You won’t find junk food in Lumina’s footage. While this Serbian team shoots highly commercial, contemporary footage, they don’t sacrifice their values. “We love money, but we love our planet more,” says CEO Goldmund Lukic.
Describe Lumina’s philosophy.
Our main goal is to produce authentic, vibrant imagery that paints a picture of the world as we would like to see it.
We don’t shoot something just because it sells well — we care about things such as environmental issues and healthy, conscious living. While we’re highly focused on making our production commercial and saleable enough to keep us profitable, you won’t see Lumina indiscriminately shooting whatever sells best.
For example, you won’t find junk food in our portfolio. It’s a commercial subject, but we believe food should nourish you, not kill you. We’d rather focus on vegetarian food, yoga and other such subjects that resonate with our own ideas of wellbeing and a conscious lifestyle. That kind of thinking shines through in our portfolio.
We’re not aiming to please everyone. There’s an endless list of subjects to shoot, and we choose to shoot what makes us happy. We love money, but we love our planet more.
How does the team get inspired?
We like to travel, explore, and hang out with friends and colleagues, so most of our inspiration comes from there – from talking with people, feeling the place we are visiting, or simply working with a model who inspires us to shoot something specific.
We’re pretty free-flowing in terms of what and how we shoot. We’re open to possibilities, and improvise as we go.
How do you determine the themes of your shoots?
Because the majority of our work is sold through agencies, we don’t have as much direct customer feedback as we would like, but that’s how stock production works.
Most of the time, our ideas come from within the team. Each of us has unique interests and our own way of seeing the world. In a brainstorming session, we pick a theme we’d like to shoot next. Then we create rough sketches and storyboards and move on to pre-production.
We usually avoid over-planning, since every shoot is unpredictable and unique. If you only stick to the shoot schedule and aren’t open to playing things by ear, you’ll miss those killer shots.
How much do you shoot to emerging trends?
We’re more focused on the now. Whatever comes next, we’ll be there at that moment to cover it in a new way.
We tend to work with partners who provide infrastructures that can facilitate quick content ingestion. With our most efficient partners, our content is online days (sometimes hours!) after being shot. This allows us to offer content in sync with current fashion, style, technology, etc.
You shoot both photography and video. What’s that workflow like?
We come from photography, and we’re still actively shooting stills. But we’re having so much fun with video production that it feels natural to keep devoting more resources to it.
One of us usually shoots stills while others are shooting video. This often works great. However, it depends on the shoot. Sometimes — like if there’s not enough time, or only one person is shooting a particular thing, or we have only strobes on the set — it’s not possible to efficiently have both shoots running at the same time. It can be a headache. So if one is going to be done at the expense of the other, we won’t shoot stills and video simultaneously.
Behind the scenes of a recent Lumina shoot. The footage will soon be available here.
What are your three shoot must-haves?
Sufficient inspiration, thorough pre-production, and having fun while working.
Meet Derek Armstrong McNeill
Derek McNeill has been telling visual stories most of his life. The Seattlite first honed his eye working as a photographer in the US Air Force, then worked in advertising art direction and design. He now divides his time shooting his own documentary projects and stock footage. “After carrying around a camera kit for years, telling visual […] Read more