Organic Marketing Imagery

We are always endeavouring to keep up with the trends in marketing. To ensure our library of images are up to date and relevant to the issues of today we turned our minds to organic marketing and set out to create a set of images with kids engaging in organic play.

For clarity organic play refers to the surroundings, activities and materials the kids immerse themselves in.

Why  did we chose the subject of organic play?

Latino boy role playing in model van, homemade from a cardboard box
Latino boy role playing in model van, homemade from a cardboard box

The awareness of the hazards of environmental waste means more businesses than ever are turning to green practices. They strive to become environmentally responsible and they want to advertise this with organic marketing.  Therefore they need the visual images both still and motion, to engage their audiences.

Alongside this we thought about how kids play these days. With parents full schedules less time is being spent in outdoor unstructured activities.

Research shows that children are spending record amounts of time watching television and engaging in other media devices.

Caprisun embrace organic play in their marketing. 

HSBC use kids aspirational role play using organic materials and imagination.

How we produced and styled this shoot.

Two young latino boys playing in homemade cardboard aeroplanes in the park
Two young latino boys playing in homemade cardboard aeroplanes in the park

We abandoned the plastic, commercially produced toys and left the technology indoors and headed outside with organic materials, recycled materials, and repurposed items.

Cardboard boxes were rescued from the recycling bin and paper plates and lids from store cupboards became wheels and lights. Scarves, goggles and hats gathered from a rummage in a store of accumulated props. The kids wore their own clothes and ‘dressed up’ as pilots, racing drivers and superheroes using the props provided.

We took them to a great outdoor space available to everyone, the park, and let them race, run and fly! 

Indian Families at home in the UK

The circle of care in Indian families embraces all the generations as I discovered during a visit to a friend.

I first met Vinod Ravi when he became my lodger. I had moved back to UK, bought a house and decided to rent out a room. Originally from Hydrabad in India, Vin left his home and family to study and make a career in IT in the UK. We got on very well. He introduced me to the customs and cultures of Indian families and likewise I educated him in the British life-roast beef and yorkshire puddings, local beers and gigs with local bands.

Fast forward eight years and in that time I have been to his wedding in India and met his charming Indian family, Sravanthi and son Dhruvan. They have both worked tirelessly in their jobs and managed to have time to bring up their son now three years old. Their determination and work ethic paid off, they now live in a spacious modern house in a town on the outskirts of London. A remarkable progression from a humble room in my terraced house in Suffolk.

Despite their busy lives this family hold Indian family values and traditions very seriously. Although they have become westernised they have not let go of their culture and traditions. Like many Indian families they wear traditional Indian dress for celebrating festivals and blessings and extended family come to visit from India to give a helping and supporting role to the young family and to celebrate new experiences with them.

On a recent trip to UK I stopped off to visit Vin and his family at their new home. Here I discovered the whole family, both sets of parents were visiting from India. Both mothers were wearing colourful Saris and welcomed my wife and I warmly with a feast of traditional home cooked Indian food. Dhruvan instantly called my wife Auntie which won her over! My mind was full of the images I could see in front of me. The family, the extended family, the bonding, the traditions, the colour, the lifestyle. Alas, I had to be on a plane to return to the US.

Back home I couldn’t let it go. I called Vin to see if there was the possibility to do a photoshoot with the whole family if I could get back there in time before the parents left. They would be delighted to, he said. I searched for available flights, expecting to find prices way to high to accommodate my last minute whim. Then I found it…a very reasonable flight and I would be flying back to London to following weekend.

Landing in London on Sunday at 9 am local time I took the train to Vin’s home. By 2.30 that afternoon I was photographing the family. My focus was family lifestyle, centred around the child. The interaction of care, love, learning, teaching and togetherness with his family were the concepts I wanted to capture. The ethnicity of this family added another dimension to my usual family ensembles. Here, we can see a different ethnicity and culture living in a western society, embracing and sharing the lifestyle .

That evening, the photoshoot over, once again I was well nourished with the delicacies of Vin’s mother’s Indian dishes. I was given a bed for the night and slept very soundly. Early the next morning I was back at the airport for a flight back to the US.

36 hours flying, 3 hours photography and 24 hours in the UK. Was it worth it? With my belly full and my thirst for compelling images quenched I would say, yes!

Link here to view more childhood imagery with adventure and play as the theme.

Summer Fun in the Low Country

Brother and sister exploring outdoors and climbing tree in the summer vacation
Brother and sister exploring outdoors and climbing tree in the summer vacation

This month we packed our bags and the cameras and took a road trip to South Carolina to photograph and video some summer fun.

Here we caught up with a great family who were enjoying their school vacation in the great outdoors. The beautiful natural environment with big trees and expanses of water are the ideal playground for adventurous, brave, energetic kids to explore and learn just by being themselves.

Summer fun would not be complete without friends, brothers and sisters to share it with. This family of four took us to their grandparents home where they love to be. A tree swing, a big grass area to run around and a wooden boat dock jutting over the river was the perfect location for our photography.

We took along some props for the kids to have fun with. Some bubbles, water bombs and juicy watermelon were introduced intermittently. By doing this the kids response was real. Laughter, expressions and spontaneity where there to capture in the camera.

The really wonderful thing about these kids is their desire to be outdoors. They are not afraid to run barefoot, get dirty feet, swim in the lake and climb trees.

During a location scout we found a friendly neighbour who had a fallen tree in her backyard. It stretched across a muddy dyke where pieces of wood had been placed making precarious bridges. Having made sure it was safe ( Gary’s excuse for crossing the bridges and climbing on the tree trunk) we brought the kids to the tree and let them loose. Their pleasure at discovering a new adventure was exciting. Off came the flip flops and bare footed they explored their capabilities.

Back at the dock they amazed us once again by fearlessly jumping into the river, climbing higher as they gained confidence. It was refreshing to watch their support and encouragement of each other as their held hands and leapt to the count of three.

Of course Mum was at hand for these moments and no one was pressured out of their comfort zone.

Due to the great light in the early morning we were able to use minimal equipment. For stills a Canon 5dmk3 with a bit of handheld strobe light to kick light into shadows and for film a Canon 1dc shooting 4K and a hand held reflector.

Regardless of how much attention we paid to photographic equipment, propping and styling the best ingredient for this shoot was undoubtedly the kids themselves.

See a link here to more images.