Monday, 26 May 2014

Forget being creative - Your best job might be your last..

Most people I know when thinking about photography and being a photographer, at least in conversation with me; are big believers in the creative power of photography and the photographers power to create. That's certainly the story we get from the camera manufacturers advertising campaigns too, photography, unleash your creative powers with XXBrandCameras! When a group of photographers get together it won't all be talk about clients, chances are 'doing' creative photography will be a big part of what they will be talking about.

But if you plan on making a living from photography, especially in a creative field like fashion photography, then the 'creative' component is very likely going to take a back seat - now more than ever before. As that crazy Physicist said on TV way back whenever.. "Why is it so?". Well there are many reasons but here are a few, unless you are a such major player (no not even then) that your client is in awe, your client will quite likely expect you to..
look like them, 
talk like them, 
aspire like them,
be in awe of them (after all you are getting paid) and finally,
think like them.

Maybe not all of the above but most likely most of the above and most of that will not have anything to do with delivering your image brief. All this while knowing as reported in this years PhotoShelter report on photography - you only work with a client "on average three, (3) times"! When you consider some clients stay with photographers for years and many shoots you can see that even 3 bookings looks good to say the least.

Creative fashion photography in the studio - Sydney photographer Kent Johnson.

Which brings us to the picture of the jumping model. I booked this shoot via the internet while the client/designer was in China seeing to the completion of the samples for the new range. A new designer for an established fashion company, this was her first for this fashion companies label. The brief was to shoot look-book images - straight up-down shots, but we also wanted studio branding shots with action/movement; and from a 'bing search' in China; I was the best bet. I was booked for my creative style, and that is every photographers dream.

The designer hit the studio first thing in the morning, right off the plane - and with her team working on the fashion, I set up the studio with my assistant as the H&MU began, and after an hour or so we were working our magic, all day long. We worked together, ate together, smoked cigarettes together (as you do, but now I've stopped) and, I think this is one of the best shoots I have ever done. Great team, great clothing, great Hair and Make Up all resulting in a large series of strong, beautiful creative fashion shots; and the clients selection is still on the websites introduction to the label well over a year later.

Was the client happy? Well I certainly thought so and I did hear back indirectly that the company owners were super happy with the shots. Have I ever worked with the designer again? No. My studio partner says its because "I was too confident and too old", "They don't like it when you look like you know what you are doing"!

Well I delivered the brief, I put my full creative energy into the shots as I always do, that's WHY I became a photographer; I brought the shoot in on time and on budget, and I for one love these shots! What have I lean't from the experience. Not much I can use unless I can be 24 again - no thanks!

Basically photography 2014 is about your social network, your work, being nice, being professional, courteous and efficient. Which is what my repeat clients like about me, and they like my creative energy as well. But do be aware, if you don't fit some clients 'idea' of a photographer, no matter what 'creative' result you come up with; you may never be invited back again..

Kent Johnson
0433 796 863