I will share a couple of examples. I am fortunate to have some close friends that are also in the industry with me. Recently I was talking with Jarmo Pohjaniemi who I consider a very close friend and someone who does not hold back his opinions.
While discussing photography and some of the projects we have been and are working on, he said a couple of things that stuck in my mind during the conversation.
“Think like an art director, think about what clients want and not what you want” and “It’s OK for your past to influence your present work but you need to think about the future and be an innovator for today.”
Thinking like an art director or the end user means to put your dreams aside and think about what clients want to accomplish. 100% of clients, regardless if they are a publication or a clothing brand, want to sell their product and only concern is if the imagery I conceptualize can achieve that goal. Fulfilling your client’s dreams and selling their brand will automatically make you a hero in the eyes of the editor and their boss.
Instead of telling your story, tell the story they want to be told by becoming a visual storyteller. Never brag who you have shot for because it’s a huge turnoff while working on the current project. You are there, and the clients have already hired you for a reason.
I will give you an example from a project that was recently completed for a swimwear company. One of their big points was to create imagery that would showcase the product, women’s swimwear, in a visually opulent world and to make the viewer stop and look at the imagery and not just pass by it.
I called on my good friend and Miami resident Jarmo for help. We created a campaign that showcases the swimwear with Guess model Racheal Mortenson in a very high-end shooting location, a rented mansion on Hibiscus Island. As you can see by the photos, we carefully planned out each shot keeping in mind the client’s goal instead of ours to sell the swimwear.
By taking the client’s first approach, we were able to create a resort-like feel, leave the glamour out, but keep a high level of beauty that will appeal to anyone and still sells the product. Sexy, glamour, and sexuality, can all fall into three separate categories.
Models Rachel Mortensen and Maylin Aguirre
- Sexy can be anything from cars to women (and even men). Sexy can be summed up as a combination of lines, design, and beauty.
- Glamour, which is well known to those who photograph women in the intimate category also known as boudoir, features classy garments and a hint of sexuality without necessarily revealing everything.
- Sexuality, the driving force of reproduction and strongest lure of humankind, may often be used in offensive and pornographic ways. This is the place where photographers make the mistake of going too far from commercialism and opportunity by pleasing themselves.
Model Rachel Mortensen
As simple as it sounds, you need to think about your future. Know and understand what is current, innovate, and create something new and topical that makes the photography industry want you. Choose your style carefully and, in the end, make your clients’ dreams come true instead of yours including going to locations that they may not have seen or thought to use. Bring back never before seen creations and let your images blow your clients’ minds.
Drone flyby during the shoot
Just recently, Jarmo and I worked together on a soon to be published campaign, where we took the team out to an Indian reservation to get the ideal location for part of the shoot. You can see a teaser clip here. It also shows what it means to think outside the box. Always be location scouting and try to achieve something awesome to move your client’s (or future client’s) senses. Become the one who they see above all the others.
Go places and take your camera with you. It is much more powerful to have photos of the locations with you when pitching a client. Once you have shot something special, show your abilities and vision which will be the door opener like nothing else can.
Next week I will be writing about wardrobe.
© 2016 Copyright ShootTheCenterfold.com. All rights reserved.