It’s World Photography Day on August 19th.

That’s the date the French Government announced the invention of the Daguerreotype in 1839, and it became the designated day to celebrate photography since 1991.

Photography is a true artform, and we’re lucky enough to be able to work with the medium and some fantastic photographers while we’re creating campaigns for our clients.

Darren Lyttle, Genesis’ Creative Director, shared some insight into why great photography matters in our campaigns.

Why is photography so important in advertising?

Photography in advertising can instantly set the tone, grab your attention, stick in your memory, create a feeling, challenge perception and empathise with the viewer. How could this not be important in advertising!

I love advertising photography that doesn’t require a headline to explain or reinforce what the message is.  It seems so simple but there is something beautiful and confident in an execution where a single image says it all!

But this only happens when the ad is selling a single product or highlighting a single feature of a product.

All the stars have to align for this type of magic to happen you need a strong idea, a clear single-minded proposition, a passionate creative team and an ambitious client who trusts us.

Show us some of your favourite advertising photography

This Lego creative is a great example. It appeals to the kid in all of us and the truth that Lego can create anything with a little bit of imagination using the simplest photography along with great art direction.

VW Polo’s ‘Small but Tough’ campaign is beautifully shot too. It focuses on a single safety aspect of the car and dramatises it amazingly.

And this Burger King example is incredible. The confidence to show the opposite of appetite-appeal in this market is astonishing, by focusing on a truth that their burgers don’t have artificial preservatives. A bold idea, beautifully executed.

What are some of the best photography projects you’ve worked on?

I really enjoyed working on the photography for the Embrace a Giant Spirit brand for Tourism Northern Ireland, because we got to experience the amazing tours and locations NI has to offer.

It never feels like work when it’s something you’re passionate about, although 4 a.m. starts in the rain can dampen that enthusiasm a tiny bit.

And in the words of the A-team, “I love it when a plan comes together”. It’s great to work on photography projects where the clients really love the idea and the concept we’re trying to capture.

What’s the most challenging photography project you’ve been involved in?

Working on Embrace a Giant Spirit for Tourism Northern Ireland was amazing but a logistical challenge.

The new brand for TNI, that was being rolled out on a global scale, had to be immersive and experiential, and we wanted to break away from the typical photography showing a couple “looking at a view”, “eating a meal”, or showing a family “standing on the Giant’s Causeway”.

We tasked ourselves and our photographers with immersing the viewer into the experience to get a sense of the personalities you’ll meet and the scenery you’ll be blown away by (quite literally).

So we created a set of detailed photography guidelines and held a series of workshops to ensure the range of professional photographers we used were on brief and inspired.

What do you look for in a photographer?

Every project will have its own personality and creative idea, so I would select the photographer that will bring the concept to life and do it justice.

In my opinion, there is no such thing as a photographer who can shoot everything, so it is best to stick to someone who specialises in their area and sticks to it.

How much does a CD/Art Director bring to the photography on a project?

Having an Art Director on set is vital, they are the gatekeepers of any idea.

The Art Director MUST have a clear idea of the concept and even where the headlines, sub-headlines and logos are going to be positioned on the artwork.

What skills does that CD/AD need to work with a photographer?

Preparation & communication are key.

Every project will have its challenges but it’s how you deal with them on the day and when that relationship comes into play.

And you need to have a trusting, collaborative relationship with your client too. They must be on that creative journey with you and be invested in the creative leap that needs to happen.

Everyone needs to know they’re trying to achieve the same thing – looking for that perfect moment of sunlight shining through, that natural rapport between the extras, that drip of egg yolk on the breakfast bap!