Posted March 17, 2014

Photographing a smiling pile of poo

My friend Jessica is an incredible designer, developer, and most recently, embroidery artist. She’s hand-embroidered Apple’s most iconic emoji, my personal favorite of course being that mischievous, great-for-all-purposes, smiling pile of poo. Jess asked me if I could take a few product and lifestyle pictures of her work to feature on her Etsy store. I gladly accepted the challenge, and wanted to share the process here.

Step 1: Make a list

This was of course Jessica’s doing. Queen of lists and getting shit done. In an hour she was able to direct the shoot and get multiple types of photos. When we got stuck on one thing, it was easy to jump to the next.


Step 2: Shoot when there’s lots of natural light

I don’t have any lighting equipment, so we specifically planned to take pictures when Jessica’s apartment had the most natural light drenching the room we were shooting in.


Step 3: Post-processing

I use Lightroom to post-process my photos and choose selects. One thing I love about Lightroom is the ability to copy and paste settings to any picture. I wanted the photos to feel bright and punchy, just like Apple’s Emoji. So, when I found the settings I liked for the shots of Jessica working at her desk, I used that on all the photos of her working at her desk; when I found the settings for the single product shot of the poo, I copied that across the other product shots as well. It’s important to note that this technique requires photos to be shot in the same light with the same camera settings to achieve the most consistency.





Jessica Harllee’s embroidered emoji

Out of over 100 photos, only a few made it into the selects.











Purchase the emoji

You can buy Jessica’s emoji on Etsy here. If you happen to be in the Brooklyn area, Huge is having a flea market tomorrow that Jessica will be selling her new work at, so grab a poo while it’s hot!