So yesterday's post was a slight debacle for me. I had a few hiccups in posting it and several emails back and forth with Vincent. I don't think I had expected such a long answer either... but that wasn't a big deal because the question I asked was pretty broad and Vincent put a lot of thought into it, especially interweaving the photographs throughout the piece turning his answer to my question into an art installation.
Normally on Artist Fridays I throw in a few brief comments about how I feel about the work and why I like it. (It's all subjective and just one person's opinion). With this post I thought it appropriate to do in two parts - Vincent's approach and then my answer. Vincent also sent me an email yesterday - "you know, a big part of my motivation to do this was to hear the thoughts of my Questioner. From what angle do you see this perspective?"
It really breaks down to personal taste. The photo I love and might suggest a photographer use as an opening photo to his/her portfolio, the next art buyer might hate. This much I do know - most people when looking at photographs or art pieces either like it or they don't... there's not much of a grey area.
Vincent asked some questions in his piece regarding art buying opinions that I thought I should address.
What do art buyers latch onto when considering the photographer for their campaign?
It breaks down to the creative brief. What does the client want or what is the takeaway from the ad, who do they want to reach, and what is the message. Depending on who the client is, the creative team has some ability to be risk takers and go for an edgier look. I base my research and suggestions to the team based on the artwork I see in the portfolios. Whether they have high profile clients or have an established name is nice but not relevant - the photographs are the key here. Simply enough I look for great work and whether it's somewhat relevant to the idea we're trying to achieve. In the end I am an art buyer working to make sure that the creative vision gets achieved on the photo shoot and that the client is happy with the work being done. With that said it is possible to get artful images from a commercial shoot but it's all about the photographer being able to create art instead of just "getting the job done".
I loved that Vincent's answer was broken into three parts that suited him - commercial, hybrid, and art.
What I felt about his work at first glance was that I loved his personal work (I feel most art buyers are drawn to personal work). The photos (at the bottom of the post) are raw and a little rough around the edges but it's also the subject matter he chose to portray. They are beautiful - at first glance I was a little taken aback and then I began to study them more and realized I had not looked as closely at the other images he sent.
Commercial photography can be tough... you have to cross all the red tape involved in getting from the concept to the finished product while making all parties happy. Sometimes you come out with a stock photo feeling image or sometimes you come out with an amazing photo that can stand on it's own without copy and logos.
I had a photographer say to me this week, "I want to create art first." It starts with that aspiration and idea and then the photographs come next to back up that statement.
I think sometimes it's tough to get the art from the commerce side but if you're a great photographer (like Vincent here) you can cross the line and bring the art to the table.