Michael Wharley Photography
We’ve been working together with Michael for many years. He is an incredibly talented headshot photographer and also shoots for theatre and film posters (amongst many other disciplines). We initially worked together on the film poster design for Victim – a project which we managed the concepts, art direction, visual designs and compositing, working right through to the final poster. Michael is a delight to work with. Very accommodating and quick with excellent ideas and advice. Needless to say we hit it off!
Michael really understands the strength of his brand and came to aitch asking for us to develop him an identity that was simple, clean, stylish and adaptable. Able to be used in any and all situations (just like all well-thought out branding will!).
We produced a number of concepts and, working closely with Michael, developed to a finished brand which we have rolled out across all print and digital touch points.
When it came time to produce a printed promotional brochure – we were back in action! It’s so great to be able to be asked to allow the photographs to do the talking, and Michaels brief was both tight and loose in that respect. Our collaborations illustrate the need for a strong sense of objective, without being prescriptive as to the solution. We like solving problems. He gives us the space to do just that.
Michael came to us with the idea that he was going to produce a series of shots as a personal project (which went on to become as part of a series of fundraising activities for the ‘Acting For Others’ Charity, of which Dame Judi Dench is president.) harking back to an original book of illustrations and instructions for actors of the various ‘Attitudes’ required for acting.
Michael said : ‘The idea is that the project is not a period piece or acting museum, but exploring how an approach that held sway for such a long time and is now ‘replaced’ by naturalism, is in fact a lot of closer to modern acting and what we expect of it then we might think. There’ll be humour, as some of the poses are ridiculous to modern tastes, but also more subtle and sensitive stuff…”
Step one was to create a logo for the project. Based on Michaels image of the phenomenal actor David Gant showing ‘Stealth’ we developed approaches to take the logo out of any particular time.
The Attitudes Spreads
Wonderfully, the project blossomed and alongside an exhibition at the Globe Theatre, showcasing the imagery, Michael decided to produce a 30cm x 30 cm hardback book of the project as his submission for Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society.
Our Brief read : “It should feel like a book about a project by me, rather than a book about me. It should feel like a fine art photography publication, not promotional, not about my business, not explaining my work. At the Fellowship level, you’re already supposed to be a master photographer so the more status inherent in the design, the better. We produced spreads which allowed the type and imagery space to balance and complement one another.
The finished book is a gorgeous testament to the fact that good design should be invisible.