Craig Orsini Gets Onboard a Carnival Campaign

August 3, 2011

By Jacqui Palumbo

© Craig Orsini

Craig Orsini has always been ahead of the curve. The Boston-based advertising photographer delved into digital photography at its birth in the early 90’s and began directing motion two years ago right before it became an industry trend. He and his team work tirelessly to deliver imagery that encapsulates different ways of life without falling into lifestyle clichés. His work is natural-looking and unique to his perspective, and both his vision and his work ethic draw in top clients looking for style, quality and efficiency.

One of Orsini’s repeat clients is Carnival Cruise Lines. He started out shooting one campaign for them that ran in the 2008 issue of People Magazine celebrating President Obama’s election. That issue was one of the largest print runs ever for People, giving amazing coverage for the Carnival ads. That job evolved into shooting the entire library of the cruise company over the span of two years.

His most recent shoot with Carnival was the longest and largest production to date. Orsini spent seven days at sea shooting up to 12 hours each day. He and his producer, Janet Henderson, collaborated with Arnold Boston creatives Eric Peterson, Maureen Gawron and Dave Salafia along with two stylists and various crew members to complete the project. Before every shoot with Carnival he works hard to prepare the week before, but both the weather and the talent can change without warning. “Each time is a different trip. It’s a new leaning experience every time,” he says.


Orsini has shot the entire library using a Canon 5D due to its versatility. He comments, “Now that I am directing TV and video it’s just easier to have that camera and all of my support gear together.” He relies on Kino Flo for his lighting set ups; they are ideal on board on a ship because they don’t draw as much power and also make for easy transport. It’s important to simplify his gear as much as possible in such an unpredictable setting. Moving all of the equipment, wardrobe and talent on board was a day of work in itself and the days were tiring, changing locations every five hours with up to three different shoots a day. As a thank you, Carnival upgraded Orsini and his family while on a personal trip, housing them in the Penthouse suite at the top of the ship.

No matter how challenging the shoot, Orsini always has an upbeat attitude and likes to have fun on set. He always involves himself in direction to the point where he immerses himself in the moment he is trying to create. “I like to capture people enjoying an experience,” he explains, and he wants to create new experiences for everyone on set as well.


Orsini is looking forward to a busy August. After signing to Element Productions late last year as a director he has been enjoying a surplus of television and video projects. He has two TV/video spots on the horizon, one for a national car seat company and the other for a toy company. He has also just signed with Tim Mitchell Artists Representative, ensuring an even busier autumn ahead.

To see more of Craig Orsini’s work, visit his Web site.