Tom Corbett: Born in the USA
Building on the success of the last few years, thanks largely to the resurgence of retro runners, KangaROOS is in a position unlike many of its peers: after being outpaced by mega brands like Nike and adidas two decades ago, they’re a hot ticket item again. A handful of limited collaborations sold out in minutes and now those in the know are lacing up ROOS again, like they did when they were kids, and helping the brand find sure footing again. Who better to usher the new fresh face of KangaROOS than a host of influencers, all shot by Tom Corbett.
For KangaROOS’ latest campaign, “Born in the USA,” Tom worked with an assembly of bloggers and familiar faces illustrating how seamlessly and effortlessly this heritage brand can fit into a contemporary life. That means the faces in front of the lens weren’t models. Surprisingly, when it comes to getting the right looks out of non-models, Tom treats them exactly the same. “There’s actually no difference in how I work with them,” explains Tom. “I’m finding that the new generation of kids that have grown up with Instagram and Facebook and all that, they’re actually much more image aware than my generation. They know how they look in front of the camera. They’re almost as aware as a regular model.” That means that Tom can spend more time focusing on getting the shot, which is a different animal in a campaign like this one.
Instead of painstakingly constructing shots, and composing staged images, Tom kept it loose on set. He catalyzed events and then let them play out, shooting the action as it unfolded. “Rather than directing them, we came up with scenarios,” Tom says. “We let it evolve rather than really directing them into something that was too planned. That way you can get more of a real, spontaneous moment.” In addition to the work of Ria Casson, producer at One Productions, a huge part of creating the conditions for these effortless moments was Tom’s working relationship with Stuart Ross-Sheeran, the Creative Manager on the project. “He’s very, very creative and forward thinking. It was very much about the image with him, which is perfect for a photographer.” By creating and maintaining a creative atmosphere all the collective energy can coalesce into the final images of the campaign.
Shot in Los Angeles, Venice Beach, and the desert at Four Aces, they struck a tone that’s carefree, energetic, and effortlessly cool. The honest energy all worked together to the ultimate goal, as explained by Tom: “I wanted to keep it really real, uncomplicated, the on camera flash, the uncomposed, unthought-out moment. It was really about capturing all that together.”