Photographing Brand Israel
Israel decided to focus on public diplomacy, to define the country as a brand, and to research the country’s values, personality, and global potential. I was hired to bring it to life. The study and the definitions took place years before I entered the picture in order to create the official brand Israel book and National Portrait Photo Bank.
The creative photography process needed for the Brand Israel project and the National Portrait Photo Bank was broken down into a number of parts. The first of them was to understand the the value of branding Israel, the personality of the brand and the promise that the brand holds relating to groups of theoretical surveyors who led the way in defining the brand.
After understanding the importance of the work in finding visual perspectives that can express the story of the brand and deconstruct the value of the brand into actions (to convey, to connect, to initiate, to defend), the personality of the brand was broken into into visual elements (clothing, body language, movement) that would be woven together with photos telling a story or representing a value related to the promise of the brand. All of these elements connect the assets of the brand and photographical language (color sheet, lighting,cutting), creating a product that is unique to Brand Israel.
Using each element, I focused on different subject areas: food, beach, art and religion. Each subject conveys the value of the brand across a variety of settings. I chose to find people in their everyday attire in order to keep a pure and informal essence in the brand, searching for movement to find dynamic human occurrences in order to bring out brand elements like spontaneity, extroversion and energy.
Once I identified the subject areas, the developmental language was the next and most challenging step. The language not only needed to be disassembled methodically, but also had to rely on inspirational sources from many elements. Photographic language helps develop a story and gives a visual identity by developing a unified photographic lineage throughout all of the Brand Israel photography.
Having a consistent lineage allows the photographs to create immediate first impressions and convey messages that the written word cannot. Photography is the principal tool to convey substance and themes. The photographic language is the part that completes the photographic identity of the brand and achieves the goal of broadcasting the identity in the way that the brand aspires to look in the eyes of the world.
In all of the campaigns that Israel undertook in past decades, Israel was photographed as if it were Europe, or in stark contrast, Sydney, Australia. The output of color, gentle lighting, composition and styling had little connection between the photos and the message.
A gap like this not only creates a disconnect between the brand and its identity, but also conceals the brand’s personality. It is interesting that this situation would arise in Israel, a place with such a distinct personality and contrasts that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
The key point in the creation of Israel’s photographical language is to use the language as an asset to the brand.
In light and in unique contrast, in diverse fields in the area, and in elements from the Israeli worldview, the experience of viewing the photography of Brand Israel complements the energetic feeling of visiting the real Israel.