Tag Archives: photography

Thinking Outside the Stock

Don’t get us wrong… we appreciate stock photography. A lot. There is rarely a better resource out there for finishing jobs with limited budgets or extremely tight turnarounds. The one thing stock photography cannot deliver on its own is uniqueness. That’s because stock photography is designed to depict iconic scenarios – business meetings, kids playing outside, romantic dinner on the beach, and many other similar settings, events, or groups. So, there is an unavoidable air of familiarity about them. That can be reassuring or even useful at times. The same doesn’t hold true in luxury markets or in other competitive industries like real estate or high-end travel and hospitality. For those audiences, the idea of custom, one-of-a-kind, never-before-seen imagery sets the tone for the exclusive offering or appeal of one brand over another.  

Photography is more than just a service we offer at helium – it’s a passion. Many of us consider ourselves better-than-average amateur photographers. Many of us have had formal photography training. All of us have a deep appreciation for what it takes to look through a lens and capture an image that conveys mood, moments, and meaning. Each photographer is different, which means there’s a just-right photographer out there for every project. It may be for a print project, web design, or even a strong Instagram following, but custom photography has the power to elevate any good project to greatness.

To make sure we’re developing only the very best opportunities, we maintain relationships with many top local photographers based out of South Florida and the Northeast U.S. locations of helium. And we know how to “speak” photographer to artists we haven’t met before, or who live and work elsewhere in the world. Lighting, film or digital, fashion or landscape, artistic or journalistic, we believe in a collaborative process that arrives at a clients’ vision and produces visual assets that are as distinct as a brand’s logo.

The Process: Photoshoots

We’re coming off of a successful 2-day photoshoot on Miami Beach for one of our real estate clients, 57 Ocean. As a branding studio, we pride ourselves in curating the full brand experience, from concept to identity to all forms of visual communication. For 57 Ocean we spearheaded a photo and video shoot to support the sales and marketing team with new content that would help tell the brand story and highlight the lifestyle. Photography played a huge role as an extension of their visual identity.

A great photoshoot is more than one person with a camera, it’s a full team effort.  Here at helium, we have a variety of photography + video partners we enlist depending on the look and feel we’re trying to achieve. We have a hand in every part of the process: vision, storyboarding, planning, coordinating teams and, of course, being on set to help art direct and manage the process to ensure the concept comes to life.

For 57 Ocean, helium enlisted one of our favorite photography + video teams to execute the sophisticated look and brand narrative.

Here is a sneak peak into our process.

The birth of a great design campaign.

Every year leading global landscape architecture firm, EDSA, reaches out to us to design their intern recruitment campaign and every year we joy at the idea of creating something geared towards the new generation of talent.

EDSA’s internship program is an extensive one that gives hand-on experience to future landscape architects in a field that is quiet small. To be able to practice what they’ve learned in the classroom on real life projects around the world, with seasoned industry experts, and have the opportunity to add this experience to your resume is priceless.

For the 2017 Recruitment Campaign, it all started with EDSA EVP of Marketing, Jill Martinez, and helium’s Art Director, Ryan, getting together to refine some overall ideas. In the landscape architecture industry, it’s very common to get marker ink on your hands and forearms when you’re sketching these oversized plans or blueprints. Around the EDSA office, they joke around that a ‘good day’ is a day when you have a significant amount of ink markings. You’ve been hard at work, getting the job done and doing what you love. And so, from this simple concept, the idea behind ‘Good Day Everyday’ was born.


The Silent Voice of Imagery

Our world is chock full of imagery; from photography to illustration to painting + drawing to graphic design. It’s a constant stream of sensory stimulation that sets the tone for the world we live in. As far as we’re concerned, Instagram + Pinterest are two of the best inventions EVER. As designers we’re 100% fully immersed in this visual world whether searching for inspiration or contributing to the collective with our own creations.

We use imagery every day to inspire our work, set the mood we want a brand to convey + communicate their story in an engaging way. Color, vibrancy, tonality, shape, texture, expression, light and shadow all work together to create a compelling sentiment.

Something as simple as a picture of white flowers in a mason jar shot in different light will convey a completely different mood. The first image is somber yet evocative while the second image is bright, hopeful and cheery.



Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 3.28.48 PM


It’s really cool to look back on a completed project and see how the inspiration imagery influenced the final product.

To convey a luxe, glamorous, modern, feminine feel we looked to pictures with gold, flowers, sparkly dresses and warm tones.


Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 3.43.20 PM


This imagery set the tone for the final identity for realtor Mel Carbonell. A wide-spaced sans serif font was paired with a script font in a gold color to illustrate a strong, modern feminine feel.


Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 3.50.27 PM


The logo we created for Farrey’s, a leading South Florida lighting + bath retailer, is another great example. Black + white shapes in geometric patterns were accented by gradient light spectrums. Modern, clean graphics conveyed edge, creativity + innovation.





The final logo is a sleek and contemporary icon, an abstract F that communicates the Farrey’s modern brand in a timeless aesthetic.




For Symsyx, the juxtaposition of cool, slate tones with warmer imagery and colors tells a story of a trustworthy company with an interest in nurturing and developing their customer relationships.


Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 4.07.39 PM


The blend of humanity + nature with tech + graphic elements further reinforces the connection between people and technology inspiring a modern mark for the Symsyx logo. Abstract cuts in letterforms communicate a connectedness and joint-like symbolism, displaying one element relying on another for unity and function, much like humans relying on technology and vice versa.


Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 4.18.23 PM


We’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone taking + sharing images online! It not only makes our job easier, but creates a more interesting, collaborative life experience. Where are some of your favorite places to find inspiration?

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook + Twitter @heliumcreative!