roth and ramberg shoot for the zoo

Brian Allen from Trigger called us on a Thursday about shooting an upcoming campaign for the Calgary Zoo. The trick was that it had to be arranged and shot in a very tight timeline. Three shots which all required location scouting, propping and models.




We took a look at the mockups and decided the best thing to do was to shoot in Vancouver. Primarily because of the weather and lack of snow, but also because we have a satellite office in Vancouver, which for now is the cabin in Dale’s backyard in Horseshoe Bay.


Getting children and locations was pretty easy since Dale and his family moved there a while ago. After a few calls to the neighborhood families, we had photos of potential children and locations overnight by Friday morning for Brian to look at. Decisions were made quickly and we were set up to shoot on Tuesday. Unfortunately the best weather day was Monday and Brian wasn’t available then, so the two of us flew to Vancouver without him to shoot the outdoor shot while the weather was good.

zoo locations.jpg

We scouted all the locations first thing in the morning and decided one location in particular was good for the first shot. We liked the tree and house, but the big set of trees on the left behind the boy would have to be photoshopped out. We shot a plate of the sky before the weather changed anymore. Brian was able to art direct from Calgary because we were able to send him the shots from our iPad as we shot. We had a limited amount of time as the weather was getting quite cold and the boy’s hands were starting to freeze, so we had no time for behind-the-scenes video.

elijah 2.jpg

We picked up Brian at the airport first thing on Tuesday. After picking up the last of the props we headed to the location for the shot of the girl pretending to fly while jumping on her bed. She jumped and jumped and jumped for us. The throw blanket really looked like wings. So much in fact that some of shots were too realistic.

Later that day we did the third photo of a boy pretending to be a hippo. We had a dedicated model who spent over an hour and a half in the bathtub, doing different poses, etc. We quickly discovered the trick was to get the right amount of water in front of him to hide his legs underneath. We even had him controlling the location of the duck. It was the toughest of the three to photograph but we loved the challenge.

Take a quick look at the behind the scenes video.


The first two ran as billboards.


CZObillboards-2.jpg         hippo.jpg


Brilliant work. R&R rocks again! Love the fact that you're doing a zoo, as down south here in NY, the local zoo is on many people's minds. Turns out a cobra went AWOL, capturing most of the city's attention (and yeah, that's saying something about the slow news cycle). Thing is, the slithering serpent hasssss more twitter followers than Charlie Sheen. (Please note, I'm not suggesting this is a competition between two reptiles.) Keep up the great work, Michele & Dale!
Amazing work is just standard for you, isn't it? As always, nothing shy of impressive.

Leave a comment