Through the ad agency Global Prairie, the pharmaceutical giant Bayer sought photographers across the country to shoot lifestyle portraits of eight Temprid pest control product customers with positive testimonials for a national advertising campaign. For two customers located in the southwestern United States, Bayer and Global Prairie chose Phoenix-based Adrian Baird.
Because of COVID, Bayer didn’t want one photographer traveling and doing all of the work. I was contracted to shoot the customer in Phoenix and the one in San Diego.
When preparing for the shoots, Adrian knew that safety would be of the utmost importance. The photographer brought along only his assistant as crew, and both of them made sure to wear masks and socially distance at all times.
I’ve noticed that across the board everybody takes their cues from the photographer, as far as social distancing, PPE, etc. So, it’s just one more thing to be aware of on-set. As long as I’m taking things seriously, people follow my lead and act in a similar manner.
To maintain safety protocols, the client provided creative direction remotely. Every 45 minutes, Adrian would give the subjects a break while he uploaded the images and waited for critique. While the photographer would normally hole up in a café with free Wi-Fi for a remote critique, COVID-19 regulations ruled out that possibility.
The biggest challenge was being able to remotely upload the images so that creative could get a sense of how the shoot was going and, if needed, direct. We did a basic correction on the laptop in the car, converted them to small jpegs, turned the phone into a hotspot, and uploaded on-site.
Adrian and his assistant set up early in the morning to get the natural, soft lighting that the client requested before the harsh, midday sun came into the sky. Using a few stands, a reflector, and a couple of lights, Adrian began shooting. His assistant moved pieces of the lighting kit as necessary and helped talk to the subjects to yield more natural-looking images.
It’s important for me to have an assistant who can gain a rapport with the subject. I photograph a lot of people in their everyday work situations, and it’s important to make them feel comfortable, confident, and happy in a situation where they normally might not be.
Because these were not professional models, we tried to make this as easy on them as possible.
The subjects in both shoots were owners of small- or medium-sized family businesses. Adrian found that the customers’ great experiences using Temprid gave them a positive and accommodating outlook during the shoots.
They loved the product, saying it was far less toxic and better at doing its job than any of the competition. They had little to no call backs when using it. They were great customers and subjects as they really felt this was a superior product in every way.
Adrian’s images from these shoots can be found across Bayer’s website promoting Temprid.
See more of Adrian’s work at adriantbaird.com.
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