Inside Jonathan Knowles’ Wonder-filled Campaign for Edinburgh Gin

GraphisMay 20, 2024

London-based Jonathan Knowles, one of today's leading advertising photographers, created four enchanting visuals for Edinburgh Gin's craft line alongside the agency Bright Signals. His Platinum award-winning project in the Graphis Photography Awards 2024, "Edinburgh Gin - Filled With Wonder," represents the gin variants: Classic, Cannonball, 1670, and Seaside. Each image, meticulously crafted with dioramas and evocative backdrops, transforms the gin bottles into lenses revealing magical worlds inspired by the mystique of Edinburgh. Jonathan's skilled eye for blending photography with tales of wonder is vividly illustrated as he shares his insights on the project.

By: Jonathan Knowles, Photographer, Studio Knowles

Bright Signals, the well-known Scottish advertising agency, approached me to shoot four main key visuals for the launch of four new London Dry gins. I have worked with the agency a lot, particularly on this brand, so it was great to have another new challenge. 

There’s nowhere quite like Edinburgh. Stone and sea, myths and magic collide here. Around every corner, something extraordinary is waiting. Inspired by the city, Edinburgh Gin created four gins to take you there. From arriving under the shadow of a castle to scaling panoramic peaks to discovering hidden gardens and answering the call of the coast, you have Classic, Cannonball, 1670, and Seaside. These are tales of wonder told through taste. 

As such, these images needed to feel evocative and paint a rich tapestry of the visual world for each variant, having a real sense of depth and truly a sense of wonder—to fulfill the campaign line “Filled with Wonder.” 

In each visual, we needed to ensure that the bottle felt immersed in its visual world. The bottle is our ‘lens’ into that world. Hence, we want to see through the bottle and into the magical world beyond. 

We worked with the agency to create the dioramas to place behind the bottles. We printed them out on a large scale out then shot them in place behind each bottle to really give the impression that the consumer is viewing through the lens of the product. All the props and surrounding activities were created in place, too, to give a truly unified feeling to the finished pieces. 

1670 

We wanted to create the verdant lushness shown in this image, all bedded together with beautiful shards of light. The bottle is enclosed within the foliage, allowing the viewer to be transported to a moment of calm in a secret garden. 

Classic 

Here, the bottle is framed by the beauty of its home city. The Vennel Steps is an iconic location in Edinburgh. It is a much-photographed destination, with blossoms shown in the foreground. 

Seaside 

We were looking to create a master visual that evoked a late summer’s day at the seaside, and crucially, the Scottish seaside, preferably around golden hour. The water allowed for beautiful sunlight reflections on the bottle. We feel the lap of the waves and gentle splashes as if they are flowing through the bottle. 

Cannonball 

Here, we create an image that shows the bottle in the ocean with a dramatic background to showcase the character of this expression. Stormy waves and wild skies deliver the wild and strong personality of this variant.


Jonathan Knowles is an advertising photographer and filmmaker creating extraordinary imagery for the world’s most established brands. He specializes in liquids, still life, drinks, and special effects.  For the last two decades, he has consistently featured in the 200 Best Advertising Photographers Worldwide books, with his image on the cover of the 2020 edition. He has been awarded in both moving images and stills by Graphis, PDN, D&AD, The Art Directors’ Club of New York,  Communication Arts, The Association of Photographers, Campaign, New York Festivals, The Globals, Oneeyeland, and others. In 2019, he won the Advertising Photographer of the Year award for a series of images shot for Dior, with a ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City. In 2020 and 2021, he won the Advertising Film category of the same competition. Today, Jonathan neighbors the River Thames in his London studio, capturing still images and films that will reach people across the globe. It was here that he created the iconic O2 bubbles, and brands such as Coca-Cola, Persil, Facebook, Nescafé, Chopard, Graff, Johnnie Walker, Glenfiddich, and many more have sought out Jonathan’s distinguished and timeless style.

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To see more Photography 2024 competition winners, click here.

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