The task at hand - concept and create a cover photo for the redpepper interns website that proclaims to the world redpepper is now hiring! Sounds simple enough, right?

Sure! And all we had to do was find a clever and witty, light- hearted and positive, entertaining and humble way to sum up redpepper’s core values and the culture of the company, all while appealing to the best and brightest college Juniors and Seniors.

Sound so simple now?

No Job is Finished until the Brainstorm is Complete

We had our task, now it was time to brainstorm.

All of the interns gathered in Fjorderland and ideas began to flow; before we knew it we were floating in a sea of ideas, everything from spaghetti western most wanted ads to interviewing in your underwear was throw out there (and then thrown away).

Eventually, we all could agree on one thing, redpepper interns are here to hustle and grow.

Now we had our concept, but how do we visually represent that idea?

We decided the grand staircase in the main lobby was a perfect (almost cliché) representation of growth. This provided an excellent opportunity to show case redpepper’s amazing space and use the natural lighting that floods the area during peak hours.

This also allowed us to show off the team rooms, meeting areas, seating areas and Ping-Pong table (you really get the work hard play hard vibe) located in the main lobby.


Choosing the space was easy, but we needed a focal point. Using the redpepper red to create contrast, we wanted to make the potential hire the focus of the shot.

Placing the focal points on the lower center of the staircase and using the redpepper red to draw the eye into the focal point created the image of an intern coming into a world of opportunity and growth.


So we had the growing part of our message covered, but we needed to represent the hustle.

We decided action was the best way to represent the daily hustle at redpepper.

In order to show action in the shot we used a long shutter speed to create the blur around the shot’s focal point.

All moving elements in the shot were dressed in neutral, cool colors so that the interviewee, dressed in the warm red, remained the focus.


I Need More Hustle to Your Grow

Finally it was time to bring our brainchild into the world.

So how do you get nine people to move in a synchronized way so that the shot doesn’t look synchronized?

You begin by placing everyone strategically around the room and then re-setting the shot about a trillion times.

We needed to figure out what shutter speed was going to create the right amount of blur, so 20-30 test shots were taken to determine the best exposure.

We wanted to create the illusion of action, but keep the surrounding action readable.

Once we found the best shutter speed, we had to create balance within the shot in order to make sure the action took place in equal parts around the focal point.

After what seemed like 100 takes, we finally got the perfect shot!

A special addition ended up in the shot too, which was perfect since redpepper is a K-9 friendly environment.

Last, but certainly not least, our main design-man Marlon dove into some retouching (mostly enhancing the color of the focal points and some other design magic beyond a non-designers comprehension) and added the Now Hiring call to action and Voila! – our cover photo was ready to go live!

Creating this cover photo was a first experience for many of the interns this semester, so of course there were some key take-aways from this process.


It’s Great to Learn, Because Knowledge is Power

First, be prepared! I know this sounds so obvious, but making sure all your proverbial ducks are in a row (or actual ducks if your shoot involves livestock) is key.

Be ready to coherently express your ideas and have visual examples and storyboards ready to go on the day of your pitch.

Also, make sure you are tech ready and have any technical elements involved in your presentation open and running when the meeting starts.

Second, make sure each aspect of the project has an owner and hold that party responsible for making sure that detail gets taken care.

Of course you need to work as a team to accomplish your end goal, but ownership helps keep the process rolling.

Which brings me to the third and last take-away, create a schedule and stick to it as closely as possible.

An organized effort will manifest the best results and keep everyone on the same page, so make sure there is a schedule and it’s visible to every team member.