While shooting for JCP (the retail outlet known as JC Penny for nearly a century), photographer Geof Kern got in touch with his inner child. "The word that best describes my experience on the JCP campaign is FUN," says Geof. "There were up to 8 kids at the shoots, most were under 5-years old. The set looked like a circus with bold bright colors--including lavender, a color not typically associated with my photography--and kids running around playing. Here I was coaching 3-year-olds to scream."
For their branding "makeover," JCP turned to PMH Advertising, the firm renown for Target's transformation more than a decade ago. For both Target and JCP, PHM hired Dallas-based design agency Bennett-Elia to coordinate local shoots. "I've worked with them before. Even though it was a polar opposite from my normal 'conceptual' work, they thought I was right for it."
Because there were so many kids involved (all pros in Geof's opinion), the shoots took place in a studio where the environment was controllable. "That meant that everything had to be elaborately built and decorated to look like we were outside. I recreated a park inside the studio, and that was fun too. Randy Elia was like "Uncle Randy." He's running all over the place, having sword fights with the kids."
"This was a departure for me and I loved it. It was great to try something so different and have so much fun doing it. It was like I was on a holiday."