Monday, September 15, 2008

Notable Items

I'm sad to say that last Thursday I read Rachel Hulin was leaving PhotoShelter and Shoot! the Blog is no more. I have to admit I was one of many who had a blog crush on Hulin. Her witty and conversational writing kept us reading but also the photography she showcased, sharing all aspects of the art with all of us multiple times a day. Over at Heather Morton's blog she discusses the situation and debuts her own blog, where she remains ever faithful to photography and artists.

Over at Leslie Burns-Dell'Acqua's blog she has posted about the job of an art buyer. I commend Leslie for writing on both sides of the issues but also injecting her honest opinions. As an art buyer, I thought I should comment. We have to walk the fine line of working for the agency and doing what is best in the interest of the client and agency and also act as an advocate for the photographer. Because we went with another photographer who shot it at half of what the other photographer bid at doesn't mean we're anti-photographer. It means the client made the decision to shoot with the photographer who bid cheaper or undercut their costs quite a bit to get the job. There are a ton of photographers out there competing for all the same jobs. We look at several photographers' websites before we call in portfolios, then we weed out the portfolios with our creatives, and then we bid. The fact that a photographer got to bid is a good step because it means the creatives liked the work enough to push it in front of the client. Ultimately it is the client's decision, but don't point fingers there and don't be cranky because you didn't get the job. It happens.

I want to work with the best photographer for the job and the photographer that the art director/designer feels can best accomplish the project/s. If your costs are not in line with the client's budget I'll tell you and I will do my best to be honest about the job. I cannot however force my client or creative team to choose you if the quality is comparable to your competitors but cost came in higher. I try to present the best case for each photographer, explain the costs of the line items and be a creative consultant. Art Buyers get flak, and that's okay it comes with the territory but be sure to understand the world of advertising... you need to have some thick skin in this industry. (more to come tomorrow with the creative opinion discussion).

And lastly, Jill Greenberg. Who knew another photographer (besides Annie Leibovitz) could cause such a commotion? PDN featured an article about her recent photo shoot with John McCain. Politics get heavy and people get very passionate and emotional about their views. Greenberg owns the images and negotiated certain usages regarding these images. McCain's people and the magazine should have had a legal person (or a producer, art buyer, etc.) review with her all their stipulations regarding his imagery and had someone on set to watch and manage. I'm not supporting Greenberg's actions (including her statements) or the reactions in the community.. I'm completely neutral on this but Greenberg does own the copyright to her own images. The magazine should have put limitations in effect prior to the shoot.
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