The right idea, location and light !
"I was asked to photograph the CEO of a leading group of 5 star Maldive resorts. I read he loved his pet Macaw’s. Ideas began to flow."
Behind the Scenes
"There would be no stylist on this shoot. So I decided I would just let him wander in the surf and get a bit splashed up. For after all he was a very hand’s on CEO. Always happy to get his feet wet and hands dirty.
Location was tantamount. I wanted a hint of the bungalows and resort but not too much. The textures of water and sand would compliment the light and the sky.
I purposely requested he dress in white. I wanted the iridescent colours of the Macaw to captivate us. Lastly it was about timing. Getting him where I wanted, at the time of day, strolling along the beach with his Macaw on his arm. He began to remind me a bit of Long John Silver, the famous Caribbean pirate. Something I didn’t want. Luckily my lightning photo-reportage reactions saved the day, and I caught his bird, mid air, making an attempt to escape. Luckily he had it on a tether, but I had my shot!"
Planning, planning and more planning
"I was asked by TBWA Paris, to produce a visual to parody the much celebrated 'VW Small But Tough' prints ad. The original was shot in LA. Paul Vergroegen TBWA"s creative director asked if we could shoot their concept in Cape Town. Our ad won a Cannes SILVER Lion in 2008. Much to our joy.
I let Cape Town for Vietnam not long after, ready for another adventure out East, and due to budgets and lack of creative ideas, I dropped my advertising hat.
But now again, these days I feel like picking it back up, and relish working with creatives with great creative ideas".
Behind the scenes
Shooting in Cape Town, a million miles away from LA, finding a location that matched the road and pavement surfaces, similar cars and paint hues (some good color retouching from Armand), getting the right light direction and intensity and shadows, sourcing costumes and props, finding a talented set decorator to touch up the road and walls with similar marking, was a big big challenge to say the least.
This shoot dictated a very careful location scout, then lots of production planning. Planning with a capital P. I pulled together a talented team of assistants and producers and then on the day, fortunately, the Gods were kind to us. They kept away the clouds and rain just long enough for us to get the shot in the can. And talking about cans. Our ad won a Cannes SILVER in 2008. Much to everyone’s delight.
Anyone who would like to read more about this campaign, can read here;
Oh what fun !
"Oh what fun indeed and quite a laugh to think that not long after shooting big ad campaigns for Paris advertising agencies I was now in Saigon playing around with ideas for fun ‘family portraits; with themes that celebrated the quirkiness of Vietnam. Lots of polkadot costumes.
And it all worked out really well. It soon caught on, like a house on fire. The Saigon expats loved it. I had a lot of fun. Life's about having a laugh is it not!"
Behind the Scenes
"The process was laid back. I didn't get complicated with lighting. Two strobes down the back on an infinity curve and two strobes up front.
I had some good years shooting Saigoncrazee inbetween my serious, real work. The process was a joy. Scouring the Vietnam markets for all sorts of crazy props. collected a ton of props and I had some costumes custom made.
Folks would arrive and raid the costume and props cupboard. Put on anything that caught their eye.
Many of the costumes I still keep, just in case there might be a re-run one day. If anyone of you out there want a Saigoncrazee dress-up jamboree, I'm the photographer to call" :-)