I first started photographing the ceramic artwork of New Mexico artist Noah Starer in October of last year. He creates a variety of ceramics from the figures in these photos, to pods, to bowls to flute type vases. See all of his work and purchase these figures or others from his website.
I have a photography saying that goes, "more often the simpler the subject photographed, the more complex it is to photograph it well." A commercial photography shoot for a pen that took 3 off camera lights comes to mind! This is the third time I have photographed figures for Noah so I was able to recreate the look he wanted faster than I did the second shoot. He wants the background to be gray, with a gradient from dark to light. This can be achieved with just one light positioned directly overhead and the background sufficiently far enough from the figure for the light to fall off and naturally create the gradient. Having my new Manfrotto boom arm light stand greatly helped too!
I liked the blue and white color of this ceramic figure in particular. It contrasts nicely with the gray paper background. The different heights of the pieces do not really impact the shooting process. I can keep the exact same settings and light position even with a 4" height difference in some of the figures. So the hard part is just getting the look right, then carefully putting in place the next piece in the exact same spot as the previous one!