New York City- and St. Louis-based commercial location photographer Lou Bopp has been visiting Mississippi for a while now. It began as a personal project documenting blues musicians throughout the state and continued to grow from there. Lou said it best: “I started to cast my net wider and wider— the culture there is beautiful, the light is wonderful, the people are great and it’s a fantastic part of the country.”
This personal work grew in popularity, leading to a recent project for Mississippi Tourism. The campaign consisted of both stills and motion, focusing on the food, arts, literature, and music of this deep south destination. The dynamic stills and fun motion spots are well designed around the idea that “everyone’s a Mississippian.”
Below is the food commercial spot that Lou worked on:
Lou has extensive experience in motion work, saying that he feels it’s important for photographers these days to dip their feet in the motion world, while also remembering to surround themselves with the best crew possible:
I do think that it’s important for a photographer to follow their path, envision their trajectory for the next 10- 20 years. I have seen shooters in the industry that really excel in the motion world and I have seen some wipeout. People get in trouble when they want to shoot motion and beef up their site/reel and they agree to do a job for a low ball number. Usually nobody wins. I surround my self with the best crew possible and that makes all of the difference. I will never pretend to know sound like a Sound Mixer, or edit like an Editor etc. I stick to what I do best and let others do what they do best. Professionally, I have to be very selective on the jobs that I choose to direct because you’re only as good as your last shoot. I cannot sign on for a project and not have proper audio, or great post, for example, these are critical items and can make or break a project.
The goal was to create four motion pieces that worked well with one another, having the same energy and upbeat authenticity. The stills also needed to play off one another and the TV spots—consistency was key. Lou found that the authentic feel of the people and culture of Mississippi made his job a little easier:
In a place like Mississippi, which has so much going for it from the Blues Highway up north to the beaches on the coast, there is no reason not to keep the visuals authentic and constantly moving. It’s one of the coolest places ever. Great music, food, arts, beaches, museums, ocean, fishing and history. Our vision was to produce real deal visuals and highlight the creative economy of Mississippi.
The campaign has generated a great buzz so far, with the music motion spot recently selected by Skift as one of the top 5 travel ads in the world. In fact, the campaign even sold Lou on the state (if he wasn’t already), as he recently took a trip to the Mississippi coast for his daughter’s spring break.
View the music motion piece below: