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Photography & Art Direction // Sol Republic

Both its strong fanbase on social media and its heavy use of lifestyle photography set SOL REPUBLIC apart from other brands of its size. The brand’s guidelines when I took over had recently been adjusted from the brand’s initial visionary creative director Jeff Nebolini to a very stark monochromism. The social and digital teams communicated that engagement was way down from the shift to so dark and moody. During my tenure there I brought some light — both visual and in terms of levity — without losing the essential brand feel.

I set up and directed many product and lifestyle photo shoots including ones with artists/celebrity talent such as Michael Phelps, ThankYouX and Nervo. In addition, I retouched and guided retouching for brand feel and consistency.

Photography

To demonstrate Shadow Wireless’ water resistance, one rainy day two co-workers and I went out with our personal cameras into the Tenderloin and shot closeups and details. This image I shot and treated was used alongside professional photography in launch materials.

Art Direction

This image recombines several shots from a shoot with DJ Tamara Sky to tell the personalization story of Tracks Remix (a modular headphone with interchangeable sections). It was executed by lead designer Nina Luong and was an early attempt on my part to reconcile a very dark/monochromatic brand guideline with an inherently colorful product story.

Photo management & Content strategy/social curation

One challenge at Sol Republic was keeping a consistent high bar for photography with relatively few budgeted professional photo shoots. I built out the in-house photo studio discipline with the team of three designers, and many of the shots used were shot by me, them, or a student photographer I sourced (the up-and-coming Julio Marcial), while some came from professional photographers and agencies.

Shown here are selections from how the photography was curated for Instagram (some made it to point-of-purchase displays, retail packaging and web ads as well). I made sure there was a careful mix of product, music-love and lifestyle shots, with a mix of darkness and light/color/energy. I concepted and designed a six-part #hexatych to post one piece at a time on Instagram over the course of a day, building mystery and excitement for the “Punk” portable speaker (revealed in part in frame 2 and fully, along with Miram Nervo’s face, in frame 5).