David Arky shoots Project Gigaton for Walmart
June 2, 2018
Fresh off the heels of a five-day shoot on a Walmart Holiday project for Saatchi & Saatchi, I received an editorial assignment from the design firm Pentagram in Austin, Texas.
The assignment was to create imagery for Project Gigaton, an ambitious effort by Walmart to reduce its carbon emissions 1 gigaton (one billion tons) by 2030. To reach this goal, the retailer is making monumental efforts to change its own practices and is asking the same of its suppliers.
We had several conversations about the goals of the photography with Carla Delgado, an Art Director at Pentagram, who wanted to show pictures as if the objects were placed on a large conveyor belt.
The images covered three specific themes related to Project Gigaton (each visible in the slideshow above):
- Product Use and Packaging: visualized with headphones and interior-molded fiber packaging.
- Energy and Deforestation: depicted by the paper towels and spray cleaner.
- Waste and Agriculture: pictured as the bananas, avocados and glass milk bottles.
My prop stylist Kellie Murphy sourced all of the products. The images were shot with a crisp, hard light which created the sharp shadows.
The props used represent both products Walmart sells and the ecological challenges each of them raises, from food waste to energy consumption. All images were rendered in a palette that evoked both the Walmart logo and a 1950’s industrial design sensibility.