The following is a case study about a photography project we completed for Ontario Creates, an agency of the provincial government focused on economic growth & development via the arts. Our client wanted to have a catalogue of marketing images that showcase the dynamic & vast landscapes of Ontario, which would in turn promote the province as a versatile place to film or host a variety of projects.
Who is Ontario Creates?
Ontario Creates goal is to generate economic growth through initiatives that create jobs and opportunities in the creative industry. Their key markets served are music, print, film & television. Some big television series are filmed here, including the Handmaid’s Tale, Kim’s Convenience, and the Umbrella Academy.
Ontario Creates is responsible for attracting domestic and international projects and connecting them with local partners to make their vision a reality. Through seamless communication, support for innovation, and leveraging of partnerships, they promote Ontario as a great place to do business.
What makes Ontario Creates different?
Filming in Ontario has become increasingly popular as result of Ontario Creates’ initiatives. With their support, creative industry partners have tools they can access that they wouldn’t otherwise have had, including tax credits, funding programs, connections to diverse & talented workforces, sustainability initiatives, and a library of film approved locations for creative work.
These initiatives also drive economic growth to the cities the projects occur in, as productions book hotel rooms, eat in restaurants, and participate in local attractions or entertainment. They not only help the creative industry, but in turn promote the tourism industry as well, equalling more jobs and money to the local economy.
Why is marketing photography important for Ontario Creates?
Since our client serves the creative & visual industry, it is extremely important for them to have visual assets that represent what they are selling – Ontario as an ideal location to host creative projects. The client had a few key sectors they wanted to represent within the images; urban living, rural living, landscape, and industrial, all with the goal of showing the essence of what potential clients could expect to achieve in Ontario.
Some of the visual assets would be used for billboards, so we really needed to focus on finding locations where we could achieve some showstopping hero images. The photos also needed to be visually interesting, utilizing a mix of sunrise, sunset & daylight to set the tone.
The client sent a request for proposal that we prepared to be considered for the project. It included scope of the project, deliverables schedule and budgetary information. After we were awarded the contract, we conducted a series of meetings to discuss the goals of the project and pitch location ideas.
We completed extensive research on locations across Ontario that fit a variety of criteria; we were looking for quaint towns, industrial zones, beach towns, farmland, and dense cities to really be able to showcase the versatility of Ontario. Once we received approval on locations, we worked on a strategic schedule to accomplish the plan.
The project occurred over a 3-month period, with over 50 locations. In many cases we worked directly with the location to get permission to photograph, as well as on dates that worked well for them and did not impede their business operations.
Since the locations were all across Ontario, it was extremely important to have an idea of how long the photography would take at each spot to capitalize on timing. Meaning, we needed to plan in advance which locations would receive sunrise or sunset photos and which ones would receive daylight photos, then work backwards to plan how many locations could be visited in 1 day, as well as how far away they were from each other. To keep the project and the deliverables on track, a solid plan was necessary.
We also utilized drone photography to achieve views that otherwise would not have been possible. With advanced drone licensing, we are able get permissions to fly the drone where others can’t, which worked in our favour for this project. We actually flew the drone directly beside the CN Tower, offering a unique perspective that isn’t easily achievable. Moreover, one of the client’s goals was to showcase dense cityscapes and the drone was able to provide that large city perspective that could emulate New York City or Chicago.
The images were used for Ontario Creates website, social media channels, advertising campaigns, billboards, proposals & press releases. The client received over 300 images to utilize for their photo library, providing them with marketing images to utilize for many years to come.
We hope that this case study has provided you with some insights into our approach to photography and how we work with our clients to achieve their goals. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn more about our services, please contact us. We would be happy to discuss your specific needs and see how we can help.