Krewe du Optic

Tips for E-Commerce Product Photography/My Dog Tonka makes his debut on / Special Promo Code Inside! by Zack Smith Photography

My dog is famous. Your dog may be on the internet via Instagram, Facebook, or the many photos you took of them on your cell phone. I'm not bashing, I'm just saying my dog is famous. My 10 month old Old English Bulldog is indeed internet famous by way of our many Facebook posts and Tweets, but he has also met Santa. You heard me, the man in Red. Jolly Saint Nick. Mr. Claus if you're not nasty. Here's how...

I was recently hired to help a company advertise their new product, a Christmas pet bundle that includes a stocking filled with 4 dog toys and a holiday themed collar. The stocking included some fun toys for a dog and I wanted to find a way to set their product apart from the rest of the pack in this busy holiday season. The first suggestion I made was to make their photography the best for that category. After doing research on the subject, I found that this wouldn't be too hard since most of the toy bundles for dogs I was finding were shot with poor lighting, bad composition, and were not reflective of how much FUN a dog stocking bundle could be to give to your dog!

I started surfing around for some Santa pics and found so many great ones. I then brought my Paul C Buff 1600 watt light kit n the kitchen and began doing mockups of our dog Tonka staring off into space and playing with the toys in the bundle. Before crafting some photomerges in Photoshop I sent the best photos I did of Tonka to my favorite cut out artists at Misterclipping. I have been using them for clients such as Krewe du Optic, King James and the Special Men, and Lebardo Scrubs.


I designed a few more funny action shots of Tonka with Santa that highlighted the clients product in the best way possible. I also did some product shots in my studio that I also sent to Misterclippings and they turned out great, as usual. In conclusion, finding out as much as you can about your clients product and how they want to represent it is the first step you need to take in formulating a good plan of attack. Next, you will want to research as many competitor products in the similar category as possible. Knowing how the rest of the field is photographing, listing, and marketing their products will give you some guidelines on how you can make yours stand out from the crowd. Consistent and colorful lighting will drive more viewers to your product and increase their conversion rate.

As a big THANK YOU for taking part in this post and reading it, I am giving you a PROMO CODE coupon for this very same Christmas Pet Bundle!

Click the photos below or THIS LINK & enter TOPDOG15 at checkout for %15 off! Order today and get before Christmas with 2-day Free Shipping!

Merry Christmas from TONKA and Zack Smith Photography.

My 2013 Best Of and Worst Of by Zack Smith

As the year ends, and a new one begins i can't help but reflect and get philosophical about life, the world, photography and art and culture. So as i make you sit through my rants to get to my BEST OF 2013...enjoy


What is social media becoming? The show flyer pileup on a pole on Frenchmen Street.

First off, i feel that social media is helpful, but is becoming the show flyer wall on Frenchmen St. You know the one, 20-30 flyers tacked to each other that comes off the wall 4" thick? As one flyer's date passes, another gets nailed to it - but when you walk back and realize that there's so much information thatyou can read one clearly...they all become stuck together on the wall: their words stuck together in our heads our brains can't process them. We now have FB, twitter, instagram, tumblr, vine, and who knows what else that's competing for our eyes, our time, our $ - i look out at the world and see the tops of peoples heads walking towards me, staring at their phones...Soon you'll be the smart advertiser and post your adds in sidewalk chalk. Let it rain, Let it rain...

What is Photography? "JPGrapher's Dumbdown" What is a JPGrapher??

From 2001-2003 i worked the sales counter at Lakeside Camera and saw digital start its slow creep into the local commercial world as local photographers were pawning their old Hasselblads and Mamiyas (i still have 2 from that period i bought at Cost+10%) and "trading up" for the NEW Nikon D1x - 5.4 MP and the Canon D30 w/ a whopping 3.3 MP - read the

reviews here!!!

.What i saw slowly happen, was the dumbdown of what a "good photograph" is being: as our eyes and lives slowly turned more to the backlit world of our now pixelized-life. All the new photographers in the digital age (JPGraphers) know nothing about film, but more importantly about light - their end result of a stunning photograph starts w/ a 2" LCD screen and ends with a 17" LCD screen...of course its' gonna look RAD! - I see more an more every day what people think a good photograph is, and it's becoming more technically poor, not lit well, and probably would stand the test of time on a wall. Will we be using computers in 20 years? Will we be admiring the prints of Herman Leonard, Ansel Adams? Trust me folks, THE PROOF IS, WILL BE, AND HAS ALWAYS BEEN....IN THE PRINT.

Here's to 2014. Good intentions, Great content. - Do Good Work, and Stick Around!

See you on the Streets


 Aerials shot during French Quarter Fest 2013

 Chalmette Battlefield Graveyard

 Maggie Koerner

 Kronos Quartet

 Josef Makkos and his Newspapers

 Gambit Weekly Cover shot, December 2013

 PitFire Grill

 Tulane University Marching Band at New Orleans Bowl

 David Batiste at Ponderosa Stomp

 Eddie Daniels

 Chris Clark

 Cindy Scott

 Honey Island Swamp Band

 Kuffa and Ryan

 Marco Benevento

 Best Damn Booze Photographer, Sara Essex

 Sweet Crude

 Young Pinstripe Brass Band

 Zion Harmonizers

I love collaborating with like minded folks to make stunning, creative, and lasting images in New Orleans, Louisiana.

And 2013 wouldn't have been what it was w/o the excellent client of Krewe du Optic and Stirling Barret. KDO is why i photograph - i love collaborating w/ like minded folks to make stunning, creative, and lasting images. Here are some of my favorite from the 2013 campaign...