The four foot floor to ceiling towel ladder


Photographing chrome product can present many challenges. Reflections, highlights and angle of view all affect the composition of the final image.

I was asked to photograph a series of products used in bathrooms to heat towels. Some were portable; others fixed to the wall. Of these, the one which was the most intriguing was the floor to ceiling towel ladder which had to be made to order.

It was the last product to be delivered; there were nine others which I photographed first. As I worked down the product list, I began thinking of my approach to giving the product presence.

My first thought was to have the camera high looking down the ladder shooting towards the floor. The first challenge was how to get the camera high as well as sturdy. We didn’t have a camera stand tall enough or Autopoles with enough length to lock into the ceiling to attach the camera. The available options for floor surfaces were limited; the studio had a polished concrete floor.

So, I then began thinking of placing the camera low and shooting towards the ceiling. The studio ceiling was angled and very high. It was supported by exposed steel frames and looked industrial rather than domestic. The conference room was the only room to have a ceiling that looked residential, but it restricted where I could position the lights.

The decision on which angle to choose was made for me when the product arrived. It was only four feet tall! Shooting down the ladder from above was the only option, but the new challenge was how to make it look taller the four feet.

The solution, build a bathroom on a small scale to make the ladder look like it goes right up to the roof.

© Patrick McGrath 2016