Commercial and portrait photography in Cologne
I’ve travelled to Germany more than any other part of Europe, and having previously worked in Munich and Frankfurt, I jumped at the chance to shoot some commercial and portrait photography in Cologne. I had 48 hours to make two visits to one of the city’s central art and design museums and a short one hour urban portrait shoot early on the morning of the first day.
MAKK – the Museum für Angewandte Kunst Köln – are updating their website images later in the year. I shot a series of exterior and interior images of the main exhibition spaces and permanent collections as well as a series of ten staff portraits for press and marketing use. They are a decorative arts museum containing a vast and varied collection of design pieces from furniture and weaponry to technology and architecture.
The main exhibition space contains a beautifully restored Mercedes Benz 300SL gullwing grand tourer. For a car that finished production in 1963, it looked immaculate. The shot required lighting it from 4 different sizes as well the wall behind. I lit some of the collection rooms in a similar way.
The short, one-hour urban portrait shoot was on the riverside in an area called Kranhaus. The modern development of offices and apartments guaranteed access to plenty of steel, glass and other modern architecture to act as a backdrop. The kit for this shoot was my standard one – two portable lights on stands with coloured gels.
I would never class myself as a landscape or cityscape photographer, but I couldn’t resist finding time in the evening to take a shot or two across the river of Cologne Cathedral.