Mali Azima Creates Still and Video Imagery for The Shade Store

Jul 24, 2020
Photographer Spotlight

Mali Azima recently worked on an assignment combining still and video elements to promote a product. The product was a motorized shades system, meaning motion was of utmost importance. A veteran interior photographer, Mali had the still imagery down pat and brought in a videographer to help create a wide range of assets.

I was contacted by the creative director at The Shade Store. They had installed new product — shades with smooth motorized systems by Lutron — in a showhouse in Atlanta and wanted to photograph and video the room for the product launch announcement.

Mali Azima The Shade Store image of vanity with motorized shades

[The creative director] saw my work in an Atlanta interior design magazine and liked the way I made interiors look like you are in the room. I brought in a videographer whose work I really liked to have the flexibility of directing and have his experience in what can be accomplished. 

We scouted the location, and it seemed like the video would be so important for showing how the shades lower up and down in unison and how smoothly they operate. Also, the room had three walls made out of glass, so the statement was huge.

At first, it seemed like Mali and her team were done after they’d delivered everything to TSS. A few weeks later, however, the client got back to Mali and asked her to edit the video you see above.

The Shade Store wanted to handle the editing of the photos and videos. A month later, I was asked if we would edit the video. We did this and provided them with five variations for different social media platforms. The main video was played at the launch party. 

Though Mali has had experience with video, this assignment represented her first commercial video work. She notes the “extra dimension of emotional impact” that video brings, something that’s already important to her as it relates to her stills. That said, she and her colleagues only had one day to get all the materials, which made finding the right videographer vital.

Since we only had one day to shoot stills and video, I wanted someone who was seasoned at capturing things quickly. He had not shot interiors before, so I worked with him on framing up the shots. He had great ideas on movement within the scenes.

He didn't labor over the shots as much as I would have done, which helped move things along. Plus, he had a good idea of what kind of footage to have to pull from in the editing process. He could edit quickly and I was able to direct the nuances and timing during that part without worrying about technicalities.

Even with a dearth of sun that day, Mali and company managed to create a video that features only ambient light. The stills needed a few strobes, but that didn’t take away from the final product, much of which can be viewed on the company's site.

Mali Azima The Shade Store screenshot

I wished we had more sun streaming directly through the windows that day, but other than that we only used ambient lighting for the video. A small number of strobes were used for the still images. 

Mali Azima The Shade Store porcelain bathtub

But I feel very happy with the results. The video shows the elegant smoothness of Lutron's mechanism and how seamlessly the shades move up and down which was quite impressive in real life. I am also grateful we got to edit, allowing us to translate the feeling we experienced with the product in clips and timing. 

Check out more of Mali's work at maliazima.com.

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