We emailed Art Buyers and Art Producers around the world asking them to submit names of established photographers who were keeping it fresh and up-and-comers who they are keeping their eye on. If you are an Art Buyer/Producer or an Art Director at an agency and want to submit a photographer anonymously for this column email: Suzanne.firstname.lastname@example.org
Anonymous Art Producer: I nominate Joanna McClure
How many years have you been in business?
I have been shooting on my own for about 2 years.
Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I studied photography at Savannah College of Art and Design- though I would say that most of what I know was learned from trial and error.
Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
There are many- Sarah Moon, early Nylon Magazine, the movie Great Expectations, the illustrator Julie Verhoeven, the band Hum,Yelena Yemchuk, Dazed and Confused magazine. There is not a straight forward answer but these were the things that, collectively, made me realize I was interested in visual expression at an early age.
How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
This question has two answers, one very straight forward and one is a bit more esoteric. I find my inspiration by looking for it. Anywhere. I read constantly and this helps me develop images in my head. I constantly look at art ( I am not married only to photography). I watch almost every movie that comes out. I am always searching for something to highten my sense of what is possible. The other way I find inspiration is through my work. Work begets work-an idea may come through experimenting with something and this diverges into something totally different. Often my work starts out as an interest in texture, or how two materials work together.
Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
If ever there are times that I feel held back, it is in the final edit- I may submit what I consider a really strong edit, but the client may need something that fits the layout better, or serves their audience in a different way. In those times the work starts to get a bit watered down- perhaps moving away from what I am drawn to initially. But it all has its purpose.
What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
Approaching people in a personal way is very important to me-even though emails and promos can be far from personal, I try to keep the visuals in line with my vision so people feel like they know what they are going to get when they hire me.
What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
How can you ever know what someone else wants to see? You must create your own market.
Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Yes- this is the most important part of my work.
How often are you shooting new work?
At least weekly, if not daily. If I am not shooting it, I am thinking about how to shoot it.
Joanna McClure is a photographer living and working in New York City. Her style combines portraiture, fashion, and still life- all with a common sensibility. Color plays a large role in her photography, where mood is often dictated by the color choice and use of light. Often described as “fashion from the outside,” Joanna’s work tends to mix fashion with fine-art, blurring the line between the two. Her work has been shown in numerous editorials as well as gallery showings. Most recently, a group show at 511 Gallery in Chelsea, New York
APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter fed with helpful marketing information. Follow her@SuzanneSease.