Sam Tootal first picked up a camera at age 14, when he enrolled in a black and white photography course at England’s Cambridge Darkroom. Despite having no previous exposure to photography (pun intended), he discovered he was a natural at using the lens to capture the decisive moment where beauty and emotion meet.
His newfound passion propelled him to study editing, post-production, and animation. Soon after university, he landed a gig at renowned London-based design consultancy SPIN. There, after rebranding the UK’s Channel 5 with a dynamic mixture of Swiss modernist typography and moving images, his future as a directorial force became clear.
Sam has gone on to craft distinctive campaigns for a host of notable brands, including Aviva, BMW, ESPN, Powerade, and Sony. Each one surpasses standard art direction and stylization to achieve a greater honesty and naturalness. Mundane objects become arrestingly gorgeous. Everyday scenes fill with genuine emotion. Actors transcend performance to arrive at truth. Add it all up, and Sam’s initial encounter with photography at the Cambridge Darkroom starts to look a lot less like a teenage whim… and a lot more like fate showing him what he was born to do.