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Product Lifestyle Shoot at the Russian River | Nikon USA

This series of images was shot for Nikon USA to help promote the launch of their new Monarch binocular product line. The creative direction called for locations with hiking, camping, and water scenes to showcase the ruggedness and waterproof specs of the binoculars. Since we were on a budget we had to keep the location fairly close to the Bay Area to curb travel costs. Luckily we had a great scout day at on the Russian River that fit the needs.

Full product lifestyle gallery “The Russian River | Nikon USA” with client selects and outtakes.

Dry Creeks, Hot Hikes, and Hey Nice Auto Focus!

Possibly the biggest challenge on this shoot was dealing with California’s drought (again). The low water levels on the Russian River took away a few options that would have otherwise been more scenic. Plus our visit to a small waterfalls on the second shoot day led us to a spot that was a complete bust! However we still found a way to make it work after a few extra miles of hiking (without enough snacks) on a hot day that was already long. Weee!

On the other hand, the most rewarding part about the entire job was getting sent a fresh Nikon Z7II body and a full set of Z lenses. I still use DSLR bodies, but mirrorless cameras are just more fun. The smarter focus tracking gave me a few extra shots that I probably would have missed, and having focus points throughout the entire frame is a “yes, finally!” moment. Sadly it was just a consignment mirage. When the job was over I had to send all the gear back to Nikon.

Behind the scenes from the pay off spot. The Russian River | Nikon USA.

View the full lifestyle product gallery at The Russian River for Nikon USA here. Big thanks for a patient crew!

Props + Wardrobe: Judi “The Factor” Oyama
Location Scout: Jof Hanwright
Assistant: Ebbe Roe Yovino-Smith
Talent: Blackwell Files
Production: Creative Space Artists

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Jay Watson
San Francisco Bay Area based lifestyle and people photographer Jay Watson shoots editorial, apparel, automotive, corporate, and sports subjects for commercial clients. Published in over 70 magazines.

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