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Behind The Campaign: ABC123me - Spring Summer 2016. London

May 06, 2016

Behind The Campaign: ABC123me - Spring Summer 2016.  London

Rocket Shop London Interview with ABC123me - image 7
Rocket Shop chats to Louisa, the creative director of abc123me about their latest campaign.

"We have shot all our campaigns for the last 3 years in the Los Angeles area with the same photographer Aaron Smith. I think I emailed Aaron for the first time even before I had produced our first collection … I had been looking for a photographer from whom I could license skateboarding imagery for our t-shirts and as I looked through more and more images online, every image I liked was shot by him – so I emailed him to ask him whether he might be interested and he said maybe and we left it at that."

"Then some time passed maybe a year or so while I got everything else together and I think I got back in contact and asked him whether he would consider shooting a campaign for us and although he was hesitant as he’d never worked with kids before he said ok why not.. So we shot that first campaign together.. Now 3 years and 3 campaigns on, Aaron is super successful and works on big national campaigns – and I’m lucky he’s still willing to work with me but I think he likes it and we work well together. I have ideas he might not necessarily try on his own and his artistic and technical ability with a camera is extraordinary. To put it in context – until this shoot he has never retouched a single image for us. This year out of the 1000s of photos Aaron took for the campaign very unusually 8 photos will be retouched – as a result of the make up used, this is almost unheard of in professional photography."

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"The other thing that appealed to me about working with Aaron is that I have always been really clear that I wanted to work with active talented sporty kids and Aaron comes from a discipline where he had to take beautiful photos quickly and efficiently – firstly because skateboarders are frequently chased off particular public sites by the police and secondly because they may not be able to repeat that trick or that shot twice. As I was keen to be able to shoot the kids skating or surfing I knew that Aaron would be able to produce not only a beautiful portrait but also a remarkable action shot and finding someone like that is not easy or obvious."

Rocket Shop London Interview with ABC123me - image 3

"Lastly working with the same person means that I can see how much our campaigns have evolved from the very first campaign we shot through to SS16 and then of course our forthcoming AW16 which is not only very beautiful but which will also definitely be my favourite campaign yet. When we shot the final sequence of AW16 I think we had a moment when we both looked at each other and thought how can we ever top this and it was a really great feeling to know that Aaron felt that way too… but then I told him what I was thinking of for next year and he got really over excited.."

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"I think the kids we work with create the vibe – we look for really cool, really great kids who are involved in sport or other inspiring activities. Prior to this year, kids kind of came to us .. So Harper our brand ambassador for the first two years responded to a shoutout Aaron had put on his website because his father was a big fan of Aaron’s work and then Harper recommended Sunny as he knew him from the skateparks.. Donnie our tumbler and parkour athlete I found through Youtube and this year again social media has played a huge part. I found Gracie our exceptionally beautiful surfeur on Instagram, Dane too and the other kids came via baseball, soccer or sports groups.. The children from the forthcoming AW16 campaign practise a very specialist sport so again they came from contacting sports groups."

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"These kids bring their own attitude to the shoot and I think that’s what makes the photos – for example when we starting shooting portraits with Dane at the start of the day in the carpark and on the sidewalk it just wasn’t working and and then suddenly the second we got down to the beach and we starting mixing the clothes up with the board, with the wetsuit etc everything changed and it just clicked. Afterwards it reminded Aaron and I why we love working with kids who are really into their sport because the second Dane’s mind was off the photos and on the surfing, he was doing his thing and he gave off a completely different vibe – he was just a really cool kid who loves his sport and that’s the feeling I like to convey in our photos. I think kids can relate to that and to us."

Rocket Shop London Interview with ABC123me - image 6

"Our philosophy has always been from day one that our clothes are beautifully made but that they are not to be held back for best – I strongly believe you should pay more for things that you wear more and our campaigns try to reinforce this… We chose to shoot with active kids because our clothes are made for active kids – they get dirty, they wash, they tumble and then they get back out there without fussing, fading or bobbling."

Shop Abc123me here.
See more Aaron's work here.

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