Blog #181 DATE 10/27/16
This image came from a three-day shoot—here’s the story.
The SanDisK Company asked us to make photographs for their new advertising print campaign. They wanted a collage of images of models moving with great energy that would be captured and stored on their Flash drives. They wanted to show how images, even those bursting with over-the-top energy, could be stored readily. The company’s ad agency asked for a wide range of men and women, even children, from all races.
I worked very closely with the art director, Doug Penman.
Austin Chang, one of the two kids we photographed for the project.
How to do this? The first thing was a major casting call. We brought more than 200 models to the studio; I asked them to demonstrate their physical abilities and creativity. How many things could they do with their bodies? What was their range? Could they be free and crazy and daring. And, of course, could they look good while not appearing to be careful? (Not easy for a lot of models.) Finally, how responsive were they to my directions: e.g. “Jump up. bend your right knee, put your left hand behind your head, spin around and giggle loudly!” Not really, but about 10% of people can not readily access their right from their left and another 10% are unable to take direction. You cannot cast such souls to such a physically demanding shoot.
Model: Sajata. Her dress kept falling down. I urged her on, and promised her I would discard any wardrobe malfunctions. I did.
From this very large group, I picked eight women, six men, and two kids. These 16 humans had within them the ability to take direction, be physically crazy, silly, even bizarre, and to move with total abandon. I asked each model to bring the music that inspired the most energy and physical freedom, to be played during their sessions.
We also asked our stylist, Karen Schijman, to find great, modern fashions that would look good and hold up to the rigors of wild physical movement.
During the three days of the shoot, I asked each model to derive ideas from watching every other model during their shoots. I had each model work for about 20 minutes—-shorter if I felt the movements were getting repetitive, longer if the model was particularly creative and full of new ideas. And I had each model rest then repeat an hour later, taking four or five turns “on stage.” This wasn’t an easy assignment for the models, but when ideas overflowed, as they did with the Australian model, Narelle Payne (below), the results were wild, wonderful, and free.
I asked the models to surprise me. When they did something that was wonderful I had them repeat themselves, making small adjustments. To inspire greater effort, I yelled encouragement, complimented and loved everyone of them for their effort and performance.
I might tell a model to imagine tripping and falling off a high diving board, or being buffeted by hurricane winds, or I might tell them to spring up and scream. Sometimes, to boost the feeling of freedom (from gravity), I had them elevate from a trampoline.
I made a few thousand images so full of life that no one on the set – ad people, SanDisk execs, models, hair and make-up artists, even my assistants (who’ve been in on a lot of shoots) ever got tired or bored. At the end of each day, we left the studio exhausted as well as phenomenally energized.
Mercedes Lopez. To depict “business” a brief case was used.
These were a few of the images that SanDisc used for their Campaign.
Snappy little video I composed as a celebration of the phenomenal effort everyone made.
Most of the cast–were they having fun, or what?!
Glitterati Incorporated, the publisher of the Retrospective, Schatz Images: 25 Years is now offering the two- book boxed set at a discount from the original price. The set comes with an 11″x14” print of the buyer’s choice.