‘What would Wilma do with her friends?’
In developing a creative concept for Wilma and Friends’ 2019 Season, this question set my rampant imagination free, like a kid let loose at an all-you-can-eat Peppa Pig ice-cream buffet.
Wilma at a dinner party
Wilma running a book club
Wilma going bowling
Wilma going paragliding
Wilma running an unregistered backyard casino
After returning to the land of reality, I referred to a comprehensive questionnaire that I had Wilma fill in, which gave me a strong sense of the type of imagery and visual language that would befit the brand of Wilma & Friends. Sadly, ‘Wilma skydiving and creating formations with friends mid-air whilst spelling out the programme for the year’ did not fit the brief.
In the end I settled on something that I knew would work an absolute treat: Wilma has a tea party!
I’ve been lucky thus far with clients that most (if not all) have fully entrusted me with immense creative freedom. Wilma was no exception. She was as enthusiastic as I was with the ‘fun and bold’ concept that was proposed. I’m proud of how this project unfolded as I think it’s an honest representation of Wilma’s warmth and humour, and of my own work.
Early drawings of concept
On the day of the studio shoot, I had some party tunes on, and a selection of props that I’d procured, one of which was a special fern I’d brought from home that I wanted Stefan to use. (It’s all about the fronds, baby!). The visuals needed to be fun, relaxed, and friendly. The colours needed to ‘pop’, so I opted for a white background, and the use of a pair 60 inch umbrellas that allowed for a clean and soft spread over the musicians. I also had the musicians dispense with standard performance clothing and instead come in clothes they would usually wear to a garden tea party. The clothing brief was intentionally broad, and there was a distinct possibility that someone would turn up in a suit, while another in a panda onesie. It didn’t matter though, in fact eclecticism was embraced as it was important that everyone’s individual personalities shone through.
All-in-all I photographed 10 people in three hours. I shot individual portraits, small groups in accordance with the concert programming, and a large group portrait with everyone and their respective props. Timing-wise, it was a little ambitious, but we made it work. There was much laughter, chatter, cake and biscuits!
It wasn’t just a shoot of a party, it was a party. How meta.
It was probably one of the funnest shoots I’ve ever done, and I think the party vibes translated well in the final images.