Robern – New Jersey Commercial Photographer

Back in early August this year, the marketing folks at Robern over in Bristol, PA reached out to us about doing some commercial photography.  For those of you who don’t know them, Robern is a subsidy of the Kohler Company and a creator of residential storage solutions such as cabinets, vanities, mirrors, lighting, and accessories.  As one of Kholer’s premium brands, these are the guys that manufacture the really high-end stuff.

The first thing that came to mind when I received their email was that they were probably reaching out for someone to do some commercial interiors work, since we’re really well known for our architectural & interiors photography in the area.  However, this actually wasn’t the case.  Kohler does all that work internally.  In fact, if I remember correctly, all of their product photography is done in some mega-facility out in Wisconsin, by a team of photographers who work directly for Kohler.  They almost never hire outside photographers for commercial work.

In this case, however, they were looking for someone on short notice to create a set of images of the factory workers building the product and the materials used.  They were looking for the photos to really put a spotlight on the high-quality materials & impeccable craftsmanship of the products, sort of  in the same way companies like Shinola out of Detroit have marketed themselves.  I thought this was very cool, but their email indicated that they needed the images by the end of the week.  It mentioned the first round of marketing pieces was going to print ASAP!  (FYI… it was Monday!)  Wow… talk about short notice for a full set of commercial images!

Luckily, I had some availability left that week to fit in the shoot, and I wasn’t worried about turn-around & post-production for the images, as we are typically lightening fast in getting our clients their images.  After discussing the exact scope of the project and providing our estimate for the work, I was headed out to Bristol, PA to take care of business!

The project was quite unique, and I always enjoy a change of pace and a little bit of travel.  After a meeting with the art director to look over some of the marketing materials and get an idea for some of the layouts in which the images would be used, we headed to the manufacturing area.  The shoot wound up being a pretty long day, but it was cool to meet some of the folks doing the manufacturing and to tour the facility.  Throughout the entire day, I was carefully guided by folks on the marketing team to ensure I didn’t wander into any areas where proprietary designs or materials were being used.  Robern and Kohler are very private companies, and it was very important that I didn’t photograph anything that might fall into the hands of competitors or see anything proprietary.

Overall, I enjoyed the project, and of course, we had the images over to the folks at Robern on well ahead of schedule!  And we’re talking about the big files here… the giant, un-compressed commercial ones!  Here’s some of the shots from the session!

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