Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Art Buyer Conversation

I believe in being honest and up front with artists and reps, it makes things go a little more smoothly when there is an understanding there. Sometimes it's not always easy to relay information or get across the feelings and intentions of the team (AD, account manager, client, etc) but as art buyers it's our responsibility to try.

One of the things I can get frustrated with is when the creative gets ignored and more pressure is put on the finance part. I completely understand and get the finance part makes the creative happen but when so much attention is on the budget it hampers the creative and the creative collaboration.

I do my very best to remain fair to all involved. If I have a budget I will give it to you, if I even have a range of what is expected I will give it to you. The sad thing is when the conversation keeps going back to the fact that it's not enough money or that it's incredibly lean when we've gone back and forth several times abut the numbers... Don't bid on a project if you feel the budget does not work with your fees and your production value. On the opposite side of that conversation... Don't undercut to try and guarantee the job is yours, it sets you up for going over budget and taking a chunk of your fee to cover production expense overages.

The best way is to have open conversation with the art buyer on the project from the very beginning. It's very appreciated. If you have concerns about the budget up front ask all the questions so you can make an informed decision whether to participate. Know that the art buyer is doing their best to be fair to both sides - the client and the photographer. Also know that the more the conversation is kept candid and honest the more mutual respect grows for all the parties involved (candid to the professional sense, just don't call me names).
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