Most photographers looking to advance their commercial photography careers come to the realization that in order to score the big jobs, they need to work with creative agencies. The question is, how does a photographer get those agency gigs? I sat down with Associate Creative Director Scott Wallace of Magner Sanborn to discuss the creative agency/photographer relationship and what we can do as photographers to get noticed and ultimately get hired.
It's a pretty casual interview which consists of questions provided by viewers via Twitter and stuff I just made up on the spot. I've worked with Scott on projects in the past and felt he was a good representation of the creative teams I've done business with over the years. Some Art Directors are micro managers, while others provide almost no feedback on a shoot. I found Scott to be someone who was right in between. He knows what he wants, but doesn't drive you nuts on set while trying to get there. He'll let the photographer work through issues and evolve the shot(s) through their own creative process, while providing valuable feedback when necessary. It's really a personal preference each photographer will figure out as he/she gains experience working with varying degrees of art direction.
If you don't feel like watching the video interview (I don't blame you, I'm no Katie Couric and it's not the most riveting of interviews), the short and skinny of it is that every creative team is different. Creative agencies still like to see a printed book, and source books (Workbook, AtEdge, etc) are still relevant. As you can expect, whether through social media, portfolio website, Behance, professional organizations, or rep sites, they pretty much turn to the internet for it's broad reach when looking for photographers. It's a slow 25 minute video, but there's some good nuggets of information, especially for those just starting their careers and building relationships with creative agencies.