Vegar Abelsnes is a New York-based lifestyle, portrait and location photographer represented by Doug Truppe Represents. His photographic career began at 19 when he left his home country of Norway with an instamatic camera to backpack around the world in search of a greater purpose. His images evoke warmth and a sense of genuineness with every subject he encounters, and his vision draws in clients like American Express, Chase, Harper Collins and most recently, AT&T.
Advertising agency Integer Dallas selected Abelsnes out of a pool of 40 photographers for the AT&T 2011 holiday campaign. “Integer always does an exhaustive search for the right match for the holiday photo shoot,” says art buyer Colleen Dean. Out of the 40 photographers, three were narrowed down to submit a proposal for costs, execution of the concept and what set them apart from other photographers. “Vegar had the perfect eye for our concepts, he worked locally in New York City and the stellar team he had assembled were an impossible offer to pass up,” explains Dean.
“AT&T’s brand is focused on the human experience enhanced by the products they sell,” says Senior Vice President Creative Director of Integer Dallas, Craig Carl. The concept of the campaign was to evoke an emotional connection to the holidays and to showcase the individual devices within that context. Uniform lighting and environment were key as well, as the final images are experienced as a whole within each store. The main challenge was to give the photographs versatility with the ability to adapt to multiple store formats while delivering the holiday message to AT&T customers.
According to Abelsnes, another fun challenge was creating a winter-like setting in the middle of July. The shoot took place in Pound Ridge, New York in 95-degree weather, providing less than ideal conditions for Holiday imagery. Using props and lighting, Abelsnes and his team were able to set the atmosphere. Wintery conditions were also created by New York-based special effects company J&M, who produced the fake snow around the house for the exterior shots.
The final images can be seen in AT&T stores across the United States for the duration of the 2011 holiday season, as well as print and web usage. “Vegar is an artist that quickly understood the intricate planning necessary to produce the AT&T retail holiday campaign,” praises Carl. “With six store types and 2,400 locations the scale and adaptability of the shoot was a priority. He understood that he was not creating an ad or single image but a 360-degree environment that enhances the holiday experience. Vegar and his team were brilliant in the attention to detail necessary to create great work for our client.”
To see more of Vegar Abelsnes’ work, visit his Web site.