Fathers Day Promo at Up At The O2

May 23, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
2014 AEG Inkling Up at the O2 Fathers Day Promo 21 May2014 AEG Inkling Up at the O2 Fathers Day Promo 21 MayLondon, UK. Fathers Day campaign for Up At The O2 with Groom Room and Pistachio & Pickle, 21 May

Promotional images for Father's Day at the rooftop attraction, Up at The O2.

Up at The O2 invites guests to climb over the roof of The O2 arena and enjoy the panoramic views across London.  And for this years' Father's Day, the operators are offering a special guest package to celebrate adventurous dads.

I was asked by a creative marketing firm to capture some promotional images supporting their new Fathers Day campaign, involving some of the feature attractions that would be on the roof including cheese tasting and male grooming.  And so we hauled ourselves to the top of The O2 with various props to shape a picture in situ against the London skyline.

2014 AEG Inkling Up at the O2 Fathers Day Promo 21 May2014 AEG Inkling Up at the O2 Fathers Day Promo 21 MayLondon, UK. Fathers Day campaign for Up At The O2 with Groom Room and Pistachio & Pickle, 21 May

If you've ever scaled this attraction you'll know it is a little challenging on the legs.  In parts the slope is 60 degrees or more, formed of a stretchy tensile fabric that isn't always easy to walk on.  Then you have to manage your safety lock, a metal device clamping you to a rail and which demands constant attention if you're going to make it successfully to the top.  The whole endeavour is not easy if you're wobbly about heights either.

On top of all this we had a good amount of gear to carry up including a chair, props, outfits and of course my camera gear.  I'd scaled the roof for shoots before so I knew to pack light: one camera and a couple of lenses and a DIY super carry-on lighting setup.  More on that in a minute.

2014 AEG Inkling Up at the O2 Fathers Day Promo 21 May2014 AEG Inkling Up at the O2 Fathers Day Promo 21 MayLondon, UK. Fathers Day campaign for Up At The O2 with Groom Room and Pistachio & Pickle, 21 May

The basic premise of the photo was a model father being pampered by the cheese and grooming guy.  The model father is wonderfully underplayed here by Ross, one of The O2 tour guides, complete with woollen dad sweater.

Whilst the rooftop offers panoramic views across East London, the most striking aspect of the skyline is Canary Wharf, so thats where I pitched the background.  I hadn't been up for a while so I was dismayed to find some pesky developers had started building a new tall lump of concrete in between our position and the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf.  Couldn't they have just waited until we were done?!

2014 AEG Inkling Up at the O2 Fathers Day Promo 21 May2014 AEG Inkling Up at the O2 Fathers Day Promo 21 MayLondon, UK. Fathers Day campaign for Up At The O2 with Groom Room and Pistachio & Pickle, 21 May

Here you can see angle of composition is critical.  Too low and you lose the skyline below, too high and too much of the rooftop floor is revealed, making for a messy frame.  Somewhere in the middle is a good balance of both.  Credit to my subjects for being so patient whilst I fidgeted with this angle!

2014 AEG Inkling Up at the O2 Fathers Day Promo 21 May2014 AEG Inkling Up at the O2 Fathers Day Promo 21 MayLondon, UK. Fathers Day campaign for Up At The O2 with Groom Room and Pistachio & Pickle, 21 May

Lining up the guys between the giant yellow uprights of the building lends a pleasing composition, and you can see how a longer focal length (below) draws in those uprights to tighten up the image (compared to wider angle as above).  This is reducing the depth of field as a matter of creative control.

2014 AEG Inkling Up at the O2 Fathers Day Promo 21 May2014 AEG Inkling Up at the O2 Fathers Day Promo 21 MayLondon, UK. Fathers Day campaign for Up At The O2 with Groom Room and Pistachio & Pickle, 21 May

I'd checked the forecast beforehand and was relieved to be expecting plenty of cloud cover for most of the afternoon.  This would mean I wouldn't have to fight with the sun for my picture.

But still, as with all my wretched cursed luck, the sun decided it was going to burn through at will, occasionally blowing my exposures way off and forcing the guys to squint.  This is not a desirable situation and i'd call for us to pause temporarily whilst waiting for a new cloud to roll over and offer some cover.  I'm lighting the frame with a pair of trusty Speedlites, one either side of the camera and shooting through small soft boxes.  And still the sun persisted in shining through, and small flash guns just cannot balance with that kind of power.  And having already insisted on the direction of the picture, we just had to make do with the situation and get what we could.  Those brave, brave men for squinting for so long... I salute you.

I shot exactly to the specifications given by the marketing team, as they already know what they require in support of their promotional copy that will be sent to various outlets.  Its a pleasure to work with PR when they know what they're doing.

 


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