Tadd Myers: Independent Stave Company

Sep 7, 2017
Photographer Spotlight

Dallas-based photographer Tadd Myers was tasked with capturing over a hundred years of history for The Independent Stave Company (ISC) in their recent marketing campaign.

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Four generations of Boswell family craftsmen have run ISC, which manufactures wooden barrels for the bourbon and wine industries. Managing every step of the process, from the mills to the cooperages (factories that turn staves into barrels). ISC places a huge emphasis on sustainable production and innovation, all while maintaining their traditional craftsmanship.

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Before going out on the shoot, Tadd had numerous conference calls with the marketing team at ISC to make sure they would be able to get the images they were looking for. He made sure to emphasize that the photos would represent the professionalism that comes with ISC’s long history of tradition.

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All the details of the shoot were organized, down to how the facilities would be prepped, the wardrobe of the employees, and the tools being used. Even though there was a lot of planning involved, Tadd was careful to maintain the authenticity of these facilities and show how they truly operate.

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They decided to photograph 3 to 4 facilities in two different states: Missouri and Kentucky. Their initial concern when booking the shoot was that the travel would consume a lot of their time.

ISC volunteered one of the corporate planes for us for the week, which was a tremendous advantage as far as time. Since all the facilities are in small towns and far from commercial airports, we would have needed at least 2 additional days to accomplish their shot list.

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Using the corporate plane allowed Tadd and his crew to discuss logistics on their way to each different location, have immense flexibility in their schedule, and fly into small local airports that were much closer to the facilities.

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Once on the shoot, Tadd’s primary concern was safety since they were operating in tight, potentially dangerous environments. This was especially true when they were in the mill where huge logs are being cut into smaller sections before being turned into staves.

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It seemed that everything in the facility was spinning at a very high rate of speed so everyone had to be very aware of what they were carrying and where they were walking. We also made several modifications to our gear to streamline it in size and scope. All of the planning paid off and we didn’t have any safety issues.

Despite the concerns, Tadd was sure to grab some stunning shots of the barrels being flame charred (fun fact: bourbon barrels are flamed on their side, and wine barrels are burned standing up).

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Tadd thoroughly enjoyed getting to tell the ISC story through his images, and the feedback from the client has been nothing short of positive. They're using Tadd’s photos in their facilities and across their marketing materials.

The Independent Stave Company is a great company with great people that truly care about what they make. There is an amazing amount of research, testing, and technology that goes into the different types of barrels they produce. It was nice to get to experience a company with such a rich tradition and history.

Tadd featured the images from this project in his Summer 2017 Print Promos and hopes to continue to use them across his marketing materials.

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See more of Tadd at taddmyers.com and stay tuned for his fresh edit courtesy of our Senior Photo Editor, Stacy. Tadd Myers is one of 24 member photographers featured at Wonderful Machine's 2017 Photoville exhibition in Brooklyn Bridge Park. 

And check out our other members on our Find Photographers page. 

Tags: brand narrative photography dallas industrial photography isc tadd myers texas the independent stave company wonderful machine