By David Soffa

Chicago-based photographer Tim Klein had worked with Jim Bizier, the art director from Brand Content in the past, so when he recommended Tim for a shoot for Keurig, Tim was happy to accept.


The concept behind the shoot was to illustrate the difference between an uncomfortable commute and Keurig brewed coffee. The tagline was “less than perfect, perfect every time;” to illustrate that you can’t control your commute, but you can rely on a Keurig to make a consistently great cup of coffee.

They wanted the pictures to depict various commuting scenes, showing people in uncomfortable everyday situations.

To plan for the shoot, Tim hired a producer and worked with them to flesh out the details. Because they needed to shoot several different types of commutes: a bus, a train, the subway and a ferry, they ended up shooting at the Illinois Railway Museum. It had everything they needed except the ferry! For that, Tim and his team had to improvise. They ended up finding a boat within their budget that they could rent from the Mystic Blue Cruise Line at the Navy Pier.

There are no ferries in Chicago, so we had to make this boat look like a large commuter ferryboat, like what you would see in Seattle.

Since the concept of the shoot was humorous to begin with, there were certainly some funny moments on set — especially when Tim photographed two young people kissing next to a business woman.

I remember asking the models to “gross kiss” to create an awkward moment for the model playing the business woman…it was really funny I had never shot anything like that.

In the end, the images were well-received. Tim partially credits the campaign's success to great chemistry between all the team members.

I love teamwork and working on quick deadlines. It was exciting renting a giant boat for four hours to get one shot. I really enjoyed the whole project because everyone worked so well together.

The ads ended up running on ferries and trains in several cities. Check out Tim’s documentation shots below.