John Trice: Kashi Almond Farming
San Diego-based photographer, John Trice has enjoyed a productive relationship with cereal maker Kashi for the past couple of years. In that time, John shot several packaging projects for them. This particular project came on the heels of a campaign they recently launched called Certified Transitional. John shot images and directed a short film for the project, and it was very well-received.
For this most recent campaign, Kashi wanted John to shoot one of their almond farmers for their packaging and their new campaign. John was very excited to work with Kashi again and learn the almond growing process from one of their farmers. Also, John pitched the idea of video and film (because of the awesome feedback from the last project) and they were absolutely on board.
The goal of this campaign was to capture the natural beauty of Kashi almonds. They also wanted John to create imagery of the almond farmers and document the process that goes into creating their products. The initial purpose of the project was to create stills for packaging and print material as part of the Certified Transitional campaign, but the video footage became a solid bonus piece.
As with any production involving the owner of a business, working around schedules is tough. John said it is especially difficult when you’re talking about farming because these guys are typically very hands-on. Luckily for John, the farmer he shot was very easy-going to work with and gave them a ton of access. They needed to shoot in a particular type of almond orchard that he owned, so that limited their locations. This limitation was beneficial to them because they didn’t need to do much scouting and it ended up being an ideal setting. After nailing down the site, they collaborated with the client on the shot list development and the interview questions for the film. Being that John has worked with this client regularly, the pre-planning and production were relatively smooth sailing.
Over the course of two days, John shot a library of images for use in packaging, print, and web as well as directed and dp’d an interview and b-roll footage for the film. The day before shooting began John, his producer, photo assistant and first AC flew into Sacramento, CA to meet the farmer and client beforehand for a pre-interview. From there they pretty much had a still camera and film camera running non-stop until they left the next day.
We were able to have dinner with the farmer and his family the first evening. We completely hit it off, and it was great to connect over food and drink. It made the whole next day so much smoother.
The biggest challenge was each person had to tackle multiple tasks. They had a small crew and John shot both the stills and the film. A lot was happening at all times, but John knew his team could handle it.
My crew is amazing and I’ve worked with them all for years. Without them, none of this would be possible. That and I love what I do, so it’s easy to go the extra mile when you’re having fun and making great images. I still have to pinch myself sometimes.
Shortly after the shoot, the client adopted this farmer and the images we created as the face of the campaign, so the work ended up getting a lot of eye-balls. Even though this project was client-direct, several of their agencies have extended usage with me for other purposes.
This project was one of John’s favorite shoots. Also, his favorite part of the project was the creative freedom the client entrusted him with throughout.
Sometimes we’re hired to shoot a particular thing a specific way, and then we go home. But sometimes we get to really be creative and infuse our ideas into the process and those are always so much more fulfilling.
This project was definitely one of the fulfilling ones, and it was also a subject extremely important to John. He truly believes in the concept which makes it all that much more satisfying.
Part of the shoot which didn’t make it into the published work, was a few hours spent at the sheller plant. It’s the place where they send the almonds for processing. They were able to capture some excellent shots in this facility, and John hopes the next project he shoots for them will allow him to create more work at the sheller plant. Kashi is currently using John’s work on their website and social feed. They definitely plan to continue to work with John on their future campaigns.
See more of John at johntrice.com!
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