12 Jan 2017

Tees Valley 'Less Fuss By Bus' Campaign Photography

A recent North East commercial photography job saw me spend half a day on a bus doing photographs for Middlesbrough creative marketing agency The Creative Alchemist, who hired me to take the pictures for Local Motion and Connect Tees Valley’s ‘Less Fuss by Bus’ campaign the advantages of travelling by bus.

At our planning meeting we discussed the type and range of shots that were needed, and any restrictions such as not using easily identifiable landmarks, as the campaign was to cover Tees Valley and South Durham. We also looked at how the pictures would be used, as this has a big impact on what and how I shoot. In this case the agency wanted a flexible range of shots for potential use in everything from web banners and skyscrapers to print and large format for outdoor advertising, including the side of buses themselves.

Having agreed in advance that both night and day pictures were needed, on the day I turned up armed with greaseproof paper and masking tape to prevent light streaming through the bus windows, which could have made getting the right shots difficult and would definitely have spoiled the night time look we wanted. I carry light diffusers as part of my portable kit, but being someone who prefers a ‘belt and braces’ approach, as well as portable studio lights and a mobile power pack I turned up ready with all sorts of useful bits and pieces just in case.

Our stage was a brand new bus which had a permit to park all day in the centre of Middlesbrough.  With two clients present, the team from The  Creative Alchemist, several models from Tyne Tees Models plus yours truly, there was quite a crowd of us at the photoshoot, which lasted around 3-4 hours so we scheduled several breaks in to keep everyone fresh.

I went along with lots of ideas in my head for potential shots, but that’s the funny thing about being a professional photographer, you often arrive at a job and decide that while an idea done one way won’t work, approached in a different way it becomes a great shot. Over the years I’ve learned that every job evolves, it’s an integral part of the process.

The Models were Libby Hancock, Grace Bungoni (night), Craig Ord and Camillia Priest (daytime) who were all fantastic, accommodating team and fun to work with as we moved around both decks of the bus taking pictures from various spots. Thanks to everyone’s professionalism this was a really enjoyable and rewarding commission, and you may already have spotted the resulting pictures across the North East in the run up to Christmas 2015.

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