22/06/21

All hands on deck: a behind the scenes look at how the brand team makes the impossible happen

By Jared Millan

Earlier this month of June, the brand team was tasked with a new exciting challenge: to take product shots of ±1,500 items in just three days. That’s more than 3,000 photos that have to be taken, retouched, and uploaded in under a week. And because of the tight schedule, we needed to move fast. But the brand team came in clutch, assembling a 7-person team to tackle a task this size.

Here’s how we pulled it off, and the takeaways that we got from it.

So, 1,500 products in three days… how was it?

Most people think that taking photos is easy, that all it takes is a press of the shutter. In reality, a lot of care and thought go into every photoshoot. Everytime the shutter fires, we have to think: Is the exposure right? Are the lights positioned correctly? How about the composition? Then afterward, the post-production. And that’s another story entirely.

It is such an involved process. But that’s the marvel of working with a team with a singular purpose: to make things happen no matter the challenge, and have a blast in the process.

From sorting out the logistical ordeal of tagging and queueing each item, which our Campaigns Specialist Elisa and Motion Designer Nada made fabulous work of, to our Photo Editor and Art Director Linda making minutiae tweaks on each item everytime it stepped in front of the camera, to our post-production team comprised of Digital Assets Manager Marvin, Senior Motion Designer Dung, Motion Designer Matthew and Senior Director of Comms and captain of the ship Rich who retouched and edited tirelessly in parallel with the shoot—the dynamic simply worked

Curveballs along the way

Of course no challenge is complete without the curveballs lurking around the corner waiting to pounce.

In this case, it was the weather. 

Picture this: it was a particularly hot June day, in a room without any cooling system in place, surrounded by hot lights flashing every five seconds. And then imagine having to shoot hundreds of cold and frozen items while trying to keep their freshness and integrity intact…but there were no refrigerators in sight. Only small coolers with dry ice in them.

Were the conditions ideal for a photoshoot? Not at all. But at the end of the day, it’s all about how you get things done and finding ways to enjoy the ride.

It’s all about having fun (or at least most of it)

What made the whole photoshoot a success was that not only did we have a stellar and dynamic team working alongside each other like a well-oiled machine, but we had fun while we were at it. 

When on the second day the heat and exhaustion started to get us, we found a way to laugh at everything. Marvin fed us every morning. We shared funny stories and lifted each other’s spirits. When the energy in the room dipped, Rich boosted the morale by playing classic Bowie and cheesy 90s dance hits. 

Teamwork indeed makes the dream work. But in this case, it’s more a testament to how amazing the team work ethic really is.