January, 2015

margaret lampert for target; a tailor-made project

When Margaret Lampert was tapped to shoot the ad campaign for Target’s Target One Billion initiative, we couldn’t have been more thrilled. Supporting education and literacy has long been one of Target’s primary goals, and with this initiative, the retailer pledged to donate up to two million books to kids in need and launch an innovative reading center to inspire kids across the country. Minneapolis-based advertising agency Olson developed the campaign to launch the initiative, a series of ads that were somewhat different from Target’s standard retail marketing. They wanted images that conveyed authenticity.

Margaret had just been in Minneapolis and at Olson for a portfolio showing with Marianne and her Roadshow.  Shortly after the showing, the Olson creative team brought the Target project to me and I thought Margaret would be a great fit based on the initial concepts.  The creatives wanted the images to feel real and authentic and I think Margaret really captures that feel in her work,” said Mark Pakulski, Art Producer at Olson.

Mark goes on to say, “Margaret quickly became the forerunner for the shoot after the creatives saw her work and had a chance to do a creative call with her.” Art Producer Dave Lewis also adds, “The creative call with Margaret was great – she was calm, full of ideas and genuinely excited!

To capture the thrill of that moment when a child becomes lost in their own experience, Margaret and her team took over an elementary school in New Jersey over a weekend. She shot a series of photographs that show kids fascinated and excited about learning, reading, art, and music.

The entire project was designed to allow these moment to come to life in an authentic and organic fashion,” said Margaret. “The resulting images felt honest and real, a little window into a child’s process of learning and discovery.

There is nothing more wonderful than when someone recognizes a certain quality in my work and finds just the right application for the images. This project was just that in every way—a perfect fit,” said Margaret.

Many thanks to Mark, Dave and the Olson team for assigning Margaret such a tailor-made project, and a big thank you to Planet PrePro and Red Penny Casting for the production support.

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a month in the sand : on location with matthew turley

Matthew Turley said he’d been wanting to shoot a fashion series in Namibia since South African producer Kim White showed him some photos of the country in 2010, but there was never an opportunity to pull the project together. After four years of dreaming of the desert, he bought a ticket and headed to the airport. “I finally just decided to go by myself,” he said. “I booked my return ticket for a month-long trip only eight hours in advance.

He landed in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital, without a plan or even a reserved hotel room. Turley says the “no plan” plan usually isn’t a problem for him since he can work things out as he goes, booking rooms and excursions on his smartphone. Unfortunately, AT&T shut down his phone and data access shortly after he picked up his rental vehicle for security measures—he had run up nearly $1000 in data charges.

Matthew had already purchased the Southern Africa map set for his Garmin GPS and the Land Cruiser he rented had its own GPS system, so getting around should not have been problematic. In another twist of fate however, the map file on his Garmin had gotten corrupted and the Land Cruiser’s GPS didn’t have a map for Namibia. “I was essentially lost in Windhoek for nearly 18 hours. I couldn’t find my way back to the rental car agency and public Internet access is virtually impossible to find,” he said.

But he would not be deterred. “Finally, I was able to buy a Namibia SIM card, a satellite phone, and he found a place where he could re-download the Garmin map. I was ready to go!

The Land Cruiser came equipped with camping gear, including a tent, fridge, water, and stove, two spare tires and an extended-range fuel tank.

With the second-lowest population in the world, a month alone in Namibia’s vast emptiness was a sublime personal experience for Turley. “I often prefer simple, graphic compositions and was thus drawn to the country’s stark landscape,” he said.

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Turley was virtually alone for the next three and a half weeks.

He headed to Sossusvlei, an area known for having some of the largest and most expansive sand dunes on earth, where he hired a pilot and shot aerials of sand dunes and Atlantic coast, which is accessible only by air. It took an hour just to reach the coast, flying over an endless expanse of dunes, leaving only 35 minutes of fuel for actually photographing the coast.

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In Kolmanskop, a deserted diamond-mining town from the early 20th century, Turley shot homes filled with sand. At night, he sat alone on the quiet desert salt pans, as far away from another person as he’s ever been, and under the brightest night skies he’s ever seen. “I’ve never experienced solitude quite like that. It was incredible.

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And, as luck would have it, on the second to last day of his trip, he met a beautiful Namibian waitress with an interest in modeling who was excited when he explained his original creative vision for shooting in Namibia – somewhere between a fashion series and ethnic portraits.  The next day, they went out and shot together in the desert.  “It was such a random, unexpected encounter, but those images ended up being my favorites from the entire trip!

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jim salzano’s :15 holiday spot for macy’s

For each letter addressed to Santa at The North Pole and mailed in a special letterbox at Macy’s, the store donated $1 to the Make-a-Wish foundation. The 7th annual Believe campaign raised $1 million, and Macy’s wanted to offer a special thank you to its customers.

Jim Salzano and his crew had just six hours of prep on the main floor of the New York flagship store—between 11PM and 5AM— and one hour to shoot the :15 national broadcast spot, which featured CEO Terry Lundgren and almost 200 Macy’s employees, all wearing Believe t-shirts.

To get them into the Christmas spirit, Jim led the employees in a few carols before Lundgren arrived, and despite the 4:30am call time, the employees’  enthusiasm was flowing and the energy at the shoot, amazing.

Many thanks to the Macy’s team, including senior vice president of marketing Joe Feczko, Joe Civitillo, Rick Palmer, Ed Sheehan and Janine Groff, as well as producer Derrick Loris and the rest of our wonderful crew.