Chicago-based photographer Marissa Roseillier’s latest work for American Optical, brings to life the Great American Road Trip. Blending a uniquely US-centric nostalgia with a fresh new take on the concept, her images evoke the feeling of adventure and freedom that comes from putting on your sunglasses and freely cruising along California’s sun-soaked roads.
Marissa spent ten years living in Southern California before moving to the Chicago area. Hence, she knew of several locations around Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park that would be perfect for the concept. This project allowed her to return to her old stomping grounds to capture these beautifully lit lifestyle images that showcase American Optical’s sunglasses and visually connect the brand to its roots as classically American-made.
Marissa worked with VP of Marketing and Producer Amanda Shapiro to map out the locations so they could quickly move from place to place to capture all the shots that would be used for the brand’s website. The images also made their way into an article in 20/20 Magazine about American Optical’s relaunch and new manufacturing facility in Chicago.
Before the trip, every location was mapped out by day and time, so we knew exactly where to be and when. The producer also had a shot list, so we knew what needed to be captured for their website. In the photographs, I wanted to create that feeling of freedom along the open road.
The images were shot on location in natural light, so Marissa had to be prepared and able to adapt to any changes. While the morning light might be soft and ideal, the mid-day sun would prove challenging to shoot against. The multiple locations meant that she was constantly on the move while they captured images in the desert. Her initial preparation was vital, allowing her to capture as many options as possible during the shoot.
Because this was an all-day shoot and I was shooting in many different locations, I had to be very aware of the lighting as it changed. I made sure to have scrims with me and find open shade when needed, but that is not always easy in the high desert!
Some of the day was spent driving around in a vintage Cadillac convertible that the crew rented to use as a prop for the shoot. Marissa, the creative director Nicolas Roseillier, and the two models were in the car while the team followed behind in another vehicle.
I was surprised at how much I decided to shoot in the actual car while it was moving, especially with the female model. I loved watching how her hair moved in the wind and the carefree feeling she conveyed in the images.
The car contributed to the vintage-inspired look and provided a means of transportation from one location to another. It also allowed for some spontaneity at the end of the shoot. Always on the look-out for the perfect shot, Marissa noticed the sun setting behind the windmills and a hazy skyline and just had to get one last photo. This ended up being her favorite image.
The car was amazing, and without that, I wouldn’t have been able to capture my favorite scenes: The models at sunset in Palm Springs with the windmills acting as their backdrop.
To me, the entire scene looks like a film still captured straight out of an old movie. This was the last day of the shoot, and we were just about to wrap, so I asked them to drive away in the sunset. I noticed the dust from the road flying in the wind, and it just added so much to the overall scene!
Creative Director: Nicolas Roseillier
VP of Marketing/Producer: Amanda Shapiro
Art Director: Tarin Manzoni
Stylist and Producer: Carolyn Zazra
Makeup and Hair: Alberto Luengo
Models: Brooke Dusek, Chase Green
See more of Marissa’s work at marissaroseiller.com
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