Tuesday May 22nd, 2012
Alistair Tutton is not one to turn down a challenge—especially when it involves photography. He loves creating story lines with his work; and the more challenging the better. His latest test came from Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG), who commissioned Alistair to shoot fourteen different grocery stores, across seven states, in just two weeks. AWG wanted Alistair to photograph their new supermarket designs for their annual report and so they could enter a design competition in Progressive Grocer. He of course, accepted the challenge.
Soon after receiving a very long shot list including a seemingly endless series of floor plans, Alistair and his assistant hit the road for a mid-west adventure. According to Alistair the shoot days were “very long, and very repetitive…” He explains,
Ultimately it was like Groundhog Day. Every day we rose at 6 am, went to the location at 7 am to start shooting and then left around 2 pm to drive to the next location. Once we got to the hotel the retoucher went to work until bed-time and then back up at 6 am the following day. We literally were shooting right up until the final day to ensure they had the maximum number of stores to use in their design competition.
To help counter each day’s repetitiveness, Alistair’s studio manager, Kate Crockett, gave them a side assignment of her own: take a unique/funny outtake at every location (with at least one featuring a feminine hygiene product). According to Alistair, “It defiantly added a fun note to every day.” Kate them took these goofy shots and share them through social media and on their blog as a “picture of the day” that viewers couldn’t resist commenting on.
In the end, Alistair and his assistant traveled 2,000 miles and photographed all fourteen locations. They met a lot of fun people along the way and even learned some new tricks. “In Valliant, OK the manager was convinced I was prince Harry—it’s the accent (and dashing good looks). In Odessa, TX I had to learn ‘I’m taking a photo, can you hide please’ in Spanish for the Mexican grocery store—there’s an app for that.”
AWG loved the images and immediately entered them in Progressive Grocer’s annual award competition and will be featuring them prominently in their Annual Report.
View more of Alistair’s work on his website, alistairtutton.com.
- Maria Luci