Shaw Flooring Gets Fairytale Treatment with David Stuart Photography

March 31, 2013

By Barbara Goldman

© David Stuart

 Shaw Flooring campaign.

Atlanta-based, award-winning advertising photographer David Stuart makes everything look easy. He has a lengthy client list and is ranked in Luerzer’s Archive as one of the 200 Best Advertising Photographers Worldwide. His work has been featured in PDN, Communication Arts, Luerzer’s Archive, Picture, Digital Photo Pro, After Capture and the F-Stop.

Recently Stuart got his creative juices going for a new campaign for Shaw Flooring. He worked with Creative Director Brad Ramsey and Art Director Michael Frizzell of Three Advertising, an agency he has worked with previously and enjoys his collaborative and unique conceptual work style that always goes the distance. It would have been easy enough to photograph various carpet samples for Shaw and leave it at that, but Stuart added a touch of the ethereal to the campaign.

Shaw Flooring is known for their warm and textured carpeting.  Their carpets can be relaxed looking with smooth and twisted yarns, they can have uneven loops for more durability, be more dramatic with varying loop and cut heights and then go for a soft, casual look with long pile. 

The concept behind the campaign was to take all of these various patterns and looks, match them up with textures in real life that are soft and childlike and use them to represent Shaw carpet sample squares. “We also wanted the images to have a bit of a “fairytale” feel to them, so we referenced numerous story book illustrations,” says Stuart. 

© David Stuart

Besides the usual constraints of time on any job, Stuart had the unique challenge of finding the right animal talent for Shaw, in this case sheep. Not as easy as you think, especially when shooting in the winter.  Finding the right sheep was a tough one because most of them have been sheared in winter. In addition to non-sheared sheep, he had to work with kid and kids can always add some surprises. “When you’re working with kids, especially very young kids, you have to keep it fun and stress free or it can all fall apart pretty quickly,” says Stuart. When working with kids it is always wise to have backup talent and plans.  

Stuart shot with a Hassleblad with a Phase 180 IQ back and a Cannon 5D MK III. His lighting was a combination of available light and Pro Photo Strobes with various modifiers.  He did a subtle treatment in post to give the images that soft and dreamy  quality. The treatment could not look too obvious either, so Stuart did quite a bit of exploration to get a kind of delicate fairytale feel for the wispy cotton candy, the soft, gentle-looking sheep and teddy bear images.

© David Stuart

Stuart’s images for Shaw Flooring are now being used for point of sale, in trade shows and for print and web advertising.  The shots  make you want to reach out and touch  the samples for all their warmth and comfort.

See more of David Stuart’s award-winning work for such clients as Puma, Girl Scouts, New Balance, Coca Cola, Mercedes-Benz, Georgia Aquarium, Children’s Healthcare, and read his blog on latest campaigns, editorial work and awards at  his site,