2 minute read

Paul Von Rieter’s Commercial Challenge

Joanna Popieluch seizes a well-earned win with this regal lifestyle frame

While most entrants in the Create With Me commercial round chose human subjects to showcase products, Paul Von Rieter’s winner, Joanna Popieluch, looked to her four-legged companion instead. “This beautiful model is my four-year-old border collie, Miko,” she says. “He is my sidekick, mud aficionado, and the best boy. Here, he’s wearing a backpack designed for adventuring dogs.

“This image was created in collaboration with the brand,” Joanna notes. “In 2018, I created an Instagram page for Miko to share our adventures. In 2020, I started to get into photography, and learned the basics with my FUJIFILM X-T1 and vintage 50mm lens. As I started to grow my following and hone my skills, it naturally led to collaborating with brands that fit our lifestyle.”

In keeping with the brand and product itself, Joanna’s visual concept was built around adventure. “That’s what the pack is made for, so that’s what I wanted to encapsulate. I photographed the bag in its intended environment. Similar to a movie still, I prefer documenting un-staged moments – not the easiest task with a constantly moving dog! During this session, I let Miko explore, allowing him to lead the images I made. He wandered into the pond, which was surrounded by cattails and a few short stems poking out of the water in the foreground – framing him and the backpack.”

Color was another key consideration. “The palette is fairly monochromatic,” Joanna notes, “in keeping with the natural earth tones the brand uses. The few green stems complement the pack, guiding the eye around the frame. To create depth and a cinematic look, I also used a wide F1.7 aperture, which highlighted Miko and his pack as the focal point.”

Joanna is yet to collaborate, as Paul suggests, but with FUJIFILM X-S10’s capabilities now at her disposal, film projects are on the cards. “I’m excited to work with others to create short videos featuring Miko and his accessories,” she enthuses.

“Joanna and her adventure dog were clear winners,” Paul explains. “I love this image because it instantly draws me into a story and makes me ask questions. Where are they? Where are they going? What’s in the bag? It also conveys a specific mood, and clearly displays a product in its intended environment. Frankly, it makes me want to purchase a backpack for my dog!”

Please note, this video was released during the 2022 Create With Me competition. Entries have now closed.

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