The Workbook Blog is a destination for creative professionals and their agents to share ideas, insights and news. Click here to learn more about Workbook and our services.
Chaotic, evolving, crazy, flighty, and interesting. These are just some of the adjectives used to describe the state of the business today. Based on the conversation that took place at the first Photographers' Community Table, they are all pretty accurate. It is an exciting business but not one without its risks and rewards. Workbook was pleased to be included in the conversation and to help provide a sense of what the business is really like today. We hope to continue to do so in the months and years to come. To read the last installment go to: http://notesfromarepsjournal.com or http://blog.briteproductions.net.
What are automotive clients looking for now? How is the market the same, and how is it different from the past?Within the last few years, automotive companies have diverged from the ultra-sleek, idealized, “picture-perfect” style that was once so popular. Most often a car was photographed a stark environment, over lit, and void of any reflections that occur in the natural world.With the influence of social media and in-the-moment smartphone photography, rends have evolved more towards rendering cars within realistic environments and emphasizing the lifestyle associated with the brand. The art direction has more of an editorial feel, which results in images that are far more relatable than what we have seen in the past.What is it about your photographers' work that clients seem excited about?Both Steffen Schrägle and Patrick Curtet have really pushed themselves to establish their brands within the contemporary car market. They both convey a similar feel but with their own approaches and sensibilities.Patrick Curtet works in tandem with his wife Marlyne, who is a talented photographer and art director in her own right. Their special partnership goes back fourteen years, and they are now the premier creative duo. Patrick acts as the primary photographer and Marlyne as the partnering photographer, as well as creative contributor and facilitator. They invest a lot of time and effort collaborating with their team on all creative aspects of the production, which produces brilliant work that always goes beyond the client’s expectations.Steffen Schragle is also very successful due in part to his use of natural light to enhance a location and the talent, as well as the physique of the automobile. Steffen is also a master at CGI and heightens the movement of the car and how it interacts within its environment. His landscape work is also exceptional and has great depth and sensibility. He has received seven awards from the International Photography/Lucie Awards this year alone. The impact and relevance of the images make them a favorite of clients who absolutely love the work, vision, and attitude.I know that Patrick Curtet recently finished a big project with Cadillac. When is it due to be released? How is the imagery to be used?This was an extremely challenging and substantial shoot for Cadillac. It involved the rebranding of eleven car models, with several “code red” or unreleased models, and a tremendous amount of talent in luxury-lifestyle scenarios. The shoot came together very quickly and with only a few weeks of preparation. Patrick had worked previously with the client, who again chose the Curtet Team to execute this creatively challenging, as well as physically challenging, project. It was a marathon shoot, with more than thirty-five long days, virtually without a break for the team. They pulled it off brilliantly, and the client and agency are thrilled. This imagery will be released later this year.Advertising car photography was known to be well paying; how does it compare today?Budgets are more challenging today than in years past. Contrary to general perception, automotive photography fees are not any higher than other projects; however, these shoots tend to involve more shoot days. It is a very competitive environment with few chosen shooters, so it is imperative to have a top producer and a cohesive crew to deliver the best possible work for the allowed budget. We estimate very precisely and work very hard to ensure we produce superb images at or under budget.Do car companies require a treatment from the photographer? How much do they rely on the photographer for the “look” they want to project, or do they retain pretty tight creative control?Although treatments are not required, we feel that it’s an important part of the bidding process. They’re virtually a blueprint for how the photographer will translate the creative’s or client’s vision. In addition, treatments reflect the photographer’s personality and passion for the project, which are all-important factors that clients take into consideration when awarding a job.