Scott Peterson Shoots Saving Our Digital Lives for R&R Partners' Client WD

By Barbara Goldman

Scott Peterson  is a top notch food photographer based in San Francisco, but recently, he got to spread his wings and show his versatility at shooting things other than delicious looking food, savory ingredients and refreshing beverages that jump off the page.  

The challenge at hand was to give digital data storage an emotional connection for the consumer market. R&R Partners’ client WD, a Western Digital company, is dominant producer of hard drives to the world. With consumer-generated content expanding exponentially, WD has turned their attention to their audience, who doesn’t yet realize that they desperately need backup storage. 

WD enables people to store, collect, access, and use their vast and growing body of personal digital information. Their reliable hard drives and solid state drives are everywhere that digital information and content is found:  in the cloud, supporting your mobile digital lifestyle; in business and personal computers; in external storage devices; in the digital video recorder in your home; and in sophisticated medical, military, aerospace, automotive, manufacturing and telecommunications systems. They also make media players that enable digital content to be displayed on the biggest screens in the home —TV screens.

So how do you make hard drives an emotional product? "We were aware of Scott¹s print work, and felt that his elegant and authentic style was ideal for showing the real human connection between people and the WD drives that hold their most precious content," said Scott Murray, Creative Director at R&R Partners. 

According to Murray, his creative team wanted to convey the concept of “saving your digital life” as preserving precious content from a lifetime of memories on a WD drive.

“The images show external hard drives and the human hands that hold them,” said Peterson. “The concept is subtle and effective but it also brought quite a few challenges to something that looks deceptively simple.” 

“WD wanted to show that everyone's lives are digital now,” he said. “What we would save in a fire, what we value – all those things have a digital version. R&R wanted me to show these abstract ideas of satisfaction and security without any facial expression or emotion from the talent.”

Peterson tells a story with each image by creating beautiful light, choosing the right props and composing with a critical eye. Texture, mood, highlights and shadows were all critical considerations, along with great attention to detail. The WD campaign was shot in studio in LA and Peterson used his Sinar Hy6 camera and Broncolor Grafit lighting.

The results are looming large on billboards in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and in San Francisco his 20-foot images are stopping people in their tracks on the sides of BART Stations.

For more than 25 years, Peterson has been shooting real people, real food and keeping his clients happy. The WD campaign was a great opportunity to approach a new kind of product using this same artistic touch. You can see more of Peterson’s people, food, lifestyle and motion at his site,  He is represented by Nadine Kalmes of

© Scott Peterson


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