We talk a lot about boxes. How they’re made, what they’re made of, what makes good packaging design. But as much as we like to discuss our work at Taylor Box, you can’t just take our word for it. You don’t want us to tell you about what we make. You want to see what we’re talking about.
If you’ve been following Taylor Box for a while, you’ve seen the remarkable photos of our work. It’s something we’re especially proud of. Not just because the photos are consistently stellar, but because the photography of our boxes represents a relationship emblematic of the human connections that define Taylor Box.
Worth a Thousand Boxes
Marty Doyle has been taking photos for Taylor Box since the Eighties. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Photography, he’s been a professional photographer for nearly forty years. Marty came to Taylor Box by photographing the paintings of Susan Doyle, then taking photos for Susan’s husband, Taylor Box President Dan Shedd.
Marty’s been as up close and personal with our boxes as anybody who works in the shop. Nobody knows the trick to put our packaging in the right light quite like him. There’s craft and diligence that goes into every piece we make and Marty has an adept understanding of how to illuminate that effort.
So, can you make a box beautiful? Marty thinks you can, and it all comes down to light.
The Right Light
“With a box or a glass or a piece of jewelry; it doesn’t move. So, you have a lot of opportunity to get the light just right,” he says.
“Sometimes you turn on the light and you move it around and you go, ‘Oh man, that’s really beautiful’, and that’s kind of what I do with the boxes. I’ll always do a closeup of the logo, or the name or the cover, and I have to work hard with the light because some of those – the way they’re printed- are very tricky.”
And there’s something you might not consider. Boxes can be temperamental and stubborn. Reflective decorations and glossy cover material can make photography difficult. Moving the box in one direction might compromise the appearance of the foil stamping on camera. What looks best for a logo might not look best for the box overall. It’s making those decisions that make Marty our one and only photographer.
Spend five minutes talking to Marty and it’s clear that he loves his work. Commercial photography isn’t as cold and avaricious as you might think. There’s technique and expertise at work in his process that adds life to every image. It’s an art, and Marty takes an artist’s approach to creating impactful product photographs.
“When I do photos for myself, I usually see it in my head- I can see what I want to do before I do it- the eye of the artist is seeing not what’s there but what could be there.”
Culturally, we don’t value the art of commercial photography as much as we should. We tend to think of only portraiture or landscape photography as the real deal. Marty makes you reconsider that. After all, making a box expressive seems like a challenge, doesn’t it? How can a six-sided package evoke emotion?
Marty sees the boxes as loaded with energy, completely expressive all on their own. There are fascinating features built into every project and proper photography goes a long way into emphasizing certain aspects.
“The boxes are beautifully made, they’re crafted beautifully, that shows, so my goal is to show that”.
Our Packaging Partner
So, just how much do we like Marty’s work? When Taylor Box made packaging for the 1988 Seoul Olympics, we took the box to Marty for the requisite photography. Legend has it that President Dan Shedd was so impressed with the resulting photos, he had them printed out and framed.
“The boxes are beautifully made, they’re crafted beautifully, that shows, so my goal is to show that” – Marty Doyle
We’re lucky to have an outstanding network of supporters to fortify our operations, and having a talented photographer on deck is more crucial today than ever. We’re obsessively visual creatures, and if the explosion of digital platforms like Instagram are any indication, we’re compelled to share images. Anybody can take a half-decent photo on their phone- Marty admits it -but the difference between a good amateur shot and a truly professional photograph is a massive gulf.
Photography is one of the most essential business assets in the modern market. You can choose to do it pretty well, or you can choose to do it professionally. We try our best to describe our boxes in the most captivating terms, but without strong photography, our promotional efforts would be sunk. Marty Doyle’s work is an essential part of our identity as a brand and we couldn’t tell our story without him.