Just this week, mcgarrybowen in Chicago launched a new campaign for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. Andy Anderson was fortunate enough to be part of that team and create some really wonderful images for the project. As with most projects lately, the time line was aggressive and the shot list long. But, with a great team (thank you Monica Zaffarano) and focused agency and client the results were amazing.
Since the production was such a well oiled machine I thought it would make for a great post if Andy answered some questions about the project and shared the work. Here is what he had to say.
What was the client and agency vision for this shoot?
Since this was an entirely new client for mcgarrybowen and it was essentially a re-brand, the direction was very clear. The vision from the very beginning when the creative brief was discussed was real people in realistic situations. The creative director Kurt Fries was very clear when describing the project that he wanted the viewer to really feel like they know these folks. Honesty was the underlining mantra.
How did you contribute to this vision?
This type of project is something I can truly sink my teeth into. Since I constantly hear from creatives that they love the honesty and the soulfulness of my imagery, I approached this project with a different angle. On the majority of my commercial productions I use professional talent, but that was not the case for this project. They were real people that for the most part had never had a formal portrait, so I approached this in a way similar to many of my personal shoots. I made sure the set was free of commotion and unnecessary people. I did this as a way of making the people feel safe and secure while the session took place. I really only wanted the talent and myself to engage each other. As you can see with photos, that paid dividends.
How many shots did you take for this project and how many days did you have to shoot the project?
The project required me and my production to produce 10 to 12 environmental portraits, which were shot in 4 days.
This project was approved and shot with hardly any days in between. Since you had less time than on most productions, what approach did you use to make this a successful shoot?
The key ingredient to the success to this project was the organization. The scouting and casting was done simultaneously, in fact the same person did them. Julie Tallarida (Planet Earth Agency and Trigger Casting) was our secret weapon on this production. The access to real people and their environments that she was able to provide made all the difference on this shoot.
What do you love about these images?
I love how diverse they all are. This campaign spread across a broad range of ethnicities and I think that is what makes it wonderful.
Did your team have to do anything unique or different on this shoot that stands out to you as something that made this shoot extraordinary?
I think just the shear amount of scouting and casting that had to be done in a very condensed time frame was our greatest challenge. Monica Zaffarano did an amazing job pulling this off in a very short amount of time, bravo Monica. And, kudos to Michael Perez, my long time retoucher. His attention to detail and artistic touch really make each of these images pop.
Where did you shoot this campaign and why?
The campaign had to be shot in Chicago since Anthem head office is based there.
Any memorable moments on the shoot?
You will have to ask Antoinette Rodriguez that question 🙂