BTS Sunday With Bruno Barbey
Not all corporate photography is a big production. At least on set anyway.
This is a BTS shot from when I was in Cape Town, South Africa, back in February 2014. The photographer I was working with was Magnum photographer Bruno Barbey.
His portfolio was selected by the NY agency my company was working with, BBDO, to do this shoot. The goal for this project: Create and enrich our corporate image library.
What I like to call “corporate stock” – rather than using Getty or Shutterstock, we would have an array of images to choose from that we already own.
Getting back to this particular image, we needed shots of young adults being active – running, hiking, interacting together.
Up top, I said “on set”. Before we hit the sets, it was, indeed, a big production. Bigger than I expected.
All of the participants are actors or models. Often, I shoot with actual patients, but that wasn’t the case here. We worked with a talent agency to find the most diverse cast of characters – I don’t mean that in a bad way – that we could to fill a number of gaps we had in our image library.
In this case, our agency in NY, and one in Cape Town, combed through books of head shots to find the right people we wanted. I had a final say on who we may use, then those folks got a call back. When the agency team, and me, got to Cape Town, we had everyone come in so that we can meet them and see if they’d work. We also worked out what they would wear too (weird to call it a costume, but I guess that’s what it was.)
The agency and my corporate team felt Bruno’s work was authentic and natural-looking to give us that. Two other really big names didn’t get the job (which was weird for me because I would have been thrilled to work with either). Hence, Bruno didn’t pack any lights others than a small flash and we dropped no light stands for the whole two weeks we worked together. No multi-strobes or big octo’s. It was natural light all the time.
The location for this shoot was, oh, about 300 yards from the back patio of our hotel, on the last day we’d be shooting in Cape Town.We shot at about 7 a.m. since the light was golden then. (A day later I’d shoot this while one of Eminem’s road crews took pics next to me – Eminem played the stadium across the street from our hotel the night before. Same time, same pretty light)
Bruno and I had scouted this area the previous day and thought it could fulfill what we needed – a place to show young people being active. Bruno was shooting a Canon 5D Mark 2 for this one.
Here’s Bruno’s final shot that we have in our image library, after being sent out to be professionally retouched. Slightly.
And here’s the wrap party production crew group shot. My little Canon S120 on a small travel tripod with a 20 second timer. Can you find me?
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