Tim Tadder Explains What Is Needed To Shoot What’s Not There. Yes, You Read That Correctly.

As we all know, creating an image for commercial photography is so much more than just point and click.  The production behind the image is intense and the hours put in before the shoot are often more than the shoot itself.  And, for Tim Tadder, who is often hired for his conceptual approach to a photography, shooting what isn’t there is many times the most important element of the ad.

On a shoot for Avia, Tim had to do just that.  Shoot what wasn’t there.  Here is what he had to say about that.

“We do projects where agencies come to us with complex creative that involves difficult problem solving. One of the most common challenges is what I call shooting what’s not there. So many of our assignments require us to be spatially aware and compose for elements that will be added into the image during post production. Recently, we were commissioned by Catch NYC for AVIA to do just that.  The assignment was to create dynamic stand alone visuals in single captures for interactive. And, those same compositions needed to also allow for 3d CGI type and dozens of additional elements composited into the scenes for brand advertising.

This project required geometric compositions with strong leading lines and great use of space. Simple enough, but now add multiple models running at full speed and things can get a little interesting. To be successful we needed great locations that were simple, graphic, had good natural light, and were in close proximity to each other. The irony, the most important part of shooting whats not there, is location scouting. Trying to explain this to a scout is something challenging, as it was with this assignment. After a few days our scout provided some excellent options, but it was something I myself needed to see, to make sure I had the space in the composition for all the elements that the creative called for.

Using the scouting photos as a guide I set out to find the spaces I needed to shoot what was not there. On these redo missions bystanders often ask me what I am shooting, my response is truly, “nothing.”

To see how all the images work together both with and without the integrated headlines, please visit AVIA.com.


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