using photography in interesting and different ways

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Wry humor paired with preposterous stock photos fuels a cheeky ad campaign for a luxury spa.

Emerson Place Spa and Resort was situated 80 some miles from New York City. Because of my background in fashion, and various connections into the New York fashion world, I was given the assignment to do a branding and ad campaign to catch the attention of the New York fashion world.


Emerson Spa ads

In order to set Emerson apart from most typical “luxury” destinations, I created an approach that was both familiar and fresh. Using old stock images, I paired them with sayings that highlighted an absurd explanation of the image, meant to elicit a smile from the viewer, as well as start them on a fanciful journey of their own.


This campaign never got to run because the spa burned down just as the campaign was to launch.

I can guarantee that your company group photo will never be obsolete.

I was inspired by the Richard Avedon photos of Pentagon officials during the 60’s. That sparked me to use the individual photos I’ve been taking of executives and create a group of them in my computer. I loved the result, but then I realized there was another, more opportune us for this method.

Richard Avedon group photo

Richard Avedon group photo







An endlessly adaptive group photo

With this method I could create a group. I could create a group with just some of the members. I could create different configurations of the same group.

Merrill Lynch group 3 different configurations

Merrill Lynch group 3 different configurations

The REALLY golden use

The BEST THING I realized is that I could add or subtract people from the group! If a company added a person, I could add them to the group. If someone left, I could delete them from the group. All with a click of my mouse.

Steps to create a "never obsolete" group

Steps to create a “never obsolete” group

OK, it’s not quite that easy

No, anyone can’t take a number of full length shots of people and throw them together. It takes me a while to adjust everyone’s position, slightly forward or slightly back, to make it look like they really are standing together. And height! That’s so important because when I have a photo of a person on a white background I have no reference as to how tall they are. I’ve developed a method where I have a reference point recorded in the original photo which tells me how tall anyone is.

Here’s a few examples, but there is a whole section on my website, here to see more versions.

This works for families too

Oh yes, this works for families too. I’ve done several using this tehnique, including one with 29 people.

Family group photo

Family group photo

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