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News & Insight

Behind The Scenes With Joey L. | Lavazza Calendar 2016

By Bing Putney on October 21st 2016

Every year, the Lavazza coffee company contracts a top level photographer to shoot their branded calendar. The production involves a serious budget, and past editions have been shot by the likes of Annie Leibovitz and Steve McCurry. For 2016, Joey L. was in charge of the “From Father to Son” themed calendar, which took him and his crew to 5 different countries around the world, over the course of 40 days, to shoot portraits of the working families involved in the agricultural toil of producing coffee, and food, for the world’s consumption. The resulting images are breathtaking.


Joey L regularly releases behind the scenes videos for his shoots, and has produced a number of tutorials, all available on his site: For the epic Lavazza calendar project, there was enough material available to split the video into 4 separate chapters, each detailing different locations and the working families in each locale chosen as Joey’s subjects.

The videos are much less focused on the technical considerations behind the shots, and concentrate more on the experience of taking on such an ambitious campaign, and the stories of the subjects themselves. It’s clear that Joey Shoots with several different cameras, one Canon 5D series body, and a Mamiya medium format body with a Phase One digital back, and he seems to always shoot tethered into a MacBook Pro running Capture One. Lighting-wise, he often seems to employ large Elinchrom octaboxes and Broncolor para umbrellas, as well as large panel reflectors.


However, these videos are clearly not about the meter readings and camera settings. They give us all a glimpse of what it’s like to be on a shoot with a top level photographer, and the challenges and victories that come with such an extensive project. The stories that come from such an endeavor are at times funny, moving, and powerful, and the subjects featured in the photos are often inspirational.

[REWIND: Best Dad Ever Photographs 3-Year-Old Daughter As The Incredible Wonder Woman]

Joey L. is a Canadian-born, Brooklyn, NY-based photographer with a massive client list too long to include here. For more information, work, and tutorials, see his website:

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Bing is a professional portrait and on-set still photographer who lives in Los Angeles, and frequently travels the world to explore new and interesting cultures and pastries.

Instagram: @bingputney

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Nelson Cintron

    WOW…amazing work. I love it. Thank you for sharing .

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