Matt Black Systems – High End Product Photography Bournemouth
Apr 03, 2012

Matt Black Systems are a major independent specialist in the design and manufacture of man-machine interfaces for land, sea and air applications.

They are based in a business park in Parkstone, in Poole, and approached us with one of the most interesting products we’ve had to photograph for a while. Their enthusiasm for the products they manufacture was obvious and we soon realised that our photography was to be part of a major new website development, safe in the hands of local digital design agency, Adido.

The first meeting was a great insight into what it is that they actually manufacture, that’s when we first realised how varied their units are… normally each item produced is craft specific, meaning that any one panel, console or control unit is different to the next.

For us, this means explaining to the client that it might require slightly different lighting in the studio depending on the panels hight, size, finish and button intricacy. This type of work typically results in a bespoke/client-specific stock library of photography that they can use all over their website, or as the agency sees fit


We always ask for information on where the images are going to end up before any high-end product photography is undertaken, this helps guide us in respect to our background colour, lighting tone and shot angle. With product photography it is essential that the photographer can envisage the final photograph in it’s output destination, in this case their new website.

Getting something like this wrong can cost the client more time and money to re-shoot, or re-design the marketing material – for us it’s the absolute key to perfect studio work.

However, even if the product photography style is outlined beforehand there may still be elements in the body of work to be produced that requires subtle or more obvious shifts in the images mood and tone.

For example Matt Black Systems wanted a few of their panels photographed with the lights on, this meant shooting the objects in the dark and finding a lighting exposure that did two things: showed off what the panels look like in very low light, and additionally kept the light levels low enough for the led lighting on the buttons and text to illuminate, and be visible in the final shot.

We used a combination of snoots, grids and soft boxes throughout this brief so that each panel was presented in a way that shows off the best of what Matt Black Systems can manufacture.

Product photography is about envisaging the product from three points of view: ours, our clients, and most importantly their customers.


To see more of the product photography we do throughout Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset please look through our website. We provide quality and high-end photography for many manufacturers, businesses and design agencies across the county.

Nearly all of the advertising photography we produce is for website, brochure or advertising, can we help with yours?