Jacob Pritchard and Chase's Whirlwind American Tour
For photographers, the frame is the only construct. Everything else in the image is up for grabs, but the picture must have it's edges, and they are defined by the frame. Square, rectangular, circular, each frame defines the rules of the image and the success of the layout. When Jacob Pritchard got the frame for his latest project with JP Morgan Chase it was unique. Not a rectangle or a circle, the framing Chase needed for their mobile apps were more like an electrical plug, with a large rectangular upper portion and a downward extension on the edges of each side. It offered a special kind of artistic challenge, and it literally shaped the project. It governed not only how the final images looked, but also how the photos were captured.
They had to get those specifics right, because they had a very low margin of error available. They were going to a lot of cities and needed a lot of shots. So they had to get down to business right away. “We usually had a couple days in each city, and we thought very closely about the weather,” Jake explains “Some days we’d arrive and say, ‘look this is our only sunny time, we’re going to jump into shooting immediately right now.’” The benefit was that the whole crew got to see such a large swath of the country. Each city presented its own joys and challenges. For instance, they went to Detroit with armed security: they just wanted to be prepared for everything. But the sleeper hero of the trip was Milwaukee “Milwaukee was a highlight for everyone on the trip. It was just a cool, interesting town that you don’t hear about too much, but it definitely has a lot of interesting post-industrial stuff going on.”
Chase tasked Jake with capturing eight final images from 17 cities in the US, and he and his team spent 2-3 days in each city, resulting in a shoot that was far longer than most commercial shoots go. Every production has a group of people that come together for just that project and then go their separate ways. It makes it difficult to form truly supportive working relationships, and the learning curve is steep. “We had such an awesome crew working on the project,” Jake says. “That was a cool part of the experience. Most jobs you’re with a crew and you’re working really closely together for one, or two, or three days. But to be in the position to be surmounting all these challenges… I think everyone put a lot into it and it was a really good group of people. That was one of the highlights. There’s no way we could have made that quantity of photos without that great crew.”