Heather Elder Represents
Reps Journal

The Perfect Project: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at David Martinez' Rewarding Pharmaceutical Photoshoot

In the sphere of commercial photography, few industries are as complex and challenging as pharmaceuticals. Our artists need to capture the essence of the product while still maintaining the integrity of the brand and protecting confidential information, which sometimes means not being able to share the work. But, even with that added layer of complexity, David Martinez had such a positive experience on a recent pharma shoot that he feels compelled to share what he can. He calls it “The Perfect Project” since we can’t reveal the client's name.

It’s a bold distinction calling it “The Perfect Project”, but it was one of those projects that makes you appreciate all the pieces that need to come together at all the right moments. While we can’t share the final images, we wanted to share the story of how “The Perfect Project” came to fruition and how David and his team went above and beyond to communicate his ideas to the clients.

“From the moment we received David’s treatment, we knew he was our photographer for this project. He provided test shots that were nearly perfect already. The creative aligned seamlessly with David’s expertise in not only surfing and love for the beach, but also with his vision for the look/feel and emotion we were looking to capture. He had wonderful direction with framing up our shots with our layouts and understood our end needs. Aside from the well-suited artistic side, he was just a pure joy to work with, he was reassuring, flexible, client-friendly and so talented. Can’t wait for the next project with David!"
Audrey Wojtonik, Integrated Producer, Eversana Intouch

You have been calling this “The Perfect Project”. What about this project was “perfect”?

It was sort of a textbook for how the pipeline of a project should go. At one of the Le Book shows last year, the Producer for the project went to the Heather Elder Represents table and saw my work and thought it would be a good fit for the client. They asked about my availability and sent over some comps.  While I had some relevant work that I could have shown them, I decided that I wanted to shoot their comps and explore some ideas. I knew that I could deliver what the client wanted so doing the extra work before even officially having the job was worth it to me. 

It paid off and I was awarded the project, it was a dream job.  The client was great, the budget and expectations were aligned and the communication was clear.  It was fun to be on set. I think in a time when so many people are disillusioned with the industry, it reaffirmed that you can do a project without a lot of resistance and tension. It really was the perfect job.

What about this project was in your wheelhouse?
I live in Southern California and beach life is a big part of my life both personally and professionally. This client wanted to shoot people surfing, walking on the beach and playing volleyball. I shoot a lot in the water so I felt comfortable in this space and knew I could do a good job. I wanted to keep the shoot authentic, to both the audience and my style and I appreciated the fact that the client respected that. My producer actually found a pro-volleyball player to work with for a test shoot that we ended up using as the talent for the actual shoot. Just part of the serendipity of this entire project.

What was a memorable aspect of this shoot?

I decided that we should make the surfboard unique to the brand so I worked with a local surf shop, Bird’s Surf Shed, to create a board in the brand’s colors. A crafts person took that color and made it really pop which was then put into the resin of the board. It stood out against the sand and water and was a cool element to add to the shoot. The brand now takes that surfboard to trade shows which is a fun way to tie in the visuals from the shoot in real life. I like knowing I was a part of the brand’s story.