So my daughter (artist and musician) and husband (ad agency creative and script writer) were in the kitchen this morning, hovering over a bowl of cherries and slab of half-demolished Christmas cake whilst they checked out Juxtapoz on the ipad.
They were admiring the technical ability of an artist who could render perfect images with the humble biro. This lead them to discussing if the ability to create a dead likeness made for a good image. The consensus was whilst this is amazing and admirable, they would much rather see something imperfect which moves them, evoking an emotional response.
It made me think of the folios I have edited this year, and of the work I have been doing with photographers to find their true passion, and reveal it through coherent, emotive imagery in their books and on their websites. And how this process lifts their spirits and inspires their clients.
It struck me that many photographers (although not all!) are technically very capable. Photographers all around the world will undoubtedly be booked at some point in 2013 to shoot a perfectly lit shot detailing the gadget on the widget for someone’s upcoming promotion. That is, providing they provide the cheapest estimate.
But the photographers who rise to the top, who become sought after for their reputation, name and style, are not necessarily being booked to achieve the exact likeness of the product in front of them.
Most of the time, creatives are looking to create a mood in their campaigns. The right elements have to be in the shot, of course, but at the end of the day they want the viewers, their potential clients, to FEEL something. That’s why they are drawn to photographers whose work moves them, and evokes an emotion- whether it’s dramatic, energetic, cool, serene, wacky….whatever they need.
And in addition to this, if those photographers are shooting and sharing multiple personal projects, full of ideas and passion, the recipe for success is almost there. Technical skill is the icing on the cake.
So what do you want your brand to look like in 2013? Do you want to rise to fame, be a photographer and artist who creatives will not only seek out, but for whom they will pay top dollar? Or do you want to remain in the ocean of mediocrity, fighting with everyone else for the same tidbits?