Product photography for an entire product line? When SportCrafters of Indiana needed images of their entire range of products, they relied on Focal Flame Photography as their product photographer of choice for the assignment. Learn more.
One of the universal truths of cycling is that you can’t always bike on the open road or trails whenever you want. Rain, extreme cold, or heat may require cyclists to ride indoors, and competitive cyclists often chose to do warm-ups or cool-downs on stationary trainers at races rather than risk injury or even risk tipping off the competition just before heading to the starting line.
SportCrafters understands this need, and is dedicated to meeting it by creating rollers, trainers, and other cycling accessories that enable cyclists to train anywhere, anytime. Headed by founder, owner, and engineer Pete Colan, SportCrafters began in 1996 as a manufacturer of private-label cycling products for Nashbar and CycleOps. Recently, the company began increasing its product offerings under its own brand – thus necessitating cycling photography that focused on its unique portfolio of rollers, trainers, and accessories.
A critical product launch for SportCrafters was the Omnium trainer, a cycling industry breakthrough. The travel-friendly Omnium roller folds to a compact size that meets Federal Aviation Association regulations for carry-on luggage, yet is capable of accommodating bikes ranging from elite road and time trial bicycles to mountain bikes.
In order to publicize the patent-pending Omnium at Interbike, the biggest tradeshow event of the year for the cycling industry,SportCraftershired Focal Flame Photography to create a media library of high-resolution images. The shoot included both product photography and images of a model training on the Omnium.
“There were a lot of choices, but I was drawn to Focal Flame because of the intuitive perspective in cycling events and cycling product photography,” said Sarah Houser, Marketing Manager. “It was clear that the photographer understood the product, and the portfolio was a collection of images that I could see in any professional catalog,” said Houser.
Since brand building under the SportCrafters label was a relatively new initiative, Houser and colleagues indicated that they had more questions than answers about how to arrange a professional photo shoot, and many ideas about what they envisioned but little experience as to how to achieve the end result. In the end, photographer Clint Thayer was able to set their minds at ease. “Focal Flame has gone above and beyond since the first time we talked about the project,” said Houser. “All communications, discussion of every little detail, and even correspondence the day of the shoot made us comfortable in the knowledge that we had made the right decision.”
“Communication is absolutely critical for commercial projects, especially when meeting deadline for creation of a media library to support a new product launch,” said Thayer. “We use videoconferencing and image proof sharing technologies to allow remote clients to actually communicate about the shoot in real time,” he continued.
Authenticity was a key concern for the detail-oriented eyes of SportCrafter’s target market. “It's fairly obvious when you look through bicycle catalogs whether the photographer has even ridden a bicycle before,” said Houser. “We chose Clint because he loves to ride, he knows what bikes look like when they're in motion, he understood the purpose of our bicycle accessory and the type of cyclist that would use it, etc. That all translated clearly in the pictures because they told the product story perfectly.”
When asked whether she would recommend Focal Flame Photography for commercial photography, Houser responded immediately. “Absolutely. Every client wants to feel like an important client, and the staff at Focal Flame makes you feel that way. I couldn't say enough about this experience.” SportCrafters, Inc. was so delighted with their images that they subsequently assigned a product photography shoot for their entire product line in support of a new e-commerce web site.
Cycling photography images created by Focal Flame Photography are used in the SportCrafters product catalog, website, and in domestic and international advertising.