A photographer for Fenty Beauty, Renata Raksha’s does most commercial photography. What I like about her style is that it’s chaotic but methodical. Her work is raw and bold, taking on urban styles. For instance, some of her work includes the background of her studio as props to frame her images. It takes away the clean look people often see in photography, especially commercial photography.
In her interview with VSCO, Renata Raksha: No Rules Apply, the title itself encapsulates her way of photography where some elements are done by impulse while others elements was made with careful decisions but still take on this chaotic sense of style. In the video, she mentioned that she had to move from Los Angeles to York, so she decided to paint her warehouse and rip clothes to remove an attachment to her things. She then uses these things and incorporates it into a photoshoot.
She also likes to build a rapport with her subjects by placing them in physical discomfort on shoots so that it could bring the subjects to react naturally. I found that interesting because I like to incorporate that technique during my photoshoots.
Renata Raksha’s uncanny, bold and raw approach to photography will influence my work for the billboard shoot because I want to produce an eye-catching image for a widely loved product.
Our research for Southern’s social media had shown us that they aren’t very communicative on their platform:
On twitter, there is minimal interaction with their followers. Most of their tweets are about delayed services or trains being cancelled. This poses a negative view on them online.
As for instagram, I couldn’t find a legitimate account for Southern Rail, the image posted below is what I assume is their account:
Most instagram accounts ran by companies and business that are successful are verified by a blue tick on their account profiles. This determines the legitimacy of the account so that it can be spotted out from any duplicate accounts.
Again, for Southern rail, their posts were minimal, and there wasn’t much of an attempt to their customers in a positive way.
With this taken in mind, I had quickly thought of how we wanted Southern to look online.
One of the mockups I had made was of Southern’s instagram. What I wanted was to promote location shots as well as portrait shots of commuters. With the portrait shots, it gives a more human connection when viewing it, on the image there would be a caption of their travel stories.
By taking this approach for Southern, it would improve their persona as a company and give customers a slightly different impression of them
During the Brighton trip, I took filmed some footage to prepare for the video advertisement we wanted to produce. Initially, this wasn’t planned at all but I wanted to produce a video as an advertisement for Southern Rail.
From the previous feedback we’ve received, we were advised to focus on improving the idea of Southern Rail rather than taking on a big step and advertise it as a sleek new product, like the other groups. So I took the initiative to compile the footage together and composed a video.
The process to make the video involved learning new software to edit it.
E.g. Editing the colours to fit the profile of the video, I had to use DaVinci Resolve to change certain elements of the video:
On the day of our shoot, we had to take the Thameslink to Brighton and because we’ve decided to change the theme of Southern Rail to orange as representation of movement and looking to the future, I had to colour correct the video to suit our concept.
What I thought would be interesting are destination shots for the video. I felt that because customers of Southern Rail had poor experience of their service, I wanted to change that by showing calming and joyful sceneries of Brighton. This would take on a completely different approach to Southern Rail’s previous attempts of advertising.
At the end of the video, I decided to add our new slogan for Southern; “Make Southern Yours”.
The slogan itself, had a sense of uniqueness. The point was to let customers know that the new Southern allows them an experience curated to their needs. It brings in a more welcoming vibe and it seems like the right approach in bringing Southern’s image into a more positive outlook.
Overall I do like the video itself, however, I would have improved on the pre-planning of this work. As everything was up in the air, the idea to make a video was purely my idea and I had to motivate myself as well as the rest of my team that making this video would give us an extra element to better our project. If this was planned more carefully, more footage would have been taken that would have enhanced the video more.
After several psd layers, this if the final outcome for my Lavazza ad.
What I really like about it is how it strays from the usual Lavazza persona. This dark take was inspired by my personal interest in horror. By featuring Jason Voorhees as the character for my ad, I felt that he would be more recognisable as he is one of the well known monsters/killers in horror movies and video games.
What I struggled with while doing this project was figuring out how to turn the day background into night time. I also had difficulty understanding how to work with tones and saturation to fit the mood of the ad.
Working with other elements I felt that it was easy, for instance, removing highlights and filling in shadows.
Another struggle I encountered was turning the image into a portrait as I felt that pose/position of the character was awkward.
Personally, I’m not too pleased with the portrait and felt that I should have shot it differently to give the image more context. Another thing I could have done was bring up the brightness more but I was also trying to maintain the creepy mood of the image which is why I made the decision to leave the brightness as shown in the images.
Overall, I did enjoy doing this project as it allowed me to creatively flourish and challenged me to focus on details and create a visual narrative; something I’m not confident of sometimes.