When ExOfficio asked me to produce their 2012 spring/summer marketing campaign in the most authentic destination possible, I just knew I had to make it happen in Colombia. I lived in Colombia in 2009 and have been on assignment there at least once per year since 2008—it’s probably my favorite country to photograph.
To extend ExOfficio’s branding theme of “authenticity” beyond the destination itself, we decided not to hire models, but rather to use social media and networking along the traveler’s trail to find real people on real adventures in Colombia. With two talented assistants, Kathryn Friedman and Willa Kammerer, and my friend and fixer extraordinaire, Hernan Acevedo, we set out a 10-day, 2,000+ mile road trip through the country to find travelers that fit with ExOfficio’s brand ethos in real-time. By the end of the production, we’d photographed 38 different people for the campaign—all of them were on amazing journeys and had incredible stories to tell. The images from the shoot were used in ExOfficio’s 2012 and 2013 marketing materials: catalogs, print ads, visual merchandising, trade show, web, email, and social.
Thank you to ExOfficio for taking a risk on a campaign based on the serendipity of adventure, sourcing talent in real-time, and for placing value on commercial storytelling that’s as trustworthy as possible. Thank you to Willa Kammerer, Kathryn Friedman, Hernan Acevedo and Voyage Colombia for the production assistance and especially to all of the traveler’s who made this shoot possible—you are a huge inspiration.
Direction and Writing: Gregg Bleakney
Videography and Audio: Willa Kammerer
Editor: Yann Mourier
Soundtrack: Daniel Spils
Talent Wrangler: Kathryn Friedman