Wonderful Machine Blog: Cameron Karsten Helps Sage Fly Fish Market Itself to New Demographics

Here’s a nice little write up at Wonderful Machine’s blog. The original post can be found here.

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A leap of faith that companies take from time to time involves marketing themselves to demographics outside their main consumer base. It’s a risk, to be sure, considering the number of resources these companies need to invest in this kind of advertising push. This is what fishing rod manufacturer Sage Fly Fish, with the help of photographer Cameron Karsten, is trying to do.

Fly fishing is mostly known as a retiree’s sport, so Sage wants to break the old model and show imagery of all persons young and old, as well as shots of both seasoned anglers and novices.

Sage is a leading brand in this market, and it sells products for a wide variety of fishing locations, from freshwater streams to saltwater oceans. As a result, Cameron has done a good bit of traveling in and out of the country.

Every season, Sage utilizes their imagery for the different seasonal fishing taking place around the globe. For example, there is a heavy winter steelhead run in the Pacific Northwest, so new products are unveiled for this technique during this season.

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These images are shot months in advance and are rolled out within their appropriate season, used on everything from social media channels to print runs in select fly-fishing periodicals. Their also published on the web for online sales and made into big banners for trade-shows.

Of course, fishing takes a ton of patience, but that’s to Cameron’s benefit. The hours-long process allows him to think creatively and try new things, which helps both him and the client.

Fly fishing is a very slow methodical process, whether sighting fish, working a hole in the river, or spey casting a stretch of nice running water. As a photographer, I have a lot of time to work the angles, get the shot of the cast, and then try something unique, creative, out-of-the-box.

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During these shoots I’m a fly-on-a-rock, following the angler as he fishes various holes and ripples, chasing tailing fish on the flats, or doing the basic mechanics of tying on a fly, changing line, or releasing a fish. The goal is to capture not only the cast, but the culture and story of a fly-fishing angler.

In getting the whole picture, Cameron sometimes has to create wide shots for specific uses. His arresting panoramas perfectly capture all there is to soak in while fishing in some gorgeous places, and they’re used quite nicely by Sage.

These wide shots are meant for large banner presentations at trade-shows or on the web. The goal is to show the beauty of the location with the subject within the setting. To set these up, I place the individual within the space and allow my eye to find the perfect positioning so I can capture the perfect cast that represents Sage and the sport. I then shoot plates surrounding the subject, which creates a large banner image once stitched together in PhotoShop. The images often render 4GB or more in size.

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Another nice development within these shoots is the sense of camaraderie amongst the brands that market products aimed at the same people. Where Sage wants to sell equipment, Patagonia wants to sell merchandise, and YETI wants to sell gear. As the person who mixes everything together, Cameron can produce batches of imagery that tell a full story and help each organization.

The great thing about this culture of fly fishing is there are so many high-end companies who want to work together — brands that have similar stories in their own light but look to affiliate with one another due to their experience, quality, and value. On a lot of these fly fishing campaigns, I’ve been able to bring on different partners. Companies like Patagonia and YETI have fantastic gear for all of these environments. So, to bring on these brands is wonderful and makes the whole adventure complete with quality equipment.

Below is a link to a booklet we shot on-location in Idaho, and more work can be found at www.CameronKarsten.com.

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Via Wonderful Machine – Cameron Karsten: Zillow Group

Great little write up describing some of the process creating Zillow Group’s 2017 Annual Report via Wonderful Machine’s blog. Enjoy!
Jan 25, 2018
PHOTOGRAPHER SPOTLIGHT

Seattle-based photographer Cameron Karsten has built a strong relationship with Zillow Group. He has photographed projects from in-home walkthroughs to Santa’s Village for the Real-estate startup. As Zillow has expanded its need for imagery, Cameron has been ready to take on bigger and bigger projects.

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In the past, Zillow has generally opted to use stock imagery for its annual reports. But, for the 2017 report they wanted to go with something more specialized, so they invited Cameron to submit a bid for a library of images. Cameron won the bid and got the chance to step out from behind the camera and take on some production responsibilities. He ended up scouting locations and casting the talent for the three-day shoot in addition to his role as the photographer. Cameron leveraged his personal network to fill the twelve casting spots across the three-day multi-location shoot. As is often the case, scheduling was the most difficult part of the casting process.

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I ended up casting, location scouting and producing the project, which in the end was a great experience. It was an exhausting amount of work, but we conquered the final end goal and everything moved flawlessly. All in all, it was a wonderful project that produced a large printed report sent to all the shareholders, including the online report available to the public.

Cameron had worked on other projects for Zillow with several members of the production, including Creative Director Sabrina Fiander. The annual report design team was full of new faces, but it quickly became clear that everyone worked well together.

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The shoot was a blast with a complete crew of familiar faces excited to be a part of a great project. As all shoots, we worked hard and pressed each other to push harder and do our best.

The reaction to the images has been immensely positive. The team at Zillow was pleased with the images delivered and plan to commission more custom imagery for their future reports.

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Now that the report has been published, Cameron is already looking towards next year:

Hopefully a 2018 report with a couple production days added to it will nail all angles of Zillow Group’s outreach and diversity.

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The complete report is available on the Zillow Group website.

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Additional Credits:

Creative Director: Sabrina Fiander

Producer: Jill Snow

Associate Producer: Jillian Zieske

Brand Consultant: Bradley O’Neal

Brand Marketing Manager: Lindsey Bluher

Digital Tech: Judson Felder

Photo Assistants: Dominic Crowley, Delaney Brown

Art Director: Tim Teehan

Stylist: Lily Karsten

HMU: Zoe Hoffman

See more of Cameron at cameronkarsten.com!

And check out our other members on our Find Photographers page.

Wonderful Machine – Cameron Karsten: Hook, Line, and Sinker

Happy to share some solid press via Wonderful Machine’s blog as well as a spot in their emailers for July 106. Enjoy!
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Jul 18, 2016
PHOTOGRAPHER NEWS

Grundéns started with a fisherman in Sweden who saw a need for better gear for the fishermen of the world. He wanted clothing that could handle the extreme conditions he and his comrades constantly faced. Now, this international brand is a leader in cold-water fishing and foul-weather gear, and their latest campaign aims to put a spotlight on the fishermen they serve. Grundéns called on Seattle photographer Cameron Karsten for the campaign visuals.

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Grundéns has European, Canadian, and U.S. branchs, and Cameron got on board with Grundéns USA for their rebrand. He says all he had to do was get the initial meeting, share with them his photography and his verve for conservation and adventure, and from there they hit the ground running. Grundéns wanted their rebrand campaign to focus on the fishing experience with special attention to its connection to the environment. Their idea was to find stories from around the world that showed individuals with a passion for fishing, whether as a career or for pleasure. It was Cameron’s job to capture both images and videos for the campaign.

Grundens wanted to change how we see and experience fishing with their visuals by connecting the fisherman/woman with nature as a source of passion and conservation.

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cameron karsten photo, grundens, grundens rebrand campaign, fisherman, fisherman norway, fisherman florida, fisherman guatemala

For phase one of the project, Grundéns sent Cameron to Norway, Guatemala, and Florida. There, he was to interact with real fisherman, spending time on boats and enduring the weather to capture them in action with their craft. In each location it became clear whether the project would focus on recreational or professional fishermen, both of which are groups Grundéns provide for.

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These individuals see the need in their lives to connect with nature, out on the water and in the elements, and transcend the way we care for our planet.

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Before turning to photography, Cameron traveled with the hopes of being a writer. But it wasn’t long before he started adding photos to his stories and composing his tales completely from images. He says although most of his work is more commercial, he loves getting back to travel photography, and this campaign was the perfect hybrid of travel photography and commercial goals.

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For each location, Cameron and the production team talked through story options, set up some drone flying trials, and got the gear into place. But no matter what the preparations looked like ahead of time, the majority of the work always took place on site, where they had to asses the current weather conditions and set up their gear. Cameron says Guatemala was definitely the most challenging with all the saltwater spray.

Guatemala was tricky due to being on a boat with limited movement, and the harsh sun and saltwater spray. But it’s all part of the experience, helping tell an authentic story.

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Cameron’s work is already being integrated into Grundéns’ new website, and will be featured in printed catalogs and brochures, advertising pieces, and social media channels. 70 Agency is getting everything into place for the final release.

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In the mean time, ideas of heading to Alaska, Canada, the Cannery Islands, Belize, and Panama are circulating around, and Cameron is keeping his fingers crossed. He’s also excited to learn about the conservation and water awareness efforts Grundéns will be making through the course of their campaign.

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Check out more work from Cameron at cameronkarsten.com.