Article by Matt Suess
On two separate occatiions last year in 2007 – once in late summer and again in early fall for a total of about 8 days – I traveled to New Mexico to two different locations for a photo shoot for a company looking to use the images to promote two new developments.
The client was a group who, as per their literature, “purchase ecologically important properties in the path of development, then protects them through a unique combination of low-density development and large, open natural areas. We designate a very limited number of homesteads, blending them aesthetically into the natural topography and leaving the vast majority of a community’s space open and permanently untouched.”
The client found out about me quite by accident. Attending one of my art festivals in New Mexico last year, he fell in love with my work. After exchanging a couple phone calls and emails and mentioning that I used to do a lot of editorial and advertising photography (I now primarily concentrate on my artwork full-time, accepting the occasional editorial/advertising assignments that really excite me) we both decided it would be great to work together on their project.
My assignment was to photograph the natural beauty of these two homesteads with an emphasis on the open space available, breathtaking views, wildlife, and beautiful atmosphere prevalent. After being given brief tours of the properties, I spent time either exploring and photographing by myself or with the company of the client and advertising agency that was hired to put the campaign together.
Photo shoots were scheduled for me to be on location before sunrise and during sunset – the normal ideal times for landscape photography. That usually meant getting up at the hotel a couple hours before sunrise and not returning until a couple hours after sunset. Two days of the shoot included working with a group of 4 models, as well as a hair and make-up artist.
The middle of the day was saved for meetings with the client and advertising company to look over photos taken so far. First I would download images to my Mac laptop. Viewing, selecting, and quick color corrections were accomplished using Lightroom and a slideshow was made as well for quick and easy client viewing.
On-site previewing has been something I have been offering clients ever since I moved to a digital workflow full-time some 8+ years ago. Long gone are the days of waiting for film to be developed and sent to the client. Instant approval or regection of photos while on-location provides the opportunity for both the photographer and client/advertising company the ability to both know exactly how the photo shoot is going and gives the ability to modify and adjust plans on the fly.
Once favorite photos were selected on-location I then further optomized the images at my home studio using my color calibrated system. Finished files were uploaded to the advertising agency via FTP, and were appearing in print by late fall of 2007.
The above two photos show how the photos look with the entire ad layout. Each of these layouts were standard magazine sized. Other photos used in this essay were taken from sections of the entire ad. Note that I added the ©www.mattsuess.com watermark prior to uploading on the web and did not appear in the ads.
© Matt Suess