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Supporting Photographers and the Business of Photography
I n a u g u ra l Fa l l 2 0 1 5 I s s u e
proof shee t Fall 2015 • Vol. 1, No. 1
David Bishop: Learning New Tricks from Old Masters A Trip to Amsterdam Adds New Textures to David Bishop’s Work By David Byron Rice
Roberto Falck: the Evolution of an Artist By Cara J. Stevens
How... ? Featuring APA photographer Tatsuro Nishimura
Board Member Profile: Adele Godfrey
Consultant’s Corner: Suzanne Sease, Creative Consulting
419 Lafayette, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10003 • 212.807.0399 • www.apany.com
The APA|NY Proof Sheet is a quarterly magazine, published by the New York Chapter of the American Photographic Artists. Copyright 2015 APA|NY; all rights reserved, collectively and individually. Content, either images or text, may not be copied or reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without prior written consent from the photographer, writer and APA|NY.
A Rep’s Insights: Frank Meo, Director, Found Folios
Supporting Photographers and the Business of Photography
About APA|New York APA|NY is the Northeast regional chapter of American Photographic Artists (APA) the country’s leading non-profit advocate for commercial photographers. We organize events, negotiate benefits for our members, hold seminars, promote our members’ work, organize photo contests, and much more. Our goal is to establish, endorse and promote professional practices, standards and ethics in the photographic community. We seek to mentor, motivate, educate and inspire in the pursuit of excellence. Our aim is to champion and speak as one common voice for image makers to the photographic industry in the United States and the World. If you are a professional/emerging/aspiring/student photographer--or in a related field--based in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, get in touch and find out how joining APA|NY can help you and your business. Find out more about the benefits and requirements of joining at http://ny.apanational.org/chapter-benefits/
About APA American Photographic Artists (APA) is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit association for professional photographers. APA’s mission is Successful Photographers. The American Photographic Artists is a leading national organization run by and for professional photographers. With a culture that promotes a spirit of mutual cooperation, sharing and support, APA offers outstanding benefits, educational programs and essential business resources to help its members achieve their professional and artistic goals. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., with chapters in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Charlotte, the Northwest and Washington, DC, APA strives to improve the environment for photographic artists and clear the pathways to success in the industry. Recognized for its broad industry reach, APA continues to expand benefits for its members and works to champion the rights of photographers and image-makers worldwide. Members include professional photographers, photo assistants, educators, and students. We also welcome professionals engaged in fields associated with photography, advertising, or visual arts but who themselves are not professional photographers. Membership types can be found at http://apanational. org/join.
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Board Members Michael Seto
Social Media Director
Karen Fuchs Scott Nidermaier
Reach us at: email@example.com 419 Lafayette, 6th Floor New York, NY 10003 212.807.0399 www.apany.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @apanewyork Facebook: @apanewyork1 APA | National APA National Office 5042 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 321 Los Angeles, CA 90036 National President: Tony Gale
National Executive Director: Juliette Wolf-Robin
Membership Representative: Jeff Kausch â€˘ email@example.com proof sheet design: daniel carmin-romack www.rtwerk.net
Supporting Photographers and the Business of Photography
Letter from the Chairmen It is not easy to be a photographer these days. We have all heard or probably uttered that sentiment ourselves. In an age when anyone with a cell phone is a photographer and a low-res web image is “good enough,” it is no wonder we find fewer people paying for a professional photographer, and paying less when they do. But, there is a flip side to that coin. Images can circulate around the world with a mouse click. The proliferation of websites, blogs, and other outlets has boosted demand for content imagery – still and motion – to unfathomable numbers, offering opportunities that shooters never had before. The planet is your audience. In Chinese, the word for “crisis” is comprised of two characters, one symbolizing danger, the other, opportunity. There’s the rub – navigating a dangerous environment seeking these incredible opportunities. Misery loves company? The wise photographer understands that one needs support from a community facing the same challenges, and seeking the same opportunities. An organization like APA|NY can make the journey easier and more enjoyable. Whether you seek business expertise, inspiration, marketing tips, support staff, ideas, inspiration, a sounding board, new networking connections, or just a fun night out, the APA|NY community is there for you. Get out from behind the camera and get involved! Come to events, show your work in our photo contest and portfolio review, network with photo buyers, assistants, stylists, reps, and fellow photographers. Access the generous discounts our Sponsors and Partners give to members; but most of all, join the community. We invite you to join us. The Board of Directors of APA|NY is made up of photographers just like you who all volunteer to serve. Each of us decided to dedicate some time to build up our profession, our colleagues, and our community. This new quarterly is one of our many initiatives to promote the profession of photography, to help our colleagues grow and prosper, and to show clients and viewers the value of our profession. We also invite you to enjoy this magazine and hope you find in these pages both information and inspiration.
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Photo by Sonja Pacho, Professional Member and winner of the APANY 2015 Photo Contest, Fashion and Beauty category. www.SonjaPacho.com
CALENDAR OF EVENTS Nov 9 - Image Makers Lecture featuring Brad Trent, Apple Store, SoHo, 7-8 pm Be Inspired by award-winning advertising and editorial portrait photographer and APA pro-member, Brad Trent as he talks about his journey photographing big names including Barak Obama, Bill Clinton and Steven Spielberg.
Dec 2 - Copyright Night Join us at Wix Lounge where ImageRights International will walk attendees, step-by-step, through a first registration of images with the US Copyright Office. Leave the event knowing your images are properly protected by copyright.
Dec 7 - Image Makers Lecture featuring Eric Eggly, Apple Store, SoHo, 7-8 pm Be inspired by APA Pro photographer Eric Eggly as he talks about creating a view of hyper-reality without the hype, revealing milli-moments of wonder captured between dimensions.
Early Dec - APA|NY 2015 Holiday Party Stay tuned for more information on our 2015 Holiday Party, planned for early December.
2016 Events: How to Land the Job - Fine Art, Digital Asset Management, Assistant Training Events, our May APA|NY Portfolio Review, our June APA|NY Photo Contest and moreâ€Ś
For more news about upcoming events, go to http://ny.apanational.org/events/upcoming/
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Learning New Tricks from Old Masters A Trip to Amsterdam Adds New Textures to David Bishop’s Work By David Byron Rice David Bishop left Allentown, Pennsylvania, for New York at 17 to study photography at the School of Visual Arts. In the four decades since, he’s always worked as a commercial photographer, building a reputation for rich, textured lighting and a portfolio that includes advertising, packaging, cookbooks, restaurants, promotion, web, annual reports, direct mail, and magazine work. Today, he lives in a studio in TriBeca, where he often rises at 2 in the morning to shoot. In a recent conversation, he talked about turning away from trends, taking control in the studio, and learning new tricks from the old masters. You dropped out of school after two years, assisted a couple hundred photographers over the next several years, and shot still life before finding your niche as a food photographer. The reason I started shooting food was I would have to hire food stylists to put a cake on the cake plate for some catalog, and I was really impressed with the skills they had. They’re sculptors, they’re chefs, they just have this range of unusual skills that I thought were really amazing. So I started testing with them and built a portfolio of food. Food&Wine magazine was the first food magazine to hire me, and then Bon Appetit and all the ladies’ magazines. And that’s how I got my start in food.
Photography is a two-dimensional thing. But what I want to work on is pulling that dimension out of the shot, and I think people get that.
You describe yourself as a contrarian. My reputation, I would like to think, is in lighting. Before Food& Wine, food photography and photography in general, coming out of the 70s, was very clean and graphic. If you had a bottle, you had a rectangular bank light reflection on the side. It was beautiful and it was the look of the day, but I really didn’t go for that. It had no feeling, no emotional aspect to it, I was looking for a way to do my own thing. In the 80s I developed a style, a look that was like nothing else at the time. It wasn’t clean, backlit imagery. It came from your gut, and it was dark and emotional, and that’s really what I loved to do. Nobody did that, and it wasn’t right for everybody, but if people wanted that richness, then there was one guy to go to, and I worked all the time.
You developed your signature lighting style after studying the focus lights at a bad Off-Off-Broadway play. You picked up a focus light of your own, adjusted the optics until they focused up close, and experimented with custom-made cookies until you could control to the light to a very specific place. It worked like a slide projector. The old-fashioned slide projector had a knob and you’d look at the slide and you’d focus it. It was the same system. You could change the quality of the sharpness of the light by adjusting the focus of the light. If I used a sheer fabric, I could focus the light so that it would go through the fabric, bounce off the surface underneath and bounce back in a luminescent way. It just made the shot glow. I wasn’t trying to copy sunlight, but if you look at sunlight, if you’re at a coffee shop eating breakfast and you see the light go across your eggs, that’s what I was going for, that kind of beautiful, luminescent, controlled light. And I found that I could do this, but then one light became two, two became four, and before I knew it, I had a dozen. I was lighting almost exclusively with the focus lights, using the standard lights that most people use as a fill source and the focus lights as the main light source. Even today, my assistants know that if there are a couple of lights lying around, we’re not done with the shot yet. You describe yourself as a control freak. On set, not in my personal life, but on set I am a control freak and I can control every corner, every aspect, every highlight that you see. I have that control. The more control I found I could manage, the more I wanted. So I am looking at a set now, I have a barbeque set up, and I have eight focus lights, and each one lights a different aspect of the composition. You raised two children largely on your own. As you approached 60 you decided to give yourself a present and take a couple of years to shoot for yourself. After years of hearing your work described as Baroque, Renaissance, or Gothic, you decided to go to Amsterdam and see the work for yourself.
Proof Sheet Fall 2015
My life has changed, and it’s been influenced in great ways by the 16th and 17th century Flemish masters. I started doing research and, boy, did that connect with me. You can learn so much from the great masters. They really understood light ratios and the placement of highlight and shadow. I began studying with a voracious appetite, going to museums, looking online, but there’s nothing like the real thing, and I wanted to see the brushstrokes and the paint on the canvas. So I decided to spend a couple of weeks in Amsterdam. I spoke to a curator at the Rijkmuseum and we made an agreement that he would help me find the pieces I was most interested in. I would get up at 5:30 in the morning. After having herring for breakfast, which became one of my favorite things, I would go to three museums a day; I walked everywhere. I went to every museum I could. By the end of the day I would just collapse. It was just the most inspiring thing. Sometimes I would go back repeatedly because there were pieces that were just so breathtaking. And the messages start to come to you after you get the stars out of your eyes.
Even today, my assistants know that if there are a couple of lights lying around, weâ€™re not done with the shot yet.
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Your current portfolio, Elements, is the result of your experiences. How do you describe inspiration? I think it inspired me. I did study the specifics of how they create dimension, and tactile qualities, and how those things affect the way you feel when are looking at the shot. Photography is a two-dimensional thing. But what I want to work on is pulling that dimension out of the shot, and I think people get that. Your current client paid you a high compliment by encouraging you to shoot without a layout, to just be artistic. When you follow your instincts, and you do what you know how to do and what you believe is meaningful to you, you can only hope that people appreciate your taste and what you are doing. If they do, they will come to you, and if they don’t, you will just fall on your face. To do it any other way you are just chasing trends, and you can never catch the trends, because they are by definition trends, they come and go. Back in the old days, I followed what I thought was my vision and I was fortunate enough that people bought into it and found that it worked for them. And that’s what’s happening again for me. And that is what I would say to young photographers, you have to do what you think. Otherwise, you can be successful, I guess, doing what’s expected, working in the style of the time, but you’re never going to hit it big. I think the work that I am doing touches people. It’s meaningful.
David Bishop, a long-time APA Member, shoots a wide range of media, including advertising, packaging, cookbooks, restaurants, catalogs, magazines and corporate work. His studio is in the TriBeCa neighborhood of New York. For more information contact Kari Nouhan (212) 462-4538 or David (212) 929-4355 • firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com .
Visit his website at www.dbishop.net.
APA MEMBER BENEFITS INCLUDE: APA Chaptersâ€™ Membership Benefits, Legal Consultations and Referrals, Premium Video Vault (Members Only) and Public Video Vault, Portfolio in APA Creative Network, Discounts on Events and Competitions, APA Member Pro Media Card, Access to Members-Only Content, Professional Insurance Plans, Join a Chapter Success Team, Chapter Portfolio Reviews Head over to http://ny.apanational.org/chapter-benefits/ for details.
Thank you to our generous vendors. www.imagepowerhouse.com
Proof Sheet Fall 2015
Maasai women singing during a traditional cultural ceremony near Ngorongoro crater, Tanzania, photographed for National Geographic book, Life in Color.
Roberto Falck: By Cara J. Stevens
The Evolution of an Artist
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“Personally I’m in an interesting spot for my art; I’m in the beginning stage of finding this other voice I didn’t explore before.” – Roberto Falck
Exploring indigenous cultures has always been a part of Roberto Falck’s life. As a child growing up in Ecuador, his parents took Roberto and his brother on family vacations, but even staying at home was a cultural experience. His father was an avid mountain climber, and while he couldn’t always bring his young son along, he brought back photos that drew Roberto in, along with the pictures in his father’s collection of National Geographic magazines. “If you had asked me when I was 12, I wouldn’t have said I’m going to be a photographer, but photography was around me all the time.” In college, Falck took one photography class and was hooked. He graduated with a degree in finance, but his heart was taken with the visual image. Not wanting to devote his life to a bank, he decided to head to New York to stay with his brother and give photography a try. He has been a New Yorker ever since, although his travels have taken him to five of the seven continents and about 30 countries so far.
Preserving Ancestral Identity Around the World There are so few indigenous, untouched cultures left in the world. These cultures have always fascinated Falck, inspiring him to capture them on camera and preserve them in a visual record. Eight years ago, Falck embarked on a long-term personal quest to document these cultures, each year selecting a different location and spending one or two months at a time to ultimately compile a compilation of people of the world. He sought out tribes of the world that have kept to the older ways or have good documentation of what the older ways were. In those cases, he worked to recreate those customs and document them visually. While this artistic endeavor began as a labor of love, Falck always hopes his work will help him land professional projects and jobs. â€œAll of it has been for my own fulfillment as an artist, and as an artist you always hope that someone will take an interest in what you do and ask you to do more of it. It would be fantastic to find someone who likes my style, likes my voice and would like to see more of it.â€?
In fact, images from many of his travels have landed him numerous international awards and accolades. His image of a Massai tribe is in the recent release of the National Geographic book, Life in Color, which holds special personal meaning for him as it brings his early childhood interest in National Geographic photography full circle.
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From Documenting to Creating Earlier this year, Falck traveled to Papua New Guinea to document the cultures of the highlands. Little did he know that this trip would set him on an entirely new creative path. He researched the cultures, found people who could help him organize a photo session and set out to recreate traditional ceremonial body painting, with members of the tribe painting their bodies with skeleton shapes to frighten their opponents. As he was putting together the photo shoot, an image began to form in his mind of another scenario with a simpler design and an entirely unique vision. “My vision was to present the subjects in a monochromatic way and to have each subject be of one color. After I had created these photos with the skeleton visuals, I wanted to then step away from their tradition, combining elements of their tradition and my creative vision.”
Overcoming language, infrastructure and cultural barriers in the highlands of New Guinea wasn’t easy, but Falck kept his eye on his ultimate goal. “Organizing an art piece like this took a bit of effort and time; if you don’t open your mouth, nothing happens. But at the same time, it’s one of those situations where you’re in the right place at the right time.” Falck was fortunate to meet a museum curator who helped him not only gather the right people and coordinate the whole project, he even used his own front yard for the photo shoot.
When it came down to staging the actual photos, inspiration took over. They worked together to cover trees with bed sheets to create a soft light; they orchestrated, painted and positioned people to create a tableau that matched his vision. The result? Clay and Ash; a project that showcases the concept of indigenous cultures in a visually stunning way.
Clay and Ash Falck started out as a pure documentary photographer, capturing what was going on right in front of him, occasionally stumbling upon an element and adding his own twist to it. From there, he took a turn toward more intentional portraits, where, in his words “what you bring to the table is the majority of it”. With this new project, Falck wanted to move farther away from simply documenting cultures to create something completely new from scratch, combining his interest in indigenous people and cultures with the organic elements of symmetry and geometry.
“With art or with photos, there always has to be a tension – the tension could be achieved by juxtaposition of things or, the opposite, of keeping things uniform – think of a Rothko painting, in all black or red – that’s art because it raises questions and creates some sort of tension. The people, the color or lack of color and the shapes. That’s what I hoped to create here.” Clay and Ash is the first result of this new direction, and Falck sees it as the evolution of his work up to this point. “I’m a portrait photographer – I have a deep interest in people and photographing faces and people and where they live. You develop your vision and style and voice – I’ve used that voice for quite some time. Clay and Ash became a place where I’m using more of my inner artist – more of me – than the people I photograph. That is something to explore more. It was definitely rewarding to collaborate like that” n
Roberto Falck is an award-winning portrait photographer based in NYC. He is an APA|NY Pro Member and recognized by various photography
to create portraits of indigenous people around the world. For more information visit www.travelfineartphotography.com. Follow his work
on Instagram at @roberto_falck; firstname.lastname@example.org; 718-230-0718.
organizations (APA, PPA and WPPI). Roberto has traveled extensively
ASSISTANTS Alessandro Casagli 4 years, 1st-3rd Assistant 646 881 4793 • email@example.com www.casagli.com Specialities: Lifestyle, Editorial, Fashion, Still Life, Product, Portraits, Location Michael Cardiello 3 years, 1st-3rd Assistant 929 242 9072 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.michaelcardiello.com Specialities: Lifestyle, Editorial, Fashion, Portraits, Location, Video, Celebrity & Music Portraits Adam Coppola 203 415 9851 • email@example.com www.coppolaphotography.com Specialities: Lifestyle, Editorial, Fashion, Still Life, Product, Portraits, Location, Video Sinziana Dobos 2 years, 2nd Assistant 347 337 0795 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.dobossinziana.com Specialities: Lifestyle, Editorial, Fashion, Portraits, Location, Video Tony Falcone 1st Assistant 718 702 5563 • email@example.com www.tony-falcone-9pqb.squarespace.com Specialties: Lifestyle, Product, Portraits, Location Rebecca Grant 1 year, 1st-3rd Assistant 917 710 2570 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.rebeccagrantphoto.com Specialties: Editorial, Fashion, Portraits, Beauty Dan Lidon 5 years, 1st Assistant 610 905 0208 • email@example.com www.danlidon.com Specialities: Lifestyle, Portraits, Location, Video Alley Maher 4 years, 1st-3rd Assistant 203 733 7981 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.alleymaher.com Specialities: Lifestyle, Fashion, Portraits, Location
Danielle Maczynski 1st Assistant 908 268 6142 • email@example.com www.daniellemaczynski.com Specialities: Lifestyle, Editorial, Portraits, Location Dan Orlow 18 years, 1st-3rd Assistant 617 460 5773 • dan@danoassists www.danoassists.com Lifestyle, Editorial, Fashion, Still Life, Product, Portraits, Location, Video, PA All assistants are APA Members in good standing and have the work experiences listed. If you are an assistant and would like to be listed, join APA and request our assistant form by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Bruce Byers, Professional Member and winner of the APANY 2015 Photo Contest, Documentary category. www.brucebyers.com
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Featuring APA Pro Photographer Tatsuro Nishimura
Where did you get the idea for the exploding banana? This shot was for New Scientist Magazine in the U.K. and the idea came from their Creative Director. The story was about the Big Bang. How did you start planning for the shoot? How long did it take to set up? The initial concept called for an exploding banana. My initial shooting plan was to use liquid nitrogen to freeze a banana and shoot it with a pellet gun. However, when I realized there was not enough time to prepare the device and it would be hard to control the composition, I switched to Plan B, which was to create a fake explosion. I worked with an amazing food stylist, Ali Nardi (www.alinardi.com) to assemble the elements that went into this shot. First, we cut the banana into small pieces and cracked the banana skin. To give the image a more three-dimensional look, layered a couple of clear thin pieces of plexiglass atop one another so Ali could composed the banana elements as if they were truly exploding in all directions. Finally, we used flour to mimic dust and debris from the violence of the explosion. What specialized equipment/props did you use (if any)? I used a set of studio strobes as main lights on the banana. The key was an additional light - I hid a
tiny portable flash just right below the center of banana, where I wanted the center of the fake explosion. That small flash made the banana looks like it is exploded by itself. How many bananas did you end up going through? Only a couple of bananas surprisingly. So I had a good amount of bananas in stock after the shoot. What sort of post production was involved? Just a basic Photoshop. Cleaning unwanted dust, adding contrast, cleaning up the background, etc. What lessons did you learn and want to pass on to others? I learned it is important to be flexible and prepare options. If I was stuck in the initial plan (nitrogen idea), I would not be able to achieve this shot given time and budget. In the end, Plan B worked out much better than Plan A. And most important thing I want to pass on to others is communication. The creative director and I communicated very well. When I found I could not do the plan A, I told her that right away. Then I showed her my quick fake explosion test. She was happy with the test and gave me great advice on how to make it even better. Also I communicated with the stylist. We all shared the idea/plan and I think that made this shot successful. n
Contact info: www.tatsuronishimura.com email@example.com Represented by: Artwing, NY firstname.lastname@example.org
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BOARD MEMBER PROFILE
The great thing about being a photographer is that our job is to create images, to tell a story through our eye. Every day is a different challenge, a new obstacle to overcome and maybe a new location. It can be exciting as well as frustrating and lonely. As photographers we build up small businesses where most of the time it’s just one person wearing ten hats. We lack that office environment with “work friends” or colleagues to turn to for advice. APA is a way to bring the community of photographers together to have those after work happy hours where we can talk shop about those cool new strobes Profoto just came out with. For me the APA community is what helps me to stay relevant with what’s happening in my industry and to stay connected with other people who are going through similar challenges and celebrations. This is the reason I joined APA and started volunteering with their events. Eventually the New York chapter invited me to be on their board and 5 years later I’m still here, serving 3 years as secretary.
So that’s my APA story. My photo story is that I love to work with children and have a gift with babies which allows me to specialize in photographing kids fashion, lifestyle, babies and newborns. I did the whole work for other great photographers assisting and studio managing until I branched off on my own as a full time shooter. A lot of times during a shoot I get asked how many kids I have; I guess people assume if you’re good with kids you must have kids of your own. I don’t have kids of my own (yet, I’m still holding out for this one) so for now I get full nights of uninterrupted sleep. Outside of my photography world I am a part of a world of dance. I believe expression through movement is so powerful, not only through feeling and connecting to your own body, but connecting with other people. In addition to weekly dance classes, I am lead producer for the New York City Dance Parade. Every May, over 10,000 dancers line the streets and dance down broadway showcasing over 100 different styles of dance; finishing off with a festival in Tompkins Square Park. It’s a special day
where you see the most diverse group of people coming together for the love of dance. If you love dance then mark your calendars for the 10th annual on May 21, 2016. I look forward to continue to serve the New York chapter of APA, bringing you informative events and relevant information about the photography industry. n
To learn more about Adele Godfrey visit www.adelegodfrey.com
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Photo by Brad Trent, Professional Member and winner of the APANY 2015 Photo Contest, People & Lifestyle category. www.damnuglyphotography.wordpress.com
A REP’S INSIGHTS Frank Meo, Director, Found Folios When estimating a job a photographer should only consider one thing: How do I separate I myself from the competition? That’s the most important “line item” on any bid. When I see my colleagues prophesizing in 4,000 word blogs about bidding I gag. Who reads that! These “experts” are only writing to see their words in print and a by-product of their babbling is to intimidate photographers. Folks in case you haven’t noticed, we’re not doing brain surgery here. Estimating is about connecting with a client through your conversations, your vision and ultimately your creative solution. When I help a photographer bid I tell them: “problem solving is the sweet spot where jobs are won”. Think of it this way, if there’s really no difference between your estimate and another photographer’s, why would a client pick you? Don’t get me wrong, the numbers matter for sure. However, and, significantly more important question to ask yourself is: Is my creative execution going to satisfy and over deliver to satisfy my clients needs? Generally speaking, the bottom line on most estimates are pretty close. So before submitting your bid, ask yourself, “Have I thought of everything?” What about my estimate shows the client how I think? That’s where the creative brief comes in. Have you ever written one? It’s where you can achieve creative separation from your competition, and it’s an intricate part of the estimating process. Realistically when I talk to photographers and they want us to estimate and produce a job for them the first thing they want to do is discuss numbers. But that misses the point when it comes to actually winning a job. Numbers are only part of the story, and not the most important. You don’t win jobs because of your numbers; you win projects because you connect with the client on a deeper level.
Here are examples of a couple of projects I’ve worked on to help illustrate what I’m talking about. We were asked to estimate a job for MethProject.org, a large-scale prevention program aimed at reducing methamphetamine use through public service messaging, public policy, and community outreach. Five photographers were bidding, and everyone knew the budget, so the playing field was completely level. The question screams: How did we go about separating ourselves from the other four photographers? We were representing world renowned photographer Ron Haviv. I had him write a creative brief. The creative brief is a photographer’s chance to describe their creative vision in an unfiltered way and explain how they will shoot the project. A creative brief should accompany all your estimates. Next, we included pricing to bring a drug consultant into our project – something that nobody else did. I was able, in a rather emotional way, to show the client why we felt it imperative to have a recovering addict on set to direct the talent and advise the photographer. The client loved the idea and was thrilled that we were fully engaged in the process. Nobody else did that. We got the job! In another situation, we were estimating a job for a car company. The shoot involved showing a five-year-old kid in the back seat of a car. We knew that on the day of the shoot we would have three toddlers on set. We suggested that we have a nurse on set, so we would be covered just in case something happened. Again, the client loved the idea that we were thinking in a way that protected the children and the company. Usually, when you think outside the box you’re given the chance to explain your thinking. In both of these cases we were able to convey our commitment to enhance the final imagery in a way that our competitors did not. That is creative separation, and that’s how you win jobs. n
Proof Sheet Fall 2015
Frank Meo is the director of Found Folios and the former founder of thephotocloser.com. For 25 years, he has represented photographers that include Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalists in securing highly valued commercial assignments. He has worked on hundreds of campaigns for clients such as America Express, Acura Motor Sports, US Coast Guard, Xerox, ESPN, Citi, Nike and others. Frank participates in various panels and workshops and has judged for a variety of prestigious awards competitions including the Infinity Awards, Lucies Awards, IPA, and PDN. He currently writes a monthly column for Resource Magazine and Pro Photo Daily.
Fall 2015 Proof Sheet 32
Photo by Yvonne Albinowski, Professional Member and winner of the APANY 2015 Photo Contest, People & Lifestyle category. www.yvonnealbinowski.com
The Times They are A’Changing Suzanne Sease, Creative Consulting An app was launched on Friday, September 18, 2015, and it quickly became the number 1 app on iTunes. It was an app that blocked pop up advertising on your electronic devices. The creator of the app later took it down, citing it was not fair to marketers just trying to do their job. In a market where consumers are being barraged by visuals only the best ones will get noticed. I think the age of “good enough” is going to go away for quality brands, which will separate them from the brands that just don’t care. It used to be that a brand (client) would do a review and select the Agency of Record but today it seems as if brands don’t want to be committed to one agency and are assigning projects. This can make your marketing very difficult when trying to do brand-based personalized marketing, so you really have to know and educate yourself on who are the popular and creative ad agencies and design firms. It is so important to read the “trades” like Advertising Age, Adweek and Agency Spy for all things advertising while reading the other “trades” for other specialties. For example, if you are a food or food lifestyle photographer, you should be reading Nation’s Restaurant News http://nrn.com to see what is happening in that industry. If you read an article about a restaurant chain growing, you know they are going to probably up their advertising. If you are going to use social media for your marketing like Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram, be consistent. I see all too often people use these mediums daily and then become more sporadic in posting. And this is where you lose viewers because there is no need to check you out if it is a post from weeks ago. Be consistent and get into a routine so it becomes second nature. Last, Personal Projects are crucial!! I write a blog on aphotoeditor featuring personal projects of Yodelist subscribers and nominees from LeBook Connection contests. Since I do not take submissions, I have to find you and reach out. As many of you know, APE is read by Art Producers, Art Directors, Photo Editors and Creative Directors all over the world. It is great free advertising. And this brings up the latest “trend” I am seeing whereby Creative Directors are looking at these personal projects and asking the Art Director and Art Producer to shoot their ad assignments. It is because Personal Projects show your vision and not the extension of an Art Director’s vision. As a commercial photographer it is crucial to get your name and images out there. It is your brand. Included in that brand is your reputation because agencies talk and no one wants to work with someone who is unkind to not only their crew, but the agencies’ account team. I have been on set when this happened and surprise, that photographer is not working as much as they used to. Be kind, be genuine, be humble and work very hard to get out there. n
Proof Sheet Fall 2015
APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid- 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information with the belief that marketing should be brand driven and not by specialty. Follow her on twitter @SuzanneSease | www.suzannesease.com
By APA Pro Member
Shawn G. Henry, Gloucester, Mass. www.shawnhenry.com