Still Images In Great Advertising, is a column where Suzanne Sease discovers great advertising images and then speaks with the photographers about it.
I was on the B&A Blog when I saw the ad you did for Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series and was drawn to the drama of the image. I worked on the Mercedes-Benz campaign in the 1990’s for many years so this campaign is especially of interest. I reached out to Carol Alda, whom I have known for years to ask her some questions about the campaign. She kindly had Emir Haveric answer them while he was traveling and shooting another campaign. I truly appreciate him taking the time to answer the questions so in depth. Thank you Carol and Emir!
Suzanne: I see on your bio that you thought you wanted to get in to fashion photography and I see that influence in your automotive work. I think this campaign needed that fashionable flare to set it a part from other car ads. Do you think that is why you were chosen for this campaign?
Emir: This was one of those dream jobs when the Art Director comes to you and says what do YOU want to shoot. The agency presented me with a rough idea and a working title for the project and then enlisted me to build on the concept and make it bigger and better. We had the luxury of shooting a car that was so popular it was almost sold out before we started the campaign. This meant there was not the usual pressure from the client to define this campaign as being successful only if it directly resulted in the sale of more cars. Back to your question, I think that I was ultimately chosen for this job based on the ideas that I suggested to the art director during our initial creative discussion while bidding on the job. Originally, the campaign had a black and white feel, and I suggested adding in the pops of color in the locations to compliment the car. I did reference iconic fashion shoots that integrated the model, clothes, location and color mood to tell a story.
Suzanne: The black crows make the campaign more powerful and more layered. I do not see them in the other images in this campaign. Was that your addition to the concept? And did you shoot the crows or created them in CGI?
Emir: We tried to get that layered feeling in each shot by using different elements: fence, fog, rain or crows. We looked for the maximum drama and did not force every element into each image we were consciously trying to avoid repetition. And yes, I shot the trained crows – beautiful birds!
Suzanne: I noticed that you shoot consistently for Mercedes-Benz as well as other automotive accounts. You must be very buttoned up in the production end. There are many talented photographers but their production or personality on set results in only one assignment. What is your philosophy on set and with clients?
Emir:: My clients always comment on how professional my production team is, especially my photo assistants. I think they keep coming back because they know the quality of work that I will deliver; they know exactly what they will be getting from me. They notice how hard my team is working on their behalf, and they know I am going to push the creative to the limits every time. When the agency sees you as a partner and someone who tries to be part of the creative solution they are motivated to come back to you.
Suzanne: I noticed in your portfolio, you have shot some fashion photography so how was you able to convince a client that you could make a model look as sexy as you could an automobile?
Emir: For the fashion work that you see in my portfolio I was in the lucky situation that the client specifically wanted me to shoot their images. They came to me because of my lighting style and color work, and wanted me to bring that same feeling to their fashion concepts.
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Emir Haveric is one of today’s top automotive shooters and an expert at shooting and composing with CGI. He has shot on every single continent several times over, including the North Pole. Emir Haveric was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia before moving to Germany at the age of 18.
His numerous awards include a Gold at The One Show, Effie Awards, and the Art Directors Club. He was also on the shortlist at Cannes and was a finalist in the 2009 New York Photo Festival.
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.