Nike photoshoots. The mystical way Nike gets all of their awesome online, in store, and social media pictures. I had heard Ashton talk about them 100 times; how they work, what they consists of, and I was always very fascinated with them.
Last March, I was given the opportunity to do a photoshoot with Nike in one of the coolest (figuratively and literally) places in the world, the fjords with the aurora borealis in Northern Norway. I finally got to experience the magic of a Nike photoshoot for myself, and it was so interesting that I thought it’d be cool to take you behind the scenes of the shoot.
The Lofoten Islands are amazing. They’re located in the very northern part of Norway up in the arctic circle where deep inlets of sea run between high cliffs. They call this type of landscape “fjords”, and it basically looks like mountains growing out of the ocean.
Pretty much all the towns this far north are fishing villages located right along the water. Since the landscape goes from ocean to mountain, the houses are built onto the sides of the mountains or on docks in the water. We stayed in these little fishing cabins built on docks. You could hear the tide coming up under your floor at night.
This is the view out my cabin door.
Now for the shoot...
The very first shot of the day, they wanted me to do this.
Looks easy right? Wrong! For the life of me, I couldn't keep my balance on that beam while holding this position. My super inflexibility was preventing me from getting the job done, and I'm pretty sure the picture above was snapped right before I fell off the beam onto my face as Damian (Warner) laughed his butt off in the background.
The next shot we resorted to this because, well...I could do this!
One thing that amazed me was how efficient everyone was. The creative directors had the shots laid out ahead of time so they could visually show us the look we were trying to create. The camera crew and photographer captured the images in a minimum number of takes even in shots that had a bunch of moving parts. This shot, for example, required Damian and I to be in perfect sync and spacing apart.
Through camera angles and some very good instructions, Damian and I only had to do this about 10 times.
Look how beautiful this place is.
And later in the day, they took us back to this location to shoot.
This is probably my favorite shot because it looks awesome down by our feet…
...but up top this is what was actually taking place. Big gas heaters and all.
Behind the cameras everyone is trying to stay warm too.
Yup, this pose again. And this time on a slanted rock...my worst nightmare.
It may have taken 10 minutes to get into the position, but at least they got 1 shot.
At the very end, they took all of us (athletes, Nike reps, hair & make up, and photographers) on boats out into the ocean to explore some of the fishing communities in the area.
Yes, we got some serious air. No, nobody puked.
All in all, we spent about 3 days shooting. It was an experience of a lifetime, and definitely a place I probably never would have visited otherwise. Thanks to Nike and this whole group for making my first photoshoot awesome!