Areas of Expertise, Commercial Vehicles, Stories

Use emotion to soften metal

The clicks of the shutter seemed to go on forever. I was sure I counted more than 36 frames. Not long ago before digital photography had perfected the film look you could buy 12 or 36 exposure film. I wasn’t sure what this photographer from Boston was using because he had exceeded the limit.

Our subjects were three adorable children seated on a school bus. We were creating a campaign for a bus manufacturer. The owner was the second generation and was flirting with the idea of selling the company to a larger truck manufacturer.

We selected this photographer because he was able to capture what we nicknamed “stolen moments.” Images that felt like you glanced over your shoulder and witnessed an event choreographed just for you, frozen in time, yet still moving.

The kids were nervous and fussy, staring strangely at the man with the camera pointing at them. The oversized seats created a tight space between the photographer and his subjects. The clicking went on forever. I learned early in my career to stay back and let the talent you hired work his or her magic, but I was becoming concerned.

Then, I noticed the kids starting to ignore the continuous clicking of the camera. Slowly the photographer raised the camera over the seat. His assistant, waiting patiently, handed him a second camera. This one had film in it. He was waiting for the kids to ignore him and to start interacting with each other. It was so gratifying. The kids were oblivious to us and were acting as if they were seasoned professionals. Now he could begin to actually photograph them.

The result was photography that softened the image of the manufacturer, giving the company an emotional connection with their product that they didn’t have before. Since their inception, their goal was to make the safest bus humanly possible, and we gave them the human emotional connection to bring their quest full circle.

Photo Credit: ©2018 Malyszko Photography • Location: High Point, North Carolina • Purpose: Bus manufacturer image campaign

Todd Kinley

J. Todd Kinley

Founder | Executive Creative Director: Crobar Creative Leverage. Husband, Father, and Moose owner. Lover of art, photography, golf, and strategy. Follow me: