How I got to photograph Trash bags

In the locations and subject matters of my shoots I learn a lot of things that I otherwise never would.

From the history of cowbells to the history of Tequila, from diving in underwater caves to rappelling into caves of mountains.

It’s all learned and experienced through the camera that I carry.

 

One of my last assignments for Glad trash bags offered another curiosity; People just LOVE the scent of Gain laundry detergent.

Who would have known there are “Gainiacs” out there?? People so crazy about the Gain smell, finding it so “divine”, they make everything smell like it?

Well,  I now know. I have been initiated into the world of Gain scent!

 

When Glad  introduced their trash bags with the Gain scent they wanted to tell this story. It was time to let the “Gainiacs” know trash bags now came with their favorite smell!

And I was the photographer to be a part of it…

 

During the preproduction meeting of the shoot I got a rare insight into why the creatives wanted me to work with them on this assignment. It was quite fascinating for me as I’m never privy to the discussions of why an agency chooses a specific photographer.

When the agency introduced me to the client they described why they had chosen me specifically.

There was the light quality, bringing something ethereal to the image. The photograph could not be flat but had to have an airy sense of excitement about something mundane as trash bags.

There was the way I photograph women; Respectfully beautiful.

Then there was, to me, the really interesting part; They had looked at the way I photograph flowing fabric and found me perfect to make the trash bags visually more engaging than the plastic it is. To make them flowing in the air with grace as our hero woman in the ad impatiently ripped them out of the box and into the air to soak up the Gain scent….


Erik Almas Advertising photographer Flowing Fabric flowing dresses small_2

 

I was surprised about the detail my images were looked at. In the end this helped both me and the final photograph as I decided to approach shooting the trashbags just as I would a flowing dress; With fishing line and wind mashines…

 

Erik Almas Advertising Photographer Glad_Small

 

If you want a good laugh check out this short clip of us shooting flowing trash bags in the air…

 

 

 

 

A big thanks to the Advertising Agency Alma for trusting me to make trash bags look beautiful, seeing beyond plastic into the sensual flow of fabric of couture dresses…

 

 

My visual esthetic and that of the classic Norwegian Painters

It’s now 20 years since I left Trondheim, Norway, to study photography in the US.

Going about my craft, making pictures I felt good about, one can think it strange it’s only a few years ago that I discovered the connection between some of my signature imagery and Norwegian mythology and paintings.

Even though my photography have tones and themes resonating with the style described as “national romanticism” I have not consciously set out to recreate or pay homage to these paintings. Nor have I studied these prior. Subconsciously I have just been drawn to their style, or maybe even the very esthetic, landscape, light and mythology all norwegian artists has been living with growing up…

In recognizing this it became very obvious to me how my upbringing and the Norwegian landscape have shaped me as a photographer and how scandinavian my visual sensibilities truly are.

 

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Norwegian Pintings

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When designer Leila Hafzi approached me to photograph her latest bridal collection with the inspiration rooted in Norwegian mythology and it’s landscape I was truly excited.

We would venture to the west coast of Norway and photograph the myths around the Snow Queen, the Hulder, and one of the more famous Norwegian paintings, Brudeferd i Hardanger (Bridal Procession on the Hardangerfjord).

In discussing this project it was impossible to not get into the subject of recreating our own version of this painting.

As we decided to do so it became the first time I consciously created an image to pay homage to a style that have deeply affected me as a photographer.

Brudeferd i Hardanger

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Leila Hafzi is an extraordinary designer and working with her on several of her design projects have been extremely rewarding creatively.

I’m in gratitude to her and all the ones involved in this project. Especially the people at the tourist office in Stryn and the people of Flo who dressed up in the traditional norwegian garb Bunad to help recreate our Bridal Procession.

 

Below are the images we created for this collection and a behind the scenes look at how it came together.

 

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The Gravitational pull of Norway

Happenstance or am I feeling some gravitational pull towards Norway?

 

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I’m not quite sure of the reasons, but I have the past year more frequently found myself taking on assignments in my home country…

Whichever the objective or purpose I have truly enjoyed working closer to where I grew up.

It is something about rediscovering, through photography, the very place that shaped who I am and very much shaped my esthetic.

 

In my second collaboration with advertising agency HK we were to create “spaces to dream within” for Norwegian bedding company Høie of Scandinavia.

So how do one create a sense of dreams and intimacy within Scandinavian nature in close ups of people?




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For us it was textures. Having our models wander through tall grass, being enveloped in low laying fog. This we hoped would create intimacy in an airy and dreamy setting while still making sure the images came across Scandinavian in nature and feel.

 

As a Norwegian living in the US for 20 years, taking on an assignment with this sensibility is quite amazing.

To stand in the frost of the below freezing morning just a short 10 minutes by car from my family’s house and think about Scandinavian spaces to dream within felt close to home, not just in proximity, but visually and emotionally as well…

 

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And here is the Behind the Scenes of how the images came together and our day working in the norwegian fall landscape:

 

 

Two passions come together while on location with California Tourism

I have worked with advertising agency MeringCarson and their client California Tourism quite a few times over the past few years.

When they again approached me a few months back the concept and location was close to both my home and my heart….

 

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When living in San Francisco it’s almost impossible to not take an interest in wine. It’s a city passionate about all things that stimulate the senses, and especially the digestible like food & wine.

 

With one of the worlds premier wine regions just a short drive across the Golden Gate Bridge one, by proximity, get exposed to the fickle art and science of making great wine.

My own curiosity for the fermented grape juice started shortly after I arrived to San Francisco, now 20 years ago.

Through serendipity this interest have matured into establishing my own wine project to be launched in just a few short months, at www.erikalmaswinery.com

 

So in this most recent project for California Tourism I got to indulge in two of my favorite things, pictures and wine, at the beautiful Chapellet Winery overlooking Napa Valley.

 

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A big thanks to AD Rob Petrie, MeringCarson and California Tourism for giving me another amazing experience…

If you want to see how it all came together please check out the behind the scenes below.