Dominique James, Photographer

It's all about the pictures …

So very posh nails

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This is a photograph of Rica Peralejo for Posh Nails ad campaign photographed by Dominique James.

In a time such as now, when nothing seems to be no longer new, it is getting harder and harder to capture and hold the attention of the viewing public. The idioms of photographic imaging, it seems, have grown stale. Photography today is so ubiquitous that people are hardly surprised anymore with whatever pictures they see. Is the public eye now jaded? Or, is there just a need to exercise more daring and creativity when it comes to image-making? The question of attracting and holding public attention is one that marketing professionals and advertising executives are constantly grappling with. One question is always being asked: What visual idea can be created to make an image stand out from the countless photographs that constantly vie for the public’s fickle attention? In other words, what will make a photograph “sell”? Of course, there is no single right answer to this kind of question, and is there certainly no fail-proof formula to the process of creating a compelling image designed to grab the viewers’ attention, and then hold it long enough to make it memorable. There is, however, one thing that always seems to work. And that is by injecting a photograph with an element of surprise. While there is no guarantee that this will always work, one way to keep the public interested, and hopefully consistently excited, is to come up with images that feeds upon their unexpected expectations. When the public is used to seeing one thing, designing a photograph that is different from any other that has been done in the past, by the sheer force of juxtaposing seemingly unrelated ideas and concepts, often seems to be the thing that works best. It is the antidote to the tragic same-ness of visual expression that characterize many advertising campaigns. By playing it safe all the time, products which the photographs purport to promote, can easily be ignored. With this in mind, and as a perfect example, I photographed Rica Peralejo for Posh Nails in a way that is different from any of her previous pictorials. Together with a dedicated and talented team of creative professionals, and in keeping with the client’s vision and direction, I decided it’s time for a Posh Nails campaign to move away from its previous imaging and to try out something quite different. While there is really nothing new to the “new image” I was trying to achieve, it cameout as something that is unexpected. What I did, was to focus on the element of playfulness that is portayed in the surprised facial expression, the in-your-face pose, and the bursts of bright and happy colors. Putting together three new elements changed the imaging so much. And so far, it is working. People are noticing “Posh Nails.” The gamble to try “something else” has paid off. Personally, it is commercial photography projects like this that makes for a lot of excitement not only in my studio during the photo shoots, but, also for our clients and their target viewing public. While I do a lot of perfected catalog shots, I always take on the opportunity to stretch out in all directions, and to cross boundaries. As they say, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”


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