Portland-based photographer John Valls linked up with Seattle agency Retail Voodoo for its latest campaign for one of Oregon Ice Cream’s sub-brands, Alden’s Ice Cream. The agency had told John they appreciated his nuanced, yet natural approach to photographing both products and people, making him a good fit for the project.
Oregon Ice Cream, a regional player in the ice cream market was rebranding its entire portfolio. Alden, the main retail brand, was first up. New positioning, packaging, and all new marketing materials were to be created for this organic, natural GMO-free brand.
Alden was debuting its brand new ice cream truck and heading out on a promotional “Summer Scoop up Happy” tour at local parks, malls, and events. John was tasked with photographing the team as they went to hand out free ice cream, on top of creating beauty shots of all the new flavors for the website.
Part of the reason Retail Voodoo chose John was the fact that his work doesn’t scream “artificial commercial set-ups”. The team didn’t want any tricks to styling – no fake scoops, nothing pre-frozen. With the help of food stylist Ashley Marti and her team, they kept the scoops looking great long enough for John to capture the winning shots.
The other big challenge came from the ice cream product itself:
Because Alden’s uses no artificial colors or flavors, the scoops are mostly light colored and a bit pale to the eye. We used carefully, selected props to suggest the flavors, such as red seersucker for the peppermint and an orange awning stripe for the orange sherbet flavor.
This challenge serendipitously ended up being John’s favorite part of the project! He found the beauty shots in the studio to be creatively liberating and fun to create unique color schemes for each of the 15 flavors.
The reaction to the images has been great. The team has used the beauty shots on Alden’s social media account and website, and John has been granted a follow-up shoot with Julie’s, another Oregon Ice Cream brand.
See more of John Valls’s work on his website.
Food Stylist: Ashley Marti