“It is my belief that to truly see what is possible; one must first create the kinds of environments where the crazy things can happen, a habitat to produce alchemy.”Lupine Hammack
Lupine Hammack approaches his photography with an open mind, believing that one should have a hand in making any outcome occur. In this latest series, Lupine and creative partner Sarah James took a deep dive into locally produced Anchor Brewing, showing us through their work how they can understand and elevate a brand.
You have always created narratives charged with possibility. You take the time to understand a brand, learning about the category in which they live. Can you tell us about the process you follow and the benefits realized from doing such in-depth research?
The best way I’ve found to describe our process is to compare it to cooking a meal. To us, the process of getting to know who we’re partnering with, their culture, and what they’re all about is the difference between cooking for a friend versus someone you’ve just met. We feel that communication is more important than ever these days and is a key ingredient to a successful shoot. With this method each shoot is unique but the benefits are always the same; more efficiency found in the planning phase, more time for creative exploration on set, which inevitably produces more visuals.
Aside from being a heritage San Francisco brand, why did you choose Anchor Brewing for your case study?
We did this case study on Anchor because it is undergoing the same process as one of our favorite clients to work with, Lagunitas. Both are local, creative, and are examples of heritage reinventing as they enter the global market. Lagunitas was bought by Heineken a few years back and since then has been striking a unique balance of keeping one foot in the microbrew world while putting the other one down on the global stage. It seems to be the new norm in a lot of industries; combining the resources of big business with the grassroots personality of small businesses to offer a hybrid approach. This resonates with us because we too strive to keep a foot in each world. Maintaining a presence with the big agencies while still being accessible for small brands as they grow. We really enjoy this category for its unique combination of resources and a desire to push the creative envelope. Our work is no longer one size fits all nor is it one size fits best; our capacity to reinvent is what enables us to keep creating the work that we love.
What was your strategic approach to creating imagery for a heritage brand, re-invented?
Anchor has been brewing beer in San Francisco since as early as 1896. With a history of ups and downs and close calls, its story felt as close to home as anything else right now. Knowing that this little craft brewery has been here, brewing away, in its many forms for over 100 years is pretty awe-inspiring. Fritz Maytag, who bought the brewery in 1965 when it was on its last leg (or a little worse) is quoted as saying he bought the brewery because he, “was just enthralled with the idea of a business that had character, and history, and curiosity.” By doing the research and getting to know Anchor we could champion the tagline of “CAN-DO” and know that it absolutely resonates with the brand and its re-invention.
This project is that much more beautiful and impressive knowing that you shot it in one day. How have you brought efficiency to your shoots while still bringing the magic you so often deliver?
We were approached by a client recently to shoot 50 shots in one day. Just a couple of years ago we wouldn’t have even considered the idea possible. But through a lot of creative collaboration and thoughtful planning, we were able to craft an efficient workflow that maximized our time with each shot while delivering everything they needed… and then some. In our work, we find that putting energy into finding efficiencies helps create space for opportunity, for more creativity. The magic happens with time; the splash shot wasn’t on our original shot list but we were inspired by the drips on the cans and had built-in efficiencies that helped carve out the time to make it happen.
You intentionally work on projects that intrigue. CAN-do is a calling card of sorts. Tell us about that.
When we approach our work with positivity we’re at a huge advantage. It’s from this mindset that we find ourselves the most inspired. Staying positive has always been important to us, but especially right now, and throughout this year, it has become something that we want to be known for.
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