The Brief is a regular feature on the LPA blog which takes a behind the scenes look at a photoshoot, from brief to final images. For this edition we take you behind the scenes of Julian Love’s recent shoot for First Great Western, and we’ve even included a handy photoshoot glossary!
Photographer: Julian Love
Client: First Great Western
Agency: The Leith Agency
Art Director: Ian Fletcher
Usage: All Media, worldwide, in perpetuity
Edinburgh based The Leith Agency recently came to us with a fantastic brief for Julian Love for First Great Western (now Great Western Railway.) This was to be a high profile, above the line campaign, capturing some of the many destinations that can be reached by Great Western Railway – including London, Exeter, Cardiff and Bristol. We knew Julian would be the perfect man for the job, with his excellent portfolio of location photography and understanding of the relationship between copy and image.
© Julian Love / Bristol Hero Shot
“The South West is full of stunning scenery. We’ve already captured lots of destinations. But we want more. “
Julian was called upon to get ‘under the skin’ of each destination, capturing the buzz of the locations. First Great Western wanted one hero shot in each city, as well as a number of smaller incidentals at restaurants, bars, shops, museums and such, getting to the heart of each area. Julian is known for his ability to capture authentic narratives in his polished signature style, so we knew he would do a fantastic job.
This was to be an eight-day shoot, with two days allocated to each city. There was a lot to consider location-wise, so we set to putting an estimate together straight away.
In our estimate we included:
– Photographer’s fees for 8x days
– Travel fees
– Recce fees for a half day in each city
– Weather day
– Photographic expenses – digital capture, post production and equipment
– Location scout
– Location permits
– Crew consisting of a photographer’s assistant and producer
– Transport and Accommodation
– Subsistence – lunch and evening meals
The Leith Agency supplied us with a detailed brief containing ideas for locations in each city, along with creative visuals which communicated the mood they were aiming to capture. These were their initial ideas for each location:
London – street food, markets, nightlife such as theatres, Leicester Square, Covent Garden, Shoreditch, graffiti, Brick Lane market, Spitalfields market.
Bristol – Cabot Circus, shopping boutiques, little streets, night life/ lights,
street art, urban night time.
Exeter – Guildhall, shopping boutiques, rows of shops,
night life/ lights, eating/ drinking areas, the buzz of the city.
Cardiff – markets,
night life/ lights, eating, drinking, shopping,
urban night time, the buzz of the city, Millennium Stadium.
This was a great starting point for us to explore the cities with the key hero shots in mind. We enlisted the help of location scout Rob Murray from RoLo Productions, who visited each city to scout potential locations to feedback to Julian. Armed with these shortlisted locations and local knowledge, Julian then visited each city to recce. Once he had made his final choices we obtained approval and sign off from the client, and Rob began to gather all the necessary permissions to allow us photograph the locations for the campaign. For the hero shots this involved contacting the local councils or location owners to obtain signed location permits. For the incidental images Rob contacted all restaurants, bars and shops to make sure they were happy to sign a property release form. Rob negotiated a fee with each required location, and ensured that the owners were happy for their premises to be featured in the campaign for First Great Western.
Rob did a fantastic job in finding the most interesting locations for the shoot, particularly considering the sheer quantity needed! Here’s what he had to say about the experience:
“The FGW brief was purely location led which meant we could really focus on finding the unique areas to each city. From the obvious Millennium Centre in Cardiff to the graffiti clad back streets of Bristol, each city had its hidden gem. Logistically, the scouting itself was quite challenging due to the all familiar time constraints but that didn’t take away from the joy of exploring these cities.”
One of the most important aims of the shoot was to capture the urban creativity of each city. The client was keen for Julian to photograph some of the abundant street art for which Bristol is famous, but we knew we had to be mindful of copyright laws in place. If graffiti is produced with the consent of the owner of the structure (building, wall etc), it will be protected by copyright and cannot be photographed without the artist’s permission. Luckily for us, Julian happened to walk past a graffiti artist working on a commission whilst on his recce. He arranged for the artist to be present on the shoot day in order to sign an art work release form, which authorised the replication of his work in the images.
© Julian Love / Bristol Graffiti Incidental
Thanks to the careful planning on the part of The Leith Agency and LPA producer Cassie, the shoot went off without a hitch and it was a really fun one for everyone to be involved with.
Here’s what Julian had to say about the shoot:
“I often travel abroad for shoots so I really enjoyed getting to explore cities closer to home for the First Great Western campaign. Ian Fletcher at The Leith Agency gave me a lot of freedom within the brief to find the most photogenic subjects in each city. Landscape shoots are always somewhat weather dependent and although we had weather days built into the schedule we were lucky and didn’t need to use them. It’s been great to see the final pictures up on billboards everywhere.”
© Julian Love / London Hero Shot
© Julian Love / Exeter Hero Shot
© Julian Love/ Cardiff Hero Shot
Artwork Release Form – A written agreement signed by the artist stating that they grant permission of the use and reproduction of their work in the agreed capacity.
Creative Visuals – Visual references included in a client’s brief as a way of communicating the intended overall look and mood of the shoot.
Hero shot – The main shot, intended to lead the campaign.
Incidentals – Secondary shots, usually of a more spontaneous nature and requiring less set-up than the hero shot.
Location Permits – A document that grants permission (usually by the local council or building owner) for the photographer to shoot in a public space and for the images to be used in a particular way.
Location Scout – The person responsible for sourcing and shortlisting suitable locations, obtaining permits and permissions, and liaising with the photographer to organise the shoot logistics and schedule.
Property Release – A written agreement signed by the property owner stating that they grant permission for their property to be featured in the shoot in the agreed capacity.
Recce – Informal term for reconnaissance. Refers to the photographer visiting the location(s) in advance of shoot to select what will work best.
Weather Day – A contingency day added into the shoot schedule incase bad weather disrupts shoot.