Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Russell James for Rolex
One of the most creative and charismatic photographers I've ever worked with is a fashion shooter named Russell James. http://www.studiorusselljames.com/
He does a lot of work for Victoria's Secret and many other very high profile clients, including Rolex. Every now and then we get a chance to work together, when a project is particularly involved with shallow water or splash environments, either in pools or in the ocean. I am always in awe of his considerable technical proficiency in these situations, but truthfully most impressed with his genuine affinity and friendship with the supermodels he works with. They like him, want to do good work with him, and in the end they look spectacular and the client is well served.
A few years ago we did a project for Rolex, in New Providence. Our mutual friend Stuart Cove provided all the in-water support, and we based the production at Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. Russell flew a different supermodel in for each of 7 consecutive days and they would be photographed in a studio contrived in a ballroom at the hotel, and also shot in a pool or in the ocean (if their water skills allowed them to be safe in an ocean environment). I was there to shoot backgrounds in the ocean, which which the studio shots would then be composited.
Some of the open water shots of the girls, all wearing their Rolexes of course, worked. But, in my opinion the strongest shots, and the ones chosen to lead the campaign, were the studio shots Russell took of the girls in flowing gowns, with a wind machine ruffling the hair, and the light on the Rolex watch beautifully crafted. My underwater backgrounds were compositional elements, combined in Photoshop.
The results ran on the Rolex website and a huge print campaign in French Vogue.
Here's some Behind The Scenes shots: