I was recently commissioned to photograph some ceramics. I had recently upgraded some of my studio equipment, and was eager to use it - and the subject matter was a perfect chance to try it out.
The ceramics, made by Claire Davis, ( website can be found here) are a fun mix of artistic, practical, and abstract. Textures varied from sharp jagged structures, to smooth glassy forms, coated with glossy glazes, to a naked sandy matte clay. The variety of the pieces is again reflected in the experimental nature of the ceramics; many are expertly made bowls or cups, both practical, and begging to be used (I ended up buying a matching cup and plate myself), others act more as sculpture - attracting attention, and driving discussion.
Using fruits, seashells, and other props in the photoshoot, helped create a sense of scale, and add a splash of color, and allowed for interesting compositions between ceramics and props.
Due to the high gloss of many of the pieces, it was important to diffuse the light. I shot through a white umbrella with a strobe from the top, to lay down an even base of light. With a second strobe, I shot through an umbrella to the right, to give soft shadows. The back drop was a white paper bought from Samys Camera.