Brand Campaign / Lifestyle Set Design / Making It Happen

Flights of Fancy

Flight of Fancy: An idea, narrative, suggestion, etc. which is extremely imaginative and which appears to be entirely unrealistic, untrue, or impractical; thinking which is very speculative.

Flights of Fancy the first yearly messaging campaign of "Heritage Remixed," was decided to take Maclaren's lifestyle photography in new direction and shoot in studio, oppose to the on-location shoots from years before.

The plan was to take our remixed abstracted landscape tiles from Heritage Remixed and reconstruct them into an actual 3-dimensional landscape-set that our models can interact with in our office photo studio.

No Hex Keys Envolved.

The oversized gridded tiles were designed to be printed in smaller human-sized pieces and shipped to our office. From there they were assembled into the final larger pieces, grommeted and hung from the sprinkler system pipes in-house (Steffen, the photographer, and myself). I had no experience constructing sets on this scale before. This wasn't Ikea furniture.

Over the course of a week our dingy photo studio/cave was cleaned and transformed into a whimsical little set full of colorful painting bits with props for our little models.

Above Image: Creative Director, TJ Stacy conducting a lighting check.

Set Design

Measuring, Planning and Design

Original scaled Mockup of the lifestyle-set proposal. The dashed blue line represents a large rounded wall column that sticks out of the photo studio wall that we couldn't cover with seamless paper.

Elbow Grease

Mockups and Testing

For various reasons we wanted to make sure that the blown-up graphics were going to look okay. A full sized mockup of one of the ground pieces, and two 1:2 scale sky pieces were made (It was myself, and I quickly became a sight of scorn at the office color laser printer). The mockups were quickly arranged in the photo studio and shot crudely without fill lighting. This was shot with my old Nikon D3100 with a fast 5. (below are the results)

The Product

The Result / Child Photography

Maclaren uses actual families for their lifestyle photography. I've been told, originally Maclaren had used professional child and adult models, however the photography didn't look authentic. If you get 15 minutes (of actual shooting) before a toddler or new-born's inimitable, soul curdling melt-down, it's a good shoot. With that understanding, shoots like this are very fast. They involve things like juice boxes and animal crackers.

Below are a few samples of successful lifestyle photos. What I personally learned from the Flights of Fancy project is that the set and it's props are "static," they only work when the models are visually activating the space.

The photography was particularly successful when; (a) the models have visual or physical interaction with the set, (b) couture meets candid moments, (c) unexpected moments, (d) and when parent and their child share an authentic play moment together.

Photography by Steffen Knudsen Allen.