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How to Be a Commercial Photographer

Lesson 3 of 34

Roles in Commercial Photography

Rob Grimm, Gary Martin, Aaron Nace

How to Be a Commercial Photographer

Rob Grimm, Gary Martin, Aaron Nace

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Lesson Info

3. Roles in Commercial Photography

Lesson Info

Roles in Commercial Photography

We're the people that we depend on the most, uh, there's a lot of time, so first and foremost, producer, once we get a job, we got to go into production because there's lots of moving parts. Uh, I'm often on one job preparing for two or three jobs down the road, so a producer has got to be somebody who can take charge of everything that needs to be done on the project. They're going to get the rest of the crew together, they're going to make sure that stuff, whatever product we're shooting is arriving from the client where it's going if it's going to be in st louis studio office coming in chicago studio, keep in mind, we're hiring different people in different locations to so we've got producers in st louis with producers in st louis the views and the producer is kind of the point person on the job there, the person who really keeps the job rolling and making sure that everything is done leading up to the job, but then the day of the job, they're also there to make sure that I'm checki...

ng off all the boxes, you know, that every component photographed and I need to shoot is getting done, making sure people arrive on time just making sure that everything goes really smoothly. Very key person in the whole roll without question so what if we ask someone like a producer like meeting an elephant by three pm today they have to say okay, I'm gonna get that done like there is no no I don't know how to do that um that's the person that we look for thiss isn't something that you can go to school for um we I interviewed are one of the producers that we use in st louis that used to be a producer for someone corey rich he was just on this show one of the best producers in the biz um I think there's a link to it in the enroll now uh just an in depth interview on on everything that how he got to where he got to and what makes awesome producer so if you guys want to see that it should be in the chat room which should be someone scrambling to find the link down. All right, next one food stylist. So obviously I photographed a lot of food and I have somebody who just stiles the food it's kind of weird a lot of people don't get what you mean you have a food stylist there's a whole industry out there they're people who have incredible culinary the tops on they understand how to build a dish to lens into a photograph to a photographer um there are a lot of chefs out there, you know, you could do restaurant work along chaps like, you know, I can handle it, and they can because they're chefs, but there's a very different approach to building a plate that someone's going to look at, basically on a table versus building it for leads and understanding focal length and understanding how that food has got to sit on, set for a little while so that we can get it and make it work and kind of, you know, finesse all the details because this is a completely detail or in business. So we mean, we labor over this stuff. How the noodles are cascading through ebola pasta is very important believe it or not, it's just gotta look right. So we hire food stylist and food stylist assistance there, people that just assist the food stylist because there's that much work to be done. It's kind of amazing when you're doing huge food shoes, how much food comes in the studio? It's? Great, because a lot of times you can feed your family with leftovers. But it's insane how much food comes in and it's their job not only to manage that, but to make it all look like if we're gonna be shooting for triscuits which we did a job about a year ago and we had a bunch of triscuits I can't even tell you how many boxes of triscuits they brought in and sorted through them all pulled out all the bad ones pulled out all the good ones and then when they pulled out all the good ones they went through and look for the best of the good ones that was a half a day of somebody's time just going through triscuits kind of a weird thought but it has a huge effect on you the viewer as you're opening a magazine or driving down the road you see a billboard and you see that food you're like somebody really thought about that they thought about the food they thought about how to make it look good to make you just think oh my god, I want that you know we're putting a ton of thought into something that's just really simple at the end of the day so food stylist hugely important what you think the most important thing you look for in a food stylist creativity without question on dh problem solving there are so many things that could go wrong in a food shoot because with food photography I do think there's a lot of over analysis of it I mean we really can get caught up in the minutiae of the noodles but you want somebody who can create something in an artistic way that feels very casual. We're gonna talk about this in a little while, but it's called called for spontaneity. We spent a lot of time making something look like it just happened and that's really critical in a food stylist. Somebody who can work fairly quickly can work efficiently and can give us that kind of easy casual but dead on nails. This is it look awesome, moving on similar to a foodstuffs. In fact, they're usually a food stylist just kind of wearing a different hat sometimes or not, but often we employed drink stylist. We do so much in the beverage world that we need somebody to style drinks, but you know, if we're doing a whole bunch in a day, we might be shooting eight or ten drinks in a day that might not sound like a lot, but it is when you're doing these really hero drinks and the garnishes have to be perfect and, you know, we often have to shoot drinks in components we may be shooting for the body of the glass, we may be shooting just for the condensation, and we may be shooting just for the garnishing that's going on top of it and all that has to be digitally put together. A drink could take a couple hours just to photograph a single drink so food starless when you drink styles when you have a lot of drinks to get through is really important because it lets me concentrate on all those other components the lighting of the cocktail, the lighting coming through the ice all that kind of stuff and she can hear she can just worry about making sure that the garnishes looking perfect drink this looking the way the client again wants to present their drink right it's their drink at the end of the day it's not mine I can do whatever I want to it, but at the end of the day I've got to make a drink look good for them so they drink starless is important in my life as well, so when do we use drink stylus on shoots? Do we always use them? No, not always there there times where the budget doesn't allow form their times where it also doesn't make financial sense. I have been doing this long enough I've been photographing and styling drinks for twenty years, so I'm pretty good doing a lot of the garnishing and a lot of styling myself I can take over if it's just two or three drinks and it doesn't make sense to have that added expense for the client to bring in drink stylist and I could do it myself um, but this take a long time for me to get to be that comfortable with it. So, you know, a lot of the chutes that we have, we have one day to do it, and we have a ton of stuff to do and it's like six shots but doesn't sound like a lot, but there's a a ton of stuff that actually goes into that one shot that takes an hour and a half, so the more people that we have there taking care of the small details, the more someone like rob can focus less on the busywork and focus more on the creativity. So when the issues come together, they are big budget, but it's, there's a lot on the line, there's weeks, months of meetings that go into it, and we have to pay attention to the details like the color has to be right, that drink has to look the way it should or there's gonna be a problem down the road, so, you know, we've got to work with the client. We've gotta work with the drink stylist, food stylist to make sure that the food or the drink looks the way it's supposed to that we haven't done something funky with the color, we haven't altered the brand in some way, that's gonna have a negative impact on the brand quick question, sure. How long for most shoots like, how long is the process from beginning to end? You say you know, that could be months involved or, you know, meetings that have gone on does it very could it be a week and once a month or we can get a request for a project and it could be an early preliminary request the client just wants to even know if they have the budget to do it, so they'll say, ok, we're thinking about doing these ten shots, how many days is going to take you to do it? What kind of proof do you need? Can you give me a ballpark that often happens way? Give a set of numbers to the client to the ad agency, they share it with the client if they want to proceed, then we get down to, you know, kind of the brass tacks in terms of what are these images really going to be? Now, let us do a very accurate estimate once they sign off on that estimate than we have to go into production, sometimes that can be two, three, four weeks in advance because of the complexity of the job and where people are coming from, keep in mind that a lot of all the brands that we work on our national and international brands so more than likely they're not located in st louis well, it's unlikely they're not necessarily located chicago. They might be anywhere in the world, so we've got to get those people to come to us. There's a lot of people that have to travel and that takes a little bit of time to coordinate, sometimes happens very quickly, you know? We'll have coins, it'll call us, they'll be in st louis or be in chicago, it'll be tuesday, and they say, hey, we've got this project we needed shot friday. Can you do it? You don't know what's gonna happen, I think that's one of the really interesting things about being a commercial photographer, you know, I've been in this for over two decades. I very often don't know what is coming around the corner, you know, I'm a know on monday what I'm going to be doing on friday, I go through periods where I'm insanely busy, I'm working all the time, and I go through periods where I'm really so I'm like, okay, when's, that job coming in s o keeps you hopping and actually that'll get ghetto one thing that I've got to say. If you're going to really get into the world of commercial photography, forget about security, you know, if you're looking for a secure job, it ain't this become really secure within security knowing that you got to ride the ups and downs that's just the way it is the business constantly absent in the end I think it all averages out, you know, kind of levels out but it's nothing assistant's assistants man, they're important they are more so we have an entire team again studio in chicago and st louis, we have to build a team of people in each city and as other photographers get busy and those assistants get used up, you know, we need to have a pretty deep roster. So most studios have a ton of assistants that work for them. So it's good to know the difference and there's p a's there's first assistance there. Second assistance there's kind of a hierarchy and we're going to go over that in a second, um, kind of what you need to know, like your place your role in the photo shoot because it is very specific. Um the last thing we want for an assistant is tto be asking us good ten questions on how we do what we do and kind of distract rob um, it's kind of one of those things that you have to be seen you heard and you have to be there and anticipate what rob's going to do next so it's kind of a tough balance because you you've got to be there to be hand when I need it, you know? I don't need something every second it's not like assistance or constantly running around doing some stuff, but when I need something, I need something and there's a lot of pressure on me if you think about it let's say there's a photo shoot and they're fourteen people in the studio everybody is basically under me, everybody's waiting for me to make art and I've got clients, I've got assistance, I've got food stylist, maybe I have a hair and makeup artist for doing people there's a lot of moving components in terms of people for me to think about as well as all the moving components to go on with lighting and all that kind of stuff so it's really important for assistant to know when they can pitch in to really be paying attention to what's going on with the job and be at the ready it's just critical and we do, we have a stable of people that we use, we go to them time and time again, we get resumes probably, you know, multiple day um, we don't trash and we keep him I mean, we have a folder just filled with resumes because I don't know when we're gonna need somebody and I'm gonna want to go to that and find somebody good, so put your stuff out there, get in contact with photo studios don't be afraid if you don't hear anything from them, it may take six months or two years. I don't know when I'm gonna pull that resume out there's gotta be something that might spark my interest in your movie give you call it's just the way it goes. That brings up a question from dave twenty ten from the interwebs right now, he's asking when starting now, if you want to specialize in a genre of commercial photography like food, is it good to target that market or go into assisting and shooting any type of commercial work that comes along just to get your feet wet? I think it's definitely better to go on target what you want. I think it's really important to learn that. But like I said, a lot of the principles that you learned about the food and beverage work that we do, you can apply to people. So that being said, I think that, you know, you get your foot in the door any way you can that's really important to be able to do that, but one of the most important things about growing into being a commercial photographer is knowing what you want to do, so go after those people research your market research to the top guys are where the best photographers in what you want to do if it's food look at those food photographers and then start to get in touch with him gently, I guess it's a lot of it's luck too it's who's around you. Where do you live? You know, do the legwork to the research, figure out who's around you figure out who you like figure out of you know they need assistance with the interwebs these days. I mean, it's amazing how quickly you can do the research and find that out it's different twenty years ago, wasn't it? Um, you didn't have that ability. He had to make phone calls. Or you just had to, you know, talk to people to find out in a network there was a photography before the internet. Yeah, there was even photography before digital cameras. Shocking the question. I know gary's your m v p so what would you say are, like the two most important qualities in a great p a r assistant like what's? Actually, the next slide there's a bunch of them. Well, here we go. Hang onto your hat. Okay. All right. So a digital tech. Is everyone familiar with that term? Yes. Now, okay, so a digital tech we don't use these on every shoot, but this is where I started out um someone who's in charge but I think it's one of the most important things because everything's digital it's easily lost it's easily erased you need to have ah solution when they you know, not only the camera goes down, but when the actual computer goes down. If there's something wrong with the software which there usually is, um, you need to know how to protect that data, duplicated triplicate it and make that workflow seamless like you can't be duplicating data while he's you know, shooting and reviewing, you need to have a system in place that maybe does that automatically. You need to take the worry out of oak. Crafted is that we have him. Are they good? Is there a problem with the file so it's not just that, you know it's also, you know, checking focus, making sure that the files look right. So you need to know a little bit about that as well and troubleshooting if something goes wrong, if the camera's not connecting if something's up that's really the job of a general attack once again to kind of take the pressure off of me. Um, I don't want to have to worry about that. I mean, the equipment should work, but, you know, there's a million wires going to it there's always something that that will cause the hard drive to freeze or whatever in the digital tech it's their responsibility to really be up to date with all the software know the kind of programs that we use and know how to troubleshoot if something comes out. Another thing that's really important for a digital attack? We shoot a lot of component files, we're if we're doing a food and beverage shoot and we're shooting fifteen cocktails and a couple bottles shots there, maybe a thousand images that we capture and for bottle we might be shooting for the body of the bottle, the neck label, the main label on top cocktails all around, and you'll see this as we do this, we have to mark all those files as we go, because if we try to shoot the job and then go back and figure out what every file is for, we've just wasted an enormous amount of time and more than likely, we're going to make mistakes. So we try to go through this very systematically, make sure that we're getting every component right and the digital tech is marking those those images is this is what we need for the body label. We're goingto export that, and we're going to create a document that we can give to the re toucher that's going to tell them exactly what each component files for and how to build a file again, that really falls on the responsibility of the digital tech to make sure that that is all being done obviously overseeing that you'll see gary do that on these two chutes cool re toucher yeah there's not a single image that goes out of the studio that doesn't get touch it means just they all get re touched it and it may just be a simple curve but I don't even know if that happens I mean there's there's so much work that goes into creating he's really perfect seamless images and the retouch is a very, very vital part of that and they're different levels of retouching their their re touches like aaron nice was so insanely creative it's unbelievable the guy I could come up with anything he convey these really fanciful world you don't necessarily need that if you're just assembling three images together that we're going to be for a cocktail they're re touches out there that really just understand the nuts and bolts so there are different levels and again we have an arsenal of retouch is that we turn to I've got a couple that are really regulars that they're just you know, my main stay because I shoot so much food and beverage particularly julie missy she knows exactly what I need to do I can turn the files over to her give her my document it says what to do when she goes constantly letting me review stuff constantly saying is this right? And, you know, we on the mark here and then there are other re touches, you know, that we used on different projects in a much larger in scope, so retouch is incredibly important they put the polish on what we do, they make sure everything looks absolutely fantastic and it gives it that wow factor when the coin gets it, then who you called me on that we've gotten a lot of questions from, uh, assistance people that see us using all these lights and they think that the file okay, that's it's, good it's good out of the camera, even when we create pre sets that, you know, put a curve on the photo coming into the computer so it's almost like they're retouched from the very beginning and color corrected to spec on and that's what we do on every commercial photo shoot but always, always always these photos were getting sent, these images are getting sent to retouch that sometimes is working at the photo shoot right there, and the client is going back and forth, reviewing what we're doing, reviewing what they're doing, approving that so sometimes we have to stop what we're doing go look at the images, especially if we if we notice a problem, then we're on set and we can go back and and redo an image if if need be that doesn't happen very often but now it's nice to have that yeah but everything we do gets touched I will say this I tried to do as much as I possibly can in camera um leaving it for post is a bad idea the more you leave for post the more it looks like it's post so we really tried to capture every possible component that we need to in camp her and not leave anything um we don't have to build stuff we want assemble things we want to find two things we want to make him better but we don't wanna have to draw something out of thin air you know I don't want to ever create a photograph where we have to turn the cg I because we blew something no way have to do everything we possibly can to get it in camera so that the re toucher has in effect less to do but still add that final polish it's really just very important all right rob stylist props what what the heck is a props props alice finds us props buddy what props plates, dishes, glassware surfaces, background elements if you need curtains if you whatever propst arliss is in charge of that so if we get a project for shooting for kraft let's say and we've got fifteen different images that were going to shoot for craft fifteen different recipes the last thing we're going to do is have one surface and one plate and just put fifteen different dishes in right um every dish may have a little different flavor one maybe southwest one maybe you know nachos who knows is that you know, it's going to run the gamut so we have to have a variety of different vessel's different plates different cops did all that kind of stuff for the client to choose from so we'll send a props dallas out and they will go by boxes and bags and tons of stuff to come in and bring into the studio we set up table after table after table and put things according to set so like these these ideas or for this particular set in this particular recipe and we do that all the way down the line so when the client comes in we can sit down with them and the first day of the shoot we're going to spend an hour to going through all the props talking with the food style is talking with the client talking with the art director saying okay, if we pull these things together we're going to get the look that we want and we want them to basically kind of pre approved that and that's what we're going to start with that doesn't mean that the blue plate that we picked is necessary the best we may put it out there the sentence that you know what this is really not going well with this pasta let's switch and put something else out we go back to our prop table props alistair really important they know where to go get stuff they have a great flair for understanding what you're set can look like you're telling him what you want to create, what the images you want to create and the and the props in the coloration and they'll go out and find stuff and very often a really good prop stylist is gonna come back with stuff that you did not expect they're going to come back with things I've had props alice come back with weird things like a really flat vase and say this is going to be your plate I'm like, what are you talking about? And she stuffed it filled with rocks and you know and did all this cool stuff like wow that's like wanna coolest place I've ever seen so props house can really bring a lot to the party uh again that's a great example of letting somebody do their job telling what the parameters are and then letting them go and helping to make the whole project more creative so props house a real important yeah, we have a bit of a question yes ooh on regards to the different stylist the food stylist drinking props, arliss do this? I mean, do some of the ad agencies have this people available or do you just go out and ad agencies generally don't we generally do you know, it's very merry that an ad agency would have something like that? If they're doing a ton of lifestyle photography and they've been on a lot of jobs, they may have people that I prefer to work with. They often have food stylist that they prefer to work with because the food stylist has been on their brand before, and they liked that food service gets my vision, they know what I want and you know, again, this is a relationship based thing, so when you've got clients coming back to you again and again and again, um, they do want to assemble the same team, it just makes it easier because again think about it if you've got ten people all coming together on the chute and nobody has ever worked together before, you've got to find that rhythm and you got to do it pretty quickly if you guys work together before it makes it, it makes it go very well and much faster. But as a general rule, the photography studio has all the contacts for the prop stylist food stylist, that hair and makeup artist that really late isn't in our lap, and we get that for the ad agency if you just start now obviously and you probably might not be able to afford a prop stylist and you might be just shooting for yourself the state sales are a gold mine you know good saturday morning spend four hours going to a state sales like by lenin's by weird surfaces by weird tables just start slowly building your prop closet that way um or you know you can go toe some big fancy store that has a really good return policy you know use it for a day then go return it that's something that no one of the reasons why I like props that was so much they won that usually have been doing this so much that they have good relationships with those stores and two they're not afraid to walk back in with eight hundred dollars for the stuff and return it I'd be afraid just what you're gonna do that about a month ago we did a shoot with with flirting and I went and bought about fourteen pairs of air jordans two days later I walked back in with fourteen pairs of air jordans and returned fourteen pairs of air jordans no questions asked you know if you goto just don't go to a small mom and pop shop with just know that return policy but before you do that yeah okay let's go next one which is wardrobe so wardrobe is very similar to prop only they're getting wardrobe for talent so very often we will have a lifestyle or human component to the food and beverage. We may have two people sitting at a table eating something. We may have a bunch of people kind of hanging out the living room watching the super bowl for a super bowl party, so once the models are picked and we know their sizes and their shoe sizes and all that kind of stuff from the modeling agency, we send award wardrobe stylist out to just go buy clothing for them, and they go out and buy a bunch of options, and they think about how these people are going to look together, say, there's ten people in the room for this, you know, super bowl, party spot, you want him to feel like they all kind of belong in a certain sense, right? So the problem, the wardrobe stylist will go out and she'll find a bunch of different options for this people and come in and again lay amount, this is for person x, this is for person. Why this is from hey, this is for person b and the client and I and the wardrobe stylist, we'll sit down, we'll look at all this stuff will kind of hold it in front of of the model will tell him to go change and that's how it goes. Same exact principle is a prop stylist only they're buying clothing very often that is the same person there are a lot of props stylist that do wardrobe, but they're also people that just exclusively do warder and people that exclusively do props another thing one thing we didn't touch on there are proper houses in places like chicago there's not one in st louis but you know we can have ah prop stylist go out to a prop house that is justus warehouse full of everything you can imagine there anything and rents all this stuff it's, it's, it's way easier to do because everything is consolidated in one place and you can return everything they have so much stuff for the proper houses in chicago are amazing and when you walk through this there's just room after room after room of everything, hundreds of thousands of plates and I wish I was exaggerating I mean, they have so much stuff it's just kind of crazy school here and makeup, hair and makeup obviously when you've got people on set somebody's got to do their hair and makeup, somebody went to the trouble of going on getting closed for him somebody's got to do their hair and makeup, right? Uh you don't want people shiny, you don't want anybody to look uh, so hair and makeup is very important you want to hire the right person who can really kind of make people look natural casual but also giving that little pop make more happy in life most of what we do we don't use hair and maybe we don't do a tournament we don't powder up the bud light bottle much no, we do a lot to it we do our own kind of hair and makeup where are we slash it will be our hair and makeup for but kleiser so photo ops agents yeah that's that's the you know kind of one of the other last components of of our crew and a big one for me rapid somebody who goes out and help sell me they you know leslie my rep has spencer's had been in the business for thirty years she's got very deep relationships and it's her job to get me in front of potential clients I said potential cause they're not clients, yet very often you know we're going after people who are appropriate for me. There are a lot of food clients out there a lot of beverage coins out there. I work for a small percentage of um and I've got to build my reputation with them I have to build my inroads I have to build my relationship with them and leslie is my key to that she takes care of getting me in front of the right clients it takes a repetitive process. You rarely go in one time and come out with a job. It takes two, three, four showings, and lesley also works on putting numbers together so that's something that will also will often do in tandem. I'll tell her how much I want to charge for something we kind of have my day, right? We know what that's going to be, but we talk about how much time I'm going to need in terms of my pre production, what I'm gonna need for pre light the crew that I want around me, and she'll work on crafting all those numbers together and getting him in front of the client it's her job to work with what are called art buyers at the ad agencies and an art buyer is somebody who just handles getting photographers or illustrators for a project that's their job. So when a project comes in the ad agency and they decide they're gonna go in particular direction and they need a food and beverage photographer it's the art buyer's responsibility to find photographers that are appropriate so they make turn to the creative directors and say, ok, I've got ten different photographers I want you to take a look at what'll it down to three that gets down to three and then those art buyers will contact the reps if there's a rep involved for the photographer and that's how the kind of the introduction happens on getting the big going. So is that it's the reps job to kind of get us in front of potential clients? Teo set a portfolio showings to work with us on our marketing, getting it out there making sure that our message is out there and then helping get the bid together and get the job when it happens big responsibility and we'll go over that and lie detail leslie's coming on a little bit and she's she's awesome cool questions from the interwebs yeah, actually sam cox had a really great question earlier and sam, it is a long time we were here on creative live and he has great questions, but there are a lot of people here on your sets during any shoot. Is there any hope for a one man show? Oh yeah, absolutely keep in mind, you know, we're working on national and international brands. I didn't start working on those kinds of projects I started a much smaller stuff for local clients that didn't need ten, fifteen people on set, it just needed me and an assistant maybe needed a propst out so it's all gonna go back to being patient you cannot like crack the camera out of the box and go take ten images and go expect to shoot the biggest best jobs out there it's not gonna happen and even if it does you don't want it to happen because you don't have the experience for it every job's got a curveball and if you're not ready for those curve balls because it's not just one curve ball it's usually about ten to come your way um let's start with something small bill bill bill bill build it takes time but you'll get there you know another thing with with all these people that we have on set these were people that were paying and we pay him that that day up front we're not always getting that money from the client there's also you know, thirty maybe not necessary paying everybody up front some people we have to but there's a thirty sixty day lag time between when we get paid and when the job happens so we're off we're off in fronting that money some clients or even longer there's a coin that has one hundred eighty days pay policy so that's a bear you basically have to front load the entire job for half a year yeah so just you know keep that in mind if you are looking to do a shoot like this um there's gonna be some upfront costs you know, props stylist sometimes they'll go spend ten thousand dollars on props for us and we'll just fill up the studio with stuff so, you know, just keep that in mind if you're looking for work like this that, you know, that's that's out there build it, start with small jobs, do one get your feet wet, feel comfortable that coughed in the next years. Bill. Bill, bill, you're not going to start with an international brand is just not gonna happen. You know, you guys were just wondering on this list of people, how many of these do you employ as employees of the studio? Honey of them are contractors on my own, the full time employee? I one point I was much bigger, I had six book, five full time people, including, you know, plus me, so I really pared it down overhead really khun burn up very, very quickly, uh, and you don't work all the time, there could be periods where you're sitting around, you don't have a job for three or four weeks and that's like a little scary, especially if you've got people that you're paying, you know, every two weeks that adds up really fast. Um and a lot of the best people don't want to be full time. They just don't they like the variety of their like working for other photographers that one they may want to work on a food shoot one day, but they may want to work on a lifestyle shoot the next day with a different photographer, so we keep a good stable of people at the ready so we may have ten assistance that we're looking to only two of them make what we may go to time and time again, but when they're not available, we go to the next person on the list so it's about a sentinel in the crew that you know you can go to that you can work with. But for a photography studio like may, my philosophy is to kind of keep it as lena's possible particular, when I have two studios, I've got enough overhead. I've got a studio in chicago in a studio in st louis um and every day they burn out money. So so what? We're going to talk about that let's go over the terms being iced anyone know what that means? Being iced. Okay, so being nice is very simple. I got a call about a job I bid on the job and the client's air looking to shoot the week of november eighteenth we don't have approval on that job, probably let's say we're not gonna get approval until november twelfth if I wait till november twelve to start calling people, I'm probably going to be in a really bad position. Most people will be booked. Somebody has gone somewhere else, so I will call my entire crew. I will call the food starless I'll call the props charles, I'll call the re toucher and I will say, hey, I've got this project coming up the week of november eighteenth I wantto icy for five days, and they'll tell me if they have that that time available or not, and they will block out that time for me if somebody else calls him so I get a first ice on them, sometimes they already are iced with somebody else. I may get a second ice on them. Uh, so freelancers were really managing their time. They get a call from somebody there's a potential job coming down the road in two weeks. I can't book them yet once I booked them, I have to pay them that I blocked their time out. I can't book them because I haven't been booked yet, right? So we hold people on ice until we get that confirmation from the client that we've got the job, they've signed the estimate, and we know that we're going to get paid on this. We hold people on what's called ice, and it could be a first eyes. It could be a second ice if I've got a food stylist who I've called, and I have them on the second nice, and that often happens already iced with another photo studio, but then I book and I know I've got I've got to do it, I've got to shoot this job, I'll call that food stylist and say, hey, I'm ready to book, she'll call the person the photographer that has her on the first ice and say, I need a book or release meaning do you have that job? Can you let me go? Because I need this job so icing is away for photographers? Two, one ensure that you're going to have the right crew when when you are actually assigned the job on your book. And two it's a way to protect all the crew members. You don't want to just call people up in high season for two months and then you know and where they can't work for somebody else, and then you drop a bunch of days and don't have him that's not fair to them. So it's a way to protect all the people in the freelance world so they can manage their schedule and know that they're going to get some work somewhere.

Class Description

Ready to break into the commercial photography business, but unsure of where to start? Rob Grimm and Gary Martin will help you navigate the ins and outs of the industry by delivering expert advice on an entire gamut of subjects –– from marketing, to shooting, to branding, and location scouting.

Rob and Gary’s workshop will be your personal guide to every single aspect of commercial photography. You'll learn how to set a budget, advertise your brand, and build your portfolio and client base. These two seasoned pros will also share invaluable technical tips on shooting and retouching.

This course is a one-stop shop for all the tools and skills needed to build a commercial photography portfolio and find your niche in the industry!

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase



Free Bonus Materials

Digital Swag Bag.pdf

Day 1 Presentation Slides.pdf

Day 2 Presentation Slides.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



I have gratefully been watching this tutorial for free online, and as always CreativeLIVE has done an awesome job in bringing one of the best instructors of the trade and his creative team to help us improve and enjoy a higher level of understanding and performance in the skills we would like to achieve. I am humbled as always and ever so grateful. I would love to purchase the course myself, but since I live abroad, it is practically impossible, I hope those who can, would. I would just like to add one of the most interesting things I have learnt from this course is the careful attention these guys are paying to minute details and the amount of patience it takes to achieve their goals in each project. Stay inspiring, Totoo in China


Outstanding course! I'm a former creative director, now photographer full time and have had the unique experience working with studio photographers for commercial products in the past. This course is right on and very close to my experiences, and now that I'm behind the camera, it's nice to see some of those trade secrets revealed. Commercial work is fussy and you often have to sweat the details, but the results can be astonishing and rewarding. Rob and Gary do an excellent job explaining the ins and outs, without any pretention or hold-back on secrets. Something that's always annoyed me in the past, photographers never liked revealing their process. It's great fun watching Rob and Gary work a shoot, and Aaron Nace is beyond amazing in his retouching skills. I don't expect to break into this field, but I wanted to learn how things are done, for my own personal projects. I particularly enjoyed learning how they get the look of ice, ice crystals, and frost on the sides of glass bottles. I purchased several items from Trengrove, as they suggested. Their acrylic products are not cheap, but the quality is amazing and I'm very pleased and looking forward to experimenting. Thanks to all at Creative Live, RGG studios and Aaron Nace for this presentation.

Doors of Imagination Photography

This course is outstanding. I would consider it an advanced level. Having a good understanding of the technical aspects of photography and lighting is recommended. Rob Grimm takes you into two real product shoots. These were not canned demonstrations, but the real thing including working to get the lighting setup just right. The postproduction section with Aaron Nace was enlightening. This does require a good preliminary understanding of Photoshop. It was amazing to watch them build the final images for the client in real time. This is by far my favorite course to date.