Studio 3, Inc.


Everything including the kitchen sink.

Stop, Prop and Roll!

Posted on October 10, 2016

How’d you make it look so GOOD? Well, my dears, it takes quite a bit of searching to find just the right prop. Ask our producers and stylists, they’ve got TONS of hilarious stories about finding the perfect prop for the job!

Everything including the kitchen sink.  — Studio 3, Inc.

Everything including the kitchen sink.

Stepping into our prop library, you’ll see that we have multiple racks with bins filled with fabric, sport helmets, fruit, tech supplies, mortars and pestles, and pretty much any object you can fathom. We keep it so organized, Martha Stewart would cry with pride.

Oh haiiiii, welcome to the prop  — Studio 3, Inc.

Oh haiiiii, welcome to the prop library =^.^=

We keep a hefty inventory of household items on hand to recreate life-like sets. Cups, picture frames, hand towels; we’ve got all the odds-and-ends to spruce up a set. Of course we have a plethora of other homestyle necessities too: luggage, bird cages, mannequins and a gas mask.

prop room 9 of 9  — Studio 3, Inc.

No prop library is complete without a gas mask.

The prop library in our Seattle studio even has a fully functional shop attached to it, for when we need to build things for a shoot. What kind of things do we build for shoots? Kitchens, bathrooms, tables, even this beautifully lush “front yard.”

You can almost smell the fresh cut grass.   — Studio 3, Inc.

You can almost smell the fresh cut grass.

Need fruit, flowers, pie, towels, perhaps a stethoscope? We’ve got it! All sorts of items are constantly being added to our prop library and we are happy to add more to meet your needs. Give us a call and let’s get started on your photoshoot today.

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In the Studio with Dehen

Spirit Week in the Studio

Posted on September 26, 2016

Ready? OKAY!

In the Studio with Dehen  — Studio 3, Inc.

Our PDX location had its very own Spirit Week as Dehen Cheer paid us a visit. Dehen manufactures custom cheer and dance uniforms. Thusly our spacious, new northeast studio was overtaken by color, hairspray, pom poms and tons of pep!

Maekup time in Studio Dehen  — Studio 3, Inc.

Glamourous photoshoots require glamourous setups. There was no shortage of makeup on hand. Our studio has lots natural light to get the models camera ready.

Dehen Studio homework  — Studio 3, Inc.

Being a high schooler on the set doesn’t mean getting the day off. These young women were hard at work in between shots. We asked what their favorite part of being in the studio was:
“There are so many good snacks!”
“Getting to know others teams outside of the competition.”
“I can nap on the couch until it’s my turn to be in front of the camera!”

Cheer rex  — Studio 3, Inc.

Emerson showing off her patented “Cheer-Rex” pose.

We love working with kids! Emerson, the youngest person at the photoshoot, had a lot to say regarding her first modeling gig: “It is exciting. I like when they did my hair. Everyone is kind here and it is fun” adding, “I hope to get into karate next year.”

Big, grand productions are a specialty of ours at both the Portland and Seattle locations!  We are more than a photo studio; let us handle the model releases, food, and all other behind-the-scenes needs. Give us a call and take over our studio.

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Girvin Chips

Packaging & Shelf-Appeal

Posted on September 20, 2016

package imagery: getting your product dressed for success

Girvin Chips  — Studio 3, Inc.

Look at the picture of chips above. Clean, enticing, inviting. Seeing that image on a bag of chips would immediately draw a person in, which is a sign of effective, marketable packaging. Having quality packaging is just as important as the product itself: the packaging is sort of like the product’s fashion statement. Think of it as properly dressing the product you are trying to sell. You wouldn’t send yourself on a job interview dressed in a potato sack and expect positive results. You’d dress sharp and do everything in your power to make a good first impression. The exact same logic can be applied to a product and how it is displayed on its packaging.

9685  — Studio 3, Inc.

Packaging photography is something we’ve perfected here at Studio 3. We know that packaging can catch a consumer’s eye, giving them that crucial first impression of the product. This moment of visual impact is called “shelf-appeal” and it is attained using imagery that promotes the usability, importance and attractiveness of the product.

db 9957 sqi pr copy  — Studio 3, Inc.

A perfect example of a company that utilizes the power of packaging is our long-time client, Costco. Visit any Costco store and you will be met with aisle upon aisle of visual feasting and mass appeal. It just so happens that our primary request from Costco is for packaging work. Why do they prefer us to handle this task? Because at Studio 3, we place a focus on appealing and strategic product photography. We are able to meet the demands of an ever evolving and highly competitive marketplace. Ultimately, the client’s end goal–directly enhancing the sale of the product–is a goal and vision we share together.

Packaging Shelf Appeal  — Studio 3, Inc.

Getting the perfect image for packaging involves much more than snapping a pretty picture of the product. The image has to highlight the product!  This calls for props, sets, and even more props! For example, getting ready for a shoot can require a whole day of prop shopping and set construction. Each set requires many small and large details that are crucial to making the featured product stand out. Any given set could need flowers, chairs, cabinets, lights, food, candles, towels, etc.; all to help achieve the client’s end goal, shelf-appeal. 

Props   — Studio 3, Inc.

We weren’t kidding about the props.

There’s an entire artform behind enhancing a product’s shelf-appeal. We pride ourselves in our expert packaging photography and would love to help your product stand out. Give us a call and let’s chat about getting your product looking good.

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Post-Production, Robot-Construction

Posted on September 5, 2016


Android mannequins?! In high fashion? Heck yes we’re on board.

16 0627 Frank Polartec Apex16 JosephAbboud 0837 AFTER  — Studio 3, Inc.

One of our favorite Portland agencies, Frank Creative, contacted us with a wild and ambitious digital art project. When Frank reaches out, it’s a sure bet that an over-the-top project is headed our way. We love how they challenge us, in fact, we find it invigorating. Bring it on.

Frank Creative Portland  — Studio 3, Inc.

Frank approached us with images featuring fashionable robots, along with their sizable vision. The goal of this project was to do such seamless post-production work that anyone looking at these images would be unable to detect which parts were photographed and which were digitally crafted. Production meetings were a must in order to nail down the details of each image and push them further to perfection.

Rapha Vest before and after post production  — Studio 3, Inc.

Fun fact: in the coveted Tour of Italy, pink is the color of victory; hence the pink stripe seen on the vest.

The key to making the robots look more mechanical was allowing the background to come through the figure, as in the cyclist’s left elbow (seen above). An added challenge with the Brevet Insulated Gilet from Rapha® photo was having to separate the bicycle from the image, so we could retouch the figure easily. This required creating a path around the bike to make a clean-edged knockout. 

ElementsFlak before and after post production  — Studio 3, Inc.

With the DragonWear™ Elements™ Flak Jacket image, we had to be extra careful while re-shaping the figure, because the lines in the background needed to remain straight. If we weren’t careful, the straight lines in the background would become bent with our distortion of the figure. Also with this image, we had to a perform a high level of wrinkle reduction and smoothing, all to be done without ruining the integrity or fit of the jacket.

NeoShell Altra before and after post production  — Studio 3, Inc.

The Lone Peak NeoShell® 3.0 Mid from Altra® image required extra attention to the background. Frank wanted it to look less urban, so we used some photoshop trickery to remove the buildings. Also being exemplified in this photo is the most difficult post-production request we had: creating segmented digits on the hands. It took a lot of time and patience to do things like placing the knuckles correctly, forming the correct shape, all while ensuring that the voids were consistent within the image itself and the series of images.

Robot army or no robot army, we enjoy pushing ourselves to create fantastic, unbelievable-yet-believable images. Do you have a project that needs to be brought to life? We can handle it.

The specially designed robotic mannequins in these images were a part of this year’s Polartec’s APEX Awards; an award dedicated to recognizing brands and designers that best utilize Portlatec’s latest fabric technologies. The robotic images and scenes were all photographed by Chris Hornbecker.

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Create the Scene

How to Create a Serene Scene

Posted on August 29, 2016

(hint: it’s a lot of hard work)

Create the Scene   — Studio 3, Inc.

Pure calm and relaxation. A peaceful soak in a Marquis Spa looking out into a quaint, zen-filled yard. Surely this shoot was as easy as it is on the eyes, yes? Well, no. Photographing a hot tub takes a lot more time, manpower, props, people and creativity than one could imagine. Let’s take a look at what it takes to really create this breathtaking picture.

Create the Scene Portland  — Studio 3, Inc.

Getting the hot tub into the studio requires forklifts and patience. Then we have to set up the background, fill the tub with gallons of water, place the props and book the models. It takes days of physical preparation before we can even take our first photo.  All this intensive planning would become overwhelming for most people, but luckily we have secret advantage…

Liz Swales Studio 3  — Studio 3, Inc.

Our top boss, Liz Swales! She oversees and schedules the organized chaos and somehow (probably magic) is able to orchestrate the entire production seamlessly.

Craig Wagner Photographer and Lighting Professional  — Studio 3, Inc.

The client had provided us with a stock image to be used in conjunction with our studio photo; so even with the product and props perfectly set, we faced the deceptively tricky task of matching our lighting to that of the stock photo. That is where our lighting master, Senior Photographer Craig Wagner, flexed his expertise. Craig intensely studied the light direction of the stock photograph, noting its color temperature and level of diffusion, and was able to capture the lighting perfectly during our studio shoot.

With the shoot finished, it was time for some intense post production work. Merging two photos from different shoots is a delicate process that requires extreme attention to detail. To make the scene look believable, our Digital Artist extraordinaire Carl Beery was in charge of retouching and adjusting the images. In order to create the perfect image, he had to extend the flooring, add a few shadows, remove distracting elements, recover some detail and color in the stock image, and match the white and black points of the studio shot and the composite. Phew! That’s a lot of work.


Image by © Trinette Reed:Blend Images:Corbis  — Studio 3, Inc.


Tea set on table on wooden patio in zen garden  — Studio 3, Inc.

The end result? That calming, dreamstate photo you saw at the very top of this blog. Meet the production pros who teamed up to create this image and then get in touch with us. With locations in both Seattle and Portland, we can make your production photography needs come true.

Marqui Make A Wish Webpage  — Studio 3, Inc.

The picturesque scene in this post features a very special model of hot tub called “The Wish.” Marquis Spas makes a donation to the Make-A-Wish-Foundation for each one these models sold. Marquis Spas has worked with the foundation for 17 years and has donated their hot tubs, money and time to this incredibly important organization.


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Same Friendly Faces, Great New Location

Posted on August 22, 2016

Old Location Plaque  — Studio 3, Inc.Old Location 3 in Cement  — Studio 3, Inc.

We’ve had a busy week here in the Studio 3 Portland branch. As is the norm in PDX, we’ve moved! Yes, after 40 years in the same location we decided it was time to shake things up a bit.

OOOH SPACE at our new location  — Studio 3, Inc.Ahh look at that open space! After months of waiting, we have finally moved into the heart of the bustling Kerns neighborhood in Northeast Portland. Creative, fun, vibes are inevitable here as our new location is surrounded by theaters, restaurants, parks, art galleries, few urban farms and our neighbors, Kamp Grizzly.

Towering Boxes  — Studio 3, Inc.

We loved our time in the Southeast, and we take with us the many years of memories. Memories that we sorted and packed into hundreds of boxes. Boxes that have now formed rising towers, reflecting our decades of innovative commercial photography.

Stash Tea drink photography studio 3  — Studio 3, Inc.

A little change of scenery has proven invigorating. We are buzzing with new ideas and our studio is ready to handle whatever project your brand may have. We are all settled in, so now is the time to swing by either Portland or Seattle location, grab a cup of coffee and let’s chat about your photography needs.

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Food, Family & Fun

Posted on November 4, 2015

The two best things about the holiday season? Here’s a clue. They both start with the letter “F.” Food and … family. If you want to plan some outdoor activities for when the kids are home, or even in between those stomach – stuffed meals, check out your city’s local events that are happening on the Thanksgiving holiday. There’s the Holladay Park Turkey Trot in Portland, and Green Lake Gobble & Mashed Potato Munch Off in Seattle.

Father and son play football.   — Studio 3, Inc.

For a second, close your eyes. Think of the senses that bring the holidays to life in your imagination. Do you smell the cranberry sauce in your grandma’s crystal dish, sitting patiently waiting to be eaten on the dining room table? What about the cinnamon smell of the house you grew up in? Infuse your home with the traditional holiday smells from NEST Fragrances.

Cinnamon sticks and cranberries   — Studio 3, Inc.

Can you smell that? The smell of deliciously oven roasted turkey? You can’t have Thanksgiving without a bird, and you can’t have a bird without a superior turkey recipe. The Pioneer Woman has all the recipes you could use to make a Thanksgiving meal. Pay extra attention to The Pioneer Woman’s Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey, she promises it won’t be hard to make.

Bird and a hanging feast.   — Studio 3, Inc.

Tablecloths, white plates, fall-themed napkins, cutlery, red wine – everything you need is at Costco. So go. On a bus, in a car, on a plane, or in a train, we don’t care. Your local Costco is calling your name.

Table setting, forks, knifes, and wine.   — Studio 3, Inc.

If you’re not able to make it home for the holidays, wherever that is, Consumer Cellular can make you feel right at home. Anyone can find a plan that works for him.

Cellphone and food in bed.   — Studio 3, Inc.



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Favorite Fall Food (and drink) Recipes

Posted on October 21, 2015

Need new fall traditions?

Ginger-Turmeric Tea. Its got cold remedies mixed into the sweet and spicy liquid that goes oh so nicely next to a warm fire or in a to-go thermos on your morning walk. It only calls for four ingredients – powdered ginger, powdered turmeric, lemon, and water. A lot of Studio 3’s work is of food and drink photography. You can check some of it out here and here. Feelin’ hungry? Call us.

two cup of orange colored tea   — Studio 3, Inc.

tea with lemon and cinnamon sticks   — Studio 3, Inc.

Did you know that the origin of the pomegranate is from modern-day Iran? You can use pomegranate seeds and juice for lots of things – sauces, garnishes, smoothies, baking, cooking, and … pomegranate cosmos?!?

pomegranate seeds on wooden table   — Studio 3, Inc.

You can also use mushrooms in practically anything – mushroom soup, mushroom pasta, mushroom risotto, (an all time favorite), the list goes on and on. When people think of mushrooms they think of cooking, and when they think of cooking they’ll usually go to a grocery store to pick up their shrooms. But, there’s a more adventurous way to get your shroom on … there’s a new hobby on the books – mushrooming hunting. Here is the 2015 Mushroom Guide for Oregon and Washington. And if you want to get your shroom hunting on, you’ll need these essentials.

different colored mushrooms on dark wood with green leaves   — Studio 3, Inc.

If you’re like some of us and you just don’t have the time for cooking, (or maybe you just don’t know HOW to cook), bread, pears, and cheeses are perfect appetizers to start your fall-themed night off right.

Pear, bread, and cheese   — Studio 3, Inc.

Oh! Is that the dinner bell?



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Apparel Photography – Levi’s Signature Jeans

Posted on May 12, 2015

Close up of Levi Strauss & Co. Signature blue jeans clothing label with jean jacket hanging on hook in background  — Studio 3, Inc.

A Levi’s® Guarantee
Cut from the best cloth. Crafted with expert care. Designed for the long haul.
At Levi Strauss & Co., quality always comes first.

At Studio 3, Inc. we do the same: WE Guarantee It for life. We stand behind our photography 100% and guarantee that it’ll be the best you’ve ever seen, expertly tailored to your company and product. Because apparel photography isn’t just about shooting clothes…it’s about creating a mood, a feel, and encapsulating the brand message for the client.

Studio 3 captured Levi Strauss & Co’s brand message by focusing on the iconic waistband label of their Signature jeans. The styling, the lighting, and the framing of this photo exemplify Levi’s rugged, durable, and relatable traits, which convey quality and longevity to the potential buyer. With the lineup of other Levi’s jeans and a denim jacket in the background, the customer knows that Levi’s offers other products to choose form as well – all shot in a warm, early morning light to create a “hard-working” “everyman” feel.

When you’re in the market for durable jeans with an enduring history, you’ll chose Levi’s. When you’re in the market for unique commercial photography that makes viewers “get” your brand to the core, you’ll choose Studio 3. Email us to experience our guarantee in person.

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#TBT Stanley Man

Posted on August 28, 2014

StanleyPoster1981  — Studio 3, Inc. Can we fix it? YES WE CAN! Ahh… nothing says “Made in America” more than a room filled with sweaty, hard-working Macho Men (and Women). With that said, the Stanley Hydraulics advertisement shown above was brought to life by the diligent work of  Studio 3’s Henry Ngan and our very creative friends at Bronson Leigh Weeks. With the innovative concept mapping of Loren Weeks, this lively production resulted from the need of an in-store display showing the extensive line of Stanley’s hydraulic power tools for industrial applications. Henry noted that this concept took a little more brain power than normal. The oversized nature of the elements included in the shoot  (power poles, manhole covers, I-beams, forklift, load of lumber, etc.)  made it so that Weeks’ vision could only be brought to full fruition in a controlled environment. Photographer Henry Ngan states:

“This was a particularly challenging assignment that unfolded over the course of several weeks from concept meetings to getting all the elements together to painting the cyc with an airless sprayer and building the scene. We had to scout for talent to fit the right characters envisioned by Loren Weeks. When the day finally came to shoot, it was like conducting an orchestra in order to create a harmonious image with all the elements including lighting, talent, products, various props and the whims of the art director, and product managers.”

Henry recalls that the most complicated part of the process was the fake I-beam which was strapped to a fork on a fork lift. Luckily, it was strong enough to support Craig Wagner (top right), one of our current Studio 3 photographers who back then was acting as an assistant and model. Isn’t he dreamy? In order to allow swings and tilt to enhance photo quality, Henry shot with a Sinar P camera with a 135 mm Nikkor lens on 4X5 Fuji Velvia film. Henry then lit the set with various light modifiers and Speedotron strobe lights which were hung on beams above the scene in order to add a little drama and create the look Weeks was after.

“There were lights everywhere,” he said. “Up in the air, on the ground, and hidden behind props. I had to get as much depth of field as I could, so I used Speedrotron Black Line 2400 w/s power packs, one per head. With the bigger cameras and longer lenses, f32 and f64 was not uncommon in order to achieve max depth.”

All in all, with so many hands at work, the project turned out to be top of the line just like Stanley Hydraulics. At Studio 3 we think work is good, but we also like play. SO come hang with us and you can have the best of both worlds.  Do like our photographer (and model), Craig, and take a break to have a bite with us. Shoot us an email to schedule our lunch date. We’ll even throw in the libation of your choice! Until then, only one more day until Friday… Keep dreaming, friends. Keep dreaming.

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