Ty Milford Captures the Summer Of 2017 for Hydro Flask
March 9, 2018
I was assigned to a project for the company Hydro Flask. The assignment was to build a library of still photos that captured the colorful, candid, whimsical, fun-loving and high-energy vibe of the company’s new products for the Summer 2017 season. My team and I did this over three days in Maui with a cast of six and a crew of ten.
Capturing those real-feel moments filled with motion and emotion is really what I do best. I love to do that the most, and this project fit the bill perfectly. We built the shoot concept around scenarios that are appropriate for the brand and the product that we need to capture. We cast the right talent, picked the right locations, scheduled the shots during the ideal time of day, weaved in the right props and wardrobe—it essentially meant that we had to do all of the heavy lifting during the pre-production process. Honestly, these projects are won and lost in the pre-production and creative planning stages, so it’s extremely important to be diligent and detailed during the preparation. We had many calls, decks, discussions, comps, etc. in the months leading up to the shoot.
Once we get to the location and the shoot was in motion, I found that, to get the authentic result I wanted, we had to break from some of the pre-planned agenda items. Since I want it all to ‘feel good,’ I couldn’t tell the talent to just “have a good time” and have it look authentic. That is one of the most common mistakes that I see in commercial productions. Talent, even great talent, needs to be warmed up and encouraged to find a vibe and an energy. It is up to us to create the structure, but once we do this, we need to let them bring it to life. I wholeheartedly believe in the idea that the more involved someone is in the creation of a project, the more invested they are in the outcome. As such, I do as much as I can to encourage that involvement and investment from my talent. I ask them what they want to do, encourage them to just go with the vibe and am then ready to follow and capture it in an almost documentary manner. I direct as much as I need to, but I prefer to be hands-off as much as I can. This also enables me to be ready for the unexpected—those things that we could have never dreamed up in all of those hours of pre-planning.
Producer: Mesa Lange
Wardrobe Stylist and Grooming: Angela Borrelli
Props: Dustin Kimsey