The UCS ‘This is Us’ project proved a hugely enjoyable and inspiring brief that demonstrates the need to work in partnership with the client.
I was commissioned for a series of portraits with the aim of showing that the university was about more than just buildings and courses – at its heart were the personalities of its staff and students.
The campaign had already enjoyed a successful 12 months and understandably the client was keen to retain many of its original features, setting a series of strict criteria. But they also wanted fresh ideas to offer a slight twist on the previous year.
Collaboration proved key and I offered advice on how I thought the project should be approached and the style of image that I thought would be appropriate.
We spent a great deal of time discussing ideas and possibilities, eventually deciding on monochrome, black and white, photo noir, high contrast photographs, with the subjects making eye contact with the viewer to create an engaging and aesthetically pleasing image.
To help with the process I set up an on-campus studio and spent time talking to students and staff, learning about their interests, what they were studying and why they chose UCS.
This prep work proved invaluable as it made everyone feel at ease and ensured I could capture their true personalities – the central theme of the original brief.