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Lürzer’s Archive’s 200 best Ad photographers World Wide 2016/17

I’m excited to be included in Luerzer’s Archive 2016/2017 edition of the 200 Best Advertising Photographers Worldwide with 4 images.

Humbled to say this marks my 12th year in the company of extraordinary photographers.


Erik Almas Luerzers Archive 200 Best Advertising photographers WorldWide Johnnie Walker

Erik Almas Luerzers Archive 200 Best Advertising photographers WorldWide American Airlines

Erik Almas Luerzers Archive 200 Best Advertising photographers WorldWide Range Rover

Erik Almas Luerzers Archive 200 Best Advertising photographers WorldWide Car Crash


The images included are created for Johnnie Walker Whiskey, American Airlines, McCann Erickson and the last one being self assigned.

Having personal work represented among the high production value imagery as this collection is makes this even more special…


It was in April last year I decided to do a series of images describing the break up of a long relationship. RGG EDU came along documenting the whole creative process around it, so not only did I create some work I’m really proud of, but I got to share my complete process from inseption to finish in the form of a wicked well produced tutorial.

That this image gets to stand among the work representing the 200 Best Advertising Photographers in the world is such fun and an honor…


To celebrate we are, to those interested, giving a 75$ discount on the tutorial this images was a part of over the next week. Follow the link below and use the code 200BEST at checkout.

The Complete Guide To Composite Photography, Color, & Composition With Erik Almas


The pressures of a commercial photo shoot

I am the luckiest guy I know!

I have mentioned this before on this blog, and I just have to say; I truly am…


To get paid to fly to Africa and stand on a magical sand bar in the middle of the ocean and take a picture is an extraordinary privilege.

A privilege I cherish and never take for granted.


The flipside to this privilege is expectations.

In one of my latest campaigns I got hired by Saatchi and Saatchi out of London to work with them on a campaign for Virgin Holiday.

When hired by an advertising agency to execute a campaign it is not because they want to hang out on a beach with you, but because they believe you can bring something special to the images they want to create…

So with this gratitude I feel towards life as a photographer there’s also the pressure to make something special every time I take on an assignment.


I have read that stress is the simple difference between the expectations we have, and where we feel we are.


So when I showed up in Mozambique, Africa, to rain and crazy winds, with a forecast promising more of the same, the gap between the expected and what we experienced was “Sky High” and then some…



One can argue that being on a beach, rain or shine, is stress free but I assure you it’s not.

The pressures to create something special does not go away with the winds. As time move closer to our scheduled shoot the pressure linger and magnifies as a tornado ready to take off. I often thrive on this pressure to create, but when a crew of 20 some people from 3 continents gather on the coast of Africa to shoot vacation pictures in the rain the thriving turns to; WTF do we do now??



On our second day on location with weather still miserable, we landed on one of the sandbars we were to shoot. Our client, the artdirector and myself all disbursed in different directions.
It was a dire moment.

I looked over their way and I knew they were both thinking the same as myself; Had we come all they way to Africa and having to go home without the images we came to capture?




In these situations there’s a lot of things going through my mind. There are solutions to every problem, but in our case there was a crazy tight launch deadline so the options were limited.
One can do a lot of things in post production and with strobe, but to give the ocean the luminosity and color it gets from the sun is not one of them…


With time lost and that gap between expectations and reality mounting, we got some good news. The last shoot day showed better promise with a gap in the storms rolling in. Would we be able to get one day of sun before another week of rains came in?
My producer lined everything up to do all our shots in one short span of shooting calm water in the early part of the day, and as the evening skies cleared we watched the moonlight shimmer across the bay, all hoping for better weather in the morning.




And then we woke up to this!!




Which translated into one amazing day of shooting, capturing what we needed for the the images below…


Erik Almas Advertising and Editorial Photographer Virgin_Roomservice


Erik Almas Advertising and Editorial Photographer Virgin_Paddleboard


Erik Almas Advertising and Editorial Photographer Virgin_SunLounger

Erik Almas Advertising and Editorial Photographer Virgin_Padleboard_Single_POV_Wip_3


Being on location in Mozambique was some of the toughest and best times as a  photographer.

The silver lining is that it is in this contrast of emotions one really is living. If it all was one smooth ride life would be boring. It is in these contrasts one feel alive! There’s vibrancy in this space, and as they say in yoga; it is in resistance that we expand. It is in resistance that we grow.


So again, I’m the luckiest guy I know!


Big thanks to Paul, Dan, Saritha and Rozalia at Saatchi for one amazing adventure and to Håvard Schei for the Behind the scenes images.

The Roots and the quiet moments before getting on stage

What music would you play if you were to hang out with some of the best live bands around?

How would you set the mood with music if you were to photograph The Roots as they prepare for going on stage??

OCTAGON_MARTELL_Wip_11Test New Headv3



The Agency Octogon came to me to help create a new ad for Martell Cognac, featuring The Roots.

The idea was to show Questlove (Ahmir) and Black Thought (Tariq) in a dressing room as they prepare to go on stage. Reflection, self-evaluation, and elevation all happen at various moments in our lives, but they consistently are a part of the quiet moments before we are to do something of importance….

The intention was to capture The Roots in their pre performance rituals as they get into the zone, soak up the things that inspire and prepare to elevate themselves and those around them to share their music with the world.


In preparing for this picture, and any picture for that matter, I seek in myself a connection to the moment I want to create. I seek to understand, relate and make the emotion my own so the relationship between me and the captured moment will be a real one rather than completely created for the purpose of advertising.


So what are my rituals? How do I get into flow?


Early in my career one of my preshoot rituals was to play Opera.

I loved being in the car, driving through the dark with the anticipation of what the sunrise would bring, listening to the emotions packed into the performers voices.

My favorite was Maria Calas singing Mamma Morta. It’s a stunning aria where she goes from mourning to rejoycing, from seeking to believing and from darkness to light in the span of a few minutes. This aria is symbolic of so many things and in the quiet moments before sunrise gave room for getting in flow while waiting for the light to reveal the landscapes before me…



“It was then, in my grief,

that love came to me.

A voice full of harmony says,

“Keep on living, I am life itself!

Your heaven is in my eyes!

You are not alone.

I collect all your tears

I walk with you and support you!

Smile and hope! I am Love!”




The morning I drove into Manhattan to photograph The Roots was an amazing one. As I crossed the Williamsburg bridge the sun was rising and the wind from the open window flowed through the vehicle.
I shot the image below and let the sensation of the day envelop me just like Mamma Morta would do and I started thinking about what music one would play for amazing musicians…




As I have grown older and increased the understanding of myself and how I prepare and get into flow, my preshoot ritual has boild down to a short walk and a few deep breaths.

I close my eyes and breathe deepley. This grounds me to the moment and make me present. Not just in person but of the moment so I can soak up what is infront of me, connect to it and find in myself what I can bring to it.


As for the music it landed on my digi techs playslist; An eclectic mix of rock and electronica…

Hit by a truck?

We have all heard the sayings and know the metaphors of being “hit by a truck” and “run over by a bull”.

We have all been there and felt it. Metaphorically…




When Saatchi & Saatchi came knocking and wanted me to work with them on visuals overcoming these metaphors I was truly excited. As I have matured in my craft and my style of photography I find myself increasingly drawn to what add layers to my images. Drawn to the assignments that have some photographic challenge to be solved. I have found it is more the idea and concept around the visuals and how I relate to the idea that gets me excited to dive in and make compelling imagery…

For me, as a photographer, there are two areas of challenge that I strive to explore and push further. The first is the emotional quality, having a storyline expressed through talent and treatment, and the second, crafting something visually improbable.
This assignment for Saatchi had a lot of creating the improbable and some emotional qualities mixed in and it, to me, became a very special campaign.




Making an image with a person lifting a train come to life can only happen when there is authenticity in the assembly of the photographic elements involved. Only then will the mind except it as real.

The process to get to this authenticity is in 2 stages; The first is to pre-visualize and the second, to capture the parts to fulfill this visualization. In this I’m a photographer and orchestrator, using my experience in how pictures come together, how light falls and perspective works and to bring together amazing artists to make one final image.

My partners in this were many; The wonder woman with the ideas, Creative Director Carolyn Gargano, Producer Stuart Hart, the crew on set, HacJob on CGI and Chris Bodie on retouch.

We all collaborate to make the upfront vision come to life; To suspend the beliefs we hold about what is real and accept the picture of a girl lifting a truck or a train with grace and strength. It’s a lot of IDEA and part photography and part CGI. Then a beautiful blend of this in photoshop and the ideas start coming together in a photographic image.


6940-EA Semi Truck-Trailer V2a AO


Erik Almas Advertising and Editorial Photographer Botox TRAIN CGI Blog



I’m truly grateful to both Saatchi and their client for trusting me with this assignment.  It was a gem to be a part of both as an experience on location and during the post process.

I have realized in all my travels taking pictures that new places and experiences are only an unlocking mechanism of oneself. This campaign for Botox was special, opening me up to people, emotions and picture making in great ways.


Erik Almas Advertising and Editorial Photographer Botox Blog