Kidspace Adventures Advertising Photography
Early in 2014 I was contacted by London based kids adventure park company Kidspace to provide them with awesome advertising photography. Kidspace were looking for eye catching, fun, and unique images for their 2014 advertising campaigns. The images had to show how fun Kidspace was, as well as showing the range of offerings available at their locations. One of the key things that Kidspace wanted was images that were unique to the industry. Kidspace wanted to have images that would set them apart from their competitors, and I was more than happy to help provide these images!
It took me quite some time to get these images onto a blog. This is for various reasons, but the most important being that Kidspace didn’t want to give these images out into the world until they were ready for them to be. They wanted the advantage over their competitors with these unique images. So, I waited to properly share these images. A couple have been shared previously, but that was done with permission from my client but I waited until now to give you a proper look at the project we did with Kidspace.
Before we even pressed the shutter for the first time, a lot of planning took place with this shoot. A major reason for this is because we decided that the entire shoot was going to be done as composite images. What this meant was that we were going to photograph the backgrounds (the two Kidspace locations) on their own and then photograph the children on their own and I would combine the images later in PhotoShop. We did this for a couple of reasons, but the main reason was that this would allow us to photograph the two Kidspace location with minimal disruption to the parks. I was able to go into both locations and just photograph different areas that I wanted to use in the finished images. Shooting the kids on location would have meant that we would be setting up lights and a full production set in the locations and this would have resulted in a massive disruption to the locations business.
Having planned everything out, I spent one day traveling to both the Romford and the Croydon locations and taking photographs to be used as backgrounds for the finished images. We had a couple of very specific images in mind that I had to ensure that I photographed, and that I photographed properly. When creating composite images I plan everything as much as I can. This not only makes for a better finished product, but it also makes my job a lot easier when I am editing the images. One of the things that I do is ensure that the height and perspectives match for the background images and the subjects that are going to be going into the scene. This made for a couple of rather interesting situations for me. See, I am a little bit afraid of heights and for two of the backgrounds that I needed to photograph, I had to be up in the air. One of these involved me being 30-ish feet in the air on some old scaffolding. With how much of a perfectionist that I am, this wasn’t a run up and take a photo kind of job. No, I had to get up there, set up my tripod and make repeated adjustment to ensure that I captured the background exactly as I wanted it. But, it was very much worth the effort!
The next day we spent in the studio photographing all of the children that were going to be in our images. This was a very fun shoot for the children as they got to “act”. We had foam balls to dump on them, and they even got to pretend to climb a rock wall…all in the safety (and warmth) of the studio. In the studio I had downloaded low res versions of the background images I had taken the day before and used them as reference during the shoot. This was vital for me to ensure that my perspective and ideas matched… and the results were brilliant!
Below is a selection of my favourite images from the shoot. Each one of these are composite images and each presented their own specific challenges to create and maintain realism.
The above image is the image where I was up on scaffolding! As you can see from the image, I was quite high in the air when I took the photograph of the background. Creating this as a composite was the only realistic way that we were going to create the image Kidspace envisioned…and definitely the safest way! This image was also the image for which I won Advertising Photographer of the Year 2014.
I loved everything about this image when I created it. The kids had a blast in the studio with these shots as we had to pretend they were trying to drink a very, very thick milkshake to get the expressions that I wanted. The challenge with this image was the lighting at the location. It was a little bit dark, and had a mixture of different lights, creating a white balance problem. But, I was able to think my way through the problems and overcome them to create this image.
Another image taken from the scaffolding. Believe it or not though, this was the much harder image to create of the two. Even though the other one has many more kids in it, and involved much more photoshop, this image was harder to create from a shooting standpoint. Why was it harder? I had to REALLY make sure the perspective was right as I photographed the kids. For each one, it involved a slightly different perspective because they were going to be on different points of the bridge. It wasn’t a case of just photographing them in front of me. I had to plan where I wanted each kid and then determine if I shot them directly in front, slightly left, more left, slightly right…you get the picture! From a technical and planning point of view, this was an extremely hard shot to create but with the right about of planning I made it easy! 😀
Another of my favourites. Purely because it conveys confidence and fun! One of the easiest to create on the day though!
Laser tag is one of Kidspace most popular attractions, and was something that needed to be included in the images. For this, we wanted a sort of Call of Duty feel to the image, but obviously kid friendly!!!
Another scary image to create! For this I was stood at the very top of a ladder, trying to ensure that I could get the correct height and perspective for the finished image. In the studio, the kids had a blast creating these images as the were getting to jump off of ladders with a harness attached. Very safe! Very fun!
One of the more challenging photos created! This image was tough because I had to get a slightly long exposure in the location. What I didn’t want was a bunch of balls frozen in the air…I wanted them slightly blurring and showing movement. I then needed to recreate that in the studio. We had a bucket of the foam balls from the location and we dumped them with each shot. Took a few takes, but in the end we got a fantastic image!
Another “thick milkshake” photo, but this time at the other Kidspace location. This one was less challenging that the other location, but just as much fun!
The entire Kidspace advertising shoot was one of the most fun, and rewarding shoots that I have done in a long time. This shoot challenged every aspect of the photography, from planning to shooting all the way through to the editing…and I love a good challenge!!
Which of these images is your favourite?