David Carter

David Carter of Carters Product Photography
David Carter at work in the workshops.

In 1984 after a successful career in the food industry David Carter moved his family West to the Lake District to chase the light of a mountain painter..

Strange occupation perhaps but at that time work was plentiful and his unique style won him work projects with The National Trust, the BBC and notable patrons in the UK and USA.

Like everything that Carter seems to do his work became almost a “marmite choice”. you either loved it or loathe it. For those whofell into the “love” camp then Carters work became literally collection pieces and many customers have multiple pieces. For the group of Lakeland artists who cliqued to the traditional well that was always going to be a marmite “no”..

For Carter life got harder as the family’s much loved children appeared and required feeding , watering and clothing… hello school shoes.. So with a swift turn of industry based foot and help from mum and dad the painting continued along with a second more practical business of picture framing.

Busy again and with days stretching from 4:30am to after 10pm life continued through the years and the creative side diminished as improved offerings of manufacturing capability through computerised machinery came into play. At that time Carters were one of the few in the vanguard of basic computerised mount cutting in volume.

By 2011 domestic life after so many early starts and so many missed lonley Sundays took a massive hit and everything fell apart other than the care and regard of my children. By 2014 the final days of domestic life had gone and life as he’d known it changed forever. Ironically the work from his other company continued to accumulate. New ways of product presentation using just cardboard hit the established market and the “marmite ” moments came again. You either loved the new Jay struts or hated them. . Hoever Carters stayed busy….

By 2016/17 the “creative” urges couldn’t be stifled any further and Carters Product Photography was born. The “Quest for Light” so long deffused by economic need since the early mountain days raised its long finger and beckoned.

But this time years or experience and hard won effort in making new markets and selling into them made Carters realise that you cannot compete in product photography on a level with people the like Jonathan Beer, Josh Cauldwell and Karl Taylor.’s of this world. .

Even with the best kit, the best studio the biggest opportunities it’s not possible unless like them you are prepared to earn “best in class”. To get there you have to be behind the camera all the time ..learning. For Carter 4:30am starts beckoned again.

As the Quest for Light gets underway Carters Mounts continued with a blue chip client list including The Celtic Manor, all four of the Royal Palaces, Downing Street, Newmarket race course, Al Basti, Chester, Weatherbys .. not bad for a start in a 10 foot square shed in the garden… In the corner at 5am, 6am 10pm the camera quietly clicks.

During several years of practice mistakes are plentiful.., buying the wrong kit ,misunderstandings and misapplication of “The Light” . Wrong settings, unclean product and forgetting to remove product labels which become plain to see when the image is 3 feet across. But the Quest for Light continues.

And so it does and tonight as I sit here writing in the quiet of the dark the descion for the next “marmite” moment has been made as we steer the effort towards went white background photography and primarily ceramics ( and leather and soft toys ) .

White background the experts say is “easy”. Perhaps it si if you ignore the background at shooting time and effectively “cut out” the image and digitally stick it to a photoshop background. Perfectly acceptable but not much good for learning and not much good to be “best in class” if you can’t grasp the fundamentals to do it.

If you do it “in camera ” technically it’s easy, apparently….. but what you learn very quickly if you get it wrong is just how important that the “Quest for Light”.. becomes a nightmare if you can’t bring it under control… nearly …..

As a side issue working with White backgrounds is a brilliant training ground for future stylised photography.where they are not needed.

So now what you see on this site are example after example of bright shiny ceramics in all shapes and sizes. Different surfaces, decoration and the majority against white.. A Quest for Light begins

Years of experience indicate the need to get good at one thing, one area so we specialise as a studio in ceramics, soft toys and leather from which ceramics become the number one speciality…

To the past this niche specialisation has always worked to the point where the work produced by specialisation is immediately recognised “as being by “.rather than the product. .