Monday, August 18, 2014
Sheriff Recruitment Campaign
Shot a corporate job all last week for the San Diego Sheriff's Department and their Recruitment division. It was an especially fun job because "recruitment", in this case, is kind of a buzzword for photos that need to attract a younger, late teen, early Twenties demographic. That means the imagery needed to show a lot of action with a combination of hard work and having a little fun while on the job. We spent 4 days flying in helicopters, staging mock-riots, hostile pull-overs, armed structure entries, repelling, K-9 patrols, shooting all kind of cool guns and photographing their patrol cars in sexy locations. I was in guy heaven.
One of the challenges of being a photojournalist and bringing it into the corporate world is trying to make staged situations appear real and natural, as opposed to set-up and "stock-like". In the Newspaper, magazine world, we go to a scene, find the action and record it without direction. In the corporate world, we go to a scene, set it up and then work to capture an image that looks and feels fluid and natural. My mantra, if that doesn't sound too pretentious, is to first keep it real and very low key, meaning very minimal lighting, assistants and general gear on-hand which can sometimes slow things down and give the photos too slick of a look. I really try and use available light and whatever other elements can add to the overall mood. The other method is to have the subject(s) do whatever it is that they normally do while I just record it(Fly on the Wall). In all the above photos, the deputies were doing training drills and exercising the way they do every day. I just told them to "do what you normally do" Sometimes I'll turn some folks around to be in the sun or pick a more visual scene but in general, I try to be as invisible as possible.
I'm finding more and more these days that clients want to show their workers and product in a more honest and natural light. The days of perfect, set-up looking stock photos are over as consumers have become more media savvy and distrust imagery that looks too fake.
Hire a Photojournalist!!