Teri Campbell Wins Gold With Maker’s Mark

May 30, 2019
Photographer Spotlight

Thirty years of professional collaboration with agencies and brands means your work speaks for itself. So much so that each project isn’t produced out of necessity but created through passion. From that passion, new working relationships are created. Case in point: Teri Campbell’s recent work with Maker’s Mark Whiskey.

A glass of Maker's Mark sitting by the bottle.

Doe-Anderson, the advertising agency for Maker’s Mark, reached out to Cincinnati-based photographer Teri Campbell after Creative Director Christian Urton saw an image that was done as part of a personal project. Wanting something similar for their client, Teri was recruited for the task. The initial request was for eight images, but since then the agency has contracted multiple shoots throughout the year.

Teri Campbell personal project
The image that set alight the relationship between Teri and Doe-Anderson.

This personal project was a collaboration between myself and a food stylist I work with regularly, Debbie Wahl. I wanted to work on a drink shot that I could add to my portfolio, but I also had some Photoshop and image processing techniques I had been dying to experiment with. 

From a styling perspective, we wanted to make sure things were a little messy and not over-think it. We wanted it to feel very spontaneous. Photographically, I liked the idea of using lots of blue tones, but I also decided to add depth and warm things up a bit, using a flare that I shot separately. I placed the flare on its own layer in Photoshop and changed the blend mode to screen. That is the bokeh you see at the top of the image.

Teri's consistent track record of eye-popping photography has made his company, Teri Studios, “a destination for consumer-packaged goods companies, restaurants, beverage and travel related businesses seeking original images and films for advertising and packaging.” It also doesn’t hurt that Photo District News, the award-winning monthly trade magazine for professional photographers, labeled Teri a lighting master.

It’s always about the lighting. I wanted to make these images look as natural as possible and not as though the bottle had been stripped into the shot. To do that I didn’t try to light the bottle, I just allowed it to reflect the light around it. 

Below, Teri goes into more detail about the working relationship he’s forged with Maker’s Mark that ultimately resulted in winning Gold at this year’s Cincinnati Addy Awards:

Manhattan with a twist of lemon sitting next to a bottle of Maker's Mark.

How did Doe-Anderson first discover your work?

These images are part of an ongoing campaign for Maker’s Mark that we have been working on for a little more than a year. Although we had reached out to the creative staff at Doe-Anderson a few times over the past several years, via postcards and the occasional email, in the end it appears a Google search is what led them to us. 

Two egg nogs heaping with nutmeg before a bottle of Maker's Mark.

What was involved in the planning and preproduction for the shoot?

This collaboration has been wonderful. Maker’s Mark provided us with a list of cocktails that needed to be captured, and then allowed us to start improvising. We began by working with our prop stylist to gather props and surfaces that aligned with the brand’s position as a high-end Kentucky Bourbon. On set we worked with the prop stylist to craft a set based on input from the creative director. 

A glass of whiskey neat with an orange wedge and cherry before a bottle of Maker's Mark.

How does this reflect or represent your photographic style?

I do a lot of color work on these images, often adding blue or cyan to the shadows, and then warming up the highlights. In Photoshop I usually added a sun flare to give the image more depth. 

Screen shot from Makersmark.com/cocktails

Any future plans for this project?

We just finished another assignment a couple of weeks ago, focused on the Kentucky Derby. My hope is that this partnership has just begun!



Agency: Doe-Anderson
Client: Maker's Mark
Prop Stylist: Kim Martin
Food Stylist: A.J. Battifarano
Mixologist: Tifani Winkfield
Food Stylist: Debbie Wahl

Check out more of Teri Campbell at teristudios.com

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