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Case studies - Landal Green Park Holidays
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When it comes to holiday photography it’s vital that you capture people in their most natural state.
After all, when you’re selling an image of a holiday, the most important qualities to convey are those of relaxation, enjoyment and connection.
It might be easy to fake a smile at a boardroom meeting, or the look of delight when trying out a new product, but people are very aware of when a shot reflects true ease and confidence – or it’s simply faking it.
This was my challenge when I received the brief for the Landal Green Park Holidays website.
Thanks to my work with Hoseasons, the popular UK travel provider, I’d been asked to capture something of the essence and character of these nature based holidays.
Landal Green Park Holidays is a Dutch based company. They’ve had a huge amount of successful throughout Germany, and wanted to launch their brand to UK consumers.
To complete this promotion they required a range of lifestyle shots, consisting of people engaging in nature based holiday activities and exploration.
As a photographer this doesn’t give you a huge amount to work with – you have to let the surrounds and natural backgrounds really speak through the emotions of the people.
What do I mean by this? Think about every time you look at a holiday brochure or website. Although you might be drawn in initially by the superb shots of the environment and surrounds, after a while it’s the people, their faces and emotions that absolutely frame the tone and colour of the advert.
And when you fake that emotion people are instantly turned off the photo. They feel that they’re not getting a true representation of the holiday. Worse still, they might even believe that the images presented by the company are duplicitous because the events and getaways that are being sold – are actually second rate.
This means there’s a lot of pressure on you as a photographer to achieve a natural, well-formed finish.
How do you do this?
Well, it’s a bit like when you were a kid in craft, design and technology workshops and you were trying to cut a piece of wood.
The teacher would always tell you to let the tools do the work. But what’s this got to do with photography?
It’s simple. You’re in a beautiful natural enclave, away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. You only need to breathe in the air and listen to the sounds of birds and running water to get a little smile on your face.
So as a photographer, that’s what you set out to capture. The art of getting the perfect shot is allowing the subjects and people you want to shoot – to experience the natural joy. The last thing they need is someone getting in their face and asking them to pose and be stilted.
You see, if you give people the space to enjoy themselves and relax as a photographer, then you’ll get the shots you need. It’s the perfect way to capture the environment.
And by allowing the people in every shot to deeply breathe in the atmosphere of each of the Landal Green Park Holiday destinations, you allow the background elements – the trees, the pathways, the whole set up of the place – to effortlessly speak through their emotions and reactions.
This is why I take a back seat as a photographer. I don’t seek to capture what’s false or needs to be set up. Instead I adopt a loose approach where I allow my subjects to acclimatise with their surrounds, and so when you get a shot – you get a much more genuine feeling.
Through each of the Landal Green Park Holiday photos I took a very humble, detached approach. Each destination we photographed was outstanding and astounding. Beautiful scenes of natural beauty that took your breath away if you only let them.
All I had to do as a photographer was let the people in each shot actually feel the moment – and then allow that to transfer onto film.
The result was a set of photos that are still being used to this day to promote Landal Green Park Holidays – with each shot beautifully displaying the locations through the genuine smiles and laughter of the people in it.
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