Before & After: NIDA Summer Courses

Finished ad for NIDA Summer Courses 2016

Finished ad for NIDA Summer Courses 2016

On location, location, location with @robertcatto for #nida #summerscoming #throwingshade

A photo posted by Leading Hand Design (@leadinghanddesign) on

I've been working with the good folks at Leading Hand Design on a few things recently, and here's one that has come out just recently - the NIDA Summer Courses campaign, for Australia's leading drama school, based here in Sydney.

Because the school runs courses for just about all ages over the summer holidays, we had a range of current students to work with on the day - and I have to say, if the shoot was anything to go by, the courses must be pretty good!

The brief was to keep it simple, and capture the tone of summer in a series of images knowing they were then going to have some colour treatment applied - of course, we were doing this in early spring in order to have the brochures out before summer came along, but as luck would have it, we got the warmest, sunniest day of the month for our shoot in Moore Park.

So with that in mind, it was a matter of controlling the light as much as possible on the day (in direct sunlight on a hilltop), and helping our actors relax and enjoy their time in front of the camera.

Here are a few of the images, before the colour treatment:

Like a lot of actors, most of our gang were more accustomed to working with an audience and a script than modelling for a stills camera; but that's where it's my job to keep them from thinking about the images and just be present in the moment, talking to them about anything other than what we're actually doing at the time, and subtly directing them without it feeling like they're being directed.

The images needed to work in a variety of layouts, from web ads and banners to print brochure covers and inside spreads, so we did a range of options with that in mind. Of course, the choice of image so often comes down to the emotion captured in an instant, so it was great to be working with such an enthusiastic group on the day, who gave us lots to choose from in that sense as well.

Finished campaign for NIDA Summer Courses 2016

Finished campaign for NIDA Summer Courses 2016

I got a note from the client this week to say the images turned out great, and that everyone is loving them; so thanks to Leading Hand & NIDA, it was great to work with you too!

Keep an eye on this page for more updates to my series on photographing the arts, or to catch up on previous instalments - and follow me on Twitter or Facebook to hear about them immediately.