It’s déjà vu for photographer Kevin Steele with his recent tourism campaign for South Dakota, and we are all lucky enough to cash in on the experience. Twelve years ago Kevin was shooting in the Black Hills and the Badlands and was literally on the faces of the presidents of Mount Rushmore. He balanced on Jefferson’s nose to create a unique landscape of National Park Rangers lowering down Lincoln’s profile. This time around Kevin collaborated with ad agency Lawrence & Schiller and South Dakota Tourism for their 2017 campaign “My Great Place".
The campaign focuses on the different moments visitors find during their vacation that make their Great Place in South Dakota come alive. Kevin is known for creating an emotional connection with his beautiful cinematic scenes of people enjoying life. That connection and an extensive landscape portfolio, along with his extraordinary composition of colors, light and locations are the elements that hooked Senior Art Director Sarah Pitts. She loved how Kevin’s visual style meshed with the state’s brand, but more importantly his ability to convey the beauty and feeling of South Dakota for a monumental vacation.
"The South Dakota tourism project was magical not only for the incredible locations but for the kindness and enthusiasm of everyone involved—the real people cast for the scenes, the crew and the agency, " says Kevin. With first assistant and location scout Kacie and Art Director Sarah, they created a triad of epic vistas. An oasis in a sea of prairie, Kevin gives us the natural beauty and adventure of the Black Hills and the Badlands. Whether hiking, camping or just relaxing, visitors connect to this other worldly landscape and its rich history.
The “My Great Place” campaign was introduced by South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard to the tourism industry in mid-January of 2017. It will be appearing on billboards, online and in print. In the past year, Kevin has produced cinematic scenes of people enjoying life for clients ranging from American Express, Delta Airlines and Bayer through to travel/hospitality and resort clients across the Americas. An open attitude, careful prep with detailed scouting and a dash of serendipity all add up to Kevin’s stunning imagery. Check out his site for more work, www.kevsteele.com