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Behind the Lens: New Zimman’s Ad Photography

This is the 4th advertising photography shoot we’ve done for Zimman’s, a legendary Boston fabric and furniture store. When art director Martha Sutyak introduced her layout, she described the mood as dreamy and wondrous, like Alice in Wonderland.

As a Boston advertising photographer, over the years I’ve naturally developed preferences for how to light things. My customary thought process is “Less Lights is Better Lights,” believing that simple lighting setups render the most natural and unassuming presentation.  But the approach has to advance the message; simple lighting doesn’t invoke a dream state.

So I thought back to the NYC Bergdorf Goodman holiday window displays, which captured that other-worldly quality, and decided to light the set like that. We set up 35 point light sources to hit each focus point and achieve the theatrical mood.