Started by pro photographer Timothy Hogan in 2016, CONVYR is one of the newest in the scene of content agencies designed to provide brands with the content they need to sell their products online. They do this by providing a full-service offering of image production covering e-commerce, social media through to global advertising campaigns.
The CONVYR studio is located in Downtown LA's Boyle Heights. With its slew of chainlink-fenced and winding highways surrounding it, Boyle Heights isn't an area you'd usually associate with fine art or fashion, but take a few steps inside CONVYR's complex and you're greeted with a small oasis of LA's freshest brands and talented designers.
Hogan took some time on-set to speak to us about why he started CONVYR, and the visual content needs of today's brands.
"I started CONVYR because I see so many amazing brands and talented designers put their blood, sweat and tears into their designs, just to fall at the final hurdle by using mediocre images to sell them." says Hogan.
He adds: "Today more than ever brands need not only a lot of content, but they need consistently high quality content to stand apart. At CONVYR, we're rooted in quality and powerful storytelling.
"We believe that a good, lasting brand, has a unique story to tell, and you can't do that with mediocre images.
"That's why our ultimate aim is to capture greatness, so we can tell the story in a design - whether it's a mannequin packshot or an on-model or lifestyle shot."
"We believe that a good, lasting brand, has a unique story to tell, and you can't do that with mediocre images."
- Timothy Hogan, Photographer, Founder, CONVYR
What content do modern fashion brands need?
"It all starts with a lot of questions about what they've been doing, and about where they want to go with their brand." says Hogan. “We want to know what our clients aspire to."
Once those questions are answered, work can begin on crafting the right mix of content for their clients.
But what kinds of creative works are needed?
"We see a difference in lifestyle versus e-commerce photography, whether it's here in the studio or on location. A lifestyle shot is aspirational, setting the stage for where their potential customer wants to be in their lives - and how that brand fits in, or enhances it." answers Hogan.
"Packshots are all about detail. There’s an objectivity that's important in a good packshot. That objectivity is all about the product. Its capturing what makes that product great without adding anything else.
"The stylist becomes the storyteller who has to pull out the greatness of the product without any props, or locations. That's the talent in a good stylist." Hogan adds.
And these days it's not enough to have a single image of a product. Consumers need a lot more to look at.
"We're always trying to do multiple angles of a product. You need to be clearly show what the customer is getting, eliminating any questions or doubts. I think that's another reason we like using ghost mannequin images on the StyleShoots machine." says Hogan.
"We can show the side view, how a piece fits, we can show the reverse or show a pocket detail or a zipper detail. We're always capturing from multiple angles because that offers a lot of value in terms of the number of assets you want to show on your product page.
"But before doing all this, we work closely with our clients to create a style guide which ensures everything is consistent across our whole visual output."
CONVYR flat lay shots for their outerwear customer Swerve
"The stylist becomes the storyteller who has to pull out the greatness of the product without any props, or locations. That's the talent in a good stylist."
How CONVYR creates its content
Running a photo studio isn't easy. We asked Hogan about the greatest day-to-day challenge he faces in capturing greatness'.
"Every day at CONVYR, we have to do more with less." says Hogan.
"The items will come in, get scanned and prepped. Then we'll make a shotlist from them, they'll normally go to the on figure set first, then they'll move over to the StyleShoots Vertical machine and then we'll move them to our flat lay set.
"Once they're on the Vertical machine the stylist is going through making certain the fit is correct that were adhering to any style guides we've made for the client so we're nailing that same consistent look every time."
CONVYR's model set is where most of the action happens.
Tim has a team of talented and passionate photographers shooting on a custom set using flash photography with Canon cameras - chosen specifically to match the consistent color of the StyleShoots machine.
Because models are one of the most expensive elements of a shoot, products go on the model first.
Using a StyleShoots Vertical machine, once products are shot on the model they are styled on a special ghost mannequin.
This allows CONVYR to capture multiple angles of a product and show it as if an invisible person is wearing the product.
An invisible man style packshot gives a better representation of fit - for example making it easier to show women's jeans.
Flat lay photography
To achieve a more editorial look to their flat lay photography, CONVYR runs a custom set up using Canon cameras tethered via Capture One.
The Canon cameras in the flat lay set ensure a consistent color profile across all.
The images are styled and shot on a variety of backgrounds and then go to their in-house retouchers to ensure that the colors are matched across all sets.
"Efficiency for us is super important so that we're not second guessing ourselves as we're running through hundreds of items in a day. It allows us to be more creative. Having a really consistent workflow allows us to tick all the boxes and wrap up at the end of the day with a sense of completion.
"We strive to have as few reshoots as possible, and our workflow allows us to do that." adds Hogan.
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