This summer I was commissioned to shoot for Finlandia Vodka. The creative brief was a really challenging one and an exciting shoot to put together, with shots proposed in rain lashed lakes and dusty fields with a backdrop of the stunning Finnish landscape.
After a speedy planning phase and a recce trip we boarded a plane for the second trip to Finland. For the first shot the brief showed a heavy rain storm, so with a rain machine and mist diffuser in tow we headed for a beautiful lake in the mountains.
Soon me and the team were kitted out in wetsuits and in the chilly lake ready to shoot. We spent the day in the lake which was pretty cold and at one point Leo my assistant had to dive down to the bottom to retrieve a reflector! But it was definitely worse for our model (who didn't have a wetsuit) who was great throughout the day. It was a challenge to get the right feel through mist and light and the rain machine to catch that moment in morning light and to feel that moment in nature. I'm really pleased with what we achieved.The production team at Grillifilms headed by Hanna were great to work with and did a fantastic job.
Before I knew it we were back in the UK planning shoot phase two: the barley fields. Finlandia use a particular speciality barley in their vodka so it was important to choose exactly the right fields for the shot. When we arrived in Finland it was clear we had made the right decision, the landscape was epic. We built an enormous mound of hay bales for the set, and used huge HMIs to compliment the golden sunset. The real lighting challenge was to overide the poweful Finnish sun so we didnt just have a huge sillohette to deal with. This shot was all about that last light of the day but obviously we had a lot to capture so we constantly altered the lighting to maintain that feel throughout the day. In the end we used a mixture of lighting techniques and a leaf blower and a paper cup full of dust to create our dust storm - it worked a treat.
Overall, this was a really challenging and enjoyable shoot and a great team to work with. Pierre, Erin, Amy and Sophie were absolutely brilliant to work with and at the end of the day I'm pleased to say we had a shot or three in celebration of a job well done.