Behind the Scenes: Creative National Ad Campaign with Michael Herb
A few months ago we featured one of commercial photographer Michael Herb’s tutorials on masking and composting. Michael is back with an awesome behind the scenes video of a national ad campaign he shot for Textile Designer Patty Madden. Michael set out to create some creative photos to showcase the unique advertising that hasn’t really been seen before in a nation ad campaign for furniture.
I recently sat down with the commercial photographer to get his take on this refreshing ad campaign.
“Textile Designer Patty Madden came to me with an idea to create a layered campaign with stark contrast between the soft curves of a beautiful model, intricate tattoos and Patty’s textile designs on interesting furniture. This of course was about as far from what the industry is used to as you could get. Designs are typically displayed rolled and simply photographed. Patty wanted nothing like that. The idea for the shoot was also to create a series of full page magazine ads for national publications.
The whole project was an amazing experience. Not only did I get to create seven ads for National publication I also had the privilege of working with a team of talented people including Patty Madden, Lea Jung (model) and Danielle Helms makeup.
The majority of my shoots are shot with the post processing in mind. Which means I shoot with a clear concept of the final image in my head. I joke to people that I can photoshop in my head and its actually true. I can break down layers in my head and lay out images so that I can capture the elements needed. I often pause during shoots and space out. This is me going into my head and sorting through the layers and checking things off.
When working with a team I take that mental image and sketch it up so everyone can see. This makes thing so much easier when shooting, similar to storyboards. The foreground shots were shot in my clients large garage in South Florida. We opted to shoot this way so we could utilize her large home, kitchen, bathrooms and not be under any time restraint. We thought about using a studio and although, it would have worked, it wouldn’t have been as comfortable.
I opted to utilize the budget on other aspects of the shoot, like backgrounds. The images utilized selective color to draw the viewers eye first to the product then to the image as a whole. We loved the look of the images in full color but tests showed that the viewer was first drawn to the model then the image as a whole and they never really saw the product as the focal point. Advertising shoots often require that creativity take a backseat to the product. After all, the whole point is to show the product and that is what you’re being paid for. However, we stressed the creative aspect in this campaign and walked a very thin line between too much creativity. I think we found a good balance.
In the end we accomplished the goal and made people stop and stare. Regardless of whether they liked the ad or not, it was different enough to get them to stop and notice. It sticks in their mind and we win!
These images along with ads I created for another campaign can be found in current issues of Interior Design Magazine.