Internal Client Partner 
IBM Infrastructure
What we delivered
Product photography
Photography toolkit
My Role
Art Director
Executive Creative Director
Industrial Design Program Director
Art Director
External Partner
Spencer Lowell - Photography
IBM Infrastructure products are unique at IBM. They are the only commercial physical product that IBM still designs. This creates a one-of-a-kind opportunity to create very specific guidance around how those products are captured in photos and 3D renderings.
When I started at IBM, there was no system for our hardware photography. Hardware photos were captured professionally with no system in mind, or unprofessionally on an IBMer’s mobile device. Additionally, there was a complete absence of photography featuring people or the environment of these machines. (In fact, I often joke that for about 6 months, I thought our mainframes were about 2 feet tall. I was so surprised when I finally saw a photo of a person standing next to one!)
In order to start to create this system, I worked with our Executive Creative Director to audit our entire photography collection. We narrowed down priority angles and I worked with our Industrial Design Program Director and Photographer partner, Spencer Lowell to determine a system of camera placement. We also collaborated on a lighting scheme along with other important guidelines. The goal was to ensure all productive machine photos could stand beside each other and not look out of place.
Adding people and environments
The next step that was sorely needed was to add people and environments to these product shots. Sometimes the people shots were planned, working with product teams to ensure that we are capturing the correct things. Sometimes these shots are spontaneous, capturing a product tester in the middle of his or her work. My favorite models are IBMers, in particular those who directly work with the featured product. We have also worked with professional models. 

Finding the right environment has been a particular obstacle. Ideally, we would capture the product in its home, the data center. However, most data centers have narrow aisles, making capturing decent angles quite difficult. We struck gold on one particular shoot when we found the product testing room on site. We continue to work out the best environments with one ultimate goal: we have to capture something real. 
Creating guidelines
Now that the guidelines have been established, it's time to write them down in order to share throughout IBM. We worked to establish a spectrum of productive to expressive photos using our hardware as subjects. 
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