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Behind The Lens

Everyday, we are exposed to hundreds of advertisements that aim to inspire, promote, and entertain, but have you ever taken a moment to step back and contemplate the efforts behind creating them? How many hours were spent developing that winning idea?  How many photos did it take to get that perfect shot? How many drafts were edited and re-edited before the final product was approved? From the subtleties of a facial expression to the colour of a t-shirt, detail is everything; in fact, I witnessed this truth first hand earlier this month.


Recently, I had the chance to join the Interkom team on-set of the Young Drivers of Canada 2013 photo shoot, and let me tell you, the journey from idea to execution is a long one, with many stops along the way. In the weeks leading up to the shoot date, the Interkom office was a buzz with preparation. With only two days to shoot over 100 scenes,our team worked tirelessly alongside Young Drivers staff, checking and double-checking everything, ensuring we would stay on track with our packed shoot schedule.

Arriving on-set the morning of Day 1 was quite different than any photo shoot I have encountered before.  As a photographer myself, my place has always been behind the camera, assisting with staging and providing direction, but this time, however, I was front and centre, playing the role of a student learning to drive, and smiling ear to ear.

Fulfilling a different role than I am use to, I really gained an appreciation of the many hands at work on location.  From the photographer to the talent,everyone had a job to do, and luckily for us, we had the pleasure of working with a fantastic cast and crew.

Shooting outdoors can be tricky business, and for any photographer, light and shadow are the tools of the trade.  The wrong placement of one light or extra millisecond your shutter is open can transform any photograph from ‘perfect’ to ‘needs work’.  Luckily, our photographers brought over 25 years of photo professionalism, staging every set-change with beautiful consistency, and captured amazing results.

Even in the blistering heat of a mid-July day, spirits were high on-set.  Our talent took direction wonderfully – a living dream for any photographer, and they were absolute troopers, sticking out the 30-degree weather in their fall wardrobe.  In addition to their acting chops, our models quickly became friends, displaying strong chemistry that translated well in the many group shots captured.  Their upbeat attitudes and cooperation made it easy to breeze through our crammed schedule, and allowed us to have a few laughs along the way.

As we ran through each scene, I noticed something of a rarity between our client, the photographers, and us.  Generally, a unified creative vision is something hard to come by, but in this instance, the opinions and ideas of each party blended extremely well, resulting in fantastic shots we are all proud of.  Creative vision may stem from a single idea, but it is the help this idea receives that allows it to grow into something truly great.  We were all a part of the process, and our ability to work well with each other resulted in two successful days of shooting.  We feel lucky to have worked with a group of professionals that are highly skilled in their field, go above and beyond in their roles, and are always open for creative discussion.

There may be many stops on the journey from idea to execution, but as I have witnessed first hand at the photoshoot, proper planning, a dedicated team of professionals, and great communication makes all the difference in ensuring your journey is a smooth one.

– Steve