Behind the scenes

A few keywords, a couple of ideas, two models and a pair of watches – that was the client photography brief Dennis Stenild started off with when he shot the latest campaign for Ole Mathiesen.

“We talked about the kind of atmosphere we wanted to bring about as well as certain aspects that the pictures should have. I really liked the client brief. It was natural, classic and timeless, with references to the Italian Riviera in the 1950s,” related Dennis Stenild. 

The pictures were intended to convey a confident yet relaxed style.

“We agreed that the expression should come across as analog, although of course it was shot digitally,” tells Dennis Stenild. 

So, what was the challenge for him in this photo shoot? According to Dennis Stenild, determining how much the product should be featured is always a tricky balancing act.

“It should be an integral feature of the picture and seem to be a natural element. The same goes for the models – they should look relaxed and not over-posed. Ideally, the entire process should be playful and fluid. That is why I put a lot of emphasis on creating a good atmosphere when the pictures are being taken,” says Dennis Stenild, who has his own approach to loosen up the mood in the studio. “I can’t resist telling a really bad joke. And believe me, I have a terrible sense of humor,” he says with a smile. 

When Stenild has to choose a model, he listens to his intuition rather than seeking out a woman who has perfectly symmetrical features. In this case, it worked out well. The Swedish model he selected for the Ole Mathiesen campaign turned out to be ideally suited. He gives his reasons: “There is something about her composure that reminds me of Renaissance portraits. And there is so much intensity in her eyes. No matter what, the eyes never lie.”

And then there is the decisive moment. He explains, “It’s a matter of a split second. There is the moment when you feel confident that you have captured the image. It can’t be planned in advance, but when you have it, you know it right away.”