|Leader Bikes Catalogue
||[Sep. 29th, 2010|05:58 pm]
At Interbike this year Leader unveiled their new catalogue, a project that was by far the most challenging I've ever had to tackle. Over the course of a little over a week I shot 2,496 images specific for the catalogue. As well as pictures of people standing next to bikes I shot people riding in traffic, people doing tricks, candid lifestyle shots, portraits, product shots, as well as busy urban landscapes. Most mornings would start with me waking up and heading straight out the door, shooting all day, then coming home to photoshop until I'd start dozing off on the keyboard. I was under the wire to produce something and had alot of great ideas I wanted to see come to life, so I figured I'd do an entry going over why I shot what as well as showcase some of the outtakes. You can find the digital version of the printed catalogue here.
If you've followed this blog long enough then you'll know I love cheesy pictures. I never get bored doing zombie shoots, I love pictures with guns, and I love tons of lighting with heavy post processing. A while back Sal of Leader had approached me about putting together a catalogue showcasing their new bike line up and said he would give me complete creative control, so initially I had all sorts of wacky/stupid sketches of zombies and cowboys and robots but ultimately realized that this wasn't the place for that sort of thing. However I definitely wanted the catalogue to have an overall theme, generic dudes on bikes pictures seemed too common for what I wanted this to become.
I decided to base the whole thing off the word "Leader", so I saw that as sort of a "Leaders of Industry" type deal. Initially I saw bikes in the work place, i.e. Tyler Johnson smoking a cigar while track standing in a suit, yelling at underlings in an office. However as the day that everyone would fly in to begin shooting drew closer I didn't see that sort of goofyness panning out. Clean, polished images seemed to make much more sense to me.
We began shooting on a Monday, working with Tyler and Terrence. The first day of working we pulled two images that resonated strongly enough that I figured I'd let them guide the rest of the project, one of which is the picture above. The second day of shooting I continued along the same style, however I began running into a serious problem. I thought the pictures were great, but they were great fashion pictures, not great bike pictures. They sold Tyler's Dior suit better then the bikes they were on, so I had to switch up my framing to make the focus more on Leader, and make the suits an after thought.
I really pushed it shooting as much as I could every day, as many of the people who were in front of my camera were from out of town and we had a very limited time window to shoot in. However this shooting explosion resulted in me burning threw all of my flash tubes for my strobes, so I had to over night more as soon as I could in the middle of working on the catalogue.
The product portion of the catalogue I shot in the Leader warehouse in two days, going for more top lighting with mild accents. Some pictures though, I turned the strobe off and worked with the natural light from the sky lights above. This led to more dramatic, captivating pictures but the trade off was that the viewer was given more of a biased look at the frame. Dan at Leader and I had discussed at length that we felt this should be more about a small amount of powerful shots rather then alot of pictures of a bike frame floating in white. The work needed to have a strong authoritative feel that carried into every image.
The graphic design of the catalogue was done by my friend Terrence Patrick in Phoenix. Terrence and I have worked together numerous times on advertisements, so it helped working with a designer who's style I'm familiar with and vice versa. His design work is all very clean and polished, which worked out excellent with the pictures. Because of the shooting running late and some mix-ups in the scheduling, Terrence had to crank out the design practically over night. Collaborating with others is always difficult because you're never sure that you're on the same page as the other person, but Terrence with the help of his friend Victor produced exactly what I had seen this becoming, and then some.
I'm very proud of how the catalogue looks, and it was awesome to have so many people involved in putting together this great project. I know I wasn't the only one who lost sleep while working on this, and it really couldn't have been done without everyone being so dedicated.