Remember last year when I posted about going on an adventure with IKEA
? Well, today I’m really excited because I’m blogging the first look at one of the activities I was lucky enough to experience during the trip. Friends, do you care to join me on a behind the scenes tour of the IKEA catalogue? Great: lights, camera, IKEA – let’s go!
When you walk into IKEA
Communications, which is located in the small town of Älmhult, Sweden, you instantly know where you are: a colourful, double-height wall adorned with head-shots of all the 280 co-workers who work on the catalogue towers above a row of KLIPPAN
sofas neatly arranged into mini meeting areas. I was greeted with a friendly welcome from multiple co-workers and after a quick run down of the catalogue’s history I was all set to begin my adventure. I was guided towards two sizeable double doors where security codes were entered and I stepped into the creative heart of IKEA’s visuals.
At 8,800 square metres, I was standing inside Europe’s largest photographic studio and it was a hive of activity: Interior designers were busy rearranging room sets or tweaking the styling before a photo shoot began; photographers paused to look through their camera lenses before liaising with the other people on set around big monitors; set builders painted walls and floors; and technicians hurried past with cables and cameras. I was eager to photograph as much as I could but, understandably, we were only allowed to take certain snaps because the team were busy working on the 2014 catalogue. I did, however, get the chance to have a go on set behind one of the cameras – talk about once in a life time opportunity, especially given that the IKEA catalogue is the largest printed media in the World! I was fascinated by the little room set that I shot in because it was tucked away in a far corner of the studio (complete with the co-worker car park outside the window!), yet it still felt like a sanctuary and I genuinely could have moved in! After experiencing what it’s like to shoot on set of the IKEA catalogue, I would could have walked away satisfied with my behind the scenes experience but the excitement wasn’t quite over…
After walking around a few corners and ducking under what must have been at least ten metre high drapes of fabric, I walked onto a vast set that had recently been dismantled ready to make way for a new room set. It was only then that the team told me the very spot I was standing has been used to shoot a location in the current catalogue. Yes, that was the point I jumped in the air with excitement. You can see the shot from this room set on page 106-7 in IKEA’s current catalogue.
I have lots more fun to show you from my trip but for now I hope you felt like you were right there with me experiencing the magic of creating the IKEA catalogue.