Red Engine provides a full spectrum of photographic services. From image styling, to brand shoots with models, to landscape photography, to portraits, to studio photography, to events, we have a team of specialist Art Directors and Photographers capable of answering any brief.

Image style case study

Our challenge... to develop unique image styles for both the Thomson and First Choice brands

Red Engine worked closely with TUI UK to develop unique and distinctive image styles for their two lead brands: Thomson and First Choice. The primary aim was to develop two instantly recognisable styles which separated the brands from one another, as well as other travel companies.

We considered each brand's tone of voice when developing its visual style

The Thomson brand felt warm, conversational and calm, positioned as expert and insightful. The First Choice brand on the other hand was fun and energetic, coupled with providing a sense of understanding and nurturing at the same time. This was being communicated in TV advertising, but it didn't carry through as strongly in the existing image styles at the time. Our task was to transfer this success into the images used in the brochures, brand websites and social media channels.

We developed personas for each brand

We started with the models featuring in the shoots themselves and how they needed to be presented, in order to reflect these two separate brand identities:

Thomson people: They like comfort, they like to kick back and relax. They like to feel the warm holiday breeze and enjoy a good meal after a day in the sun. You can hear their sighs of pleasure.

First Choice people: They are fun, they like to play and they are full of energy. They enjoy the moment. They want lots to do on holiday. You can hear their laughter.

These considerations were crucial and used to establish style guidelines, which dictated how we developed the casting process, right through to the artistic direction on the shoots themselves and post production techniques.

And we thought about how they would dress...

We also looked closely at styling. How to dress talent on location played an important role in the development of these two unique image styles.

For Thomson, clothes needed to be cool, stylish and restrained in colour.

For First Choice, it was all about bright, cheery outfits with personality.

...And how they would behave

It was equally important to look at mood and atmosphere. The models featuring in Thomson shoots needed to look and feel totally relaxed and happy. The models on the First Choice shoots required an upbeat sense of energy.

We also considered different photographic techniques

Through research we established that most holiday images show colour and beauty, with everything sharply in focus. However a shallower depth of field offers a more personal and intimate feel, without compromising on the colour or authority.

Shooting everything in this style wouldn't allow much flexibility so we also established guidelines for photographers to enable them to adapt the technique depending on the subject matter and/or the key purpose for the images being captured.

Our approach resulted in confident and distinctive brand image styles being introduced for both Thomson and First Choice.