Now that these awesome music software products have launched ( https://dynamicsoundsampling.com ), I can share some final shots, behind the scenes, and some stories. For those of you that don’t know, I used to work in Hollywood, composing music for film and television. I attended Berklee College of Music in Boston to study film music, where I met so many awesome people that would become colleagues and friends- but I never imagined they would be hiring me to create photos and art for their software instruments. Strange world!
These instruments are the brainchild of film composer Steve Mazzaro who has worked with composer Hans Zimmer for years and also scored many of his own films (*ehem Boss Baby!), as well as my good friend from college, Stephanie Olmanni, who Steve is lucky enough to call his lady (and she’s a brilliant composer in her own right!).
We started with brainstorming a bunch of concepts and I threw these rough ideas together (shot in my living room!):
They decided on a simple idea to have every instrument group have a different color background theme, and then incorporate digital smoke in post production.
Also, after seeing the logo someone else had created, I asked them if they wouldn’t mind me coming up with a few new logo options that I felt better represented their company. My concept ideas were centered around musical imagery - sound waves, play buttons, volume dials - and placing them in and around words. I gave them 10 options and the final one is on the package!
The first release consisted of 5 libraries (more to come soon - can’t wait to shoot!). The first step was to shoot a bunch of instruments on colored backdrops. The light I decided worked best was a single strobe with a zoom reflector or a beauty dish when I needed to widen the light. Then I placed a silver reflector on the other side of the instrument to provide a bit of sharp fill and illuminated outline. The large string instrument is my husband’s Bass, from 1890’s Germany - I find the imperfections and character utterly charming and luckily they agreed with me.
The last steps where heavy retouching in photoshop (paper wrinkles, wood inconsistencies, dust etc.), adding digital smoke (these ones are from Lens Distortions), and adding logos/titles.
Here are the finished product images!:
Finally, I placed the approved designs on mockup boxes (these are being sold as digital downloads so no actual boxes!) and user interfaces for actually playing and controlling the instruments.
For anyone interested in elevating their product or brand to the next level, you need someone who understands your brand and can help concept and create relevant content. I can help!!!
Kayla Schmah is a commercial, portrait and boudoir photographer, and content creator based in the San Francisco Bay Area.