We dis­cover how teams can get the most from each other by talk­ing to AOP agent Siob­han Squire and Ben Stock­ley, a photographer she rep­re­sents

Computer Arts - - Contents -

Our AOP se­ries con­tin­ues with a look at how to brief a photographer

Get­ting the photo you want de­pends on brief­ing your photographer cor­rectly. We spoke to AOP agent Siob­han Squire and a photographer she rep­re­sents, Ben Stock­ley, to find out the best way to go about this. How should art di­rec­tors brief a photographer? Siob­han Squire:

It’s al­ways nice to have a scamp rather than just a writ­ten brief for ad­ver­tis­ing work. It’s also great if cre­atives have some idea of the scale of the job be­fore brief­ing.

A good cre­ative will be avail­able for a dis­cus­sion with a photographer. It’s cru­cial, not only to gauge how a photographer might in­ter­pret the brief and to hear what they might add to it, but also for a photographer to glean any finer de­tails that might not be ap­par­ent and to start what should be a col­lab­o­ra­tive dis­cus­sion. For edi­to­rial work, the joy is what is of­ten an open brief! What makes a brief work? Ben Stock­ley:

It de­pends on the sub­ject mat­ter. For ex­am­ple, in some edi­to­rial shoots you are given a list of lo­ca­tions and con­tacts and are left to find the in­ter­est­ing an­gles to cover. In ad­ver­tis­ing, the most ef­fec­tive briefs are when an agency gives you lots of space to cre­ate your story and treat­ment, with time to make it spe­cial. Tell us about the brief­ing process. SS:

Usu­ally we re­ceive the brief ei­ther di­rectly from a client or through their agency. We try to as­cer­tain as much in­for­ma­tion as pos­si­ble be­fore we pass it on. For ex­am­ple, it’s good to see the tar­get de­mo­graphic, the me­dia and ter­ri­to­ries the work will be run­ning in, the pro­duc­tion team, the cast­ing agen­cies, and of course, the bud­get and tim­ings. When re­spond­ing to a brief, do you present a treat­ment? BS:

Each client re­quires a dif­fer­ent ap­proach. I of­ten send treat­ments for ad stills and film shoots de­scrib­ing the form, nar­ra­tive and style I think would be best for the job. With edi­to­rial work, treat­ments are much less com­mon, although of­ten we will spend lots of time re­search­ing and cre­at­ing mood­boards. Do you find that briefs change? BS:

This mostly de­pends on when you are brought into the project and how much cre­ative in­put you are given. Gen­er­ally in my edi­to­rial and ad­ver­tis­ing work I will push for the most in­put pos­si­ble, although some­times when you are brought in towards the end of the process the foun­da­tions are firmly laid. What hap­pens if, at the end of a project, a client says the fin­ished images don’t meet the brief? SS:

I can’t think of a time when that’s hap­pened. Usu­ally there are so many peo­ple in­volved from the client and agency that there is no op­por­tu­nity for a client to not know what will be de­liv­ered. Fi­nal post-pro­duc­tion and grad­ing tends to be when our pho­tog­ra­phers put their fi­nal mark on the work, but usu­ally that’s why they have been com­mis­sioned for the job in the first place, so again there aren’t nor­mally any sur­prises!

Above: From Ser­vices Project, 2016. Be­low: Morikawa Ex­te­rior, Ja­pan 2016

The As­so­ci­a­tion of Pho­tog­ra­phers (AOP)was first formed in 1968. It aims to pro­mote and pro­tect the worth and stand­ing of its mem­bers, to vig­or­ously de­fend, ed­u­cate and lobby for the in­ter­ests and rights of all pho­tog­ra­phers, es­pe­cially in the com­mer­cial pho­to­graphic in­dus­try.

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