Photography for ECOS – Project Overview:
I worked directly with the marketing team at ECOS to help them create an advertising campaign that highlights the importance of non-toxic cleaning products. This project came to fruition during the Covid19 lockdowns here in California. So we had to keep the number of people on set to an absolute minimum. The deliverables needed were product and beauty images for each of the three new unscented products. Including their hand soap, dish soap, and laundry detergent. I managed the production, photography and styling. The art direction was a team effort between myself and the ECOS in house team.
ECOS Advertising Campaign Photography Details:
This advertising campaign came to me through the wonderful work of Heather Elder and Jim Baldwin. Together they founded the Create in Place directory. Create in Place helps connect creatives and clients during the Covid19 pandemic. Enabling the safe production of commercial photography projects. By artists and creators who can work with minimal crew from their own homes. I got to work with some of my favorite Oakland and San Francisco bay area models for this series. For covid safety I decided to keep the team limited to myself, the models and the makeup artist. I also spread the shoot out over several days to reduce having everyone in the studio at the same time. I love how these beauty portraits came out! And seeing them paired with the product photography is so satisfying!
I want to share some of the thought process that went into the photography and art direction for this advertising campaign.
Art direction and prop styling are a big part of my work as a photographer. Not all photographers prefer to work this way. But for me combining these roles is completely in my wheel house. Because I studied fine art, commercial art, and photography in college I can apply a vast range of experience and knowledge. This is why I thrive working on projects like this. Problem solving, and being able to think about the images from all angles. How do the product shots relate to and tie in with the beauty portraits? What are we trying to say? How does the hair styling, makeup and wardrobe play into the concept. By opting for a more natural makeup look I’m able to put the focus on the women in the image. Their unique beauty, their strength. This is a recurring theme in my work. I’m always looking for ways to remind the world that there is beauty in diversity.
Makeup & Hair Styling:
For each model the makeup look is very natural. I wanted the brows to feel a little wild – as a nod to women’s fierceness. The skin is glowing because skin is a reflection of health and hormonal balance. I brought in one of my favorite local makeup artists who was able to do both makeup and hair. Knowing who to call in my network for this took even more pressure off of ECOS and made executing the project feel totally streamlined.
Or lack thereof? If you follow my work you know by now that the birthday suit is one of my favorite outfits. Well, in reality tank tops and sweat pants were the outfit of choice for this shoot (hello covid uniform). Removing wardrobe from the image is as intentional as having clothing showing. By not showing any clothing I’m removing a distraction from the face and skin. Giving the viewer one less thing to think about. While I love pulling together a great outfit, there is a time and place for simplicity.
Use of light, texture and color is I created images that tie together. Despite being a mix of product photos and beauty portraits with different models. Each image has similar lighting – in the softness of the shadows. As well as the direction of the light and color temperature. Blue is one of the primary brand colors for Ecos. So I matched the blue in each image to the brand’s blue. By having the blue incorporated in different shades it feels natural and subtle. I also was able to carry over the textures from the model shots to the product photos. By incorporating the same props from the beauty portraits into the product photos.
Having a strong community to be able to reach out to has proven invaluable for my work (and life). Building a sense of community support is something that has been a big part of my life since moving to the Bay Area. Making and fostering relationships with a wide array of creative people means I always have someone to call. Because of this I was able to continue working during the pandemic lockdowns. I had to modify how I was creating. In a lot of ways it felt like going back to my roots. Working with close friends. Knowing who I could call that would be able to pull off the magic needed. It all comes together. This project is a reminder of the importance of building relationships with the creatives around you. And yes – I the models are creatives as well.
Photographer: Ella Sophie
Agency: Create in Place
Makeup: Tamra Marie
Models: Chelsea, Alyssa, Shaine