This spring the Robert Oatley cellar door in Wilyabrup, held a special food matched private tasting in their famous jasmine arbour. It was a beautiful day and the roses and Jasmine arbour were in full bloom. The adjacent Chardonnay vines were also showing their delicate flowers and the new shoots were underway with lime green foliage. It isn’t a regular event to run seated tasting with paired food and I was approached to provide photography for the event.
The Robert Oatley rose garden is a spectacular sight in full bloom and the smells are amazing. The private wine tasting of the top level finisterre wines matched with bite size morsels provided by Supper Road looked impressive. Needless to say the event ran smoothly and the guests were happy.
The client Robert Oatley wanted to document the event for online content and better market similar events in the future. As I am a local photographer based in Margaret River, it made sense to call me in for a short shoot (as the event only lasted an hour). The images below are from the event and have been used across many of the Robert Oatley social media platforms.
I have started to get to know Happs Wines core values this season through my photography work. I was asked to shoot a pick at their Karridale vineyard, known as 3 Hills Estate. The brief was a little different than usual though, they had a unique set up down there in many ways. They use a uncommon trellis system, have so many different varieties of grapes most viticulturists would think they are crazy and have a beautiful location with rolling hills. However these weren’t on the brief, I was told not to shoot grapes and landscapes. The other thing that is unique is that they have about 20 backpackers that live on site for the harvest season. These backpackers and the family who run this vineyard is the subject they wanted me to focus on. I was told the backpacker/pickers would be awesome people because they were chosen by Andy and his wife. They assured me that they would be fun, hard working crew and that is what they wanted me to capture.
I was a little nervous before the shoot, what if they were boring and didn’t want to play around it would make it difficult to get the kind of images they were looking for. Anyway long story short is they didn’t disappoint. They all knew their jobs and work together to get the grapes off clean and quick. They also were genuinely happy to be there working with Andy and his family for Happs. The images were easy to capture and everyone was just being themselves. The images show the relationships amongst the staff and what a magical environment they foster to live and work in. Thanks Happs and especially Andy for welcoming me so warmly.
If you have images that you want captured to show your customers what your business values most please contact me.
I have shot a few other aspects of Happs Wines operation but this was the first time I had shot any of the wine making process. Capturing images that tell a story is what I aim for when I get asked to shoot at a winery. It was important to me that I shot an entire process rather than a few isolated tasks. So the images have the duel purpose of being able to be used separately or as a series. I wanted some thing colourful so I knew I wanted to wait for the reds. I also really wanted something messy. We decided to shoot a large tank of Cabernet Sauvignon being balloon pressed. This process removes the skins preparing the mostly fermented red wine for barrelling.
The process is very labour intensive with one of the staff (Adrian) having to shovel the skins into the press. The press just gently squeezes the fermented fruit while rotating to extract extra flavour and volume from the tanked grapes. It gets messy when Adrian has to take the shoes off, put this red board shorts on and climb inside the tank. It gives you a great appreciation of the effort that goes into making great wine. This I think is conveyed in the images and is great to show your customers. It helps them feel connected with your brand and build authenticity in their eyes.
Thanks again to Happs Wines for choosing me to shoot this for you. You have such passionate, hard working and friendly staff. I hope the images help share this with your customers.
If you want some of your wineries work shot please feel free to contact me.
The wine industry in Margaret River is competitive and getting your products to look great is important. Making a clear distinction between the wines in your list is also important. Happs had mentioned that they would like bottle shots that made a visual distinction between the sub groups in their large range of wines. They were happy to take their time with this as it is crucial the aesthetic suits the wines. The brief for the indigenous series wines was to celebrate the art work of the indigenous artist chosen for the labels. The bottles were shot in a “Low Key” style the art work has been creatively extended after the shoot. The finished images clearly show the winery and grape variety, while increasing the art works visual dominance. I am looking forward to tackling the rest of the diverse range of wines Happs produce.