When it comes to marketing, collaboration can come in all shapes and sizes. Lupine Hammack proves again and again that he has the skillset to listen, understand, strategize, create and execute at the level in which each unique project requires. We know clients appreciate enterprising photographers who come on board with the same passion and drive as well. Lupine recently finished a project for The Free Spirits Company, working with Founder, and CEO, Milan Martin, identifying the brand personality and creating visuals for their launch. Here are some details of this campaign from Lupine and Milan.
What was your most memorable moment on this project?
Lupine: The thing that was unique about this project was that they invited me to be part of strategic brand conversations about the direction of the visuals from the inception. Being valued as a true partner rather than a vendor allowed me to create from a very different place than I traditionally create from.
There was a moment during pre-viz when I identified an opportunity to make the work better, but it would cost more money. The idea was to expand one of our photoshoots from being a product-only still shoot to a still and motion shoot with talent. I knew that the brand valued inclusivity, individualism, and diversity, and by making this change, these values could shine more.
I brought it to Milan, we had a conversation, and the response back was, “Let’s do it. That’s really good counsel.” If it hadn’t been for understanding where he was going with the brand, what its values were, and what we had to work with, I wouldn’t have been able to give that counsel. Getting to know him the way I did so early on allowed me to think of things from his brand’s perspective. I was a more valuable creative partner because I had been invited in earlier on and could draw from a deeper understanding of the brand and what matters to them.
Milan: I come from the agency world where the focus is on craft, with clients focused on results. [After working with Lupine,] I saw firsthand that the artists who can talk in both colors — in both languages — around why the craft is important for the sake of better results, are going to be those people who find themselves at the bigger table.
What did you learn on this project?
Lupine: With Milan and Free Spirits, we were invited into the process early to begin developing their visual language. This early entrance allowed us to move beyond thinking about it as a traditional photo shoot. Instead, we were building a long-term relationship with both Milan and the brand. Whether we were sampling the cocktails, reviewing visual strategy, or talking photoshoot details, each was an opportunity to lean more into the long-term relationship. They were all incremental steps towards bringing to life the brand’s visual language. With this approach, we learned how to stand by our client’s side in a new way. Changing the parameters provided more creative opportunities.
Milan: The right partner makes all the difference. I have been fortunate to find a partner in a photographer capable of talking way upstream and helping us build this brand from the get-go. I do really believe that the production world and the artist world have an opportunity to move upstream in the conversation in the context of marketing.
Normally, more people are involved in getting to brand visuals. Instead, Lupine and Sarah collaborated with us, getting in early and helping us define the way the brand should look.
What do you hope people learn after viewing this project?
Lupine: We want people to take away a genuine sense of camaraderie, a feeling that we are all on the same team working towards the same goal. Our focus is on the people we work with, and we see ourselves as an extension of their goals and vision. Our interest is in being additive every step of the way and finding opportunities for efficiency within each given engagement. By trusting one another, we will continue to create stronger work and relationships.
Milan: Creativity is at the heart of our brand. We’re convincing a whole world of people that alcohol doesn’t necessarily have to be the star player of your cocktail, which is a big undertaking. Creativity is going to be a big part of that.
Lupine and Sarah demonstrated a willingness to work with a brand like Free Spirits, they believed in the business, believed in the brand, and were willing to wade their way in — betting on small business. In short, they understood the crawl, walk, run aspect of this project.
I know what ad agencies bring. People like Lupine have the tangible skill sets to bring a brand to life.
Please visit Lupine’s site to see the full gallery and walk through the creation of the visuals step by step.
Follow Lupine on Instagram to see the result of envisioning imagery through alchemy.