Photographing Classic Violins

Kelin Violin Silhouette

Kelin Violin Silhouette

I was recently contacted by a representative of a local violin maker to bid a shoot of some violins for their brochure and website.  We agreed to do a test shoot, which turned into a late-night shoot in my new Frisco studio of more than 10 violins and a couple of Violas.  The entire project was shot, edited and delivered in less than 24 hours.

During the course of our project I went to take a few shots at the workshop of Kelin Zhang a Master Luthier, who makes some amazingly beautiful violins.  I saw not a single power tool in his workshop and if you know anything at all about woodworking or musical instruments, you should appreciate the amount of time, skill and patience required to produce a fine instrument entirely by hand.  Kelin’s work area looks much like the one my bride frequently complains about in my workshop, with piles of materials and tools in a seemingly vast chaotic scrapyard.  Yet he, like myself, knows where everything he needs is located and works effortlessly amid the apparent chaos.

What impressed me most, were the “vintage” violins he produces. These modern instruments, created from scratch just this year, look for all the world to be two centuries old with hundreds of hours of use.  The time and skill it must take to achieve this end result!  Their website does not yet have the new images we shot, but if you wish to learn more about this local artisan, visit The current catalog shows violins on a black background.  Our shoot was done with a white background.

You can see a larger version of this image in the Fine Art gallery.

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