Portraits for Rockbox Advertising on 35mm Film

August 12, 2019

Really fun shoot alert! I recently had the lovely comission to photograph staff portraits for Rockbox Advertising on 35mm film. I was approached by the wonderful Studio Hoi that were in the process developing a re-brand and website for Rockbox. The creative has a really thoughtful approach which was both fresh and contemporary but with a print heritage feel reflecting Rockbox’s history in Out-of-Home media, supplying poster sites and screens in music venues, universities and bars.

Studio Hoi were keen to photograph the staff at Rockbox Advertising using black and white 35mm film to illicit more of a human feel as well as an edgier look while still looking natural. Of course, I was on-board with this right away with my go-to choice for portraits like this being Kodak Tri-X!

Rockbox Advertising, 35mm Film, Portraits, Kodak Tri X, Black and White
Rockbox Advertising, 35mm Film, Portraits, Kodak Tri X, Black and White

I really think film was a great choice for these images. The brand creative utilised the instantly recogniseable blue found on Blue Back poster paper used to reduce print show-through on pasted billboards. Not only is this an intelligent, creative design choice but the Blue Back has a fibrous, grain-like texture to the stock which pairs so well with 35mm film grain.

We photographed the portraits at the Rockbox Charlotte Street office in London, using the fantastic natural light on the fire escape and terrace. We put Kodak Tri-X 400 through my Nikon F100 while interviewing the staff members for their site bio’s. The team really are lovely and a lot of fun with passion for their business. Managing Director, Paul and Operation’s Manager, Jem both met while they were working in the music industry working in A&R and performing. It’s no coincidence that the company now operate in music and live event spaces. They even put 50% of their profits back in to live music venues and universities’ students’ unions, while sponsoring live music through their UPP unsigned music programme and the Independent Music Trust.

Thank you to Studio Hoi for bringing me in on this project. Take a look at the images here…