England-based photographer Ross Woodhall was approached by two ex-professional athletes about shooting a project for their new sports apparel line, Castore Clothing. After conducting substantial research, these two former professionals (who also happen to be brothers) put together a concept for a high-end line of sports apparel with features and styling they felt was underrepresented in the current market. They were looking for a photographer in their area with proficiency in sports & fitness photography. After viewing some of Ross’s previous work and assessing his creative style, they knew he would be perfect for the job. Ross was thrilled for the opportunity and was very intrigued by their vision.
Being a start-up company, Castore’s goal was to hit the ground running with high-end imagery for their website, press, and PR. It was important that the images convey their message of commitment, strength, and going the extra mile. The brothers also wanted the pictures to demonstrate how the clothing can be worn in many different weather conditions.
After some pre-production meetings with Castore in London, the plan was to shoot video and stills overseas in Portugal. However, as with most start-ups, the budget was trimmed back by their financial backers. As a result, Ross was just asked to shoot stills in the UK, and they would organize the locations, casting and other details. This was not a problem for Ross, it just meant he had to adapt to the situation.
Ross said the shoot went very well, but as with many on-location shoots, they did run into some challenges. When he began shooting at an outdoor athletics facility in Liverpool, it began to downpour. Ross and his crew decided to use the inclement weather to their advantage, using it to demonstrate the weatherproof qualities of the garments and to exemplify the commitment and endurance they want their target audience to have.
The second location didn’t get any easier. It was an indoor gym that had dingy ambient lighting and a garish, bright red carpet. Ross did not let this derail the shoot and ended up finding a way to make it work.
I ended up using flash quite heavily and made the lighting quite harsh to make the images feel a bit gritty… I was able to deal with the red cast from the carpet in post.
The last location they used was the backyard of the gym that had a bit of a junkyard feel to it. The texture and atmosphere ended up fitting in with the grittiness of the other pictures nicely.
After the shoot was complete and it was time for the post production, Ross amped up the contrast and added subtle vignettes to the images to give them a uniform look. As requested, he also supplied black and white versions of each image along with a picture cropped for use as a web banner.
The client’s reaction to the finished images could not have been better. The Director of Castore Clothing, Phil Beahon had only great things to say about Ross and his work.
Working with Ross was an absolute pleasure, he was calm, collected and always cheerful. Whatever challenges we put in front of him (there were a lot) he went above and beyond. Ross worked with us every step of the way from planning right through to the final shots and really captured what the brand is all about… I couldn’t recommend Ross more.
The client thought Ross did such a great job on this shoot that they have already asked him to quote for their next shoot. Ross is excited to work with them again and continue to work on future projects with them moving forward.
See more of Ross at rosswoodhall.com!