Felix Reed: Costa Cruises

Jun 28, 2018
Photographer Spotlight

Costa Cruises, a well-known brand in the cruise industry, recently contracted with the Italian creative agency Combocut to undertake a rebranding and repositioning campaign. Bologna, Italy-based photographer Felix Reed created the lifestyle imagery for the campaign over the course of a 14-day cruise through the Mediterranean sea on a working cruise ship.

photograph by photographer Felix Reed of people aboard a Costa Cruises cruise ship

What was involved in planning/preproduction?

From my side it didn’t take long to be honest. I had a couple of meetings with the creative agency Combocut and the client at their headquarters. We also had a full day location scouting on board while the ship was anchored at Savona a week before the shoot.

photograph by photographer Felix Reed of people aboard a Costa Cruises cruise ship

What were the challenges of shooting on a ship? How did you overcome them?

I always do this comparison: imagine to have to shoot in a large shopping mall during the busy weekend days!

Of course these ships cannot stop sailing as their management costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per day. So the only way to make the shoot was to do it during a real cruise with thousands of people on board (I believe we were around 7,000 people). We scheduled different scenes each day (14 days in total) in the various environments of the ship, constantly moving around its 300 meters of length and 14 decks of height. As it was a full working ship and fully booked cruise, we had to follow their busy schedule of events and availability of the different spaces and areas, often with tight time frames to work around. 

photograph by photographer Felix Reed of people aboard a Costa Cruises cruise ship

What was your impression of the overall shoot?

The shoot went really well! Fortunately, our group of 41 people liked each other and we were able to create a real team. 14 days with long working hours together could be tough to overcome, but I can really say it was a great shared experience.

photograph by photographer Felix Reed of people aboard a Costa Cruises cruise ship

What has the reaction to the images been so far?

The reaction has been extremely positive. The client really loved the images and the new lifestyle and authentic approach we conveyed. Costa Cruises was a new client for me, but we have started to collaborate on other projects and I’m now about to leave for another project on a two-week cruise!

photograph by photographer Felix Reed of people aboard a Costa Cruises cruise ship

What was your favorite part of the project?

I don’t have a single favorite part. What I really loved about the project was the extreme variety and the different situations, people and environments I dealt with in each different shot. A cruise is really an entire small floating world and we had the occasion to live almost every aspect of it.

See below for a short behind-the-scenes video:

Client: Costa Cruises

Photographer: Felix Reed

Creative Agency: Combocut

Creative Directors: Edoardo Scognamiglio, Sergej Grguric

Producer: Alvise Barbaro

Set Designer: Patrizia Rota

Stylist: Federica Meacci

Make Up Artist: Tea Bakota

Food Stylist: Marco Mellissari

Models: Jackie Almeida, Queralt Badalamenti, Matilde Bait, Luca Bombelli, Giulia Dellarolle, Beatrice Facconi, Antonio Fiore, Giovanni Masiero, Vanja Rupena, Tiziano Sorbellini, Giacomo Valdameri, Peter Walmarans

See more of Felix at felixreed.com!

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