Earlier this year we were approached about photographing two print ads for Minwax. Their agency sometimes builds sets to shoot their print ads. This time they envisioned shooting on a location that would have the sort of ambiance that is difficult or impossible to manufacture. An ad campaign of this size requires well produced photographs shot to a tight, pre-determined layout -- it required we set up our studio on location for the day.
Each of the ads would showcase a different piece of custom furniture and a model playing the part of a satisfied DIYer showing off their efforts in their garage/basement/workshop. The furniture, its beautiful grain and finish, would be the hero in the shot and needed to be beautifully lit.
In preparation for the shoot and using the ads' layout as a strict guide, we spent a day at our studio running through several lighting options that provided beautiful, glare-free light for the furniture but also would flatter the modeling talent.
On the day of the shoot we descended on the beautiful barn that had been selected as the location. Representatives from the client and the ad agency were on set all day to oversee the shoot and approve images. The rest of the team included a prop and wardrobe stylist, a makeup and hair artist, the two models, a carpenter (to tweak last minute details on the furniture and set), and our photo crew.
As well as all of the lighting and grip gear, we also brought along two computers. Using the a wireless transmitter hooked up to our cameras, we displayed the photographs on a large monitor immediately as they were being shot and got continuous feedback from the agency. This set up is invaluable to the client and art director when working on shoots where a tight layout dictates the composition of the photograph. We were able to overlay the layout over the images soon after taking a shot.