PR Case Study: Chiltern Railway's Supernatural Liason Officer
To create a big PR splash around Halloween on a limited budget, Chiltern Railways planned to create a new staff role at their Leamington Spa station. Reportedly one of the most haunted stations in the country.
The photographs were used to promote the story of Nick Rees, Supernatural Liason Officer, whose role included checking that ghosts had paid for their train tickets and making sure they didn't scare other travellers.
To create the appearance of ghosts in photographs, I used a fairly simple, but effective Photoshop technique. Using a camera on a tripod, each scene was photographed twice. Firstly with just Nick in the scene and then for the second photograph the "ghost" was added.
In Photoshop, the second photograph is layered on top of the first. The ghost is then created by reducing the opacity of the second photograph and creating the see-through effect. Spooky!
The story was picked up by news outlets as far away as the U.S., where The Washington Times ran the story. In the UK, The Daily Mail ran a full page story on their website with 4 of the photographs. Other puplications included The Metro, a Facebook page, numerous discussion forums and a fan-made Pintrest page was created for photos.
"I love these! You are such a good photographer!" "Amazing photos...as ever you are the best" - Emma Gascoigne, Communications & Social Media Manager, Chiltern Railways