Art Director’s Insight: Siri Vorbeck on ‘Long-Arm’ Art-Directing

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JAG Images / Imagesource.com

JAG Images / Imagesource.com

Image Source Art Director Siri Vorbeck talks through some of the logistical and creative planning decisions around Jeremy Rice’s and Grant Squibb’s recent Brazil shoot

How did the shoot idea emerge?

Last March, Jeremy Rice and Grant Squibb came to the Creative Workshop. We were chatting about what could we shoot, they wanted to work as a team and they wanted to bring in a substantial number of images. I said to them, “unfortunately no-one is going to Brazil, it’s such a great opportunity”.  Next year is the football world cup, 2 years after that the Olympics, it’s one of the major emerging economies – it’s a shame it’s so far away.  We were chatting then Jeremy said “I know a guy who lives in Rio,” and that sparked the whole idea of the two of them going there. I have that conversation with a lot of photographers, “what we could do.” But these guys were completely different because they came back in less than a week and said, “Yes let’s do it! Can we work on it?”

How does “Long-Arm” Art Direction work?

I set up some meetings and we made a proper plan. What topics can we shoot? What style? How do they divide up their day? How do they get models? Jeremy phoned his friend who said models weren’t a problem. He works in the food business, so he had connections. It started rolling. First of all I made a schedule. They said they would go for 14 days, 3 days for recce and settling in, and the remaining days they need to shoot. The most important thing is that if I advise photographers to go somewhere, I want to make sure it’s successful, because only successful photographers will come back and want to work with us again.

JAG Images/ Image Source

JAG Images/ Image Source

It needed to be a good mix between the ‘typical’ Brazil, and modern Brazil. So thinking about the topics I went from ‘Samba’ dances and the ‘feelgood’ vibe to more generic ‘shopping’ and ‘couples’ imagery, so there was more breadth in the content – content that not only could sell ‘Brazil’, but imagery that could cover the ‘Latin’ market.

JAG Images / Image Source

JAG Images / Image Source

When you build the Moodboards, you are creating it from the best work – top models and budget isn’t an issue. So the photographer needs to understand that particular images are there because it’s a good topic, or a good crop, a good angle, or a good colour palette. I built the Moodboard and advised them what to bring, I had called a few people and discovered it might be more difficult to source styling there, so they should take their own styling there. If you don’t know the people you are working with as a photographer you can’t really rely on what they are bringing to the shoot, or where you go to get stuff. You want to be shooting everyday rather than spending time organising things, unless you have a producer, and then it starts costing more. It’s important to keep it tight, manageable. I think I scared them a little when I showed them the Moodboard!

JAG Images / Image Source

Art Director Siri Vorbeck’s multiple moodboards for Brazil shoot

Expectations were really high, I thought these guys would have a great experience – they have great talent, they have a great attitude toward work, they are really efficient, they are ambitious, they really want to go somewhere. I love working with people like that, I don’t mind spending a lot of time – and they delivered.

Choose one picture?

There is one I love, the girl with the flag wrapped around her. Its such a nice mood, it captures everything I want to see in a ‘Brazil’ picture – the girl is pretty, the mood is nice, you see the ‘sugar-heart’, its uses are multiple.

Click to see the Brazil work of Jeremy and Grant on Image Source

JAG Images/ Image Source

JAG Images/ Image Source

 

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