As I keep progressing through the advertising world higher and starting to get bigger and bigger clients there is not much time left to do work for free, at least not for clients. When it's for me sure, I will work with a minimal budget to achieve the goal.
About 2 years back I would not really hesitate and take it immediately. However few months ago one of my clients approached me that he has an interesting friend, a friend that is working hard to drive more tourism into a place long forgotten. A city that has been in desolation for decades for various reasons - war, comunism - you name it. That friend is using his hard earned money to rebuilt the actual center of the city - the monastery. I had hard time thinking this through, I knew that I wanted to help but also had to make money for a living. Whenever I am on the edge I keep this checklist that I got from Chase Jarvis:
If I get 2 green lights from 3 it's a no brainer. In this case opportunity and portfolio won so I gave it a chance.
My and my wife Lucy went there to scout the area before the actual shoot and talk to the owner. To my surprise they had no idea how to promote their place (I am usually getting briefs that say everything I need to know, I just add my vision and execute the idea.)
So I had free reign of everything, went through the monastery and it's secret passages. I then start to create a list of places I want to shoot at - garden was one of them.
It was set - 2 images in the garden, 1 in the library and 1 in the church.
Getting people to work for free is no easy task - they can cancel on you anytime. Luckily we had help and got us a MUA and 2 talented models. I have to admit that for the most part I prefer actors rather than models - I dont want them to pose, I want them to act - tell them the story and let them take over. and tweak it to perfection.
1 Day before the production I saw the forecast and knew that we will have trouble shooting outside - completely cloudy. So I came up with an emergency plan - shoot one more in the library - late evening shot and one in a big room with huge paintings on the walls - that one happens to be my favourite.
Hopefully the narrative is clear - it's still something I am working on and will be for the rest of my life.
Hope you have enjoyed this little insight
Huge thanks to all participants!
Many thanks to:
model agency: www.freshface.eu