Still Images In Great Advertising, is a new column where Suzanne Sease discovers great advertising images and then speaks with the photographers about it.
The big question in our industry is whether “Print is Dead”. This feature reassures that not only is print not dead but great print is still very much alive. Today’s feature is an ad from the agency Walton Isaacson for Basil Hayden’s Whiskey. I interviewed Chris Lake, the photographer who shot the campaign to get the inside story about how he was chosen and the production of the campaign.
Chris was contacted by the art producer from Walton Isaacson to shoot the campaign for Basil Hayden’s (Jim Beam’s high-end small batch whiskey) for his ability to shoot “not the perfect moment” images. He immediately enlisted Monica Joy Zaffarano www.azaffaranoproduction.com to help find the perfect location, casting of over 25 talent, and to keep all the moving parts of a large production running smoothly. Chris noted, “There is no way to have pulled off this shoot without the talent and coordination of Monica. Shooting an afternoon happy hour and a crowded nighttime bar scene during a regular 10 hour day required some creativity in the production. After a lot of scouting with the AD, we found a bar that would work for both shots. For the nighttime shot, we had to get on the roof to block out huge skylights to make it seem like night. I wanted to create a real atmosphere where the principals and 20+ extras would actually feel like they were out in a bar. Monica found a DJ to set the mood and I hired a film DP to help light the room with HMI’s. I felt that strobes would make it feel too much like a photo shoot and less like a fun night out. With this approach, after they went through wardrobe and hair and makeup, the talent could talk and mingle naturally and hopefully forget they were on a shoot.”
Chris hired a Digital Tech so that he could focus on shooting. The tech was able to apply an approximation of the yellow treatment and bring the images directly into the layout so the clients could get an immediate sense of how the final ad would look. The agency is a great creative agency that realizes that with a good production budget, you can get better results. This campaign required creativity in the planning so that when on set, Chris was able to shoot for the client’s layout but still maintain his loose style and shoot a lot of variations. In the end, the agency and client were very happy with the results. Plus, Chris got great tearsheets for his portfolio.
Note: Content for Still Images In Great Advertising is found. Submissions are not accepted.
Chris Lake is a Chicago based photographer who specializes in capturing authentic storytelling moments. His client list includes Allstate, Chase, Johnson & Johnson, and many others. You can see more of his work at www.chrislakephoto.com. When he’s not making pictures he can be found teaching himself the guitar or playing with his 10 month old son.
APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies.