Human By Nature: Kerala India Stills Campaign BTS by Joey L.

5/28/2019 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments


Photographer Joey L. is excited to finally be able to share this new advertising work for Kerala Tourism.



At age 17, I saved every dollar I had, drawn to India as a beginner photographer. - said Joey - I’ve been back here many times since— always driven by a personal project and inspired by the people of India. Today those same people have now brought me back. This is my first commissioned work in India— a tourism campaign for Kerala. 








I’m excited to finally be able to share this new advertising work for @keralatourism . The entire new photography series, as well as a behind the scenes video showing how we did it is now up on my blog. 🚣🏽‍♀️ Link in bio 🚣🏽‍♀️. At age 17, I saved every dollar I had, drawn to India as a beginner photographer. I’ve been back here many times since— always driven by a personal project and inspired by the people of India. Today those same people have now brought me back. This is my first commissioned work in India— a tourism campaign for Kerala. It’s an emotional milestone to everything I’ve done here before. The recognition that a local Indian advertising agency and their client- the state of Kerala itself, acknowledge my work enough to trust me with this monumental project is truly a blessing. We’re here to do more than bring Kerala’s rich reputation as a traveler’s haven back to the forefront. We’re here to help restore the residual economy back to its glory before the devastating floods of 2018. Nearly 500 people lost their lives in the flooding, and furthermore the damage inhibited much of Kerala’s economic relation to tourism and travel. I am humbled by the people’s resolve, the resiliency of nature to rebuild, and the abundance of stories that fill every corner of Kerala. We photographed 5 main advertising images, each representing a unique environment in Kerala: the forest, temple, streets, sea shore, and backwaters. At the heart of this photo series is the convergence of different cultures co-existing within a single place. Tourism is built around the basic lifestyle that Kerala lives in, instead of being created as its own entity. Therein lies the draw. The travelers are included in each composition, yet are not prominent. They are a part of the landscape, but they take a back seat and a blurry composition in conjunction to the local people who exist in this natural aesthetic as effortlessly as you or I live in our own homes. It’s an ode to what travelers are looking for in Kerala— real life. They want to observe and assimilate naturally to the rich culture and color instead of overtake it.
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New advertising work for @keralatourism . The entire new photography series, as well as a behind the scenes video showing how we did it is now up on my blog. 🌿Link in bio 🌿 In the forests of Wayanad a blanket of fog followed us into the lush forest. Dusk broke and scattered the light between ancient tree-lines. We trekked along elephant tracks through some of the last remaining tropical evergreen rain forests high in the mountains. I was able to highlight real roles people lead in these lands. Around here several tribes make their living in and through the forest. We highlighted farmers who have migrated to these fertile lands and rangers that tend to this wildly diverse landscape. There are school children in the background taking what would be a common route to school each day. The forest is their home, education—their life. Kerala has the highest literacy rate in all of India precisely because of the economic and social developments that have afforded every demographic the opportunity to grow through education and rising equality. There is whole ecosystem of interdependent coexisting plants, animals, and people that make this land what it is.
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This concept for my campaign with @keralatourism had a special meaning. It rained endlessly in the middle of August, Kerala 2018. Rivers flowed into the streets, into homes. Kerala, surrounded and dependent on the various channels of water, was suddenly consumed. It was then that authorities put out the local call. They needed help. And there was one demographic that rose to the occasion—the fishermen of Kerala. It is estimated that of the population that needed to be extricated from the flood, volunteer fishermen rescued a dominant 70 percent, with the remaining rescues by organized forces. This notion really elevated our photograph of the sea shore to a higher intention. In this image, I wanted to show the sea shore now restored to pre-disaster conditions, while also highlighting the people who would become modern heroes to Kerala. The fishermen became the main focus of this image. As it is a campaign promoting responsible tourism, we wanted to bring Kerala’s rich reputation as a traveler’s haven back to the forefront. We wanted to help restore this industry that many locals livelihoods depend on. If you haven't seen it yet, the complete behind the scenes video from this shoot is now up on my blog. 🎣 Link in bio. 🎣
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New work for @KeralaTourism. Our crew traveled further still into the villages of Thrissur— hailed as the Cultural Capital of Kerala within its prolific history of spiritual and religious learnings. At the forefront of the portrait is a Tiger man, or Pulikkali (play of the tigers). This painted tiger folk art has been preserved for centuries within the renowned Thrissur celebration Onam, the Harvest festival. There were many moving parts in this composition. One major part was the elephant, local to the land, and largely a part of festival culture. It was important to me to respect the animal by minimizing the time and movement within the photograph. She was photographed as the only composite in the image- not in the actual rice field. We took no more than 20 minutes of her time and brought our set up to her, instead of the other way around. The full behind the scenes video from this shoot is now up on my blog. 🐯 Link in bio.🐯
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The entire new photography series is now up on his blogjoeyl.com/blog/all/post/kerala-india-campaign


About Joey L:

Joseph Anthony Lawrence, best known as Joey L., is a Canadian-born photographer and director based in Brooklyn, New York. Having borrowed his father’s digital point-and-shoot camera at the age of 10, Joey turned to photography as a means of expressing his creativity, which ultimately transformed into a lifelong passion. Let's Get Connected: Website |  Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Text, images and video via Joey L 


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