Still Images in Great Advertising- David Stuart

- - Advertising Photography

Still Images In Great Advertising, is a column where Suzanne Seasediscovers great advertising images and then speaks with the photographers about it.


I got my Communication Arts Photography Annual back in August and immediately sat down to review the winners.  I went through and tagged the ads that I wanted to feature for this blog column.  When I closed my copy, it reminded me of many of my art directors who had done the same thing at The Martin Agency.  It still holds true today that getting in to the Communication Art Photography Annual has clout.  Anyone who gets in needs to use it in their marketing to potential clients “As seen on page 90 of the CA Photo Annual”.  This weeks post is from David Stuart and his agents VISU about the beautiful campaign for the agency, Three and CPA Global.

Suzanne:  David when I go to your site, I see the EarthJustice series with the man in the Hazmat suit enjoying a lake, fishing and feeding sheep.  Do you think that campaign helped you land this one?

David: The art director at Three commented that she really liked the series, so it probably did help land the CPA Global campaign.

Suzanne:  Can you tell us about this campaign and how much input you had on “Don’t Waste Talent” and did you replace the plough horse with a racehorse?

David: The client is legal services company, and the concept is to illustrate people and a horse doing work they’re overqualified for in an absurd way. The concepts were solid when they were handed off to me, and the racehorse was already part of the original concept, but there was a lot of room for artistic license. The final racehorse image ended up having a very different feel from the original agency comp.

Suzanne:  You get hired for humorous advertising and it affords you to take it from subtle to right out there.  Are you a funny person?

David: I’ve told I’m funny looking, does that count?

Suzanne: Do you have a lot of input with creative folks when in the negotiation phase?

David: As far as creative input, it really depends on the client and the agency, for the HAZMAT Suit series, I had a quite a bit of creative input in regards to the individual image concepts. For the CPA Global pieces it was more locked down.  I do a lot of research for each shoot and I’m a pretty obsessive person so every concept is thoroughly planned out before I step on the set. With that being said I do leave room for spontaneity.

Suzanne:  On that note, how is the scuba diving rockabilly band going?

David: Hmmm, every time we go diving, all the instruments get ruined by the salt water, so we’ve decided to keep the diving and the music separate. I have, however been itching to do some underwater photography and although they don’t make underwater housings for guitars, fortunately they do for cameras.

Suzanne:  I love that you are based in Atlanta (some talented folks there). What is your advice for photographers who want to live where they want while having an International career?

David: Atlanta’s a great place to live and work, plus we have an international airport here, so it makes it easy to get around. As far as living where ever you want, and having a career in commercial photography, it really boils down to 2 things; 1. Having a style that’s unique enough that they’re willing to fly you in for.  2. Getting your work in front of the eyes of the person that does the hiring.

Suzanne:  So, have you and VISU gotten many calls from the art directors with the tagged pages?

David: The response has been really good, and I’ve talked to quite a few art directors who’ve seen the image in the CA photo annual.

Note: Content for Still Images In Great Advertising is found. Submissions are not accepted.

About David: As one of Luerzer’s Archive’s 200 Best Advertising Photographers Worldwide, David’s work has been featured in PDN, Communication Arts, Luerzer’s Archive, Picture, Digital Photo Pro, After Capture, and the F-Stop. David regularly works with clients like, Puma, Girl Scouts, New Balance, Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz, United Way, Simmons, BBDO, ESPN Magazine, Forbes, Sony Records, American Airlines, CPA Global, Three and Richards Group.

About VISU: From the newest CGI Energizer Bunnies to the latest Hilton Worldwide Stills & Video Campaign,  VISU is a synonym for trusted partner.  Through steadfast commitment to our clients, VISU continually facilitates the most elegant combination of creativity and innovation while embracing  advancing technologies to promote solutions tailor-made for today’s media culture. With VISU it is more than photography, motion CGI or creative retouching — It’s about the experience of working with a VISU team. For information about David Stuart’s work please contact Blake Pearson at (212) 518-3222 x700 or blake@visu.co.

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies.

Suzanne Sease

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