When I was connected to Liam Casey by my friend Om Malik (make photographs for Om's conversation series Pico), one thing was clear – the on-location shoot experience would be paramount to the success of the production.
The evening before the shoot, Liam's VP of Communications, Claudia Ceniceros, and I put our heads together to discuss details regarding key messages to communicate, access and locations, graphic style and PCH's brand.
(Note: PCH stands for Pacific Coast Highway 1, where PCH's HQ sits in San Francisco.)
After our conversation, I knew that shooting medium format film would:
- produce the most unique and accurate images for Om's interview with Liam,
- fit elegantly within the interview's WordPress environment,
- communicate strong context aligned with PCH's brand and story,
- provide a more engaging process, allowing more quality time with Liam to study and analyze his facial features, interactions with people and the workplace environment,
- establish rapport from someone who appreciates the analog process.
As the art director & photographer in these situations, with CEO's like Liam, I try to remind myself to stay grounded and realistic – it might be the most important event happening for me that day but for C-levels, its likely to be a stressful, less enjoyable spot on their calendar. Creating a fun, professional and engaging shoot experience was the ultimate goal and that was much easier to achieve when approaching with a plan and using the right tools. In total, I carried 4 rolls of film (40 frames) spread across 2 hours dedicated to shooting with Liam.
Thankfully, Liam is a natural with an incredible personality. I hope to photograph him annually, if not more often so we can continue to make great images together.
A few months later, The New York Times asked to use the cover image for the story titled "Behind the Scenes in Luxury". The selected, final images from the shoot have appeared in numerous internal and external communication pieces for PCH International around the world.
Liam is one of the most interesting people I've photographed. At times, Liam was photographing me with one of his 3 iPhones (1 for USA, 1 for China, 1 for Ireland). When reloading another roll of film, Liam found great pleasure in shooting the below time lapse video of the process.
"Liam, Cliff is a young friend who has taught me a lot about making pictures, taking time to appreciate what we have and how to aspire for being good. I hope you can find sometime for him to come and take your photos, and capture your compassion, passion, energy for the new and quest for newer horizons." - Om Malik