Greenville, South Carolina-based photographer Aaron Greene directed and shot a mixed motion and stills campaign for We Took To The Coast, a line by We Took To The Woods, a shop local to South Carolina that celebrates the changing of seasons often felt in nature through their signature line of candles. Aaron has worked with We Took To The Woods in the past, helping develop the feel and brand of their store as a whole. Aaron took this new line as an opportunity to make a beautiful, well-thought-out campaign from top to bottom, or more appropriately, from the woods to the coast.
What were the premise and the objective of the shoot?
The premise of the shoot was really to communicate the lifestyle side of the We Took to the Woods brand that we’ve built over the past several years and communicate that to a new coastal audience. To help them connect to the brand, whereas in the past it has seemed like the brand was specific to those living in the mountains or inland.
Who provided the concept and how did you work with the concept creatively on set?
I did the concepting and art direction. After presenting it to the owners they were immediately on board. Given I’ve worked with them regularly for the past 4 or 5 years the shoots played out naturally. They trust me on set and we communicate the vision back and forth before hand a lot so we are on the same page once we start shooting. The We Took to the Coast website was done by my brother Caleb and I who have a small design shop (greenegreene.co) together, separate from my photography and directing efforts. I guess you could say the whole project was conceived as a whole from concept, shoot, to web / social media campaign.
What were the shoots like?
We shot the film and all the stills in one evening and the following day. Small crew, very organic like I like to work. I brought my regular DP, John Carrington, and we devoted much of the time we had to getting the shots we needed for the film. I shot the stills with limited amounts of time in between on my Leica cameras, polaroid, and just a few rolls of medium format. All processed at home in my darkroom in the following days.
I thought the words overtop of the video went really well with the project—why did you decide to do that?
I had this idea to have a poem from the beginning before we shot and John kept going back to it after I showed him my first edit without it and wanted to stick with it so its an old recording from long ago we used in the edit. The poet is credited at the end of the film. Again, it fit the idea of the film.
Was this your first dive into the motion world?
No, I’ve been directing projects all over the world this past year with multiple projects overseas and all over the united states. Much of that work has been in a different consumer space, so I’m just showing this one piece on my site at the moment. I guess I need to cut a new reel! A lot of those projects also have much larger crews given their nature. For this, I worked with my DP, John Carrington, and we’ve worked a good bit together at this point so we have a sort of dialogue. He’s very talented in his own right obviously and he knows my tendencies now as well. So, really, it wasn’t complicated, it was just an organic creative process. I created boards beforehand so we all kind of had an idea of a direction, but then we just let it become our own.