One of our first assignments in our Professional Imaging classes was to take an extraordinary shot in an ordinary space. This is called OSES, a term coined by our professor Caryn Esplin. It requires top-notch creativity and vision.

Coincidentally, the weekend before turning in this project, I helped my sister-in-law with a wedding. There they had thousands of white roses, all of which they were just planning to throw away afterward.

I took almost a whole trash bag full with a vision in mind.

Ordinary Spot

This first idea actually came from a Tiktok, where a man used a fish tank full of flowers to get his product shot of a wine bottle. It looked amazing, so I thought I’d give it a shot with this popular rose water beauty product. I already transported the flowers in the blue cooler seen below, so I adjusted a few, sprayed the product with a squirt bottle, and set up a triggered light at an angle above. Here’s the setup:

Setup shot for product photography

Setup shot for product photography done by Merritt J. Jones

Extraordinary Shot

And here is the shot:

Product photography by Merritt J. Jones

Product photography by Merritt J. Jones

Seeing it now makes me wish I wouldn’t have edited as much or used a more subtle vignette. I didn’t look at the original product or brand beforehand, but if I did I would have made it more true to their style.

Ordinary Spot

This next one is also inspired by a Titok, or should I say several. Dressing up as a ghost with Jack Stauber’s song Oh Klahoma in the background started trending around the beginning of September. It being spooky season, I decided to hop on board. This was right outside the parking lot of our apartment complex. Here’s the setup shot:

Ordinary spot setup shot for tiktok ghost trend image by Merritt J. Jones

Ordinary spot setup shot for tiktok ghost trend image by Merritt J. Jones

Extraordinary Shot

Extraordinary shot taken by Merritt J. Jones of a ghost

Extraordinary shot taken by Merritt J. Jones of a ghost for the tiktok trend

Fun fact: An artist I had never met before found this picture on my Instagram and decided to paint it. I was very honored.

 

Ordinary Spot

This last shot took place in the comfort of my apartment, and by far took the most effort. I’ve always been mesmerized by the beauty of milk bath photoshoots but never had the courage to do one of my own. That all changed when I had roses with a time limit.

For the bath I used boxed powdered milk — I confirmed on the internet that this was more effective than a gallon of milk — I cut the stems off of the million roses and placed them in. Then I snagged a white dress shirt and looked up an eye shadow tutorial. Was ready to hop in, I balanced a trigger light on my shower curtain rod with a tripod and actually had my husband take a couple shots. I set up the camera, over 50mm zoom and all, so my husband didn’t adjust anything, he just clicked a button.

Setup shot of Ordinary spot for self-portrait done by Merritt J. Jones

Setup shot of Ordinary spot for self-portrait

Extraordinary Shot

I honestly didn’t do much editing, except to make the image more moody. I was very scared to share this because it was definitely “edgier” than I’m used to, but I’m proud to have stepped out of my comfort zone.

self portrait of Merritt J. Jones of MJ Creative Works

Self Portrait of Merritt J. Jones in a milk bath with roses.