Herewith some images from a shoot I did recently of Bacardi South Africa’s brand ambassador, Kevin Snyman. We did the shoot at Greenpoint Buena Vista Social Cafe, in the bar area. Traffic Integrated Marketing was pulling all the strings (in terms of PR and modern marketing, some of the brightest minds around).
Brief: cool, funky shots of Kevin that would still be acceptable to papers (with their massive bleed and black print issues), magazines (stylish enough) and general media (not too crazy, but eye-catching, funky and representative of the brand) and also images that’ll show what a class gentleman he is, funky guy, serious contender, stud – you think it, he’s gotta be it.
I have shot Kevin before, as one of the main guys at Liquid Chefs, a flair- and cocktail bar-tending service. We did shoots for the A Touch of Rooibos-project and also a article on rum for Wine magazine. I was glad to shoot with him again, as I recall him being very down-to-earth and easy to direct, and very knowledgeable on the topic of rum. For instance, Mojito means ‘little spell’, derived from ‘mojo’, which means ‘spell’. See, that’s the type of cocktail party factoids you can pick up shooting a man like this. But he can probably tell from which batch of what harvest of sugar cane and molasses a certain bottle of unknown 1857 Cuban rum was made by an unknown guy. You catch my drift.
What is important to remember for photographers (and whoever briefs them) about shoots like this?
CONTEXT and INTENT: left to my own devices, I probably would have liked to shoot crazy hard lighting, dramatic staging etc etc. BUT, one must bear in mind the generic nature of publicity work, and the variety of magazines in a variety of fields and genres it needs to appeal to. Like I mentioned earlier; Die Burger won’t accept dark images, as it’ll screw up their black point bleads and create yucky images. Some magazines refuses to publishes imagery showing alcohol consumption, another, like Huisgenoot, needs something a tad more conservative and family orientated, to fit in the the images they receive of other celebs. So yes, you need to be able to be creative, but with class and understanding of the outcome.
The great part of the shoot was also the venue. It had just the right amount of rustic elements to make for dramatic Cuban background, yet at the same time being authentic as a bar. In this particular instance, shooting studio shots would not have been remotely as effective. Inevitably, when lighting in a space like that, the ambience of the interior rubs off in your shot, not just by the background, but also by the way ambient light and flash reflects of the colours present in the room. It also creates the opportunity to blend lights and get all technically creative.
Herewith some outtakes and a video of the proceedings and behind the scenes action.
Again… a company aware of their profile will get proper photography done for their staff portraits… should you have any queries, don’t hesitate to call.