to fill their airwaves and get good content
out there on a consistent basis, so you see a
big opportunity for a lot of different content
producers to create good pieces.
PDN: Are there any other trends in
outdoor industry advertising that you
think are important?
DK: A couple of brands started this idea of
telling your brand story at a deeper level and
connecting with people on more of a value-based level. That seems to be a really strong
theme right now. You’re seeing a lot more
campaigns that aren’t just product driven.
For example, the Opt Outside campaign with
REI—that was huge because it reflected what
they stood for as a brand and it was running
counter to the trends in the wider world.
And Patagonia’s had a lot of campaigns like
that, too—Bears Ears, Worn Wear, I Vote—
that speak to conservation, activism and a
different version of consumerism, where you’re
not actually selling anything but you’re just
promoting what you represent as a brand.
PDN: Do you primarily work with
photographers who have experience in
the outdoor industry, or do you look more
at their experience creating advertising?
DK: With the more storytelling imagery,
it’s really being immersed in those cultures.
You’re not going to explain fly fishing to
someone in an hour-long pre-pro call;
it’s got to be someone who’s lived in those
worlds and understands those cultures and
is immersed in that lifestyle to really get the
right angle on it. Same thing with climbing
and skiing and all those sports—the key to
getting the right folks is [finding] people who
understand those cultures and those worlds.
There are so many talented people within
those worlds that there’s a wide range of
styles and overall look and feel [that you can
choose from]. There’s a huge diversity of folks
that you can work with in all of those [sports].
PDN: Documenting an adventure can be
a very different process than creating
advertising. Do photographers struggle
to make that transition from outdoor
adventure documentation to advertising?
DK: It really depends. A good example
of something in the middle was a studio
[imagery-based] campaign that we did with
Sage. Earl Harper is a phenomenal studio
photographer so he’s got that skill set, but
he’s got a passion for fly fishing too. We
wanted to shoot the Sage reels in this really
elevated way, but also pair it with hand-tied
flies that drove home the handcrafted nature
of Sage fishing products. [Harper] was able
to capture exquisite detail and the elevated
nature of both [the reels and the hand-tied
flies] because he had the [studio photography]
skills, but he also had the passion, so he
brought both of them to the project.
And a couple of the photographers we
worked with on the storytelling campaign
with Sage were passionate about fly fishing,
but they hadn’t shot in that industry so
much. They made their living as a climbing
photographer or a ski photographer or a
river guide. But they had this incredible
eye for being able to capture the essence of
[fly fishing locations] and that environment.
PDN: What types of imagery are you
creating for your clients?
DK: It depends on the client and what they’re
looking for, but we have a really broad range.
Over the past two years, we did a lot of creative
work with Hydro Flask and the challenge
with that brand was to define a specific look
and feel. For example, a product laydown shot.
Brands have done tons of campaigns around
laydown shots, but for last year’s holiday
campaign we went into the studio and tried
to develop a specific, own-able feel that felt
right for the rest of the brand. The brand was
all about color, so color became a key part of
the laydown product photography, and that
was a campaign that went out in all sorts of
different mediums, on the website, email
campaigns, social campaigns.
PDN: Are you creating a lot of image libraries
that can be used across channels?
DK: With outdoor clients, some of them are
sending big seasonal shoots out, others are
getting submissions and working with their
own photographers, and some are doing these
hybrid content campaigns where it’s kind of
a mix of trying to get some more good brand
imagery from a content trip [sponsored by
the client] or something similar to that. And
then some of the brands have a huge library of
influencer and ambassador images that they
want to use to support the campaign.
With Hydro Flask, we were the agency
that helped them with their seasonal,
evergreen shoot down in Point Reyes,
California. That was a Ty Milford shoot, and
the assets went into their seasonal library, so
that shoot had to [yield] everything they were
going to need from a commercial lifestyle
component for the course of the year.
PDN: How do you find the photographers
you work with?
DK: It’s through our past relationships.
Fred’s got a long history in this industry
and has worked with a ton of photographers.
We have folks here who have worked at
Outdoor Research, Red Bull, Black Diamond
and K2, and I’ve got a history with a bunch
of brands in my past, too. We definitely
know a lot of photographers from those past
relationships. And then, even though there are
other outdoor agencies out there, we still have
a lot of photographers who find us because
there’s a real level of excitement for working in
our industry and working for the brands that
we work for, so it’s still kind of a small world.
PDN: So you hear pretty regularly from
photographers who want to work with you?
DK: We hear from a lot of people. It’s good
because we’re not getting a lot of people
who don’t specialize in our industry or
have a passion for it. They find us because
ABOVE: Hammerquist commissions a range of
types of imagery for their clients. They hired
photographer Earl Harper to create these
laydown images of Hydro Flask water bottles,
which were used on websites, in emails and in
social media campaigns.
IN TERVIEW BY CONOR RISCH