Most photographers can count on one hand the number of times they pitched an idea to an agency and the client went for it. This project was just that!
Our friends at Woodruff Sweitzer came to us because one of their clients wanted to shoot of all the ingredients that went into their product. "Do you have any ideas?" they asked. We said we'd think about it and get back to them in a couple days.
After doing a little research on the product, it seemed to have a very Alaskan wilderness feel. David called the Woodruff Sweitzer team and suggested creating a set similar to a rustic Alaskan hunters cabin, with an appropriately rustic table on which to place all of the ingredients. "What the heck!" David said. "We might as well go for broke and make it look like an old Dutch Masters painting!"
Well, to David's surprise, both the agency and client loved the idea!
Now what? How do we pull this off?!?
Fortunately, the final deadline allowed plenty of time to gather all the props and get the food products researched, ordered and assembled. It goes without saying that adequate time to prepare upfront really makes a difference to the final outcome of a project.
We ordered a rustic wood background, fresh salmon and trout flown in from Seattle, smoked leg of lamb, wild boar prosciutto, venison, turkey, berries, flowers and so much more. We researched and locally sourced the perfect table to shoot on. It just so happened though that the day we went to pick the table up, it was on sale, and all three Kansas City stores were sold out. Fortunately, we were able to find a similar table available in town. Wowza, that was a close call!
On shoot day, everything went flawlessly. The creative team's direction along with David's vision and our food stylist's top-notch styling resulted in a final image that everyone was elated with. We collaborated well and had fun along the way.
David didn't have anything in his portfolio that looked at all like his vision, yet the agency and client trusted that we could pull it off. He will be forever grateful for their trust. This project specifically reinforces that just because a photographer doesn't have an image of a red shoe or kid playing basketball or a "__fill in the blank__" in their portfolio, doesn't mean they can't shoot exactly what you need and make it look awesome.
We truly believe that if opportunities for photographers and agency creatives to collaborate happened more frequently and sooner in the creative process, there would be more innovative and eye-catching advertising imagery in the marketplace.
Please keep throwing challenges like this at us, and we'll keep knocking them out of the park!
David adding some finishing touches to the set.
Our Food Stylist unpacking the white quails she sourced that morning in Nebraska.
Sarah Hunt, aka "The Fish Whipper."
Fresh trout, anyone?
Nothing like a little jump rope with the sausage links!
Putting some final touches on the image in post.
A little input from the creative team.
Working with the wild-life painter to makes sure the colors look right on the new packaging.
We were thrilled to have our friend Steve Sweitzer on set a few weeks before he retired.
David and Sarahs version of the final image.
At first glance, you might think this bounty of food is for a healthy meal we were about to consume. You'd be mistaken. These foods are actually some of the ingredients used in our client's natural dog food. Steak, chicken, salmon, spinach, grains, fruits, and veggies. Not bad if you're a human -- or a dog! We got to use our beautiful kitchen as our background and shot with an Instagram-filtered look. When the campaign releases I'll post the final images.
Doing a little prop styling.
Beans, rice, barley, oats, flax.
Adding a little more grain here and there for the final touch.
Thanks, Ben for shooting these behind the scenes shots!