How do you approach creating the impossible? When tasked with making photos that simply do not exist outside of imagination and concept, how do you bring those ideas to life? More importantly, how does it all come together? â€“ These are just a few of the questions that we had to ask ourselves earlier this year when we began an unforgettable project for the city of San Antonio, Texas working with Proof Advertising. Itâ€™s been weeks of shooting, months of retouching, and thousands of photos later, but we are very excited to share the second of these incredible advertisements – San Antonio Outdoors.
From Sea World to the Zoo, penguins to peacocks, famous artists and musicians both old and new, bluebonnet flowers to roller coasters, the outdoor advertisement we were tasked to create for San Antonio was simply too wild to exist in one place. This ad in particular presented unique challenges because we needed to not only capture all of the separate elements, but also a very specific moment in time; the short window when the Texas state flower blooms wild across the landscape of the city. Complicated? Surely. Impossible? Never. Keep reading for the behind the scenes story of how this unforgettable advertisement came into being….
This being the second advertisement we are releasing from this project, you may remember a few months back when we blogged about The Buckhorn Saloon and all of the wacky pieces that made up that puzzle. The outdoor image quickly became it’s own puzzle – mainly due to the fact that we needed to create a fantastic landscape that brought together all of the unique aspects from San Antonio and the surrounding Texas hill country.
This meant a lot of searching, a ton of location scouting, and what felt like a week long hunt for the elusive state flower, the bluebonnet. After days of careful driving around the country near the great city of San Antonio, we had the pieces needed to create the perfect landscape: graceful rolling Texas hills, a piece of the San Antonio river, and of course fields of bluebonnet flowers.
I should mention that our search for the bluebonnet was particularly critical – the flower grows wild across the state of Texas, but it only blooms for a very short span of time in early spring. Almost as soon as we knew the job was ours to shoot, we had to get in gear to make sure we could capture shots of these elusive blooms.
Once all of our elements for the background were captured and shipped back to the studio to get pieced together (more on the retouching for this advertisement on the blog soon), it was time to shoot all of the various subjects and talent that would really make the image come alive.
These shoots lasted over the course of a few weeks, taking the whole production all over San Antonio, from the great outdoors in Padre Mission Park to shoot our biking family…
To the famous live music venue Sams Burger Joint to shoot alt-country star Alejandro Escovedo…
To backstage access at the San Antonio Zoo and Sea World to give our animals friends the star treatment. How else would you go about putting three penguins and a bear onto an iceberg in the middle of the San Antonio river?
While we were at it, why not a trip to Six Flags Fiesta Texas to capture shots of their brand new roller-coaster? Aside from a very important scouting trip that required us to ride all the rides, we spent the better part of an afternoon shooting the coasters from all different angles making sure to get the right shots for not only background in this ad, but also another piece of a yet-to-be-released part of the campaign.
To add to the crazy surreality of this image, we also needed to shoot a cannon to represent the military history of San Antonio. Since this is not your typical prop, we had to make a very special trip outside of the city to find a working(!) replica model. Do not fear, no photo assistants were harmed in the capture of those shots – although we did find out just how loud cannon fire can be.
And our final piece to the puzzle? A peacock. After reading news reports of neighborhoods in San Antonino where the majestic birds roam free, we knew that it was our job to track one of these creatures down and snap it’s photo for this ad. Coincidentally enough on the last shoot of our last day in Texas, we happened upon a few of the birds and made it happen.
Thereâ€™s no better way to get the full effect than taking a look at the ad in itâ€™s full glory online at http://www.unforgettablesa.com â€“ Youâ€™ll be able to interact with the image and learn about the rich history and exciting places San Antonio has to offer.