Previously known as Bay Area Bike Share, the Ford GoBike public bicycle sharing system recently expanded its electric biking division to San Jose. Producer Kate Fixter reached out to California-based active lifestyle photographer Jayms Ramirez via Motivate Agency to photograph the campaign.
Before the shoot, Jayms traveled into the heart of Silicon Valley to scout locations for availability, light, and aesthetics.
We wanted to capture the streets and train stations of San Jose to create an authentic portrayal of people in the tech sector using the bikes to commute to and from work.
Jayms ultimately decided on five different locations in north San Jose. For the one-day shoot, he was accompanied by his first assistant, a driver, and a representative from Motivate. Jayms and Kate had agreed that the images should have an unproduced, kinetic quality.
Our main concern was to use the available light and portray a sense of movement and fun. Nothing too ‘slick.’ My assistant handheld a Profoto wireless head with a small softbox so that we could get natural-looking images and capture the ease of the talent on the bikes. We got many takes of the talent riding toward us and away from us, interacting with each other, and using the Ford GoBike phone app.
The Motivate representative gave us a lot of latitude to get the shots we wanted. We discussed a few details at each location and then just did our thing. It was great to have such freedom to run with our ideas and whims within the limits of the predetermined aesthetics.
In addition to capturing the right energy, Jayms also wanted to create images that contained both the urban and natural elements of the trails in the area where GoBikes would be rolling out. He focused especially on the train stations where the bikes would be docked for commuters.
My favorite segment of the shoot was our first location on the Guadalupe River, where was a bridge and walking and bike trails. The sun was coming through the bridge nicely and we used some fill to pop the talent on the bikes.
Jayms made sure to keep the shoot “loose and casual” to create a positive atmosphere. Because the talent had to be switched out repeatedly throughout the day, it was important that the mood remain relaxed. In fact, finding the right talent had initially been a challenge.
The client didn’t want model-types, but rather real people who were relatable, people who would actually utilize the GoBikes for commuting in and around the tech community. They also had to be able to ride a bike. I helped with finding the talent, inquiring with local travel companies about their tour guides, with bike clubs, and so forth. We ended up working with a local agency, and the seven people we had worked out perfectly.
See more of Jayms’s work on his website.
West Coast Agency: Motivate
Producer: Kate Fixter
Read more about Jayms Ramirez on our Published Blog.