Recent Work: Mazda Motors

I have said it (somewhere) before, but Japan is truly an amazing place to be a photographer. So many beautiful locations, all so accessible, safe, and brimming with local cuisine and culture.

One such spot that I have had the pleasure of visiting recently was Amami Ohshima, a beach island close to Okinawa, although technically belonging to Kagoshima prefecture. Thank you to Mazda Motors and Redwood BBDO for sending me there for four days, for the express purpose of photographing one of their cars in a beach paradise!

Of course, photographing the car, a CX-60, was great fun with the island as a backdrop, but of course we needed some local context to really bring out the personality of the location, which it has in spades. We found this lovely young newly-wed couple wearing traditional Amami Tsumugi kimono on our first evening there. 

And then the next day we drove clear across the island to film and get some driving shots with the stunning coastline as our backdrop. To say that hanging out of the back of a convertible, shooting on a nearly empty island while being drenched in glorious sun was fun would be an understatement. 

Day three was spent in more exploration as we drove around Amami Oshima looking for locals to interview, as well as dropping into some restaurants for keihan rice, a local specialty of chicken broth and assorted spices and toppings, which you mix into rice to make an absolutely delicious congee-style meal. 

We also dropped into Tropica Amami, a gelato place that uses island-grown fruits and flowers to flavor and color their amazing gelato. 

On the last day we visited a shochu distillery. Shochu is a liquor distilled from ingredients such as potatoes or wheat. Amami Oshima’s shochu is distinctive in that it is distilled from brown sugar grown on the island. It’s much, much smoother to drink and doesn’t leave you feeling as rough as sake or beer the next morning. 

We also visited a marshland on the south side of the island, where special hairy claw crab udon was served. 

The remaining evening was spent exploring picturesque spots to get some final shots of the CX-60 in front of, which proved quite easy. Amami Oshima is beautiful, after all. 

Recent Work: Boss Coffee 3

Last year I had the pleasure of shooting the Australia/New Zealand billboard campaign. This is the third year of the campaign and they are always very fun to work on - featuring people in quintessentially Japanese work environments being, well, bosses. 

This year, as with previous years, the creative team at BBDO Clemenger worked alongside local production company Mr. Positive to come up with the construction worker and bullet train driver, which we then had to make a reality. 

For the construction worker setup we decided on a rooftop in Roppongi with a stunning view of Tokyo Tower. It was a very involved shoot which included the construction of a miniature scaffolding right there on the helipad. Luckily with the help of the very talented crew from Mr. Positive, we were able to keep things on schedule and knock out the shot in less than an hour of actual photography. 

The bullet train shot was also extremely involved and at first did not seem like it was going to happen due to the difficulties finding a bullet train to shoot with. Luckily the JR Rail museum in Nagoya came to the rescue, allowing us to shoot in their wonderful facility that houses shinkansen from all eras. Again, the amazing organizational skills of the Mr. Positive team ensured that we stayed on schedule. As you can see our talents were definitely up to the task of being ‘bosses’, leading to a very smooth and enjoyable experience creating these images.

Thank you again to Mr. Positive and BBDO Clemenger for another opportunity to work on this campaign!

Recent Work: Omega

At the beginning of 2020 I was approached by Ooshot on behalf of Omega to produce a short video about a Japanese paper cutting artisan for the Omega pavilion which would be opened during the Olympic Games. Unfortunately covid made sure that the pavilion was never opened to the public, but not before we produced the video, which I am happy to share here. Thank you to Hina Aoyama, the paper cutting artist for graciously allowing us to film in her home over three afternoons, and my assistant Hamish Campbell for operating the RED and capturing the awesome footage. 

I’m very fortunate to sometimes be able to shoot for big international brands like this and Omega is certainly one of the bucket list items that has very thankfully been ticked off. Of course, here’s hoping for more collaborations in the future!

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