Campbell’s Soup Co. recently launched a new product line, Campbell’s Go Soups, and Trevor Dixon shot portraits for the packaging. The product is different from anything the company has previously created, as the soups are packaged in plastic pouches and sold in a variety of interesting product flavors, like “Moroccan Style Chicken with Chickpeas” and “Creamy Red Pepper with Smoked Gouda.” Dixon Photography and Campbell’s have had a long withstanding relationship, so this new venture for Campbell’s was an equally exciting project for Trevor and his team. Trevor and Campbell’s teamed up with the San Francisco-based agency Deutsch Design Works to execute the creative vision for the campaign, which involved shooting black and white portraits that would compliment the bursts of color designed for the packaging design. Trevor contributed beautiful and dynamic lighting to the B&W portraits, and captured great expressions for the campaign. We love the outcome of this new campaign, and found out more about the shoot’s production aspects by interviewing Issa Dixon, Trevor’s wife and the Studio Manager & Producer for Dixon Studios. Issa has been working as studio manager for Dixon Photography for twelve years, and previously worked in bookings within the music industry.
Glasshouse Assignment (GHA): How did you begin studio managing and producing for Trevor?
Issa: We met 12 years ago while working for our friends at Philadelphia Magazine.
GHA: As both wife & studio manager for Trevor, you hold multiple roles that I’m sure make for an interesting relationship. Can you describe what it’s like working with Trevor?
Issa: It’s great. Lots of picture talk at the dinner table but we’ve learned to balance.
GHA: How was the Campbell’s Go Soup Shoot initiated? Had Trevor worked with the client or agency before?
Issa: We’ve been working with Campbell’s and their Design Manager, Chip Heim, for a couple of years. It was the first time we worked with the Deutsch Design Works team (DDW), who are based out of San Francisco. They made it very easy for us to interpret the creative for this project.
GHA: How much prep time did you have for the shoot?
Issa: We had a little over a month from the first creative call. Things moved quickly. We all had a very definite plan of where and what we were looking for.
GHA: How many crew members did you hire for this shoot?
Issa: The shoot involved 14 people from our team.
GHA: Can you describe all the tasks that went into ensuring a successful shoot?
Issa: We needed to cast for seven models. When casting for this many roles, it is really important to get to know the personalities. It was a very entertaining crew. Comfort was priority. Each model was asked to give us multiple expressions. Making everyone feel comfortable enough to make quirky facial expression for hours was very important. Trevor and I are pretty down to earth, so lots of good music, chocolate, and jokes on set were a must.
GHA: Were there any last minute challenges that you had to work through?
Issa: We added an additional character on the day of the shoot. It really wasn’t a hurdle. I was able to call in an old friend who I thought would be perfect, and he ended up being a favorite.
GHA: As a producer, you are involved in the entire process of a shoot: the prep work, the photo shoot, and the post work. Is there a favorite part for you? If so, why?
Issa: For this one it was definitely finding the talent. But it really depends on the project. I love finding beautiful locations for fashion projects.
GHA: Is there anything you would’ve done differently about this shoot?
Issa: Nope, it was a home run.
GHA: With the creation of new products, there is always a bit of uncertainty as to whether or not the final product will be approved and successfully launched. How did it feel to find out that the Campbell’s Go Soup campaign would be released?
Issa: We were thrilled! We were happy for everyone involved and were so excited to see it actually hit the shelves.
GHA: In your twelve years as Trevor’s studio manager and producer, what is the biggest thing you’ve learned as a producer?
Issa: Yep, been producing for my man for 12 years. EVERYTHING is a learning curve when balancing a relationship and a business. Fortunately we work very well together. I can almost read his mind at this point.
Photographer: Trevor Dixon
Design Manager: Chip Heim
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