New Jersey-based photographer Steve Greer was recently contacted by a regional alpaca farm in the hopes of creating a new national ad campaign. Recently, alpaca farmers are increasing the amount of marketing and advertising they incorporate in their business, and The Winding Creek Alpaca Farm, located in Southampton, NJ is no exception. Run by Mike and Sheri von Fischer, the farm is home to thirteen male and female alpacas.
Steve began working closely with the farm to develop storyboards and plan out the shoot. They wanted to be able to use the images across all types of print and digital media and needed them to stand out.
As we developed the storyboards, one important theme came to the surface – the relationship between the alpacas and the farmer. The hero shot would be an environmental portrait of the farmer holding a baby alpaca, with the existing farm in the background.
Now that they had established what they were looking for, Steve was ready to shoot. The primary focus would be on the outdoor, hero shot they had conceptualized. Since they needed a baby alpaca for the image, they would need to coordinate the weather and the timing of the birth of a newborn alpaca.
This proved to be incredibly challenging. They were hit with three weeks of cold, torrential rain, which flooded the pastures. Steve would need to wait for the weather to die down and for the fields to drain before he could capture the outdoor shot he needed. Unfortunately, the expectant mother couldn’t wait and had already given birth to their star. Since baby alpacas grow so quickly, they had a small window of time to capture an image of the newborn.
I decided the planets were not going to line up. This photo would have to be a composite. So, with the rain pummeling the barn, I set up my studio strobes in the barn to match with what I’d hoped to be a bright overcast day on the farm.
It was only a week later when the rain cleared, and Steve was able to go outside to capture the farm shot he would need for the composite.
In the end, the images turned out to be very successful and were used across Winding Creek’s social media and marketing materials. Steve loved getting to interact with the alpacas and holding a baby alpaca was a unique experience!
Unlike dogs and cats, most alpacas are nervous when first approached by a stranger. But if you sit quietly in the field, the herd will get curious and slowly come over to check you out. Many times, the brave females tested the close focusing distance of my wide-angle lens.
See more of Steve at stevegreerphotography.com!