Behind the Scenes shooting an ad campaign in China

August 14, 2012 2:34 pm

Last month I spent 7 days shooting in Guangzhou for China Southern Airlines. The campaign was for the new Airbus A380, the biggest passenger airplane on the planet. It’s a double decker the entire length of the plane and most large airports have made expensive infrastructure changes to accommodate them.

Shooting for an airline is a tricky job for 2 specific reasons: The first being that the airline doesn’t own the airport and therefore security and equipment create a ton of diplomatic hurdles. The second problem is that every minute that airplane isn’t in the air, the airline is losing thousands of dollars – especially during the day when most flights are full. So with the exception of the studio days, most of the shooting started in the evening and went into the morning. Instead of 10 hour days we usually shot for 14, mostly to maximize our time and get the most out of each shoot day.

Someday soon I’ll do another post the the final images from the campaign, but below are a few images from behind the scenes.

My incredible first assistant Lu. He dresses this way on every photo shoot - camelback and all.

The beginning of day 2: making lighting diagrams for my assistants.

Going through layouts

Lighting test

Pizza break in Guangzhou, China during a shoot for China Southern Airlines.

Art directors and talent looking at some of the first day's work.

Group shot at the end of the studio portion of the shoot.

Because of security, we weren't allowed to have any lighting on the ground outside for the first 2 days on location. So we improvised.

The end of the last day. 9 AM finish time.


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