Dynamic Collaborations Case Study: Cade Martin, Fedde Souverein, Progressive Insurance, and Arnold Worldwide

Photography hasn’t always been about collaboration, but in recent decades, it’s become more status quo for photographers to work alongside brands, creatives, and designers to get a job done. In today’s world, remote work and extraneous circumstances absolutely require that photographers embrace collaborative efforts.

Cade Martin knows how important great and long-lasting relationships are in our industry. About his conceptual work, Cade says that it is a “true technical marvel” to elevate an image and bring that final sprinkling of magic that it needs, and considers himself lucky to have great partners in his toolbox. One of those collaborators, Fedde Souverein of Luminous Creative Imaging, spoke with us on his recent project with Cade for Progressive Insurance.

Thank you Cade for writing the intro on this one, outlining how his years-long partnership with Fedde led to a shoot so smooth, it felt like a dream.

Keep Living the Small Business Dream – A Case Study

"Dynamic collaborations don’t happen by accident. I’m grateful for the partnership with long-time creative partner Fedde Souverein at Luminous Creative Imaging, Progressive Insurance, and Arnold Worldwide with special thanks to Amy, Jamie, and Nathan. It’s always a team effort and together we created five images for the Progressive “Living The Dream” campaign.

We worked on this series of images over a five-month time frame, and each visual was sketched and designed from the ground up. While the talent was photographed in studio, with props they were interacting with, the backgrounds were created in CG with some matte painting for back plate support.

It was a challenging project, but one that was creatively exciting and ultimately, super fun.

Working with Arnold Worldwide to show how Progressive Small Business Insurance gives wings to small business dreams was plainly, as good as it gets.

We all benefit when we are free to dream and deliver.”

-Cade Martin

Interview with Fedde Souverein, Managing Director at Luminous Creating Imaging:

What did you learn on the Progressive Insurance project?

One of the most difficult parts of this project was to try and get all the images in the campaign in line with each other since the scenes were so drastically different. The Baker Dream is full of candy and bright pink colors, while the Electrician's Dream is much darker and technical. Somehow all of these had to fit together without them feeling like five unrelated images while keeping their whimsical and optimistic vibe!

We did a lot of pre-production in which we sketched out the scenes, debating about content and direction before we ever started working in CG or photographing the talent. 

Once Cade and I had flushed out the direction together with the Arnold team, we moved on to the next stage in which we started actually building the scenes in preparation for the shoot.

But even then, it was tough to get them all to feel related and have the same kind of storytelling with the sidekick characters and the scene itself. After we finished the first image (the Landscaper) and were halfway the second (Contractor) we sort of nailed down the look and feel and it was easier from there.

What was a memorable moment?

When the first image came out great! Since we had such a long pre-production stage, it was fantastic to see it all come together in the final visual: all the ideas, the details, the little stories, the seamless integration between photography and CGI. Basically, our plan had worked and Cade and I could proceed with working on the rest 🙂

What do you want people to learn about you and your work after seeing this?

That we as a team are highly creative and can visualize even such extreme ideas! Combining all of our disciplines and experience led to five great-looking and super-complex images. 

And also that ads don’t always have to be too serious. One of the great things about these images is that they make me feel happy: they are very uplifting, colorful, and dreamlike — full of funny little situations.

How does collaboration play a role in your work and on this project?

Collaboration is everything in these kinds of projects. It is a team effort from start to finish, in which we combine all of our specializations (concept design, CG, creative retouching, and photography) and focus them on creating these five wonderful images. One could not have been done without the other.