Visit Lauderdale, the Official Tourism Marketing Agency for Broward County, Florida, recently launched its new campaign, “Everyone Under the Sun.” A commitment to inclusion is front and center of the organization, with the campaign starring locals with disabilities, members of the area’s LGBTQ+ community, people of a diverse age range, and various racial and ethnic identities. In addition to its title as Florida’s LGBTQ+ capital, Greater Fort Lauderdale homes people from more than 170 countries and 147 languages. And together, they make up the rich tapestry of the city and its 31 surrounding municipalities.
The dynamic project reflects Greater Fort Lauderdale’s authentic, open spirit, and inclusive community. The man behind the visuals of the campaign was Miami-based lifestyle photographer George Kamper.
This was my style of photography – A lot of my work is shot on or near the water, working with talent and real people. I’m also very, very fast on set. I know what I need to get and have an art director’s eye for composition. I light quickly and use available light with a touch of supplemental light utilizing reflectors or small portable flash.
The campaign showcased the talent in accessible beaches, thrilling outdoor adventures, immersive nature encounters, shopping, dining, and much more in and around the Greater Fort Lauderdale region. George and the team spent roughly three to five hours in each location.
I always try to be complimentary and gently guide talent to where I need them if I have a vision before shooting. I love everyone contributing, having fun, and even being a little goofy…
The six-day assignment also involved George piggybacking on a corresponding video production. As a result, the overall approach and time on set were driven by the director and art director. Shooting in tandem with a motion shot meant George was given only 15 minutes of control on set per scenario. Fortunately, George has experience shooting under such constraints.
As the still guy and crew, you need to roll with the punches and be available when the art director is ready to turn over the set for 15 minutes to capture the stills. Working closely in tandem and appreciating that time is of the essence while maintaining an affable personal approach to challenging situations helps to ensure a smooth and fruitful shoot.
The campaign encapsulated everything under the sun with 87 people, a dog, and hundreds of butterflies all on set. Meaning George had extensive pre-planning meetings and scouted each location prior to the shoot to ensure the best possible outcomes.
Despite the size of the team, we had great energy on the shoot, and the clients loved what we were getting right out of the camera, so it was a very positive environment. Lots of times, the talent is spent, the butterflies have flown the coup, etc.. so you really need to be on your toes to be sure you have what you need to capture the shots the clients are expecting.
George takes on every project with a fresh perspective, deep curiosity, and a willingness to explore. Shooting an array of actions, from speeding airboats at dawn, boat to boat, capturing images from a crane with his camera firing remotely while positioned over the water, working with a sand sculpture on the beach in the mid-day sun, and photographing live butterflies on cue.
Every shoot adds knowledge and some insights as to how I might approach the topic the next time. I also learn from the Director, Producer, and Art Director on the sets.
During the shoot, George was unable to control any of the logistics, such as the props, wardrobe, and locations, with the additional challenge of completing stills without changing the set.
I did change the mood of some of the situations and did add a prop here and there. For example, the antique chrome binoculars the girl is holding on the airboat are mine, and I think enhanced the mood of the shot. The African-American family running and playing on the beach was not part of the shoot. I was able to get the talent off-set during a location change and shot some variations the client loved.
George faced several technical difficulties, such as shooting airboat to airboat at dawn without getting blurry images, next to a Steadicam and crane without getting in the way, all while encompassing the overall mood of the project.
Lighting can be a challenge. We did shoot at a bar at night, and I had only one light, which my assistant was hand-holding and tracking with the talent. It all happened very fast.
But the seasoned Miami photographer gained several cherished moments on this assignment, with the highlight being the reaction of his colleagues to his imagery.
My favorite moment was the client exclaiming, “Is this coming out of George’s camera? It’s so beautiful!” We had set up our own monitor in Video Village so the clients could see what we were getting in real-time, and they loved it. All the skies are authentic, and the agency didn’t have to do much enhancing of the images once they were delivered.
See more of George’s work on his website.
Production Company: Kreative Kontent
First Assistant: Fabio Atehortua
Digital Technician: Johnny Lynch
Read more about George on our Published blog.