Fielding calls from big city agencies, wanting imagery shot in Hawke's Bay, is always welcomed by SCP. So when Auckland agency BIG Communications contacted Simon a few months back with a brief for ŠKODA, SCP jumped at the opportunity.
Nicole from BIG Communications' call to Simon went along the lines of:
“We're looking to shoot portraits of service technicians at local ŠKODA dealers, one of which will be the EuroCity dealership at 120 Prebensen Drive in Napier. These shots will be used for a nationwide campaign and will also allow the dealers to create localised advertising for their dealership in-sync with the overall campaign."
The gig from BIG Communications was for ŠKODA's 555 Retail Offer and was geared at adding new life to an existing ŠKODA offer while standing out amidst a plethora of summer car promos. The creative uses striking images of service technicians from local ŠKODA dealerships with the headline, “FIVE YEARS FREE DAVE* with every new ŠKODA.”
*Changes out depending on name of technician at local dealership.
The campaign was (in fact still is) primarily run on highly targeted digital channels via banner ad placements, Instagram, Facebook, eDMs and mobile. The campaign is supported by dealer press ads in their local papers and point of sale collateral.
As images were being shot by different photographers all over the country, it was paramount photographic integrity was maintained with regards to composition, lighting, facial expression of the technician, and various other key parameters.
Simon from SCP photographed the portraits for Napier dealership EuroCity at their Prebensen Drive premises early one morning. He used portable studio lighting (two Godox AD600s) and two light modifiers (a 122cm diameter Octabox and a smaller 50cm diameter Octabox), both with grids attached to give some directional control and reduce light spill.
As the final image was to be isolated (removed from the background) and composited into another image, which had predominantly dark/grey tones, Simon shot the subject on a plain grey background. This approach meant the final image could be easily clear-cut and no light would reflect off the wall and onto the subject, which is often difficult to avoid when lighting backgrounds and photographing in restricted spaces.
To see the images applied to the campaign visit: bit.ly/SKODA-555-retail-offer
Simon used a Canon 5D Mk3 DSLR camera with a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L Mk2 lens, an Apple MacBook Pro tethered to the camera via Tethertools #itsbetterwhenyoutether with a high-speed USB cable. The forever trusty Xrite Colour Checker was also used to ensure correct colour reproduction and lighting was supported by Avenger ‘C’ stands.
It’s always challenging to re-create and match the styles of other photographers' shots, but with a some pre-thought, the right preparation, and attention to detail while carrying out the shoot, Simon was able to capture the images and meet the brief with great results.
"When the Napier dealership images were compared to the existing shots, the lighting and style was as near a perfect match as possible. Happy photographer, happy client!"