For as long as I have been able to communicate, I have been a storyteller.
I fabricated some pretty elaborate stories when I was really young. In elementary school I realized I could draw, and therefore illustrate my tales. One of my first pieces was “The Adventures of Pizza Man,” a full-color comic strip about a crime-fighting slice of pepperoni pizza with arms, legs and a face. I also realized at a young age the value of a well-crafted tale, so I sold my Pizza Man comics to classmates for five cents a piece. I’m still telling stories today, but my price on a good narrative has appreciated.
Many know OOHology for the websites we design, and they should – they’re bad ass. But websites are one platform among many that we utilize to tell a brand’s story. We approach every new client or task as an opportunity to share a brand’s story with their audience and build a relationship with customers.
In addition to illustrating personified food, another skill I’ve developed is photography. I worked as a photojournalist for two years, so I’m a strong advocate for the power of professional imagery. I’ve pulled a few examples from three very different client photo shoots to show the value of photography in telling your brand’s story. The results and styling are very different but they consistently illustrate the brand’s personality.
Client: Sazerac Company
Task: Illustrate the quality and versatility behind several Sazerac products. Create several canvas-quality images.
This was not your typical alcohol brand photo shoot, which so often focus solely on photographing the bottles. We wanted the bottle shots and also the process of using Sazerac products. The client wanted a series of images that captured the process of creating several classic cocktails in which Sazerac products were staple ingredients. Ah hem, again, we’re telling a story.
We wanted a location that would photograph well and capture the company’s New Orleans’ spirit. I was proud of our work from this shoot, particularly the shots of the finished cocktails. I wanted the depth of field to be as shallow as possible without losing much detail from the drinks. The images also needed to emphasize the drinks’ color and beauty, such as the fresh green mint hanging from Mint Julep.
If these photos don’t make you want to order a Mint Julep or Classic Sazerac, you probably don’t drink.
Client: Comfy Cow
Task: Create product shots and capture the fun and eccentricity of Comfy Cow.
The first thing you notice when you walk in a Comfy Cow ice cream shop is there is a lot to notice. There are chairs with udders, chandeliers made of ice cream scoops and of course, mind-boggling amounts of sweet treats. The challenge with working in a venue with so much character is siloing your efforts enough to tell the story without being overwhelming. I think we managed to capture this quite well, mostly because the shots still make me want to leave work right now and head to the nearest Comfy Cow.
Tim and Roy, the owners, wanted the ice cream to look ready to eat. It couldn’t be too firm, but obviously shouldn’t be too melted. We also wanted shots that show Comfy Cow with a lot of customers, an easy task considering the joint is always hopping after dinner. The combination of the product and environmental shots are working together beautifully in the design of their new website, which will launch soon.
Client: Openrange Gun Range
Task: Capture the fun and excitement of visiting the gun range.
Openrange is an incredible place. Barry, the owner, has done a great job of creating a gun range that operates as a learning environment but is not too stuffy, always safe and never judgmental. It allows visitors to simply have fun. When Tyler and I scouted the facility for this photo shoot, that was Barry’s repeated request: “This should look like fun, because it is.”
I began to do research on professional photos at gun ranges, just to get an idea for what had been done, and was unable to find a single photo that captured “fun.” All of the range photos that I found were cold, excessively masculine, impersonal or political, none of which would meet Barry’s expectations. We also faced the challenge of safely capturing someone’s face as they fired a machine gun without being in harm’s way. Again, safety is always top priority.
The solution was mounting a camera in front of the pistol range. We captured some great expressions that are just… fun. We were also very careful to follow the range’s safety protocols so that we were always illustrating proper safety measures.
Each of these shoots had its own challenges, but in the end, we found a way to tell the brand’s story. If you want to talk about how we can help tell your brand’s story, or if you have a nickel and would like a copy of “The Adventures of Pizza Man,” email me today.