On location brand photography for Direct Line Marketing

Action shots of Direct Line’s newly re-branded response vehicles.

The plan

The brief was to take various high-quality action shots of Direct Line’s newly re-branded response vehicles, near Birmingham, to be used for press releases and shared on social media posts. Their response vehicle fleet is designed to be able to get to hard-to-reach locations when extreme weather conditions hit or if your car broke down in a difficult location.

The brief

On further discussion over Zoom, the decision was made to look for a better location that looked more realistically flooded. This led to a search for fords in the North West and the most unusual website dedicated to ford located on mainland, England. A ford is a watercourse which runs over the surface of a road. It was perfect for mimicking flooded conditions.

The second proposed location was the ford at Clee St Margaret, located in the Shropshire Hills, AONB.

We raised a concern that the watercourse was quite narrow and left little room for manoeuvre, from a compositional point of view. After having another Zoom call, we opted for the ford at Tissington, in the southern most part of the Peak District.

We agreed a recce would be in order so I met up with the Area Manager, Neil and we scoped out the ford itself, then the beautiful village of Tissington for the opportunity to do some customer service photography in the village. A productive day left us with a number of possibilities I shared with the team at DL.

One hurdle to overcome was the small fact that Tissington isn’t public land so we reached out to Tissington Estate for permission, which was, thankfully, forthcoming.

The shot list

In/around the ford

  • Vehicles driving through the ford (made to look like a flooded road where possible) showing the branding, front, side, back – close and from a distance.
  • Vehicle stuck in the water with a DL/CHU van behind helping the ‘customer’ – potentially with the ‘customer’ and DLG PIA out of their vehicles showing us helping the customer and with the ‘customer’ waiting for us as we pull up through the water – up close and from a distance.
  • One where the branding is less clear –  used for PR purposes as the media don’t like to always include heavily branded images.

In the local area

  • Vehicles parallel parked in the street – close up and at a distance.
  • Vehicles driving down a residential street – close up and at a distance.
  • PIA in branded jackets, folders, umbrellas if raining knocking on someone’s door (get permission first).
  • PIA in branded jackets, folders, umbrellas if raining speaking to ‘customer’ at the front door (get permission first).
  • One where the branding is less clear – used for PR purposes as the media don’t like to always include heavily branded images.

We do love location photography – even if you are at the will of the elements. The day itself however, brought the perfect weather conditions since we did not want sun and blue skies!

The photoshoot

We started early, getting the main photographs of the vehicles coming powering through the Ford. Working to the recce plan, we shot a number of angles – including one that had the cars hurtling straight towards the position of the camera. With these in the bag, we got to work photographing the model with a team from DirectLine for the customer service photographs. We took some of these down at the ford then moved to the village where some residents had offered to let us use their doorsteps for these ‘door to door’ images, all done under Covid-19 rules.

We finished the day off with a brew and some lovely cake from the coffee shop at Tissington Hall.

Post production was carried out over the next day due to their deadline. Having taken well over 400 images, it can take a good few hours to select which ones make it to the selection for editing.

“I am absolutely delighted with the images we were able to get with Think. They certainly go the extra mile and don’t mind getting wet or dirty for the right angle or composition.”

Simon Henrick, Head of News and Issues, Direct Line

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