One of the great things about being on panels with art buyers and other creatives is the interesting things you learn from them. On this last panel for APA LA called “Why We Hire You” I kept some notes to share what I found out. I was on the panel with Jigisha Bouverat the Director of Art Production at TBWA\CHIAT\DAY, Los Angeles and Mike Kohlbecker the Associate Creative Director/Art Director at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Los Angeles. Jigisha has been with the agency for 22 years and manages a team of Art Producers. Mike has worked on some major campaigns.
Here are the things that I thought were worth noting:
1. Before the event Jigisha told me they have been shooting a ton of campaigns in 2011. More this year than in the last year combined.
2. Jigisha loves the blog Feature Shoot and reads it regularly.
3. Several photographers asked the flash vs. html question for websites. Mike said I don’t care. Jigisha said I have no idea what you’re talking about.
4. Mike said he reads most of his email on his android phone and likes it when there’s a mobile version of a site to look at.
5. Mike said on the campaigns he works on, the photographers being considered all are qualified to shoot it, so it comes down to personality as the deciding factor.
6. Jigisha gave an emphatic yes when asked if she likes looking at personal work and said many times the personal work is what they hang on to from marketing material.
7. When asked where she finds new talent Jigisha she’s had good luck with portfolio reviews at the photography schools in LA.
8. Mike and Jigisha agreed that editorial is still a place where they find photographers who are established but haven’t shot advertising before.
9. Mike said he will describe the type of photography he wants for a concept or show moodboards and then Jigisha said she could name 10 photographers off the top of her head that fit any style he could come up with (i was tempted but didn’t test this).
10. Jigisha and her art producers keep internal google docs where they have photographers categorized. She saves links to things she likes to these documents.
11. the advice for the creative call from both of them was:
i. Don’t be the first to speak, gather clues about where this is going from the AD (e.g. it’s going to be bright and happy or it’s going to be dark and moody). If they’ve had other calls before yours you will hear clues on where things are headed.
ii. it’s all about your enthusiasm for the shoot.
iii. it’s easy to tell when you’re faking this.
iv. Mike admitted that sometimes the project has changed and he’s lost his enthusiasm so it’s good if you are enthusiastic about it.
v. Did I mention enthusiasm?
12. When asked if there was anything that happened on a shoot that made them not want to work with a photographer again Jigisha said there was a shoot where the photographer was bad mouthing the Art Director but didn’t know his radio was on. Mike acknowledged he could be a pain in the ass on shoots asking for more coverage of things on the fly.
13. Questions about the triple bid, budgets, pricing and negotiation had Jigisha explaining the Art Producers job is to make sure they get a fair market price for their clients.