Archive for November, 2014

Learn From This

Monday, November 17th, 2014

In this PDN interview, now-former rep Julian Richards lays it all out there. It is a painful read, but an important one.

Mr. Richards says at one point, “The photographer’s role as sorcerer and custodian of the vision was diminished.” I could not concur more. This is something I have been railing against for some time and something I think you can change, but it will be a fight. For a photographer to be seen as the minor miracle worker s/he is, s/he must control the process more. The mystery of the art must be recaptured.

I have been hearing about a few photographers who, if not shooting film (and yes, there are still film shooters out there), will not permit the clients to look at a monitor… at least not until the photographer reveals. That is a very big thing. It is also only one part of the shift.

Overall, you have to say “no” more often, especially when saying “yes” compromises your vision in any way. You have to make it unquestionably clear that while you will work with the art director and other creatives, you will not do what they want just because they want it. Most importantly, you should align with the ADs (who really do want this although they have their own fears, as have always been there) to tell the clients that they need to trust you to provide the best creative because that is what you do.  Yes, that is politely telling end-clients to shut the eff up.

As Mr. Richards says, “By abdicating those responsibilities to the guy who’s paying, you’re undergoing a sort of self-inflicted castration.”

Ouch, but accurate.

Think about how much you have sold out. How does that make you feel as an artist? What you can do to change? As much as I agree with Mr. Julian’s comments, his choice to leave the business was based on more personal reasons than just his frustrations with the state of the photo business world. You don’t have to give up as he has. Change is possible, although it won’t be easy. I don’t think any of you should give up or give in, but rather let’s stop the slide to mediocrity.

This is what happens

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

It has been far too long since I’ve posted. This is what happens far too often when one stops being religious about scheduling the things one should be doing and instead does all the stuff one feels one must be doing….now now now.

Now now now is rarely good. Even for creatives. There is a difference between being in the moment–being mindful and aware–and now now now. The latter is reacting, often on the verge of panic, to the outside. You can’t make your best work when you are reacting to the outside. Good creative has to come from the inside. You have to make the mental space available to do that.

You also need to do some things that aren’t as creative, in order to keep the business humming. When you get work and get in that now now now mindset, I’ll bet the first thing that gets pushed off your agenda is your marketing. You’re suddenly too busy to send emails or research new clients. Must plan the shoot! Can’t take time to work on your portfolio.

You’ll regret that when the brief work flurry is over.

Make sure that, even when you get swamped with work, you make the time to at least touch in with your marketing (and other biz stuff like invoicing, bill paying, etc.). That way not only will your work be more regular, you won’t be faced with the overwhelming mountain of crap you don’t enjoy doing when you get back to it.