Behind the Scenes
Ever wondered what goes on behind the camera at a Hiro + Wolf photoshoot? We caught up with fashion photographer Ben Broomfield to find out his favourite moments on location with the pack and set designer Freddy Fleuriot-Reade to discover his inspiration behind the incredible props.
Amy: We watched the Wizard of Oz film together the night before the photo shoot, how did this influence the way you took and processed the pictures?
Ben: I'd never seen it before! It was an amazing visual treat, and I relished the challenge to recreate that original technicolour look, I spent a few hours straight away researching techniques. Having a really sunny day helped massively (which I pushed the shoot a few days back for) as I could use the bright sunlight mixed with flash to faux recreate the strong lights of a studio to push those colours.
Amy: You've been taking pictures for Hiro + Wolf since we first launched 8 years ago. How do our shoots differ from your usual work?
Ben: The catering is always pretty good 😁 It's always great to work with friends, and Hiro & Wolf are the best animals I've worked with, as long as there are treats to hand...
Amy: What's the most challenging thing about working with dogs?
Ben: No more or less challenging than any other shoot containing moving parts. Being constantly alert all day is pretty draining, and unlike the dogs, I can't just lie down mid-shoot for a quick nap.
Amy: What was your favourite picture from the photo shoot and why?
Ben: As much as Millie is my favourite model *COUGH* don't tell Hiro *COUGH*
Wolfie stole the show here as Toto with Abigail as Dorothy. Technically I'm happy with the composition and lighting, and Freddy's sets just giving the photos that extra bit of magic to complete the picture story.
Amy: Thank you Ben! And speaking of props, Freddy, where did you find your inspiration for all the amazing sets you made?
Freddy: When Amy and Bee asked me to make the Emerald City, I re-read the book which I haven't read for years and realised that it doesn't really describe the city from afar in much detail at all. What everyone thinks of as the Emerald City is from the film, and they took a sort of "streamline moderne" view of it, which is amazing, but in my mind and Emerald City makes me think of actual emeralds, so I looked at Crystal structures and Art Deco jewellery. For Dorothy's house, the book just says that everything was grey grey grey, so I went for the classic clapboard house, made it look bashed around, like it had fallen out of the sky and then I grey washed it. The hot Air Balloon was a lot of fun to make, inspiration wise I've always loved the old style you see on the covers of books like around the world in eighty days, really round and old fashioned so I tried to make it look as "bubble-like" as possible and used hemp rope to give it an old world feel.
Amy: Which set did you enjoy making the most?
Freddy: Definitely the Emerald City, It was fun getting all the material faceted and having the whole thing as a stand-along entity made it feel a lot more sculptural
Amy: What was the most challenging thing about the photoshoot itself?
Freddy: The long day! It was great fun and a gorgeous day, but it was hot and we started early and finished late... I was ready for my bed at the end and have a new level of respect for photographers!
Amy: Which picture is your favourite and why?
Freddy: The boys in front of the Emerald City. It's really just how I imagined it when I was making the set so it's very rewarding to see it all in real life. And also because Hiro and Wolf are such pro's!
Amy: Thank you both so much for your time and talents! To see more photographs from our Wizard of Dog Photoshoot hit the product pages above. We'd love to know what you thought of the pictures in the comments below.