Guest Blog by Fontaine Rittelmann
As I walk down the halls of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), I am surrounded by the great achievements from students past. I cannot help but to feel inspired when I see the award-winning projects plastering the walls. As a student in the advertising photography program, I knew that I had a chance to be one of those admired scholars myself.
In the third year of the advertising photography program at RIT, students must create an "Ad Project" where they are to produce a mock advertising campaign for a company of their choosing. This project is about more than just an “A” on the report card, it’s about showing the entire advertising program that your team has what it takes to be the best.
In the weeks leading up to the "Ad Project," professors and older students pester you for hints about your creative direction, and they remind you that the project should be "ADDY worthy."
With this in mind, I found two talented teammates, Chris and Adam, and we began adding our skills together in the perfect combination to create extraordinary images. For our project, we specifically chose a smaller company that did not do much in the way of advertising, that produced something most people love, and we made sure the company we chose would be fun to make images for. My team chose to create a mock advertising campaign for Death Wish Coffee.
Being that the company’s name was "Death Wish," we knew that we had to create images that were explosive, fun, and outrageous. Our creative minds lunged at the possibility of making images that were full of extreme elements. We thought of many scenarios that could be considered deadly, and ended up with ideas involving grenades and jumping out of airplanes.
As the producer for this campaign, I can proudly say that our schedule ran smoothly, and we had little to no hiccups throughout the project’s duration (which is surprising considering how much gunpowder we played with). The most important part to any photo-shoot, big or small, is being able to know when to ask for help. We knew that we wanted to create images that were larger than life, therefore we had 31 additional, incredible people help us with the process.
With eight week’s worth of hard work, perseverance, and exhaustion under our belts, we had completed the Ad Project. And we were set on submitting to the ADDYs. After all that hard work, why wouldn’t we?
The ADDY Awards night is like nothing I have ever experienced before. Excitement and anticipation filled the air as Rochester’s finest advertising creatives gathered together for a night of celebration.
I was thrilled to learn that our campaign had won a gold ADDY! In an instant, my team and I had become the award-winning RIT students that I had so admired. We had created a campaign that truly was, "ADDY worthy."
I was able to gradate from RIT and enter the world of advertising photography with my head held high, knowing that my images had gained the recognition from some of the best advertising photographers around.
Within the next five years I plan to freelance in Portland, Ore. and spend my time exploring the beautiful Pacific North West. I also hope to continue creating work like I did with my wonderful Ad Project team.
To students thinking about submitting work to the ADDYs, just do it! As a photographer, you must take every opportunity you can to show off your work, and the ADDYs are the best place to do so.
Never be afraid to expose yourself, you might just be "ADDY worthy" too.