Free Range Farming

Free Range Eggs – Helen and David shot for purpose.

Further to receiving a brief (in the middle of winter whilst there was snow on the ground) requiring a shot depicting a middle of summer ‘look’ I had a little apprehension about the possibility especially regarding the brief requiring ‘mountains in the background’ being green, the fields grassy, and a bright sunny sky…

After further discussion it was decided that the mountains being ‘green’ might be an ask too far and the agency decided to retouch this if required.

After scrutinising the weather forecast a time was set for the shoot and it was done.


Lakes Free Range portrait of farmers with chickens and hens

Free Range Farming

On the day, the sun did shine but the shoot was additionally lit in abundance to even include contrast reduction and brightness increase in foreground grass (after removing all the dead leaves).  Getting the lighting balance correct was a challenge – especially when the forecast bright sun was being constantly covered by fast travelling cloud requiring continual remote light adjustments to accommodate the brightness and contrast shifts.

The shoot was for a Free Range supplier POS banner, intended for a supermarket so needed to fit a specific format with specific type requirements. The brief had a convenient mound in front of the subjects making the foreground a useful place for type.. mounds never exists like this in real life so a location was found on a hillside and I lay down.

Cue Hens stage left…

Lying down in a field is never a problem. Especially a field in the middle of summer with a nice warm sun beating down on me, but this wasn’t summer and the hens – being inquisitive as they are – took delight in pecking my head, to the great amusement of Helen and David. If ever there was a requirement for a safety helmet, I can honestly say that this would have most justified their existence.

The photograph above is an outtake from the shoot I particularly like. It includes some hens – where the brief was to particularly exclude them. Since the hens were particularly persistent in appearing, I’ve given in to them here.

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