Los Angeles, California-based photographer Ed Carreón was brought in by biotechnology company Edeniq to photograph their chemical testing lab in Visalia, California. The photographs that Ed took will be used in the company’s annual report next year, but Edeniq has already put Ed’s images to good use on their website.
How you got involved with Edeniq and this project?
Sasha Forsen, the marketing director of Edeniq, found me online when researching talent for her project. The company needed images of their testing lab, some of which was to be used for their annual report. So, the goal was to characterize how the lab techs and does specialty testing of biofuels to meet government guidelines.
What was involved in planning/preproduction?
We discussed their photographic needs by phone followed by talk and agreement of a budget. They agreed on the need for an assistant but wanted me to hire locally which was problematic since Visalia and nearby Fresno are not hotbeds of commercial photography. Hence, assistants can be really hard to come by. All the photographers in the area are wedding photographers and when they do commercial work they tend to work by themselves.
What was the shoot itself like?
I finally found an architectural photographer with chops who made a referral to a great assistant in Visalia. The next morning I met with the lab manager who just let me have the run of the place until Sasha arrived and gave more direction; mainly in regards to portraits. The whole experience was like shooting fish in a barrel because there was so much happening, the lab was not subdivided into multiple secure lab areas like a pharmaceutical space so everything was very efficient. I just saw stuff and captured it.
Since we were working with an iPad, Sasha could see what we had captured before she got there and was quite pleased with the collection of images that I had. All that was left were some portraits one or two times that we had not covered in our initial talks.
Did you need any special training or safety equipment? How did your presence affect the everyday running of the lab?
Safety equipment was lab coats and glasses; like any other lab environment and because there was always so much happening I did not have to interfere with the lab techs workflow to choreograph or set up much. The biggest challenge was finding an assistant. That took at least a dozen phone calls to various photographers before I found an assistant.
What has the reaction to the images been so far?
In the end, Sasha was very pleased with the collection of images I posted for her and delivery was a snap via Dropbox. This would not have been so easy and seamless had it been a pharmaceutical company because of all the security protocols they have.
What was your favorite part of the project?
My favorite part of the whole project was making the image of a drop of solution coming out of a pipette. That took time, a little bit of lighting (Ice Lights) and many frames to get the right image.
See more of Ed’s images on his website!