Former Art Buyers and current photography consultants Amanda Sosa Stone and Suzanne Sease have agreed to take anonymous questions from photographers and not only give their expert advice but put it out to a wide range of photographers, reps and art buyers to gather a variety of opinions. The goal with this column is to solicit honest questions and answers through anonymity.
Certainly others, along with myself, would like to see your Ask Anything series cover the topic of treatments in great detail. Amanda and Suzanne may have visual insight into this they could share.
Are these treatments formal? Scattered thoughts through email? A conference call related to, “This is how I will make your pictures…”?
I’ve searched fairly well with Google and found very little on the topic. For many photographers, the existence of treatments will be new, especially with how they’ll go down when the big job calls.
From Amanda and Suzanne:
We have a joint client who does the most amazing treatments before any photo shoot. The Rhoads have been very kind to let us show you a treatment they submit to every client. And since so many photographers do not create these, we reached out to our friends to get their take on the importance of a treatment.
We sent the treatment to art producers and art directors. Here is their response:
Senior Art Producer – International Ad Agency
love a treatment, get them all the time, it really helps. with everything being so literal now, the vision from the photographer really helps. directors do it all the time, with the lines blurring still guys are doing this as well.
Art Producer – Smaller Ad Agency
This is usually along the lines of what I’m working on to be prepared for a pre-pro if I’m producing. (If the photographer has their own producer I’m expecting them to put this together for the pre-pro.) I have mixed feelings about it. My control-freak nature would most likely make me feel like I’d need to make tweaks to it and use my client’s typeface, logo, etc; but on the other hand if a bulk of this work is done, it for sure helps me out. I guess it wouldn’t make or break the deal for me.
Senior Art Producer – Large NYC Based International Agency
I think this is visually fabulous. There’s all kinds of clients and all kinds of needs depending on the client want when it comes to pre-pro books. This is evidently a fashion pre-pro treatment. Not to say that they don’t have all the same needs. So below is what I love and what I think is missing.
Concept – I like knowing what the concept or creative treatment is.
Cast- I need to see photo’s not just names.
Setting- I need to see location pictures.
Inspiration/Styling – wardrobe/hair samples – great mood board
Location Shots/Bar & Hotel – great mood board
The following is some of the things that are missing. Now these maybe things that are separate from the pre-pro book. It all depends On how the photographer is handling it. I think of the pre-pro book
Call Sheet/Contact Info.
I think of a Pre-Pro Book as bible…I want any and everything in it. When we’re on shoot’s we really cling to it. This being a fashion shoot
It maybe just enough. Not for my clients or account teams.
Senior Art Producer – International Ad Agency
For large shoots, we absolutely expect treatments from photographers. Some are quite elaborate, others are simple like this one.
Side note: presentation decks (usually PowerPoint pdfs or printouts) have become extremely important in selling through ideas. We would use the treatment in a presentation deck for what we call a “pre-bid” meeting, which is the meeting with the client in which we bring our client up to speed with what we’re thinking regarding photographer choices and other details prior to actually estimating and producing.
Pre-pro decks have become very elaborate because of the need to outline every single detail prior to shooting.
You heard it directly from their mouths. Treatments are important and often crucial to the success of a shoot. It helps everyone get on the same page visually. We speak visually, so should your treatments. Please note the difference between the treatment as a whole and a pre-pro book. The pre-pro book contains everything everyone needs for the shoot, client name, details of all the people involved and everyone’s contact info, the schedule of the day, etc…including the treatment of visual direction. We recommend the treatment be submitted during the pre-pro meeting as an added bonus to the shoot and to make sure everyone is seeing eye to eye.