Cara Johnson, Ted Baker’s photographer, had pushed the boundaries with the boss this time. Normally Ted Baker’s fashion shoots are in an urban environment. Never had they been on a farm before.
The theme “Into the Wild” required vast and intimate natural spaces, big skies, animals and a sense of brave adventure. The scope of brief meant for 3 days of shooting, and having taken Cara and Creative Producer Jamie on a tour at recce stage a couple weeks before, the combination of shooting at Hare Farm, Great Knights Farm and Whitehall Farm was decided. Hare Farm and Great Knights offer the rolling landscape and a place to stay (in the Oast house at Hare Farm), and are two farms which border each other. Just 30 minutes away is Whitehall Farm which offers the vast expansive Romney Marsh terrain. Between them we also had sheep, chicken, lakes, treescapes and farm yards.
Eat, Sleep, Work on Location
The Shoot and Stay solution at Hare Farm worked well for the crew and models, with the Oast having 5 bedrooms of its own. I also arranged all meals (from a hand-held brunch in the farmyard, to a hearty menu at supper time) through a local caterer, Seasons Wild and Free. Kristi prepared delicious menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and is close enough to pop in and out during the 3 days of shooting, as and when new supplies were needed and fresh meals prepared.
Working with animals
At Hare Farm, the flock of North Country mule sheep were brought into the frame for a couple hours of shooting. Helped by the two collies, Stuart gathered in the sheep and kept them close to the model, whilst she sat on a gate with the sheep all up close, as well as sitting in the grass with the sheep grazing behind. Working quietly and calmly, the sheep and dogs, Meg and Tess, obliged well.
At Whitehall Farm, a beautiful grey stallion was hired in from White Horse Farm and overseen by Emma, his owner. The chicken who lived already on the farm were featured too in the photo shoot. No major “animal hire” efforts needed here – It was as easy as picking up the hen from her pen area, walking 10 yards to a pretty spot in the orchard, and the model then held her for a few minutes. So little stress all round.