There’s nothing better than kicking off a new year with 11 days on the road with friends, covering 5 states, 6 campaign shoots, and wrapping it up with 4 days in one of our new favorite cities in the US: Portland.
These Q1 treks across the continents are becoming an annual thing here in the Marketing department of Db. It’s a way of getting ahead of the to-do list, capturing content for our spring-summer drops, and a great excuse to escape the Arctic winter darkness of Scandinavia.
This time, at the tail end of our trip, we found ourselves in Portland to capture campaign imagery of the new colorway Birchwood Brown, alongside some new, very interesting campaigns coming in 2023. Having spoken to Hunter at the Design department, we wanted to dive into the workwear inspired fabric. It has that Pacific Northwest vibe. We figured that the lush and moody forests of Oregan would fit perfectly with the color.
We kicked off the Portland stop with a day of location scouting out by the coast. Jen, our talent for the shoot, doubled as our part time producer, and had made our lives easier with a list full of trailheads, parking lots, interesting buildings and scenic roads.
To the untrained eye, all trails out by Cannon Beach are the same; the same sort of trees, the same misty vibe, and with a great, big parking lot to have as a base. We hiked around 3 km in on 3-4 of them, and picked our favorite. We also figured that Vans are not the best hiking shoes on muddy trails. We agreed that the trail/hiking shoes would be the better option.
We checked out all locations, gathered our thoughts, and commuted back to Portland. Tin drove. It was foggy, pouring down rain, and there was a lot of traffic. William and I worked on the last details for the shoot on the laggy hotspot connection. Tin? Well, he was still driving. Then both William and I fell asleep. No prizes for guessing what Tin was doing (driving) .
A 06:00 alarm on a shoot day is a luxury. We had even planned ahead and had some bars and misc food in the car ready for the drive out to the coast. The snacks were selected based on their ability to wake us up and fuel us for the day ahead.
Once at the coast, William, Tin and I went right into production mode and figured out the last pieces of styling, bags and locations based on the latest weather forecast. Something I have learned over time is that no matter how much planning we do, shoots always seem to be changed around the last minute.
We started off with some interior and exterior shots around Jen and Joey’s house, which is arguably the cutest house ever built. Yeah, super cute. Once done, the talent squeezed into Caley’s 90’s Landcruiser and led the way to the trailhead where we started our hike.
With this elusive bridge as the destination, we set off into the lush forest, grabbing imagery along the way in a sort of “run, jump over trees, and just go for it” type of photography. In the back of our mind, the concept text played on repeat:
“Life doesn’t follow a template. There is no set path, no guarantees and no ‘perfect fit’.”
Sometimes things don’t go as planned, and all you can do is to embrace it.
The bridge? It wasn’t there. Our hero image of our explorers crossing the bridge turned impossible. Why? The 50 year storm that had curveballed our desert shoot in Utah earlier on the US trip had snapped the bridge in half, raised it from its foundation, and rendered it utterly useless.
The rest of the day went smoothly though. We had a memorable seafood lunch, drove to another trailhead, dove through fallen trees, and ran away from waves on a rocky beach.
At 5 pm sharp, we found ourselves back at the car. The crew of soaking wet, muddy and tired people were split between our two cars; one headed for the local watering hole, the other to Portland. Hugs were exchanged. Future ski and surf trips planned. Bags tetris’d. It was a wrap.
Once we dried off, changed our footwear and put on a puffy jacket, we did the last push on our food guide to Portland. First though, we made sure to back up the content. Twice. And we took the precaution of storing the two drives in different hotel rooms. Just in case. A couple of appetizers, mains, drinks and a talkative Uber driver later, we hit the bed.
Last morning. Last time packing bags on this trip. Pack bags, inserts, passport holders and backpacks. Rollers and duffels. Packing and unpacking is never a struggle when you have a vast selection of bags. Hooked-Up™, we rolled through the hallways, down the elevator, tetris'd the bags into the rental, dropped off the rental, rolled through the terminal, checked in the bags, flew through security, and arrived at the gate just in time for boarding.
US, you were amazing this time around. See you again (very) soon.
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