Nicky Emmerson Builds a New Look for Jaeger
Jaeger is going through something of a transition. The luxury British apparel brand was looking to bring a little more energy and joy to their public identity, and honestly we could all use a little bit more happiness - even if we find it in our advertising. To help them with this shift, Jaeger invited Nicky Emmerson and Pure Productions to help them shape their latest campaign and photograph it using her unique style. Nicky didn’t want to go all the way and make the images corny or show too much bounce when the brand and the clothes don’t match that, but she knew she had to bring it in a little bit. To strike the right chord she used a technique that allowed her models to meet those emotions and show them without becoming plastic. “I direct my girls and guys to think happy, to have happy thoughts, to get that happy energy in their eyes as opposed to a great big smile,” Nick explains. “Occasionally you get them to laugh and smile, and then you capture it on its way out, so you’re just getting that energy as its leaving them. You’re capturing it in their imagination as opposed to physically.” Photographers are guides of time. They pull out a moment from time to show us, so Nicky sets up a movement or an action and then pulls out the slice that works best for the story she’s trying to tell. For Jaeger is was the natural rhythm of positive emotions, but a part of them we normally don’t inspect.
In order to show off the range of apparel and the breadth of lifestyles that Jaeger’s style bridges, well displayed by Fashion Director Sam Ranger and Creative Director Chris Bedson, the whole team created a broad two-pronged shoot that took place at both a very modern home and inside a studio. Nicky saw this as an opportunity to show off and blend two distinct skills in her toolbox, and it didn’t hurt that the day cooperated with her when they were in the home. “We were shooting it in December so we lost our daylight at 3:00 so we had to be quite quick,” says Nicky. “But it was a beautiful, glorious day. The light came in through the windows and it really helped us.” That low, warm light gave Nicky the shadows that she wanted, revealing depth and angles that traditionally don’t appear in a studio. But Nicky is always looking to push expectations and boundaries so when she gets to the studio she explores the limits of expectations there too.
Most studios are set up to be big rooms that disappear into the background so all we see is a bright white environment. But Nicky rejects that. She uses the space in a much more dynamic way, which fit Jaeger’s needs perfectly. “Whenever I’m in studio I try and use different angles and try to move away from just the straight backdrop. So I’ll move around and shoot different angles, shoot behind, shoot in the doorway, because it’s another location it’s not just a light box,” Nicky says. “It’s a good representation of my studio and my location all together, really, because quite often you’re just either one but I really enjoyed splitting it into two but trying to make it link still.” Jaeger’s needs represent a transition for the way they present themselves, but Nicky understands transitions and was able to turn this exploration into a exhibition of two styles that are normally thought of as distinct identities. She’s able to combine a host of needs and skills into one campaign all while juggling expectations and styles, boiling it all down into one campaign that’s reduces into clean sophistication.