In February, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company renewed its agreement with IMG Licensing Agency to create a line of clothing and products using the Goodyear brand. Being a household name, Goodyear is often closely associated with ideas of Americana and the limitless possibilities of the open road. IMG wanted to capitalize on this association, so Goodyear was a clear choice. In order to promote their newly branded clothing line, IMG reached out to Las Vegas-based photographer, Jacob Kepler asking him to shoot a project for their clothing/product line in action.
Jacob started by coming up with several different concepts for the shoot. He mostly focused on Americana themes that would reinforce the rugged personality of the brand.
He was excited about the shoot and knew Las Vegas would be the perfect place for this kind of campaign as the area has many interesting locations that are distinctly American.
It was important to portray the adventurous nature of the country and tie it to the history of the Goodyear brand.
Jacob eventually settled on using cars as the primary motif. What’s more American than a good, old-fashioned road trip?
Next, came the pre-production. Jacob had shot for IMG before, so he knew the ins and outs of how they operated. After securing all of the necessary permits and insurance for shooting the cars at the various locations, he just needed to work on scheduling and securing the talent and vehicles. He ended up using TNG Models, a Las Vegas-based talent agency.
Once the shoot was underway, the biggest challenge for everyone involved was the oppressive Las Vegas heat. The shoot took place in the summer, and some of the days it hit 115 degrees. The models, assistant, and Jacob were all from Vegas, so they were able to handle the heat pretty well, but they understood this could be quite an obstacle for the others.
When it gets that hot it feels like you are walking around in a hairdryer.
There are a few tricks to shooting when the sun is at the highest point in the sky, and Jacob had to use each one. He ended up using a fill-flash on many of the images, so the subject would better stand out from the background.
Other than dealing with the heat and tweaking his setup to achieve the best light, most of the challenges for this project were logistical. Since IMG is based in London, Jacob had to deal with the mailing of products back-and-forth. Luckily this was his second time shooting for them, so he already knew what to expect and how to plan everything out.
Jacob’s favorite part of the project was working with the awesome cars. Other than photographing the vehicles, he had the opportunity to drive them around the desert to “test” them. Jacob also thoroughly enjoyed working with the team and the effort everyone put into the project. There weren’t many parameters in place in terms of specific types of photos IMG wanted which allowed everyone involved to provide their input. It was truly a group effort!
When all was said and done, the client was very pleased with the photos and thought Jacob did a fantastic job capturing the essence of the Goodyear brand. Some of the images are on their site, but the rest are being processed into a lookbook for clients globally. Jacob has no current plans with the client, but he hopes to continue this combination of portraiture, fashion and brand narrative photography moving forward.
See more of Jacob at jacobkepler.com!