Still Images in Great Advertising- Tom Nagy

Still Images In Great Advertising, is a column where Suzanne Sease discovers great advertising images and then speaks with the photographers about it.

I wanted to finish my series of my favorites from CA Photo Annual with the work of Tom Nagy and his award winning campaign for Swiss. One of things I love about this campaign is how many ads they did which is something we don’t see that much anymore.



Suzanne: Tell me a little more about this campaign. How many concepts were there and I see in the “Making of” it required a lot of crew and some plane to plane communication.

Tom: The art director Swen Murath saw the personal series I did 3 years ago and wanted me to shoot the whole campaign exactly this way. At the end, we produced approximately 20 ads within 10 days of production. The key to get the shots we wanted was the incredible support we received from the airport authority in Zurich and the fact that we got the time we needed to produce the right quality. We had the green card to do almost whatever we wanted on the entire airport. It was a little bit like playing God. We have been on the runway, getting rid of 30 disturbing carts in the shot was just a call. We rerouted flights, moved around on cherry-picker, moved a lot of planes. Overall a photographers dream….

Suzanne: I like “Making of” verses behind the scenes because you show more technical aspects which I think is nice. Tell me more about that and also what’s it like to make snow in Los Angeles?

Tom: It was great to make snow in downtown LA. Many pedestrians came closer and touched the snow and asked us if it was really snow. Some of these people had never touched snow before. We have had a lot of fun making jokes with these guys. The fake snow we used is absolutely amazing. It has all features real snow has. You can make snowballs which look absolutely authentic. Just the cold is missing. One thing I really love on my job, is to create my own world which often is a little bit “ better than life “

Suzanne: I see when you are doing personal projects, you like to shoot more people in the images. Do you wish clients would consider for more projects with people because you are good with landscapes and people.

Tom: I prefer to have people in my pictures and I´m always happy when clients book me for projects where people are involved. Shooting pure landscapes is a big luxury less and less clients go for it.

Suzanne: What is so nice about your advertising work is that you are hired to large campaigns not just one ad. Do you like to be a part of the collaboration process?

Tom: I always try to be as involved as possible in every detail of the concept. Pushing for the locations, talents and other details I´d like to see in my pictures is important to get the results I´d like to deliver. I´m always grateful when creatives ask me for my input to what could be an exciting approach for a campaign.

Note: Content for Still Images In Great Advertising is found. Submissions are not accepted.

Born in Germany, Tom started with photography at the age of 15, when his father gave him his old Minolta camera. After highschool he opened his first studio and has been assisting for 5 years before he went to Hamburg and officially started his career.

During the last 15 years he traveled around the world for his global clients. He won numerous awards like ADC, AOP, PDN, ONE SHOW, GRAPHYS, COMMUNICATION ARTS, BFF, LÜRZERS 200 BEST and many others. His work has been shown in several group and single exhibitions. He has given lectures in several different universitys and has been the chairman for the BFF, the association of german photographers.

He is member of ADC New York AOP in London and BFF in Germany.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.

Suzanne Sease

There Are 5 Comments On This Article.

  1. Beautiful colours and well executed photos, Suzanne. You really brought out the Swiss airline brand.