to get some takeout from down the street. Huge shout out to my dad, my friend Shane, and my roommate Lauren for helping set up all day. They rock. I also made a video tour of the show, which you can check out here:

This is the first wall finally completed. It took about four hours to hang this side, and about two hours to hang the other side. Most of the time was spent figuring out the math for the rows and decided how to hang the command strips. Once we had everything laid out and the first few rows done, it was a piece of cake! (And yes if you’re wondering, all 55 frames and a few spares were in my tiny New York apartment for about three weeks leading up to the event. It was crazy.)

We also set up a networking wall called the Give and Take wall, where people could write Post-It notes for things they could offer, a service they could provide, or something they were looking for. Folks could take Post-It notes if there was something they could help with. By the end of the event, the wall was totally covered with Post-It’s, which was so awesome to see!

Here’s a couple photos of me getting excited once we had the posters outside hung up. Shout out to Lauren for curling my hair and helping me hang the posters, and a big thank you to Jenessa, the owner of the space, for being so helpful throughout the process of hanging the work and coming in clutch when we forgot the wine opener (oops!).

Did anyone catch my Taylor Swift quote on the show info poster? I had to sneak that in since she’s one of my role models as a badass woman herself! I was also excited to see that many people were using the #BadassWomenNYC hashtag on social media with photos and videos from the show!

And suddenly it was time for the event to start! The gallery show was open from 7-10pm, and it was surprisingly packed almost the entire time. That really blew me away. I really felt the support of so many badass women who showed up to see the show! It was a huge relief once all the frames were hung, and I could just relax and talk to all the guests that attended!

I have to give a huge THANK YOU to our drink sponsors, T Edward Wines! They donated a case of delicious sparkling wine for the event, so of course we had to do a celebratory pop at the beginning of the event.

One personal highlight of the night for me was when my cousin Adrianne and her fiancee Tyler surprised me. They flew into NYC from Chicago to come to my gallery show! It was such a sweet moment, and I’m so glad I got to share the event with them.

Then around 8pm, it was time to give my speech! I always get a little nervous with public speaking, but I felt good about this one because I could just explain the story of how the project came together without having to rehearse it too much. I also had my friend Anisa Benitez say a few words about the importance of the representation of women in the media right now. I think she totally nailed it. You can watch the full speech below:

I really couldn’t believe the turnout. The show was packed the entire night! One thing that people kept telling me is how inspiring it was to see all the photos and quotes together. I’m so glad that I could shine a light on so many amazing women that are making the world a better place, and inspire folks in the process! Empowering women is so important to me, and I love that I get to use photography to do that! I made so many new connections, and I hope everyone else did too.

The Post-It wall was totally covered by the end = total success!

And let’s not forget the #BadassWomenNYC balloon wall that people loved getting their photo taken with! Gotta do it for the ‘Gram! This will definitely be at future events, because it was such a popular element that everyone wanted to take photos of (myself included).

And of course I have to give a big shout out to these ladies, who have been a huge support to me over the past two years in NYC. I could not have done it without them!

Lauren also made a quick little video recap of the show, which you can check out here:

To everyone that came to the show and checked it out, to everyone that let me photograph them for the series, to my friends and family that have supported me throughout this process, thank you all so much! This show meant so much to me and I’m grateful for your encouragement.

Lastly, I’m continuing the series and expanding it to San Diego and Austin this year! So on that note, feel free to fill out this form highlighting a Badass Women who you think should be included!

Check out this page on my website for all the portraits and quotes from the women and more updates on the project, and make sure to subscribe to my email alerts to be the first to know about future shows!

Badass Women Gallery Show

Inspiration

I’m so excited to announce my art gallery show happening this March in NYC! The event is called Badass Women, and it will feature 50 portraits of women entrepreneurs and female founders in NYC that I’ve photographed over the past year. It will also be a great networking opportunity and is free and open to the public. Feel free to share with your friends and network! You can check out the attached poster, the Eventbrite page, and the fb page for all the details. 

You can learn more about the project at my website or on Instagram. Thanks so much and looking forward to seeing you there!

How To Make A Successful Pitch

Inspiration, photography tips

Today I’m going to explain how to pitch an idea to a brand. A pitch is basically a proposal or idea that you have for working with a company, in exchange for a trade, collaboration, or to be paid. This can often be a great deal for both parties, because you can offer your services and trade the company for whatever you’re looking for–from a free night’s stay at a hotel to a music festival ticket to clothes from a particular brand you love.

Pitching to organizations or businesses can be really intimidating, but it’s not as hard as you think. In my experience, if you have a solid idea and approach the business thoughtfully, they are very likely to work with you. Here’s what I do!

1. Formulate an Idea & Decide Who To Pitch To

The first thing you need to do is come up with an idea. Something a lot of people don’t realize is you can brainstorm ideas for projects on your own and pitch them to any brand or business, and they might say yes! I do this all the time with brands that are aligned with mine, and it’s a great way to collaborate, extend my outreach, and get awesome products. In the past, I’ve pitched doing photoshoots for social media for food brands such as YumButter, Ona, and EPIC. I’ve asked for a free ticket to a music festival in exchange for photos, a night’s stay at a hotel, and I’ve pitched clothing and product brands in exchange for free swag.

The options are essentially endless, as long as you make sure that the brand you’re reaching out to aligns well with yours. If you do all portrait photography, asking a food company to shoot product shots wouldn’t make much sense. If you’re a wedding photographer, asking for concert tickets isn’t very likely to work. Start thinking of brands you interact with on a daily basis–ads you get as you scroll social media, products in stores you shop in, etc. Once you know the brand you want to work with, come up with a pitch idea that relates to your and their brand. Don’t be vague. Have a specific idea in mind, like planning to pitch a Valentine’s Day lifestyle shoot to a flower company, or an on-the-go shoot for a granola bar brand.

2. Put Together a Pitch Deck

The next step is to create a pitch deck, which is basically a proposal that you create for the company you want to work with. This doesn’t have to be a 20-page document. It can be as simple as 3-4 pages containing the synopsis of the idea, examples of your previous work, and a mood board for the shoot. You should include your information, a link to your portfolio, the concept, and what you’re looking for in the trade.

Taking a little bit of time to create an aesthetically pleasing pitch can really go a long way in getting brands to notice you. Many people simply message a business on Instagram DM or drop them an email, so if they open yours and you have a PDF that looks like you’ve invested more than 5 minutes creating, that immediately makes you stand out.

3. Curate a Thoughtful Email

Draft an email to the brand and attach the pitch. Then give a summary of your idea in the body of the email. Here are a few questions that your email should answer:

  • Who are you and what do you shoot?
  • What is your project or idea about?
  • Are there any important dates/deadlines (i.e. if the shoot is Valentine’s Day themed and time sensitive)?
  • How will you do it?
  • Where did the creative inspiration come from?
  • Why should we feature this?

I’ve attached a few proposals that I’ve recently created to give you an idea of what to create. Canva is a great free resource that let’s you create proposals and PDFs, so if you haven’t tried it yet, I’d highly recommend it. This first pitch is for Getaway House, a brand that focuses on adorable tiny cabins for people to rent to get out of the city. I asked to trade a photoshoot of 20 images for one night’s free stay. They ended up accepting my proposal.

This was a really fun one. I saw Babeland stores around NYC and loved the pink theme. Since that’s super on-brand for me, I reached out and told them I’d love to do a shoot in exchange for free product. Not only did they love the idea and the resulting photos, but they later hired me to shoot a campaign for them. So, it can also be awesome exposure.

This pitch was for a contest for a free music festival ticket at Electric Forest in exchange for photography. You can get creative with it too! Who said a proposal had to be one paragraph of dull text? Make it colorful, exciting, inviting. Along with the pitch PDF, I also included a video. The requirements didn’t even ask for one, but I wanted to introduce myself and make myself stand out from the group!

Check out the video below:

Making the video took about 2 hours, and it gave me a huge leg up in the competition. Which do you think the judges will remember more, a one-page piece of paper with writing or a vibrant multi-page PDF with a fun video with graphics bouncing around?

I hope this sparks your inspiration and gets you excited about collaborating with other brands. Good luck and happy pitch creating! If you liked this article, make sure to have a look at my website,  InstagramYouTube and Pinterest!  Tag me @gdeimz on social if you make any pitch decks using these techniques!

The Pursuit of a Creator

Inspiration

As I was walking home from shooting another concert around the backdrop of New York City skyscrapers who’s lights had been turned out for the night, I couldn’t help but feel how tired I was. Like physically feel the exhaustion overwhelm me to my toes. I had back-to-back days of shooting and not enough sleep, and I felt the weight in my feet with every step that I dragged myself toward the late night–or early morning, depending on your perspective–subway, massive camera bag in tow.

“Gaby, why do you do this to yourself?” my brain blurted out melodramatically amongst the few taxicabs rushing by to pick up any stray partiers trying to get home. I paused for a second to think about that while I waited for the walk sign at a stoplight on 9th Avenue and 57th Street. Why the heck do I do this? And that’s when the answer occurred to me, plain as day and more clearly than ever before.

It’s true, I’m tired and worn out constantly. My friends joke about how I never sleep, how I’m a workaholic and never learned the meaning of rest or a work-life balance. They’re right. I am working myself ragged. I’m so worn out at night that I collapse into bed because I’ve been giving my all every day, while simultaneously creating the most I ever have in my entire life. I’m using my creativity in ways a younger me would have only dreamed of. I’m freaking fatigued and kind of proud of it.

Here’s why: It’s because I love what I do more than I hate being tired. I love the act of creating, designing, constructing, discovering, imagining, actualizing, making art. I do it all day long and I never get bored of it. Being creative puts me in a total flow state, and when I’m in that zone, I don’t even feel worn down. Being locked in on my craft gives me an outpouring of energy unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It feels like an avalanche of excitement and energy flowing through my veins, a feeling that I cannot explain or replicate. This is the pursuit of a creator.

Which brings me to my second point: I’m trying to be the best the fastest. Leveling up requires sacrifice, and work, and heaps of hustle every day even when you’re running on four hours of sleep, your inbox is overflowing and everything is getting a little overwhelming. It requires persistence and dedication, and those are the deciding moments where you either give in and give up, or buckle down and get back to work. There’s a level of mental fortitude you have to possess to keep at it, and most people don’t get it or want it. But the ones that do, man, they’re the change makers. They leave the comfort zone seeking growth, with an intoxicating hunger for improvement, for progress, to be the best.

Why am I even talking about this? I guess it’s just to say that if you, too, have a deep, deafening passion and are trying to get great at something, if you love something so much that you’re willing to work on it indefinitely, if you’re shooting for a thing that will take every once of your energy, this is just your reminder that you got this, that you made it this far, that you’re right where you’re supposed to be. Keep at it, and hustle the hell out of life to get where you’re going.

I’m striving for greatness, and tonight that looks like dragging myself onto the subway, twisting the key into the narrow door of my apartment, crashing into my blanketed bed. And when I wake up in the morning, guess what I’ll be doing? You guessed it, getting right back at it, damnit.

Which brings me to my final secret, the most important one of all and the one we always seem to forget: We have a finite amount of time. Whatever you do, use your time wisely. Feel that heartbeat in your chest right now? It’s thumping away even as you read this, as you decide what to make of your gifts and talents. To my doers and dreamers, do me a favor and use the energy and intensity that you have. Use it all and as much as you can, as often as you can. Don’t let it go to waste. I know I sure as hell won’t.

Pink Photoshoot Locations in NYC

Inspiration, photography tips

If you’re like me, you might be kinda obsessed with the color pink. One of my favorite pastimes is wandering around New York and finding perfect pink spots to set up photoshoots. So, I thought it would be awesome to compile all the information into one article. After two years of exploring, here are my personal recommendations for the best pink photoshoot locations in NYC.

Museum of Ice Cream

The Museum of Ice Cream is a fabulous playground in NYC for all things ice cream related. As an added bonus, the entire building is painted head to toe with pink pastels. We spent almost three hours exploring and taking tons of pictures, and it’s a super fun activity for an afternoon. We went on a weekday, which was way less busy than the weekends.

Cha Cha Matcha

This pink matcha heaven also doubles as a great spot to grab a drink or even some soft serve! They have multiple locations, but the biggest one with the pink doorway is the 1558 Broadway location. This just proves that we love pink so matcha!

M Tea

M Tea just opened up in Flushing, Queens, and it is a lovely space that does not disappoint. It will take you some time to trek to Flushing from the city, but I promise it will be worth it for the amazing photos! It’s a two story building that includes clusters of pink chair pods, a massive pink hot air balloon that ascends to the ceiling, and a pink phone booth upstairs. I had the pink smoothie (big surprise) and it was as delicious as it was pink!

Pietro Nolita

Pietro Nolita is a very pink restaurant that prides itself on being “Pink as F*ck.” I went there for my birthday this year and took some fun pink inspired photos, as well as tried some of their amazing pasta. There’s lots of options, because the inside is just as pink as the outside benches. Also, I HIGHLY recommend checking out the bathroom, as it’s completely pink as well!

Pixinity

The Pixinity Pop-Up was an immersive experience complete with pixelated icons, a New York themed room, a giant avocado, and a massive pink ball pit. The pop up ended in November, but creator Tianyu Qiu told me that he has some more pop up ideas up his sleeve, so keep an eye out for his next project!

Central Park

Central Park in the spring is the perfect place to get your pink on! When the Crabapple trees start blooming, pink petals create a stunning pastel spectacle in the park. Check out Conservatory Garden’s Center Garden from mid-April to mid-May, that’s when they’re typically in bloom.

Tiny’s and the Bar Upstairs

This adorable pink building is the perfect backdrop for a photoshoot in NYC. You do have to be careful though, because that street can get busy with traffic, but we went on a Sunday morning and it was completely empty. I’ve also eaten at Tiny’s and the food is phenomenal!

Your Apartment

Look, when all else fails, buy some confetti and have your own shoot in your room! We bought a pack of pink confetti from Amazon for less than $10 and had a mini photoshoot against a white wall in our apartment. Pro tip: use a wall that’s facing a window, so you get the best lighting. Second pro tip: use the slow-mo option on your iPhone and take an awesome video throwing the confetti!

I hope these locations got you excited to take some pink photos around the city! If you liked this article, have a look at my website, InstagramYouTube and Pinterest! I hope this gave you some new ideas to try out on your next photoshoot. Tag me @gdeimz on social if you go to any of the pink spots for a photoshoot in NYC!

9 Poses in 9 Minutes

photography tips

If you never quite sure just how to pose with your partner for a great picture, or you’re a photographer looking for posing ideas, then this is the article for you! I’ve compiled a list of my go-to poses for couples, and I have a one-page freebie at the bottom for you to keep as a helpful guide! Big thanks to my favorite couple Jersey and Luis for being my models for this project (and standing in the freezing New York City winter weather to get these shots!) Now let’s dive into these poses.

Lean Toward Each Other

Position the couple so one person’s shoulder is leaning into the other person’s chest, and have the person behind wrap their arm around and lightly grab the right arm of the first person. It helps to mention to lean their heads toward each other and getting their noses close together. This cozy pose is great for a mid shot, or a close up.

Facing Each Other

This one is an easy one. Have the two look at each other while holding hands. Can be used for a wide shot or a close up, and you can play with how close they are standing to each other. One person can also wrap their hands around the other person’s neck and lean in close for a kiss (warning: it’s adorable!!)

Facing The Camera

The classic shot shows the couple fairly close together with one person wrapping their arm around the other. You can vary the hands–hands in pockets, hands straight down, or like in this shot, Jersey had her hand by her face, tucking her hair behind her ear. Do whatever feels most natural for you.

Half Looking at the Camera

This can be a great moment. Have one person look at their partner while the other person looks at the camera. This usually results in some natural smiles and laughs, because who doesn’t get excited when they spend a few seconds taking in how lovely their partner looks?! A great variation of this can be to alternate having both partners look at each other at the same time.

The Ear Whisper

Alright, now that you are warmed up and have the basic poses down, here are a few advanced level poses! This one is a great prompt I use with couples. When a couple is already fairly close to each other, I’ll tell one partner to lean in and whisper something into the other person’s ear. It’s great for capturing a candid moment, because generally one of them will say something silly, or sweet, and the other person will break out into a huge smile or laugh. If you’re not great with posed photos, I recommend a pose like this, which can help bring out your personality and feel really natural.

Arm Around The Shoulder

Have one or both partners wrap their arm around the shoulder or waist of the other person. A few variations are to have them both look at each other, at the camera, and one person looking down candidly. You can also alternate between serious expressions and smiles.

Touching Foreheads

I love this pose so much! Why? Because look at how cute it is! It’s pretty simple too: hold hands and touch foreheads. For a more intimate moment, you can have them get close and close their eyes, too. For a more playful and fun shot, tell them to smile and laugh. Leaning in for a kiss is also an easy pose to go to from this one!

Walking

This can be another great natural moment between the two. You can walk toward the camera, hold hands while walking away from the camera, and even start walking away and then turn around and look back at the camera. I usually tell my couples to walk in “slow motion” so they’re relaxed and not rushed. In terms of eye contact, they can look forward, at each other, down and around. I usually tell them not to look directly at the camera, so the shot comes out looking a little more like a candid moment.

The Finale: Kiss and Foot Pop!

This is a great shot to do toward the end of the shoot. Have the couple get really close to each other, put their hands on each other’s waist or around their neck, and smooch! Jersey did the foot pop with her right foot, which I love. An advanced level variation of this is to do the dip: dip your partner halfway and then have a dramatic kiss. This might not be the pose for everyone, but if you like a grand gesture (and I do) then this can be the perfect pose!

I’ll be honest, I wrote this in part because my partner hates posing and I wanted to have a quick page of ideas that I could glance at when we’re out and I want to get a cute shot. So, I made a one-page PDF with pictures of all the poses and I’m giving it to you, too! Click here to download the freebie couple posing guide!

And if you liked this, have a look at my website, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest! I hope this gave you some ideas to try out on your next photoshoot, and good luck to everyone with your posing! Tag me @gdeimz on social if you post any of the ideas you try out!