Client: Strada for Willow Valley Communities
Showcase Lancaster as a city that is attractive to retiree-aged adults interested in a rich, diverse, urban lifestyle. The goal is to see the city’s beauty as locals do.
The opportunity of this project was to tell the story of how residents of Willow Valley Communities have readily embraced the culture and lifestyle of Lancaster, PA as the developer looks to create an urban living option in the vibrant small city. To goal of the shoot was to produce a large portfolio of authentic images that were to come from genuinely found moments and produced shots with real people casting from the client's senior living community. This task required a well developed content and logistics strategy to ensure a seamless body of work.
My approach in these situations is to get involved early to understand, as I would as a journalist, the motivation for the project and the goals of the work. This allows me to give strategic advice on the direction we take and which situations we should seize that will drive home the message best and prioritize ambition when dealing with restraints of limited time and budgets. I have a system to help the client prioritize their ideas which than further guides our approach.
As is common for these quick moving lifestyle shoots, I worked with one assistant with production support from the client's marketing department of superheroes. Most situations were in and out in an hour while others afforded some breathing room to let things unfold naturally and work out technical concerns. Buffers in the schedule are a vital element of every shoot when moving fast and doing a lot. As a photojournalist on set, there's really no such thing as down time as my eye is constantly scanning the scene for image opportunities and how they might play into achieving our goals and perhaps deliver something unexpected, like this more National Geographic style image that combines both the bucolic setting with a hint to the more urban style culture that Lancaster affords.
At the final presentation to the client, I was informed "there were tears in the room" as the images alone accounted for more than half of the presentation to drive home the values based message the client wanted to deliver.