Early in the summer, Miami photographer Pete Barrett decided that his kids lifestyle portfolio was feeling a little outdated and started making plans to do some new shoots to breath new life into this book. As luck would have it, a good friend of his had introduced him to summer camps a few years earlier, and a few of those camps were looking to do complete rebrands with stills and video.
Pete was quick to post his new kids work to his website and sent an email blast to all his current and prospective clients to share the new work. During this time the New Honor Society and FCB were in the process of looking for photographers for their upcoming global Microsoft in Education campaign. When they saw Pete’s new work, they immediately gave him a call.
Microsoft has been a long time supporter of global educational systems. They provide schools with new technology like computers, so kids of all ages, from elementary school to college, can have the tools they need to learn.
The project involved incredibly intensive production. Pete needed to capture many images with a variety of talent of all ages, at several locations, in a short amount of time.
To add to that, the locations, while all school situations, had to look like they range from elementary schools, to high school and college. Since we did not have the luxury of being able to use four or five different locations with a cast and crew of 30 or more people, we had to find two locations that offered enough variety that we could make work.
Pete works with great people who make his shoots seamless every time. For this shoot, he collaborated with Margaret Alonso and her team at MAPs Productions, plus his long-time location scout Marcy Orth in Miami. Together they scoured the South Florida area to find the schools they would need and set up the casting for 30 or so models. Because this shoot required not only a large age range of models but also an extensive range of ethnicities, the casting was a huge endeavor. Word of the shoot spread fast, and the turnout was overwhelming.
After seeing every kid available in South Florida, and with close to 400 people attending the casting, Pete’s team wrapped up and moved onto finalizing their location. After evaluating multiple schools in the area, they decided on several spots at the University of Miami and FIU.
Another challenge was making sure the locations were versatile enough to look appropriate for all ages. Catering to all ages meant changing out props like desks and other furniture in classrooms for some of the younger students’ shots.
No stranger to large-scale productions, Pete enjoyed the complexity involved in this shoot. In the end, it was a group collaborative effort that made it all happen.
There are so many moving parts. We had at least 30 people with us at any one time, in addition to a photo crew of 10 or more. There was a production team of six, location scouts, grip & electric, caterers, stylists, props dept, RV’s, and six to 10 models at a time rotating in and out throughout the days.
Results from Pete’s shoot have been great. The images are being used all over the world, and more importantly, students all over the world are benefitting from Microsoft’s support. The kids’ schools are now better equipped to help their students and have the tools they need to learn and grow. Pete has been using the images for his self-promotion in ads and direct mail. He is also seeing more interest in his work from both the technology sectors and educational institutions.
See more of Pete at petebarrett.com