Barkers — the well-known New Zealand men’s clothing label — recently went through a bit of a rebrand, and behind the camera creating imagery for this high-profile assignment was Auckland based commercial photographer Reagen Butler. The latest campaign shoot called for a full spectrum of scenery and activities to be documented. The aim was to illustrate that Barkers’ clothing is “Made For Life” — a declaration of the brand’s intent to create garments that are sustainable, long-lasting, and functional.
Reagen has been working with Barkers for four years, producing both stills and motion. So when this particular opportunity came about he was once again brought to the table. This time around Reagen was asked to shoot the stills, while an agency was brought in to work on the video components. “The shoot was pretty flexible, with some guidance on the stills from the agency that worked on the motion piece. It was all pretty fly on the wall lifestyle stuff as we trekked around Auckland and Queenstown,” Reagen says.
Barkers have a great core group of creatives that they work with for their campaigns, and this extends through to the models. Reagen said that throughout his time working with Barkers, he’d worked with almost all of the models before on previous shoots. “It always makes things run smoothly. There’s really good banter and they’re all guys that have no issue with taking direction. They all bring their own energy and vibe to the scene.”
The creative team spent two days shooting at multiple locations around Auckland, and then flew down to Queenstown and shot for another two days. Given the amount of travel involved the schedule was fairly hectic, but Reagen says he had no trouble capturing the wide selection of the still imagery Barkers required, and there was still plenty of time for the agency to record the motion content as well.
“The α7R III is the perfect tool for this type of commercial job. The versatility of this camera when shooting lifestyle fashion is unparalleled in my opinion. You can capture beautiful high-resolution files while still being fast and nimble on set — and this is the key to getting great images that feel natural and in the moment,” Reagen explains. “Also, because the photos were going to be used for billboards, buses, posters, magazine ads, web banners and social media, I knew they would need to stand up to a fair amount of cropping. That’s where having a large 42MP sensor becomes absolutely essential.”
Another challenge Reagen faced was making sure all of the images had the same visual aesthetic — even though the lighting conditions at each location were drastically different. “Using all prime lenses (35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.4 and the 85mm f/1.4) enabled me to have a consistent look across the entire campaign. I think this is really important when you’re producing such a large body of work that will be used across multiple platforms.”