Getting out there with realme
Early 2021 gave us a treat that most photography production companies would cherish: a lifestyle shoot for a smartphone manufacturer. Bring it on!
I don’t know about other photography production companies, but the when the word ‘lifestyle shoot’ pops up in a brief, you tend to get a bit excited! Especially when it’s linked to product photography or fashion photography, when the ability to be ultra-creative becomes a factor.
In one of our most prominent projects of 2021, we were asked by smartphone company realme to create a set of photography for their latest product release: the realme 8 Pro.
You may or may not have heard of smartphone brand realme, but if you haven’t so far they’ll be harder to ignore in the next few years. We started working with them right before London locked down in 2020, when they were looking at photo production companies who could step in and create a designed studio-based new product release video at the 11th hour.
This time, we were asked to deliver lifestyle and in-situ product photography for the release of their latest handset – the realme 8 Pro. This would need to include a combination of product shots in a London environment, playing with light and texture, accompanied by lifestyle shots with models, and something photography production companies don’t see in an ‘everyday’ brief: a set taken on their new handset as well – to show-off the new class-leading camera.
Due to a change in the brief client-side, (something other photography production companies might struggle with, but that Pocket Creatives can take in its stride) we had a slightly truncated timescale available for this. Most photography production companies would like as much time as possible for upfront planning and creative discussion, which we had only a week to complete.
In this time, we sourced 3 models to work with across the day, and worked with stylist Natalie Care and makeup artist Kristina Pavlov.
We presented a model shortlist to the client before selecting the chosen 3 – and scheduled the day so that we had a window of time to work with each one. We set meeting times and meeting points so that we had a slight overlap, and within that window we would need to capture a range of shots of both the product and the model. This would be a challenge for even the most professional photography production companies, but it’s one our team relished and tackled with enthusiasm.
Perhaps one of the most memorable aspects of this project was timing. London was just coming out of pretty heavy lockdown protocols from the winter. Like other professional photography production companies in the capital – and indeed other businesses of all shapes and sizes – this presented challenges and issues that wouldn’t normally be there. Getting out of the safe confines of the studio and running out and about was ever so slightly disconcerting, however at the same time it also felt really nice – a little like rediscovering the city again, as most of us haven’t had a need to travel into Central London.
Lead photographer Kelly and I conducted a recce walk and stopped to take simple test shots to evaluate the lighting and environment. This is much easier than trying to mentally work out where you want to go using a map alone – as we’re sure many other professional photography production companies would agree – nothing’s quite the same as being there in person at a location, and judging the spaces and angles with your own eyes. This also instils some confidence ahead of the shoot day, which always adds an element of stress once you have models, make up artists and the public all to manoeuvre around!
By the time we hit the shoot day, we already had a small set of product shots secured from the test day, which puts you in front. During the recce, we chose locations around Waterloo, Covent Garden and Shoreditch/Brick Lane. This would give us the range we needed to fit the style set by the client. However they were all fairly close by our office and studio, so on this shoot we also had the benefit of local knowledge for logistics and locations – knowledge that other photography production companies might not have.
We had the weather on our side – which was a massive bonus – and let us get the very best from our shots. As most photographers and photography production companies will attest to – if you’re shooting outdoors the weather plays a huge part in how you plan, how you react, how the team responds and interacts, and also influences the quality of your shots.
We would never say that we got lucky with the model selection, but it’s reassuring when you have a nice bright smiley face greet you, with a keenness to enjoy the day. Having a good time on a shoot is a huge thing for us, it’s why we do this, and hopefully for all of the suppliers and talent that we work with this is important to them too. We try to go out of our way to make sure that they have the best experience possible – it’s not just a nice thing to do, but it delivers better results. Working with Mario, Uma and Junior was fantastic, and they gave us everything we needed to make a success of the project.
Photography production companies are successful not only by the talent that they have internally, but also those who are brought in to work with them. In this respect we feel immensely lucky to have access to a great bunch of contacts in many different areas – contacts and relationships other photography production companies might not have – and which allow us to tackle projects like this with confidence. We’re always thankful of the great work that all of our extra friends do when they work alongside us.
“Pocket Creatives is a superstar team that has consistently delivered above and beyond for the multiple projects they have worked on for us at realme. From product launch video production, video livesteaming and model photography, Steven and his talented team have met the brief and produced engaging and polished content. Starting with initial contact then meetings to parse out the project’s requirements, planning, shooting days and editing, the process is always so seamless, professional and adept – even in the tightest of deadlines. The team approaches every brief with enthusiasm, bringing great ideas and flexibility when it comes to execution. Pocket Creatives is our first point of call when it comes to videography and photography work and we highly recommend them!”
Giang Cao, Realme
We were thrilled with the results, and more importantly, so was the client. We over-delivered in terms of volume – which we’ll always try to do anyway especially if a client isn’t in attendance as that gives us some flexibility to bin some that a client might not like as much and still comfortably exceed the brief. Photography is hugely subjective – there’s very rarely anything that’s perfectly right or disastrously wrong, but one of the benefits of working with experienced photography production companies is that you have the ability of hindsight to ensure that the brief is always delivered.
Delivering a larger than expected number of images provides the client with the flexibility to choose what they use to best fit their social media channels, placing it around content provided from other creatives across the globe.
Keeping quality high is always a priority for us, and in this project that was guaranteed in the planning stage more than anywhere else.
If you’re considering which photography production companies to work with on your next project, feel free to get in touch with the team. We can talk you through how we would plan your shoot, our processes and costs, and how we would guarantee the best outcome. You have so much choice when it comes to photography production companies and other creatives in London alone, and having this pressure helps to keep us on our toes with the quality of service and quality of results that we provide at Pocket Creatives.
Steven Mayatt, Creative Director
“Fun, innovative and unflappable. Pocket Creatives are great to work with – whether it’s finding the perfect lighting for trifle to capturing GoPro footage on a whisk, they always approach every situation with a steady yet game-changing attitude. I see the whole team as trusted creative partners to make great content together.”
Kitty Aldis, River Group
“I have been working with Steven and the brilliant Pocket Creatives crew for 3 years – in fact since they started out. They have captured in excess of 100 recipes, produced 7 videos including 2 crowdfunding campaigns, their work, professionalism, and commitment to client satisfaction second to none. What’s more is how they have developed, evolved and grown in creativity, experience, and inspiration.
On a personal front the individuals in the team have to most wonderful personalities – an absolute joy to work with!”
Tanya Robertson-Lambert, Tanya’s Just Real
“I worked with Steven and his Pocket Creatives team to create a recipe video, and I couldn’t recommend their services enough! From the ideation stage, through to filming and editing the finished product, at every stage, the whole team were first-class, going above and beyond to create a compelling, high-quality recipe video that generated heaps of engagement. I would definitely work them again.”
Ben Cullen, OLIO