Brand Collabs & Colorful Minimalism with Tom Windeknecht
One of my favorite things to do is to create beautifully branded content. I enjoy the creative flexibility and challenge of creating something unique and fun – and something that stands out. I have worked with some great brands like Pocky, Method, Happy Socks, and most recently, Movado. I got to shoot a couple of watches from their Movado Edge collection, which ended up being an excellent project. Here I'll take you behind the scenes of my creative process.
Before I get into it though, note that the collaborative creative process isn’t always easy, but it can help you grow and develop your creative muscles! If I ever get in a creative block, I will step away for a while or talk to a friend (my wife) to bounce off ideas.
First, what should I create?
The first step for me is brainstorming. I like to use a notebook and start letting out every idea that comes to mind. I will sketch out an image, as well as any captions or phrases that pop up. I try not to think about it too much at first – I just let it all come out. Then, I will think about it a little more and come up with concepts. Sometimes, I will wake up in the middle of the night and think of a great idea. My brain will hold me hostage until I write it down. So, I will get up and write it out.
How am I going to do this?
Next, I start figuring out props, colors and how I will make this shoot work. Typically, you want the product to stand out, so I keep that in mind while composing the image. I don’t want my props to overshadow the product. Then, I will start laying things down and figuring out how I want to do it. Should I flat lay, shoot from a 45-degree angle, shoot straight on, etc.? What’s going to make this image stand out? For the ladies Movado Edge watch, I actually drove to Palm Springs to collect sand and cut a palm frond from my own yard. Now that’s dedication!
How can I make this look better?
At first you’re like, “cool, I got a bunch of great shots!”. But then you realize that you are only halfway through. The next step is editing! You still need to adjust lighting, color, shadows, highlights, etc. However, the editing is going to bring in that “WOW” factor! For me personally, this is what drives me and gets me even more excited about the end-product.
Most of my work is shot with my Canon DSLR camera and edited in Photoshop. My Photoshop files are comprised of a lot of layers, including solid color and hue/saturation adjustment layers for popping colors, masking to make adjustments to individual layers, and cutouts using the pen tool.
If I am out and about and find an old retro sign or a cool building, then I will pull out my Samsung Galaxy S6 and capture the shot. For editing on my phone, I will use a few different apps. I like the A Color Story app and Candy Minimal filters, as well as Snapseed and Adobe Lightroom for mobile.
Time to deliver the goods!
The final step is delivery. You anxiously send your images to the brand for review (and hope for overwhelming acceptance). Sometimes, the client or brand will request a few minor tweaks. So, you make those revisions and submit. The outcome is always fantastic! It’s a great feeling to be appreciated and get some great feedback on your work from a company or brand that you admire and enjoy. Now, pat yourself on the back for working hard and letting your creativity shine!
Big thank you to Tom Windeknecht for this article. Follow him at @tomwindeknecht for lots more colorful fun.
Creative Community Developer at Snapfluence.
I'm the Oxford comma's biggest fan.