A collaborative shoot with Mercedes Benz from Kind’s Auto Sales Ltd., and photographer Luke Testaferrata Moroni Viani.
I recently had the opportunity to work on a very interesting collaboration with photographer Luke Testaferrata Moroni Viani and Kind’s Auto Sales Ltd. featuring Mercedes Benz A-Class. It wasn’t the first project that I was part of the team from the concept creation and creative direction aspect, however, it was the first that required a very different approach to the one I would normally take.
Mercedes Benz A-Class & Luke Testaferrata Moroni Viani
The concept of Mercedes Benz shoot
The concept of the project was to go back to the roots of Mercedes Benz, specifically the brand’s name. Mercedes Benz goes back to Karl Benz and his creation of the first car powered by petrol, which was financed by Bertha Benz and in January 1886 was patented. In 1901, Mercedes automobile was first marketed by Daimler Motors Corporation. In 1902, Emil Jellinek, an Austrian automobile entrepreneur who worked with Daimler Motors Corporation, created a trademark using the name Mercedes for the 1901 automobile. Mercedes was Emil Jellinek’s daughter’s name. Mercedes in Spanish means ‘mercies’, the plural term of ‘mercy’. Ultimately it goes back to its Latin roots to the word ‘merces’, which is translated to ‘reward’.
The idea for the collaborative project was to build a bridge between the past and the present. Using a vibrant and almost angelic vision of a female to represent the past, in contrast to the modern and the latest Mercedes A-Class car, on a landscape that was neutral to the two objects of representation. The idea of a female came purely from the foundation of the brand’s name, which is why it was important to make sure that the outcome would not be of simply having a female figure next to a car, but to present a symbol from the past with a prestigious product from the present. The goal was to remind the viewers of the history of the brand in just one shot.
A different type of shoot
I have always admired Luke Testaferrata’s work. When I finally got to meet the person behind the incredible shots I have admired for some time, I even told him that it was a pleasure to finally meet the person whom I have begun thinking was imaginary. He has stepped away from the fashion industry and his work had disappeared from my radar. However, I believe that there is a certain plan in the bigger picture and when this project appeared on the horizon, it was no doubt that Luke was certainly the person who had the expertise and vision to make it happen.
I’ll be honest, working with an object like a car is not easy. To make sure that the concept was projected correctly, most of the work fell onto the photographer. It was a first for me to work on set with a car, but I was certainly up for the challenge because I knew I was working with people who had the vision, the skillset, and most importantly, the drive to make this happen.
One of the limitations of working with a large object is the flexibility of the use of space and even angles in which to shoot. All of us, regardless of our role and position for the shot, were facing limitations. It is no wonder that there aren’t too many creative projects out there with a mix of models and cars and many seem to be more or less on the same creative wavelength.
For me personally, the hardest aspect was to make sure that my positioning was balanced with the car. Once again, all credits go to the team for making sure that there was harmony and balance between the A-Class and myself. The second biggest limitation was the short amount of time we had to get the correct shot. There is no better lighting to use than the soft natural lighting that mother nature provides us with. However, this perfect lighting is only there for a very short period of time. The cost of working on a natural landscape with the perfect lighting is the ability to work fast and to be ready to think ahead of any issues you may have to deal with, as well as adjusting to issues on site, not to waste any precious time.
Mercedes Benz A-Class
I’ll be honest, I’m not an expert in cars, however, I can describe what I saw and the experience I had driving in the Mercedes Benz A-Class. The sleek exterior design of the car is just the beginning as to what awaits you inside. The A-Class has maintained the sophisticated external design and has turned the interior into what can only be compared to a futuristic layout that we have seen in movies. The main panel is a harmonious piece, which is complied with all sorts of features. Nothing is out of place and every possible tool to add to your experience has been included. Be sure to check out all the features of the Mercedes Benz A-Class here.
Now as for the experience of actually driving the car, everyone who has driven on Maltese roads, knows how far from perfect many of them are. I honestly have never felt the roads as smooth as when sitting in the Mercedes Benz A-Class. It was like I was in a different country, on an entirely different road as opposed to roads I have driven on before. It felt like a combination of the roads being made of silk together with the feeling as though we were almost hovering just a tad above the road.
This photoshoot had a lot of issues from the very first phase, it needed a lot of thought to be placed into the technical aspect of how best to make it happen, as well as having a few hiccups along the way that needed to be dealt with. In the end, however, everything seemed to fall into place, resulting in something that was beyond what I had envisioned. I would like to thank Mark from Kind’s Auto Sales and Luke for working on this project together and making it happen. It was certainly a different type of project I am used to and I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to be a part of it with such a supportive and dedicated team.