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A New Way To Collect Art

Shot for Artsy

Story by Wesley Verhoeve May 31st, 2017

I had a wonderful time working with the good folks at Artsy on the landing page for their new Primer program. Artsy is an "online resource for art collecting" with a focus on discovery and education. The Primer program is an effort to help new art collectors get started and guide them in what can be an intimidating process. I was very pleased to work with the team to create the imagery that explains the Primer process.

Below are the final results in context of the Artsy Primer landing page, as well as some behind the scenes looks and outtakes.

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Location One

For this project we had to shoot six separate moments spread over four locations to be able to illustrate the Primer process and tell a strong story. Since the budget allowed for only one day of shooting, this meant we had to really hustle.

Art Director David Goligorsky was incredibly helpful in preparing a strong storyboard of sketches so we knew exactly what we had to do and when. He also locked in the Artsy office and a partner gallery as two of our locations, and we found a great Breather space to serve as our final two locations.

We started with a light and composition test for our first shoot at the Artsy office. David was our test model as we figured out the best way to capture the Artsy team in action working hard for new collectors.


Once we determined the best light and composition, we called in some actual Artsy employees as our subjects. After playing around a bit some of our initial ideas felt a bit too busy and overwhelming (photo 1 and 2) so we paired it down. I loved a nice triangle layout (photo 3) but in the end we settled on a clean shot that went even more clean and minimalist to broadcast the confident and calm feeling the Artsy team aims to give their customers (photo 4).


Location Two

For our second location we headed to the beautiful C24 gallery

David was our stand-in gallery owner showing a prospective customer some beautiful art in person. In our final story this is step 4. We captured this moment from many different angles and found photo 5 to be the most comfortable and realistic shot for final use.

For step 5, on-call support, we shot outside of the gallery. This ended up being a bit of a challenge due to the large amounts of melting snow still all over the side walks, but thanks to the magic of angles, and a brave subject willing to face the cold, we managed to make it an all-seasons shot (see final image at the bottom of the page).


Location Three

Our third location served both as the customer's home and their office. For the "hanging" shot we decided to go for an edit that removed most of the decor and reserved lots of white space. This worked well in the context of a calm hero shot on the final website that allows for the words on the page to stand out (see picture four).

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The final shot in our story needed to show a customer happy and relaxed at home, satisfied with her beautiful new art piece on the wall at the end of her Artsy Primer process. We played around with various set ups and decided to go with a spontaneous shot of our model looking back at the art from her reading chair. This was an unplanned shot and it felt most natural, as so often it does.


Integrating Older Imagery

The final part of this project was re-editing an older image by another photographer to fit in with the tone and color palate of the new imagery. On the left we see the original photographer's edit. In the new edit I brought the white balance and general exposure closer to the new images, retouching the background wall to be more clean and bright, and editing the model's skin tone a bit to make the image pop a little harder.

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The Final Result

This was such a fun project to work on with Team Artsy and I'm really proud of the final result. Art director David Goligorsky made it extra joyful by being a true collaborator with a point of view. It's always so helpful when clients sketch out and over-communicate their wishes. Sometimes a fear of micro-managing will prevent a client from doing so, but it's truly helpful and takes the guessing out of the work so that we can focus on being as creative and effective as a team in the best interest of the client. Don't be shy, clients! Speak your mind. Team work!

For the final results in context, see below. To check out Artsy's Primer program, go here.

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