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Shooting From the Hip: Breaking Down the Ins and Outs of Two Client Photo Shoots

Recently, KK BOLD did two photo shoots for two of our clients: Apache Casino Hotel in Lawton, Oklahoma and Nisqually Red Wind Casino in Olympia, Washington. Janene Pudwill, KK BOLD’s art director, was the director for both shoots. To give you a better idea of what directing a photo shoot is like, we had Janene describe the inner workings of both shoots.

A lot of preparation went into the shoots for Apache and Red Wind. As you might imagine, much planning is involved when arranging a photo shoot. First, you need to find a photographer who’s both up to the job and available during the time the photo shoot is scheduled for. Second, you need to make a list of all the photos you think you will need or that the client requests. You then break that list down into a workable time frame, and then check with the photographer to make certain how much time they will need to set up, shoot the photos and tear back down.

The Apache Casino Hotel shoot was scheduled for two full days. We broke down the times into categories. Usually, as in this case, the client is involved with this since they know best which areas will be available at certain times. The next step was finding the models and talent needed for the shoot. We found a talent agency to work with that was in the Tulsa area. We narrowed our list down to six main models. After scheduling the talent, we broke down the times needed in all the different areas. We shot gaming, escalator, meeting room, lobby and pool areas on the first day. The second day was hotel rooms, table games, restaurant and bar.

The photographer, Jeremy Charles, was awesome to work with. He would set up and I would get the models situated. We also had a lot of extras that the casino provided, so we’d use them to fill up the background. The photographer would start shooting and then show me what he had. I would take a look at the photo and see if it was the kind of shot I was looking for. He would take multiple shots so we would have a wide variety to choose from. It was a lot of fun meeting all the models and working with them. Afterwards, they all said it was the most fun they ever had on a photo shoot.

The Red Wind shoot was a little bit different. This was to be mostly restaurant and food shots, so there were no models or talent involved. Red Wind just opened a new Seafood Restaurant and remodeled their Squalli-Absch Grille restaurant, so that’s what we were profiling. We divided the two locations into two days of shooting, with the Grille photos being on the first day and Seafood the second. We made sure they had all the tables set up and ready to go as if the restaurants were open and operating. They provided a list of all the food items they wanted photographed.

I met with the photographer beforehand and we picked a few different scenes to shoot with the food. He took shots that included the tables and fireplace in the Grille to highlight the restaurant’s atmosphere, which provided a nice, appealing setting. In the Seafood Restaurant, we picked a few shots that included the food on the bar with the tables and the water wall in the background. We shot their seafood bar filled with ice and all the different fresh seafood, and also did some action shots with the chef preparing a seafood tower. The best part of the shoot was that we got to try the food after we were done shooting. There are some pretty amazing dishes. The seared ahi tuna was amazing.

The photos that came back from both shoots were extraordinary and received well by both Apache Casino Hotel and Nisqually Red Wind Casino, and Janene’s direction was a big reason why. That and the tuna. Congratulations to her for the excellent work and also for the sweet seafood tower photo.