I often self produce jobs like this one for clients which is always a great pleasure. It’s creatively rewarding to get involved from the concept level through to final post production.
I shot this ad a while ago for Mens Health Magazine who wanted to run an ad called ” a good catch”, referring to how staying fit and healthy will make you a good catch in the dating scene… As mentioned I self produced the shoot which included creative direction, working with a stylist, choosing models and finding the location. We needed a non-descript fishing spot within reasonable distance to Sydney. Woy Woy was it. A once overlooked small coastal town famously called an “above ground cemetery” by comedian Spike Milligan who spent his childhood there. He was referring to the mainly retired population that lived there, although now it’s a desirable location. I also chose the jetty location as it was facing north which is Australia meant that I had the sun behind the models. The Australian sun is very harsh and rarely do we shoot with the sun directly onto models unless it can be scrimmed and balanced with reflectors or flash. The photo, as you may well have guessed was taken in two parts. We hung a fully dressed male mannequin from a boom stand so the hero girl could pose wth his wet legs for the main part of the photo and then we shot the male models torso separately. To get the male model accurately posed we had a long steel bar that my assistants held up so he could hang from his knees upside down. He jumped in the water to get wet and then we quickly shot. The camera didn’t move making the cut through his jeans to comp very easy. My advice for a shot like this is to get as much as you can in captured in camera. Retouching can fool us most of the time, however the image will be far more convincing with the way reflections and shadows work if you can get most of it in camera. For example, I use a polariser filter to control light which is just not possible to fully replicate in post production. Although digital has made our lives much easier in many ways, we need to remember that it’s not good to always take shortcuts.