David Butler is a Commercial Product & Still Life Photographer and Digital Artist specializing in high-end luxury products and other forms of natural still life. Clients include Kuerig, P&G, iRobot, Sam Adams, CenturyLink, Staples, and many more.
Tell us how you got into photography ...
I have always been a visual person. Ever since grade school, I was more engaged in the photographs and illustrations than words when looking at books. So many stories can be told through a lens or with ink & pen. As I grew up, I didn’t seriously pursue any creative outlets… my mindset was that it just wasn’t “cool” to be an artist or it wouldn’t lead to any “real career”, however that changed when everything else I tried failed. When I found the camera, there was strong desire to learn more… and once I learned I could use it as a tool to illustrate an idea or express an emotion I was hooked!
Motion or still?
My primary focus has always been crafting one still frame at a time. While that is still my main approach, I have recently been exploring and introducing some subtle motion to my work in a way that compliments the still image.
A run-down of the most recent campaign you've worked on ...?
I recently had the opportunity to be a part of a brand new brand/product launch called Drinkworks, by Keurig & Anheuser Bush. Drinkworks is an at-home cocktail appliance. Similar to the Keurig, this appliance accepts different pods to then make artisanal cocktails and other alcoholic drinks, from cosmopolitans, gin & tonics to beer and sangria…its pretty amazing.
In addition to creating various key visuals for the appliance packaging design, I was most excited to be tasked to create a conceptual cosmopolitan split-pod breakaway image with the actual cocktail liquid swirling around it, suspended in mid-air with interacting flavor queues. Capturing dozens of “plates” in camera I was able to then composite them all in post production, avoiding the need for CGI, ultimately making this one of the more challenging images I had yet to create.
To see images from this campaign, visit my website www.davidbutlerstudios.com or http://www.drinkworks.com
Instagram or Facebook, or both?
A word or phrase you overuse?
Who or what inspires you?
Inspiration is everywhere. I get it from words/lyrics, from natural light + shadows, I get it from tones, textures, design, and music. But mostly I get it from a feeling or an emotion. Sometimes I don’t even have a subject in mind, but I know how I want the viewer to feel… so that’s my constant to build towards. The beauty of shooting still life is that I start from scratch every time, and like sculpting with clay, I add or take away to ultimately arrive at where I want to be.
In my commercial work, communicating a brand’s core message/function in one frame has everything to do with all the elements I mentioned above. By applying the right tones and lighting to a well-balanced composition, you will set the energy of the shot. There are endless aesthetic decisions to make in each project – this is what excites me.
Your dream collaboration is?
I don’t have a dream collaboration in the form of a specific client. My goal of wanting to work with the world’s top creative teams continues to push me creatively, technically, and into areas that are sort of uncharted and innovative.
A piece of criticism you’ve received was ...?
I’m sure there is a fair amount of criticism in regards to my work, my process or me personally, however it hasn’t made it to me. Fortunately, I have a really amazing crew around me to strengthen my weak areas. That being said, I am pretty critical of myself, as know I have much to improve on.
A great piece of advice you've received?
Trust the Process.