Roger K Snider Shoots Make It with a Lifeguard for Sauza Tequila

By Barbara Goldman

What do the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man” and the latest Sauza Tequila “Make It with a Lifeguard” ads  have in common?   If you said fascinating men of the world enticing us with exciting and stimulating beverages you would be half right. The other half is Los Angeles-based photographer Roger K Snider.

Advertising and editorial photographer Roger K Snider has been shooting the “Most Interesting Man” for Dos Equis for the last six years, along with numerous other national campaigns. He now gets to add the latest version of Sauza Tequila’s “Make It with a Lifeguard” under his belt from their wildly successful “Make It” series.

The Barbarian Group NYC had seen Snider’s Dos Equis ads and thought his style would fit in very nicely for their next print and digital campaign to accompany a TV spot for Sauza Tequila’s “Make It with a Lifeguard.”  Sauza did some research and margaritas happen to be the number-one consumed cocktail in the U.S., and you can’t have a margarita without tequila.  Sauza also learned that women are always on the lookout for a good margarita recipe. This was their cue to take a new marketing route and made it their mission to be the choice of tequila for women and their friends.

As with  the previous campaign in the Sauza   “Make It” series—“Make It with a Fireman” was the first and got millions of views on YouTube —the concept brings a softer, more sensitive side to the traditional marketing of the brand that had always been targeted to a more male-oriented market. Casting a handsome, athletic and caring lifeguard is the latest scenario that is sure to get noticed. The lifeguard video and ads feature model-actor-competitive athlete Anderson Davis making margaritas with the help of an irresistible co-star, a Golden  Retriever puppy.  If Davis does not pull you in, the adorable puppy certainly will. 

The campaign is bright and lively, emphasizing the outdoors and beach life, but the actual production, in fact, was accomplished with ninja-like stealth and execution. Snider had only two days to shoot and could not hold the set over for any of his setups.  On top of limited time, Snider also was physically at a distance from his talent and had to use the super long telephoto with the “silent shutter,” a new feature on the Mark III.  “The talent and the director had no idea I was shooting because I was so far back from set sometimes,” he says. 

Being skilled craftsmen is only part of the job, especially when dealing with models, actors, kids and dogs. Snider likes to put his cast and crew at ease to get the best from everyone and many times that means just some old fashioned personal chit chat.  After talking with talent Anderson Davis, while in the breakfast line, Snider realized he and Davis had an actress friend in common who had just been on a TV show shoot in China with Davis.  Even a small connection can raise the comfort level and helps a photographer to be able to direct his talent for successful results. Snider made the actor aware that the lens was always on him so that between takes for the TV camera he was able to use a few hand gestures to direct Davis for smiling and posing without having to speak a word.  Snider shot with a Canon 5D Mark III and with Canon 24-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8 and 400mm 2.8 lenses. His lighting equipment consisted of Briese Focus 330 12,000W assortment of tungsten cinema lights.  “I really upped my game in this assignment, as I was still able to shoot this without using a soundproof blimp,” he adds.

Since putting their sights on women and deciding to focus on the digital space, Sauza Tequila has seen awareness for their brand grow continuously, and they get to have a lot of fun with all the ideas for the series.

The Barbarian Group had this to say of Snider’s work, "Following last year’s success of Make it With a Fireman, Sauza Tequila recently launched Make It with a Lifeguard. Roger Snider was brought on by The Barbarian Group, digital AOR for Sauza Tequila, to capture all digital and print photography for the new campaign. A comprehensive library of beautiful, high-quality photography was taken during a packed, multi-set, two-day shoot that covered four separate videos, all to be rolled out throughout the year. You can see his work live on the Sauza Tequila social networks, online media banners, custom media partnerships with Buzzfeed, Glam, Delish and more, and in-store at spirits retailers."

Snider’s images for the Sauza Tequila will also be used for promotional items as coasters and drink holders. The “Make It with a Lifeguard” spot has  already launched and the video canbe seen here.      

Roger K Snider’s photography continues to provide us with interesting men and women who make a splash. You can see them and  more at his site, In addition to his advertising work, Snider has a fine art side. Be sure to look at his renowned Big Rig Photography.  Snider has always had a passion for these big machines. He travels the world photographing these giant, customized working big rigs on the road in a beautiful, classic and nostalgic style with the goal of publishing a book. You can follow his travels and editorial shoots on this blog. Cheers!


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