Back in late 2018, I received a really lovely commission from Morecambe BID to shoot their “Uniquely Morecambe” promotion centred around Morecambe’s uniquely independent businesses. My brief was to “bring the unique essence of the business out”, without resorting to plain old “shoot and scoot” type photography. The intention was not so much to advertise the individual business, but rather the town and the unique, quirkiness and individuality of Morecambe’s business offers. At the same time, producing a fun and light-hearted campaign.
As John O’Neill, Manager of Morecambe BID, put it, “we wanted a different campaign, one that would bring the essence of the businesses out without resorting to the ‘butcher with a plate of sausages’ shot. Johnny managed to capture the essence of the brief very well and there is a fun element involved, as well”.
He added that “Every shot features a gull, not as obvious in some as in others, and there’s a quirkiness about it. In ‘Gullfight on Victoria St.’, Gully, our webcam sensation, is seen packing a six-shooter whilst facing down Colin Brown (hairdresser) who’s only armed with a blow dryer.”.
The images from the shoot were turned into a Morecambe Calendar and sold at various outlets and events across the town raising around £4000 for local charities. Several images from the shoot each year have also been turned into vinyl wraps to go on empty shop units, creating a unique town centre exhibition.
The window wraps also feature some fantastic design work by Mal Garnett, Managing Director of Apparatus Marketing, who said: “as Creative Director for the campaign, the decision was easy to feature Morecambe people as the heroes of the town, beautifully captured by Morecambe photographer Johnny Bean. Morecambe isn’t your usual seaside town, the people who live and work here are the essence of this place; fun, quirky and all individual. The campaign celebrates our differences, the people and the true hidden vibrancy of this part of the world. Watch out, things can only get better”.
In late 2019, following the success of the first shoot, vinyl window wraps and calendar, I was asked to repeat the campaign for 2020. As we are all aware, Covid came along and that inevitably disrupted some of the plans, but it was a lovely project to repeat, and I’m happy to say I’m now, in mid-2021, working on photos for the third successive year of the campaign!