Collaborating with designers on portfolio pieces

 
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:34 am    Post subject: Collaborating with designers on portfolio pieces Reply with quote

I'm running into a few designers that used to be with big agencies, but are now on their own. They've mentioned how they're working on new projects to show prospective clients. I was thinking of asking them if they need any photography. They design something, and I do the photography. We both use it on our websites with credit given to each of us. Has anyone done things like this?

I get the impression that some of these people really like my work, but they've used the same photographer for years and feel safe with that photographer. For me, this would give me a chance to show the designer how I can work with him without him being under pressure of using a new guy on a job. Some of these people only have a few clients and they can't afford to lose someone if the new guy screws up. Any thoughts?

Jon
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Ashley
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Collaborating with designers on portfolio pieces Reply with quote

Jon DeVaul wrote:
... but they've used the same photographer for years and feel safe with that photographer.
...only have a few clients and they can't afford to lose someone if the new guy screws up. Any thoughts?

Hi Jon
In some parts of the world that's called Loyalty.

Good team work often relies heavily on it - so it may be more about that, than: they can't afford to lose someone if the new guy screws up.
Many companies - especially smaller companies - still believe strongly in loyalty to their suppliers... so you should be aware of that.

Catch 22... but remember, if it's easy for you to get a foot in the door, then it will also be easy for the next guy to do the same... and the one after that... and the one after that.
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Ashley Morrison
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ashley, I admire loyalty as well as the next person. It is tough right now on both the photographers' end and the designers' end. As one designer said to me "there's three dogs on every bone". I'm not a rookie(well not exactly). On my website, you'll see shots from the mid '70's to the "Lebron" shot which I shot three weeks ago tomorrow. I dropped out in '93 and decided to get back in, in '07. I discovered that quite a few of the art directors I knew are either dead or retired. Sad From what I gather when I meet and talk to many of the younger designers is that they're expecting a rookie fresh out of art school. I hope this doesn't come off as bragging, but I get a lot of "this is really good, how come I've never heard of you?". I also get "your work has a different look to it...how do you do that?"(as if I'm going to tell them).

That's why I'm thinking about collaboration...trade...their time for mine, their talent for mine.

I suppose I could just go out there and be the cheapest guy around, but I refuse...actually, I'd rather do free than cheap.

Jon
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Ashley
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon DeVaul wrote:

... I'd rather do free than cheap.

Start as you mean to go on... is usually the best way, because people don't like sudden changes.

I would suggest you charge them for the use of your images - and then you try to produce images that they will want to use.
Rather than talking to them about 'your time' - which is of little use or value to them.
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Ashley Morrison
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ashley, thanks, that's exactly what I'm looking for with this topic...ideas, opinions, experience in the matter. Thanks again.

Jon
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Ashley
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon DeVaul wrote:
...ideas, opinions, experience in the matter.

Of course, it's always easier saying it than doing it Jon... but the bottom-line is: you as a photographer, simply produce images for others to use.
So producing images that others will want to use is the Key.

But first you have got to find some doors that are worth opening, otherwise, there's little point.

Then... ask not what your clients can do for you; ask what you can do for your clients.

Simple Smile
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Ashley

Ashley Morrison
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ashley, I think you're straying from what I asked. I'm not referring to "ideas, opinions, and experience" in doing photography in general, but rather "ideas, opinions, and experience" in working on collaborative projects with certain designers for portfolios only. I use social networking such as Linkedin and Facebook, I send monthly email blasts through Agency Access, I send the local art directors personnel messages on the emails...offers of prints, requests for meetings, and thank you's to the one's that recently met with me. I'm just kicking around another idea...working with a designer on a non pressure clientless project. Sorry if I've mis-construed what you mean, but I'm asking about a specific thing.

Jon
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Gordon Moat
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think if both you and the designer approach it with the idea of a portfolio piece for both of you, then you probably can work together to come up with something. This is not that unknown, in that ad agencies will do projects that are merely to show what they do. In effect the agency becomes their own client, and I think that is what you are describing here. You would be the client for the designer, and the designer would be the client for you, the end result being a promotional piece you can send out to try to generate more projects for both of you.
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gordon Moat wrote:
I think if both you and the designer approach it with the idea of a portfolio piece for both of you, then you probably can work together to come up with something. This is not that unknown, in that ad agencies will do projects that are merely to show what they do. In effect the agency becomes their own client, and I think that is what you are describing here. You would be the client for the designer, and the designer would be the client for you, the end result being a promotional piece you can send out to try to generate more projects for both of you.


Gordon...exactly what I meant! Maybe I didn't explain it well enough, but you said exactly what I was getting at...thanks

Jon
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Ashley
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon DeVaul wrote:
Maybe I didn't explain it well enough, but you said exactly what I was getting at...thanks

No problems understanding the concept Jon - of working alongside others - but where are you going with this i.e. Who's the market / Who's going to buy it ?

I work with others, just as you describe - but first I found some markets - then I approached the various people, to see if they would be interested in helping me target those markets.

We all work on a freelance bases... but not for free.

So just putting the horse in front of the cart here: Who's the market / Who's going to buy it ? - needs to come first.
Or are you expecting them to answer this question for you ?

That's why I said: ask not what they can do for you; ask what you can do for them.
Because that's what you may need to do here first, if you want them to joint you and / or work alongside you.
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vjp
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon,

I have done a lot of collaborative pieces with designers, possibly because I was a graphic designer before I morphed into photographer 18 years ago.

These pieces have ranged from mutually beneficial promos that show off their skills, my skills and the printers beautiful work to promo pieces for paper companies that do the same thing but they get distributed widely to my target audience of graphic designers by the paper companies.

Here is a link to a sample of one that I did for Stora Enso.

http://edliveshere.com/issue/prepress/

Victor
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vjp wrote:
Jon,

I have done a lot of collaborative pieces with designers, possibly because I was a graphic designer before I morphed into photographer 18 years ago.

These pieces have ranged from mutually beneficial promos that show off their skills, my skills and the printers beautiful work to promo pieces for paper companies that do the same thing but they get distributed widely to my target audience of graphic designers by the paper companies.

Here is a link to a sample of one that I did for Stora Enso.

http://edliveshere.com/issue/prepress/

Victor


Victor thanks. Exactly what I'm referring to. I just sent out my monthly email blast. It was a shot of them taking down the huge Lebron banner in downtown Cleveland. This obviously was a huge story in Cleveland, so I offered prints to a select group of art directors/designers. I'm hand delivering these prints so I get more face to face time with these people. I delivered one this morning, and brought up the idea of collaborating with him if he's doing anything for his book. He thought that was a very generous offer and thanked me. Obviously you can't do a bunch of these or you'll never have time for paying jobs. That's why I've singled out 3-4 people to make the offer to. People that I've never worked with, but whose work I greatly admire.

Jon
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bruchi
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doing something can work if it gets people talking about it, at one point I was in such a slump that I got a loan to relocate, instead I spent the money making a short film as I was dabbling in film those days, never did anything with the short film but word got around I was doing so and work started to pour in, maybe I ought to try that again...
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