A naturally social species, we thrive through our connection with others.

That can take many shapes throughout our lives – finding your tribe at the skatepark, lazy days at the beach with your friends, conversations with your little nieces and nephews, multiple generations of a family uniting for a meal. Now we can cherish those moments for longer, sharing them with our loved ones through snapshots, voice notes or video calls on WhatsApp. Even when we’re separated by oceans, the app brings us closer together.

In March this year, Emily Scarlett Romain undertook an epic three week project, with an eight-day shoot in Cape Town for WhatsApp through BBDO Berlin. Her brief was to take pictures for the company’s global image library, focusing on the Brazilian, Indian and UK markets. Emily’s authentic style was perfectly suited to the task. With talent largely street cast during location recces, this is a real embodiment of connection.

In addition to product shots of people using the app, Emily was tasked with creating brand essence images. These evoke a broader feeling the client wanted to convey – of life as it is, at once everyday and extraordinary. Even when we’re not actively using our phones, they are with us. That connectivity is enmeshed in our existence, amplifying the moments that count.

“We chose talent based on the intricacies and nuances of their communities, without having scenarios decided prior. This allowed people to bring their whole selves to the shoot, inviting us in to capture their authentic world, in their personal spaces.”

Emily Scarlett Romain

Thank you to the amazing team that made this happen:⁠

Creative Director – Wolfgang Warzilek
Senior Art Director – Erin Conboy
Global Account Lead – Disha Jain
Executive Producer – Alexander Geier
Art buyer – Betty Zschirnt

Photographer – Emily Scarlett Romain
Producer – Kay Edwards
Production Assistant – Bonnie Ophelia

Local Production – Steel Productions
Senior Producers – André Van Wyk & Caryn van Wyk
Production Manager – Garth Levin
Senior Coordinator – Vicky Johns
Junior Coordinator – Amy Liefdt
Production Assistants – Kevin Krow / Freddy Kalenga / Peter van der Merwe / Callum Jamieson

Unit Manager – Teegan Smith
Unit Assistants – Tinashe Chibuwe / Munya Maliana

Camera and Lighting Assistants – John Second / Mario Rabie
Digi op – Zac Basson
DOP – Josh Rowe
1 AC / loader – Mark Van Zyl

Lab – Cape Film supply

Hair Stylist – Alet Viljoen
Make up Artist – Neveen Studio
Make up Assistant – Cym Clarke
Wardrobe Stylist – Andrea Albertyn
Wardrobe Stylist Assistant – Mika Loubser
Props Stylist – Vanessa Gsell
Props Stylist Assistant – Ludia Geldenhuys
Food Stylist – Amerae Vercueil
Food Stylist assistant – Ellah Maepa

Catering – Mia Smith
Medic – Benjamin Grant

Street Casting and Research – Nicole Copelyn / Helen Andrews
Studio Casting – Benedicte R