Nick Elias

Nick Elias WaterPear Photography  

Nick Elias | Lower Lake, California, USA

nickelias[at] | +1 (707) 479-0695

Q&A with Nick

How did you get into taking pictures for a living?

I was given a little Kodak camera when I was 7, so that got me started. I went on to study photography in art school in Bath, England, and worked in photo labs and the graphic arts before beginning to shoot commercially in the early 90’s. I mainly did landscape at first, founding a small publishing company called Water Pear Press, which still distributes my notecards and other items today.

Tell me about your 360º photography studio setup! For starters, what kind of camera do you shoot with?

Ours is a small studio in the Northern California “wine country” and we use high definition ”full frame” Canon cameras, mostly 5D Mark 2’s, for our 360 work.

What type of products are you particularly good at creating 360º views of? Do you have a specialty?

We don’t have any particular specialty, but the size of our studio means we are best suited to smaller items like toys and shoes.

Describe your ideal client for shooting a 360º view.

We have worked with all kinds of people and companies and always enjoy meeting new people and facing new challenges. Our ideal client is the one that likes our work!

For 360º photography, do you prefer shooting in high volume or low volume?

Either one, we do both large and small projects.  

What kind of things do you do for fun? You know, outside of work?

I like ordinary things like spending time with friends and family, going for walks, watching good movies, and reading the occasional good book. I also like to draw and paint, and to make the occasional (non-commercial) video documentary.

Who are some clients you’ve done work with in the past?

Pottery Barn, The Wall Street Journal, Random House Books, Mercedes Benz, Lonely Planet, Diageo Corporation, Le Figaro Magazine, The Culinary Institute Of America, Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Being in the “wine country” we have done quite a lot of projects for wineries, including studio shots of their wine bottles.

How does your pricing work for 360º product photography?

Everyone’s budget and needs are different, so we prefer to be flexible. We quote on a per project basis since there are always so many variables. But on average our hourly studio rate for 360 shots works out to be in the $150-$200 range, and we provide a preliminary test shot of one of your products for free. If you want to talk about specific aspects of what you need done feel free to give us a call and we can pretty quickly give you an idea of what the cost will be.

What’s a memorable project you’ve worked on in the past?

My personally most memorable studio project was probably an Italian cookbook we did called “Elodia Rigante’s Italian Immigrant Cooking”. The publisher was Elodia’s son and it was his tribute to his mother and her New York Italian heritage. It was before digital, so we holed up in a small house in the country for three months with a large format 4×5 sheet-film camera and did 2-3 meals a day for 3 months, distributing the food to the locals because it was way too much for us to eat ourselves!

What’s the best way for someone to get in touch with you?

Email or phone, either one is good. Feel free to call if you’re in a rush or want to simply touch base about the project: 707-479-0695 (


Contact Nick

nickelias[at] | +1 (707) 479-0695