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Commercial Violin Making Photography

Florian Leonhard Fine Violins logo on artisan's apron


I was very fortunate to be commissioned to undertake commercial violin making photography for Florian Leonhard in London. The company make copies of original Italian violins to the highest standard.

The brief was to document each stage of the build process in their workshop. The violins are hand-crafted by highly skilled artisans. While some companies work from drawings when making musical instruments, the vioins here are copied from real thing. There was an original Stradivarius in the workshop on the day, and I was very careful to keep my distance (although it’s worth pointing out I am fully insured!).

For those of you interested in photography gear, I used Profoto B10X lights with a variety of modifiers, along with my Sony A7R camera and a selection of prime lenses. I kept the lighting simple and organic, in order to match the nature of the work being photographed.

Throughout the day I photographed the artisans working with templates and casts, hand carving the instrument’s body, working with the strings and applying finishing touches to make a truly authentic copy. The violin making process was a fascinating one to photograph, and I was incredibly impressed by the skill of the team.

It was a very enjoyable shoot, and a selection of photos from the day follow.

Artisan working with template in violin making workshop
Stradivarius violin scroll casts in drawer
artisan hand carving a violin in London workshop
Commercial overhead photograph of a handmade violin back next to cast, with chisel and wood shavings
Florian Leonhard and craftsperson in violin making workshop
Commercial photograph of Florian Leonhard Fine Violins logo on apron of artisan working on violin
Artisans in London violin making workshop
Craftperson comparing violin peg with original
Combing violin strings in London workshop

Artisans hand crafting violins in London workshop

And here’s the final result, with all the marks and imperfections of the original:

Commercial photograph of finished Florian Leonhard violin in front of cabinet

You can view more of my commerical photography by clicking here.

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