Ellie Webb is a fast rising entrepreneur. Her business? Caleño: non-alcoholic gin. Her mission? To make 'not drinking' fun. Her success? Caleño is stocked in Sainsbury's, 2 months since launch.
The spark for Caleño was ignited when on a night out with friends dancing to latin music, Ellie was frustrated by the lack of choice of alcohol-free drinks. So, she decided to start making one.
Ellie spent the next year experimenting in her kitchen, developing her idea for a non-alcoholic spirit. She also flew to visit family in Colombia drawing inspiration from the country's vibrant culture. When Ellie returned she infused the sunny spirit of Colombia with her zesty, tropical spirit - and Caleño was born.
Before Caleño, Ellie worked for one of the UK's biggest drinks distributors, Matthew Clark. Hacker shoots their annual trade fair and it was there, that Hacker met Ellie.
Now Ellie was ready to launch her product, she needed photography - so she gave Hacker a call.
'Meet the Founder' portrait photography
Ellie had already invested in developing a clear brand identity for Caleño. On a mission to make 'not drinking' fun, she wanted her portrait photography to represent the energy of the brand and colours inspired by the Colombian flag. The portrait photography also had to link with the branding of the bottle which was in the final stags of production.
Hacker scouted out locations to meet Ellie's brief. He found bright yellow shutters on an industrial park to shoot Ellie against to capture the energy of the brand, with an urban flavour.
For the studio portraits, Hacker worked out a lighting set up so the photos looked warm and bright, to capture the sunshine of Colombia. He used backdrops of the brand's colours to again incorporate Caleño's branding.
In post-production, Hacker selected the best photographs, colour graded them so the colours looked vibrant and punchy, and re-touched each image to make sure Ellie looked super great.
Hacker handed over the finished photographs to Ellie on a USB, providing her with a library of professionally shot images. In the early stages of a business, investors and buyers take the most interest in the founders - often before the product or the branding. It's vital to make a good first impression with professional 'Meet the Founder' portrait photographs to use on a website, social media, investor decks and to accompany press releases.
Hacker told us: "The secret of successful Meet the Founder portraits is to work out your styling. Ellie thought long and hard about outfits which would represent the fun of not drinking while dancing or on a night out. She also used tropical style prints to hint at the tropical flavours of the drink."
Commercial product photography
Shortly after the portrait shoot, the first Caleño bottles arrived ready to be photographed in the studio. As the drink was a new concept, Ellie wanted to shoot aspirational photographs of the product being used, giving viewers ideas how to serve while once again, being fun and vibrant. She also wanted to shoot animations and videos of the drink being served as a key part of her 'dry January' marketing campaign on social media.
First up, Hacker researched concepts and developed ideas Ellie had given him. To create an aspirational feel, he created mini sets in the studio using props and some trade secrets (who knew you could get fake ice cubes?!). He also re-created the warm, bright lighting he'd used in the 'Meet the Founder' studio portraits so again the photos would have a sense of warm sunshine and continue with a consistent look and feel across the brand photography.
On the first day in the studio, Hacker shot the product stills to use on the e-commerce website, the aspirational product photography and the animations. For the second day, Hacker shot the final animations and the videos.
"It was loads of fun creating the sets and chopping up lots of fruit to use in the animations for the product photography." Hacker explains. "We had loads of latin music playing in the background too so the energy and vibrancy of the brand filled the studio."
In post-production, Hacker had a busy time producing the product stills, aspirational photography, product animations and product videos.
First, for the product stills and aspirational photography Hacker took time selecting the images and editing each once so the product looked its best while creating a high-end look using sharp shadows.
For the product animations he took each still and layered them up in photoshop to create the eye catching effect of the fruit appearing and disappearing.
Finally, for the product videos, he produced the 'serving' sequences by editing each short clip he'd filmed, before finishing off by adding music and branded graphics.
At the end of the two day shoot and two weeks of post production, Ellie received a USB complete with all the product and aspirational photographs, animations and videos to use to promote the energy and mission behind Caleño, helping get the drink stocked in Sainsbury's just 2 months after it launched.