Austin-based photographer Eric Doggett discusses his recent campaign for E4 Youth with I Love Texas Photo.

Could you talk about what these ads were being used for?
The focus of this campaign was to promote the education and mentoring efforts of E4 Youth, which is an organization dedicated to nurturing students interested in a creative career. The idea was to photograph several agency executives in town and ask the question “What would have happened if no one had given them a shot in advertising?” Humor is right up my alley, and it was a lot of fun to work through all of the scenarios. The final images were on display at the 2013 ADDYs award show in Austin.

Humor is right up my alley

How were you approached about doing this assignment? 
I was approached by agency McGarrah Jessee earlier this year about working on the project. We had some initial conversations about who we could get to be involved and what their ‘storyline’ would be.

What went into preparing for the shoot? 
I had a running list of ideas for the new careers of our subjects, and a lot of ideas came from the McGarrah Jessee team as well. There were times that we moved ideas around based on who we could get to be a part of the series. We wanted each person to be matched up perfectly to their ‘alternate life’.  We probably had enough ideas for 10-15 people. but we narrowed it down to 5.

Did you pick the locations? 
The McGarrah Jessee team did the location work up-front which was great. We checked out the places ahead of time to get an idea on angles/etc. We also worked to line up the shoots by geographic area. This allowed us to knock out 3 images in the first day as those locations were just a few miles apart.

How much time did you have with your subjects? 
For each image, I had about 30 minutes with the subject. This actually was a great amount of time as we usually had everything pre-lit, so we were able to focus on posing and expression options. I’ve done shoots where I’ve had a few hours and others where I’ve had (literally) 1 minute. 30 minutes for an image like this felt like a good balance between providing options and not spending too much time for a scene.

I was super-excited to work with McGarrah Jessee on this fun project! It’s always great to collaborate with others, especially when there’s humor involved. I hope to do more work like this in the future.