The Spring summer catalogue that I shot last Sept has just come out in the shops so I’m free now to share some of the images and the story behind the shoot.
I was on my way back from NZ in July when I got an email from Mark Brigham asking me if I’d be interested in shooting the SS17 catalogue in Sept 16 . Its seemed like a great opportunity and I was really honoured to be asked so I jumped at the chance. the brief was great , go out , create art and add your own style to anything we shoot, basically do what ever you want ! what a brief, it was music to my ears . My take on Adventure sports photography has always been to create something thats more than just ‘here’s a person on a rock’ , the idea that you can create art through creative composition and use of camera hardware is something that really inspires me
Of course the athlete team is all important and you need athletes that are both confident and also willing and happy to work with the photographer. I suggested Jordan and Naomi, a couple I have worked with over a number of years on the Wild Country photoshoots and know they are top level athletes
Martin and Lilly have been part of the EB model team for a number of years and knew exactly what was required . As usual on these types of shoot, there are a number of outfit changes per day and I tried hard to get as many different types of shot from working within a fairly small area.
As well as images for EB , we were also trying to get images that show the area well to promote Innsbruck as a summer walking/hiking destination as well. The abundance of lifts to get you up high quickly makes it a great place for ridge scrambles and Via Ferrata.
The shoot was over 4 days and we did high mountain/ low mountain , trail running and urban type shots. I love the variety and thinking how to get the best out of each location whatever the weather was doing and also to try and keep things as natural and authentic as possible. One of my pet hates is really staged unauthentic shots in catalogues with all shiny hardware thats clearly never been used, on models that also have no idea what climbing or mountaineering is about . The one thing I did say when I met with the EB team was that we must have climbers who actually climb to keep a level of reality in the images.
I was using the Elinchrom ELB400 with Skyport trigger , a great bit of kit for adding a bit of pop and bringing up the colours and detail in the clothing. I carry 3 main lenses, the fisheye 8-15, 24-70 2.8 and the 70-200f4 , all Canon L lenses and all in my F stop Loka UL pack
On the day we were shooting the trail running , the cloud was low and we had no view of the mountains or valley so instead of trying to work with the mountains scape , I worked with details , foreground layering and composition. I like working with strong diagonals , I don’t really think about rule of thirds or anything but work more with a sense of balance in the image. Photography to me is more about what you don’t include in an image , excluding distracting features and allowing the image to stand on its own merit with the minimal of elements but enough to create the feel and emotion that you want in the image.
We were also wanting to get softer images of hiking and just having fun being in the mountains and try and make the shots natural and informal and having the models able to feel relaxed on camera is key to that. Lily and martin were both great at being relaxed and introduced a sense of playfulness into the shoot which is great.
I’m giving a talk on the 2 May at the Covent Garden store in London and if anyone who reads this is coming along , then say hi : )