Spent a nice morning on the beach for Tourism Australia via P’s in a Pod. This shoot was on a few month weather hold to get a classic Gold Coast cloudless sky, and true to Murphy’s Law, it rained and rained. Finally one winter morning, the talent braved 3 degrees and a 4am call-time and it all came together.
Happy New Year from all of us. 2014 seems like a blur now, but we managed to keep track of a few highlights during the whirl-wind ride. Some of them are:
Personal project|The Ol’ Boys: The Ol’ Boys had a big start to the year with a 2 week print exhibition at the Noosa Festival of Surfing. It was great to see the crowds appreciating the 1 metre prints. Throughout 2014 we also caught up with just over 300 surfers who allowed us to take their portraits. The project was featured by ABC radio who attended a shoot and recorded a feature that appeared online and during drive-time radio. The Ol’ Boys also had a multiple page print feature in creative arts journal Collective Magazine, plus featured on Adobe’s Behance networks curated page “The Served” as a feature project.
We worked on a ton of commercial projects too, like shooting on the beach at sunrise for Tourism Australia, received access to Brisbane International Airport and The Sofitel for Flight Centre Business Travel, visited over a dozens of people’s private homes for NRMA Insurance and again for Suncorp Bank, in a gritty inner-west gym with Adam Goodes for Rexona, went back to Brisbane Airport for Virgin Australia (re-licensed worldwide), on blocked off streets downtown for Queensland Police and again for Queensland Health, on The Apple Isle for the University of Tasmania, in supermarket isles for Dan Murphys, and on a city rooftop for Investa.
We were blessed to be awarded a gold and 2 silver awards at the Brisbane Advertising and Design Awards for The Ol’ Boys, plus a silver and 2 bronze awards at the International Loupe awards in the portrait and advertising categories.
We absolutely loved every minute of 2014, and can’t wait to work with all of you in 2015. Thank you to everyone who worked with us and supported us last year.
Today we launched the new re-branded KSP website and updated commercial portfolio, along with stationery and social media identities. Straight out of the gate I gotta thank: Andrew Suggit for the new branding, Cyberdo for the site, and my (new inhouse) producer Bel for helping me curate and shape my portfolio towards getting more work (more on that in a bit).
While I had always been happy with my initial site and branding, it was time to invest a bit in something a bit more fresh and directed at the bigger ballpark that I intend to play in.
Now, before dropping a big investment (read around 8k) on a new digital shopfront and signage, it was important to make sure that my portfolio was pointed in the direction I wanted to go professionally. Over a couple weeks and emails back and forth, we cut/rehashed/revisted a lot of shoots that I have done and came up with what you see here. Around the same time I met Suzanne Murray from Artisan, who is in the business of curating portfolios, and she invited me to bring my book into their office and they would have a go at curating it. While I’ll post excerpts from that meeting at a later date, suffice it to say it was a really healthy exercise and I’d recommend any creative to undertake something along those lines.
Without further ado….welcome to the all new Kenny Smith Photography site
Earlier this week I wrapped a shoot that went over 2 days, in which I shot tethered or straight into the computer for the entire time. The shoot went real well and everyone was happy as it was a big logistical effort to get all the elements right.
The moment I walked in the door, I started typing an email when….BANG, the computer went dead and would not boot back up. Over a couple hours I found out that my hard disk had failed and I had lost everything on there.
Now, luckily I had stuck to a backup system and didn’t wind up losing anything. The shoot had been backed up as I went to another drive, so when I fired the shutter it went to 2 places, the laptop & an external drive. Plus between my server and Time Machine, I didn’t lose anything except my laptop for a couple days. I was able to keep working on my desktop and thanks to the service at Apple they had a new drive installed in about 12 hours.
It took me a long time sifting through a lot of articles and talking to different people to figure out a good way to store my digital assets, and there is a lot of info out there from photographers with all different budgets, so I thought I’d share how I do mine in the hope that it helps someone out there. I made a nice little diagram to explain.
I’ve recently been shooting more complex projects from a production value point of view, which in turn has had me exercising my ability to extend my vision beyond the creative into building a team to work with.
Last project was a 4 day shoot with 7 crew including myself, plus art director, client production staff, and brand representatives to ensure we were within the client’s brand message. We had permits to secure access and shoot in public locations and were scheduled down to the minute. Everything from names of each talent and crew member attending each location down to switching on/off ambient lights had to be organized in advance. We built sets with props and furniture, made up and styled 30 plus talent, recreated sunlight, and used artificial light to reproduce window lit scenes. I shot tethered straight into a computer and at most point had a number of client representatives and stakeholders watching every shot in real time as I shot them. Obviously all of the above work is done by a team who, from the moment of being appointed the project, I relied on to help me deliver the final product.
All of this is not possible without putting 100% of trust in people that can either make or break the job. This is where vision extends beyond the work and into other areas of being a creative professional, knowing the work we want to do, how we want to do it, and who we want to do it with. Every detail adds to the outcome like creating the right vibe on set, making sure people are fed and happy, and presenting a unified front as a team to the client. This is what creative shoots are good for, building relationships and locking in the team.
Read this thought provoking post on Seth Godin‘s blog about how successful brands are built on dissatisfaction. Just finished saving up for that Canon/Nikon camera/lens you’ve been wanting? don’t worry, there’s a new one coming out that will make you start saving all over again and so on.
Got me thinking about being successful as an artist, selling to myself. As soon as I’ve wrapped something, there’s that healthy feeling of creating something better, closing the creative gap even more and doing it all over again. It’s about keeping that momentum, and never being satisfied, never being finished.
Just got word that I can now share some outtakes from a shoot we recently delivered for agency Simjen.
The brief called for an image depicting the concept “Revive your Business”.
We got the commission on a real tight timetable, and I literally had about 4 hours to get the team together, get directions to the talent to the studio from the airport & shoot it, and then deliver the proof images that night.
Got to work with former Ralph Lauren model Steve Nation, who you may also recognize from that famous Listerine ad with the cheeks exploding and the barnacles blowing off the bottom of the yacht.
Special effects make up was done by Haley Whittle and on real short notice I was able to get some props from a contact in the medical industry. We shot about 200 frames in studio & that was a wrap!
Below are some of my favorite outtakes, Steve’s acting ability had me struggling not to burst out laughing the whole time.