Talk Talk Blah Blah Chris Sanders Photography

On the Set




It’s been a while since I have written here on what’s going on. It’s been a crazy and intense few months and I hope to catch up with you here. It seems like advertising has re-launched. I have been very busy shooting a number of projects. I don’t know whether it was the rush to spend 2009 budgets or the flush of new 2010 money but I’ve been very fortunate to have some great pieces to work on. Several I can’t tell you much about due to confidentiality agreements but I’ll at least show you some production stills where I can! (That seems to be the most looked at part of this blog).

This project is an on-going Pharma campaign for BMS. It’s been rather exciting to work on because I get to use much of my film background especially working actors. It was a still job but as I have previously mentioned here, I prefer to work with models that can act or in this situation we cast actors that were perfect for the roles. Lighting wise I work with hot lights so I can instantly see the look as the talent move and respond. Plus they, too, can feel their key light and help stay in the “zone” when we are shooting. We shot on location and on a set. The lighting for this campaign is very dramatic so working on a set gives me better control.┬á The set was masterly built by my set builder, Mark Bednark. He created a medical suite of offices and exam rooms. Obviously for pharma, medical offices are important. But they are hard to get as actual locations and here in New York they are all quite small. So we built and lit it, completing what might have been two days in on-location medical offices to one day on set. Stylist was the fabulous Gabrielle Rosenberg, who as always gives me tons of choices (she gets her own cube truck!).

Directing a Lifestyle Commercial

Femibion from Chris Sanders on Vimeo.

My Femibion commercial is out! Femibion is a new vitamin product from Merck/Seven Seas, launching for the first time in the UK. This was a very exciting project. The commercial was done for the some of the same creative team that I shot the Nivea/Labello print ads for.┬á Only this time, I was directing motion and photographing stills. Since I already shoot my stills with actors and script out scenes to photograph, I already had in place my workflow and creative process for this motion piece. But, wow, was this on a big scale!. Here’s the production shots that I previously posted if you haven’t seen those. I felt like a kid in a candy shop with all the options that we could cover. The crews were fantastic and so organized. There were so many scenes, we decided to shoot the entire piece all at one large estate in Long Island. The estate had several different homes and provided many different looks. We even built the office set in a large room at the main house. And, it turned out to be an excellent opportunity to shoot with the RED ONE camera.┬á I’m hooked now. I’ve always loved shooting little stories with my stills.┬á Now, I’m adding video!┬á As a matter of fact I just shot this week a spec coffee commercial.┬á I’ll post that here when I have it edited.┬á As well as on my website’s video section.


How about Travels? Recently I was shooting a job for a magazine in Northern Brazil. (I can’t mention too many details until it’s published!1). A great little surf town. Very basic but wonderful. The Brazilian people are very friendly. I’ll publish the tearsheet when it come out. But I want to keep you in suspense.

Shooting 8×10

This weekend I was up at a friend’s lake house and I brought along my 8×10 and some B+W film. I love the 8×10 but with all the digital toys I have been using, it sat in my basement waiting. I brought it out this weekend and really got back into it. It’s a totally different way of working. You have to be very methodical in choosing your shots. Unlike my fast shooting, bang off several variations in minutes, digital camera, I have to really decide which is the best angle; which is the best shot. No chance to try some shots here and some shots there.

It’s time consuming but the results can be amazing. The clarity, the form, and the shallow depth of field. Equipment are just tools to get to what you want to show. But using different tools wakes you up and sparks something new and unique. I still love taking out a plastic toy camera to take photos. Two weeks ago, I found a 2 megapixel camera I had and I’m working on doing massive blow-ups with it. I realize that with photoshop you can replicate many of these looks. But what about the magic of organically finding that look? I much prefer to try a unique effect in the field then to wait until I’m back in the office in the dark on the computer.

Nivea/Labello Tearsheets

COMBINED ADS for blog.jpg

My Nivea/Labello Ads that I shot in Barcelona are now in October Publications. I was hired by TBWA/Hamburg to cross the Atlantic. We spent a little less than a week there capturing some high energy shots. I shot different scenarios from the nightclub to the beach to give the client many choices. As typical of my photoshoots, we cast in video and work with talent that can act. I set up the scenes and have the talent react with each other. If you would like to see it all in action, scroll down to the next frame or click here.


This is the production blog for Photographer/Director Chris Sanders; filled with mutterings and musing to ponder. Please visit his website at Unless otherwise noted, all images are Copyright Chris Sanders. All uses are strictly reserved.

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