Brian Cummings had a good, maybe even great, 2012. The crowning jewel for the St. Louis-based photographer was a lifestyle shoot for the luxury automaker, Mercedes-Benz.
Initially presented to Brian as a somewhat blank slate, with no concrete layouts presented, the shoot evolved into a luxury lifestyle production, highlighting both Mercedes-Benz cars and the culture surrounding them. The wide-open nature of the assignment greatly attracted Brian, who adds that the “scope of the project was enormous.” But Brian comes from the agency world, a former creative director himself, which means that handling “complex projects with many moving parts” has always been his forte.
Brian brought in a pencil artist and worked with the creative team to develop their concepts further. He then called in Anne Dean to handle the extensive production. Months of pre-production ensued as the shot lists included “everything from a camping scenario to city locales.” Once locations were locked down across St. Louis, the crew was set, talent was found, and the cars and props were prepared, it was just one 4:00 am wake-up call between Brian and the first shoot day.
With so many shots to handle in just two days, proper scheduling was extremely important. Their days were planned down to the minute, and started dark and early.
Let me put it this way…my crew wasn’t thrilled with the call times. But we had no time for mistakes. It was shoot it and move.
The first day moved smoothly, and eighteen shots were captured across three park locations, including all of the camping and fitness scenes. In a word, Brian says it was “fun.” However, the second day brought along more challenges. The 2:00 am call time didn’t help, and the forecasted rain was an issue since they needed to shoot a convertible. Luckily, they made it through all these shots before the downpour—and then used the weather to their advantage in a few rain photos.
After production wrapped Curt Von Diest took over to retouching before handing the final files over to the client. Brian says they’ve been “very complimentary” of the work, adding,
They can’t believe the diversity of images we achieved in such a small amount of time.
The images are now being used on Mercedes’ website and in dealerships across America.