With Ramadan now fast approaching I wanted to look back at a shoot from last year for Red Tag and the Orangrie . The agency wanted to take a different approach to Ramadan photography avoiding standard cultural icons.
It’s very easy to fall into a time and tested formula of ramadan photography. Instead of standing out from the crowd a brand may sit neatly within this genre and itself become a cliche. Ramadan is a festival which demands respect but this doesn’t necessarily mean invoking obvious cultural and religious iconography. It’s far more challenging to produce strong photography which attempts to capture a mood or a concept relating to Ramadan. This in itself is far more effective and I think ultimately often more respectful.
For this reason, from the start the agency specified no dates, Arabic coffee pots, or lanterns. They also set a brief based on the concept of ‘the last light’. All imagery should be dark and moody, an iftar feast lit with just the soft light before night descends. This in itself was a brave concept because this sort of lighting rarely shows individual products at their best but the agency were much more interested in positioning the brand itself; a mood and an emotion. I rarely work with agencies that impress me, let alone brands but the combination of Red Tag and Orangrie has always done that.
This kind of brief is really what you look out for as a photographer, and for the main table images, working with the stylist Lauren Haslem we were able to produce images very much evocative of classical still life paintings. Photography for the sake of photography which was really a lot of pleasure you work on.
More product photography by Duncan Chard can be found by following the link here