Every company needs a product photographer, and we might be partial, but we think ours is pretty awesome! When we first brought our SnapIt Boards to our product photographer Shawn Alfenito, we were hoping he'd think they'd photograph great. We were thrilled when he decided they were such a great product that he'd also be able to put them to good use with his own company.
Shawn is pretty much a jack of all trades when it comes to graphic arts. He started drawing and doing illustrations as a young kid and by age 14 had people wanting to pay him for his work. His dad was an engineer, so his family ended up with a home computer early on – before everyone had a computer in their home. And from the beginning, Shawn started asking the question, "how can I use this computer for art?!" He had the earliest version of Photoshop, and there probably isn't a piece of creative software he hasn't tried out.
He started doing graphic design professionally about 16 years ago, and as the industry has evolved, he's grown with it and now offers services for everything visual – from graphic design (print, web, etc.), video production, photography, and website design. From the beginning, he's always shot his own product photography for the projects he was working on. And it didn't take long for people to start asking him to shoot photography for them – anything from corporate photography to sports to pet photography and of course product photography.
Why did you decide you needed SnapIt Boards, and how do you use them for your business?
I like SnapIt Boards because they're an easy way to add variety to photography. They allow you to change a shot without having to constantly go and find a new location to shoot it.
"They help create a much more compelling shot by giving you easy control over your background."
They're perfect for product photography. When you don't want your photos to continually look like you're in the same location (after awhile the same kitchen countertop gets boring!), they're a great backdrop to give your photos the look of a unique location.
Where's your favorite spot to use your SnapIt Boards?
I use them inside and outside. I have a home office studio that functions as a graphic design work station and also a photography studio, so I definitely put them to use a lot there. I can quickly pull them out, pop them on a desk or table without having to rearrange my whole office, and get the photos I need without having to go anywhere.
I also like using them outside to incorporate natural light. The boards are so realistic looking. For example, the Chuck Wagon board - I can use that one, and it's impossible to tell that the product in the shot wasn't actually up against a fence in someone's backyard.
How often do you think you use SnapIt Boards in your business?
I use them at least 1-2 times a week depending on what I'm working on in the office. And they're also just fun to have for personal stuff I'm doing too!
I think my favorite two are the Rustic Rainbow and the Alabaster. I like using both of those boards individually and as a fun combo. I also think the Rustic White paired with the Indigo Sky looks good together. I see that combo and think it could be an actual thing somewhere in real life…not just snapped together!
Who do you think could most benefit from SnapIt Boards?
I think there's a very wide base of users for SnapIt Boards.
I think professional photographers could still benefit using the SnapIt Boards. It's such an easy way to add variety to your photos. And because they're quick to set up, they save you time when you're able to get a shot that you might otherwise have to plan, scout and find a location, etc.
But I think they're also an excellent fit for amateurs and iPhone photographers. Anyone that enjoys taking photos would enjoy using them - for their own personal Instagram account or maybe for something you're wanting to sell on eBay. I personally have used them for eBay photos quite a few times. The SnapIt Boards make a much better background than a desk, computer and mess of cables. It makes a much better shot to sell something with a clean, nice backdrop.
What do you like about SnapIt Boards? Favorite features?
I like the quality of the images on the boards. They look great in photographs even without bokeh. And I appreciate that they are easy to set up and use. For me, if they were a hassle with lots of set up time, it wouldn't be worth it. But with SnapIt Boards they're not hard, there's no unfolding or time required for figuring out the setup. You pop them together in 2 seconds, and you're ready to shoot.
Shawn - Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us on the SnapIt Boards. We are thrilled and think it's a high compliment that a graphic artist and photographer can put the boards to such great use!