Tucson-based Katelin Kinney considers herself a conceptual advertising photographer, and her imagery often features bright backgrounds, bold shapes, and digital edits of all kinds. With this, she provides an eye-catching and lively approach to her commercial photography. Katelin’s colorful style was the source of inspiration for a recent assignment with Hanni, an eco-friendly weighted razor brand.
I knew how to translate their fun and quirky style into product photography, and suggested we use their brand colors in a bold in-your-face way.
After speaking with Hanni CEO and founder Leslie Tessler, Katelin had a good grasp of the tone of their brand and how she could help craft this new series. She approached the assignment with confidence and decided to use the packaging’s warm color palette to visually connect both the product and lifestyle photography.
Leslie felt like I understood what they wanted and decided to give total trust in my vision. I was given an outline, but the creativity was pretty much left up to me.
Katelin worked hard to locate a creative bathroom that would maintain the sunny feel throughout the lifestyle images. After searching extensively on Airbnb, she found an apartment in Tucson that had all the elements of Hanni’s vintage-inspired 70’s style.
I needed a bathroom that went with their brand colors — not an easy find — but after some searching I found one that had bright orange walls with a cute oval mirror.
While the bathroom presented a brilliant palette for Katelin to play with, she found it difficult to capture the models from different angles. However, challenges like these pushed her to think outside the box. She used a gauzy shower curtain to catch some of the bathroom’s bright lights and staged the model in front of the mirror to better highlight the perspective of the customer.
We struggled with the limitations of the bathroom size and had to troubleshoot the lighting and shooting angles.
The product photography was created in Katelin’s home studio, where she has total control over the light and the brightness of the imagery. The client expressed interest in staging the razors in water to illustrate their themes of summer, showering, and smoothness. Katelin executed the idea brilliantly by leaning into the brand colors and staying away from the typical blue tones you’d expect from water imagery.
I used paper that matched their brand colors and cut it into their signature arch shape. Then I placed a clear aquarium on top of those cutouts, and filled it with an inch of water. I had it brightly lit without washing out the visibility of water ripples.
Anytime I get a chance to play with water effects I’m always having a good time!
The arch on Hanni products represents the curvature of the razor head and is a unique feature for their brand. Katelin wanted to find a creative way to incorporate how the application of the curve works on the curves of one’s body. She discovered that long balloons — used for making balloon animals — could parallel ones underarm while keeping in line with the fun, summery tone.
I love working with beauty products because the styling can get so off the wall. I had a blast trying to find something that would represent the razor working around curves, leaving the surface smooth, and being safe enough that it wouldn’t pop a balloon.
Katelin trusted her own vision and was able to produce a colorful, cohesive series that compliments Hanni’s brand identity. In styling her images to enhance their vintage 1970s hues, Katelin helps to remind the audience of a time before single-use plastics were commonplace.
I loved seeing how the brand colors brought everything together while each image is still its own highlighted moment. Seeing the finished collection and how well they support the brand’s story is very rewarding.