Who are the Players in Commercial Food Photography
So we're going to talk a little bit about client management and what to, um, to understand all the players in the game here. And when I thought in this situation, I'm talking about essentially agency on bigger kind of shoots where there's production money at stake. And if you understand, like all the people who might be playing in this game, you can clearly be better prepared to understand what their roles are because sometimes it gets a little confusing cause there's a lot of overlap on that level. Eso you you want to be able to, and we're gonna talk later on about your personal team versus this team because these teams have to meet, you know. So on the commercial side of things there is client Asian seaside, and then there is production side, and a lot of those people have the same title, and sometimes I can get kind of confusing to understand what that means. And I'm gonna unpack all that out for you over the next couple of section. So here we go. Ah, producer on agency level is the...
person who is basically in charge of the shoot there, the person who is collecting all the people and organizing all the meetings and connecting everybody that needs to be connected. And when this on a whim or on set. That's the person who is running the show on the set. As far as all of the background production situations from a client side, then we have art directors. Now the art director on any given project is the person who is dealing with the creative side of how the agency is creating, um, the package for the client deriving the creative force before behind the behind the project. So there's a campaign going on. You've all seen Mad Men. This is exactly what is happening. They are making the commercial before it's made. The creative directors are the people who are essentially the setting the tone for the entire agency, so they may very well be the art director on your job. But they also may have a bigger job in setting the tone for weight the way the agency does business as creative. So Don Draper is your creative director. You also. Sometimes we'll deal with chefs in this in this situation and that chef also because on a bigger project, especially one that's funded well when you're dealing with celebrity chef. And that's sort of what I'm talking about here, talking about dealing with celebrity chefs. That is an added wrinkle into these negotiations. It's another personality that has to be dealt with, and it's sometimes goes through agency, and sometimes it doesn't. But that doesn't mean that the production is any smaller. Um, there's also also dealing with authors, which necessary isn't necessarily a agency kind of production. But it is clearly a bigger production because we're dealing with volume of work. You know, we're not doing one story. We're doing an entire book and restaurateurs. It's a little different, and we'll talk about the difference between what, working with a chef or a restaurant or or a chef who happens to be a restauranteur. So that's a completely different dynamic, and also you're going to deal with photo editors. If you're dealing with, um, somebody who it may not be again, this might not be agency. It may be more editorial and Europe Photo. Your photo editor might be acting as many of these roles at the same time, so we're going to talk about those things. One, the time and every one of them happens to be an egg. Uh, like I said, ultimately, the client side, this is the people for who are cool coordinating all of the things that are happening on your set. We've talked about the producer being that kind of driving force from the client side. And they will be highly organized people, usually super organized people who do not leave anything to chance. And when you're dealing with producers protect potentially really good producers on agency side you, they will leave no stone unturned. So you take care of your producer. You make a producer look good in that situation, and you will hopefully start to build relationships with an agency that will be long lasting. So ah, we will hear it. Also, the creative director, which I've already discussed a little bit, is that artistic tone. Now, these are the people who have the most pressure on them at the shoot because they are setting the creative and you are trying to execute their vision. And they are intense people often, you know, and you have to be able and willing to defer to this art director in advertising scenario because they have the most pressure on them because if this if you fail for an art director on an ad job, you will not work for that person ever again. So this person might be very high, strong in your in your environment, but you have to understand and appreciate the amount of pressure that they're under. We've already gone over what the creative director does in that person again. Ah, the art director, maybe the same person on a given job. Or maybe that me, the person who is their art directors boss. And if that person shows up on your set, you really got to make that person happy because that's the person that gets you won multiple campaigns. That's the person who, if they love your work and your easy to work with and you're making them look good time and time again, they're gonna continue to give you work. And that's a really important relationship toe have when you're when you're dealing with agency people. Because, like I said, the stakes are very high. The margins are very thin, and in order to make money that you need to make things work so as efficient as you can be and is, you know, stay within your creative lane and be helpful and be communicative and have great attitude and all of those other things that we talked about in the A. B. C's chefs off scrambled eggs. We'll just leave it at that now. I'm kidding. Um, you know, chefs are temperamental creatives, just like we are, and you put them in the same box, and sometimes it becomes scrambled eggs. So it's important to understand the relationship that you're gonna have with them. And here's one of the keys that I've learned to dealing with. Chefs engage them outside of the environment because they're different people when they're outside of the environment. Most of the friends I have that are chefs are lunatics in their work. It's work space, and they are unrecognizable to unrecognizable to me as my friends. When I watch them work, because there intensity level has to be so high, especially at really high level in high level environments, you engage them outside of that environment and you get to know the human being dealing with authors. There, you got to make the cake. You really do when it comes to authors a lot of times because a lot of them in new and we talked about this earlier. You're gonna spend a lot of time negotiating with yourself when it comes to working with authors because you're gonna educate your client first and teach them what it is that we do. And then you're going to start to talk about what it's gonna cost. So you're gonna go back and forth, you're gonna basically give them all the information, and then you're gonna negotiate with them on the information you just gave them. Um, that's not always the case, but for me, it turns out 80% of the time I'm negotiating with a cookbook author. I'm starting with somebody who has never done it before. Now, when you deal with somebody who owns a restaurant, um, sometimes that person is much more of a business person, right? That's and sometimes it's not the chef, either. When it's a chef and owner of the restaurant, that just complicates the that relationship even more because now they have business aspect of this being pushed on them because they have investors and and all of those things. But when you're talking about somebody who owns a restaurant or particularly like a restaurant chain, like several restaurants or a restaurant group where you're dealing with PR. Sometimes these are interesting negotiations because there is money to be made here. If you handle that negotiation well and it can't be treated strictly like a because this isn't necessarily a cookbook. This could be something like for websites or some kind of promotional deal. So it's kind of skirting that edge between editorial cookbook. It's like it's sort of its own world because it's not really advertising because you're not gonna have an agency. It's probably gonna be direct PR work. And I guess it was long as you structure the contract in away that protects you from using them professionally in their advertising, which I've had that experience. Um, then you're fine and a Photo editors, which on the flip side of that art director thinks so. The photo editor, particularly at newspapers, is this person who, essentially wearing all those hats at once there, the producer, they are the art director. They you know, they're driving all of that behind Well, I mean for as far as art director in a newspaper setting they don't drive the creative there to people who lay it out in the paper. So that's a little bit of a different, um, Twist on the same terminology, said, like at The New York Times, the art director doesn't drive the creative the photo the photo editor does. So they become the de facto art director as well as the photo editor. So that's sort of like that magazine newspaper thing that works. Conversely, so some in newspaper world. The photo editor is the art director and a lot of times in magazines. The art director is the photo editor, so they kind of worked hand in hand because they usually don't have redundancy at that level because most people can't afford that much staff. Even the biggest of publishing companies don't want to pay all of those people. And it's also too much for a daily, especially that have that many people involved in every decision