Antonin is one of my favorite photographers of all time. I love giving him an assignment, especially something that’s not conflict related, because you’re guaranteed two things. 1. Amazing photography. 2. A fight with the editor. There’s really no two ways about it, Antonin’s photos are not conventional and most of us work at magazines that need and want and mostly publish conventional photography so there’s gonna be a fight with the editor(s) to get the good one’s published. At least, when you’re making the assignment, the fight is a long way off and all you think about is the glorious frames you will receive and the many endless possibilities for amazing 20 page layouts.
2 promo cards in the mail today. Can’t remember the last time I only got 2. Maybe the promo card side of business is slowing down because of the web. Anyway this one looked cool and the photographer, Ayuson has some nice material on her/his (can’t tell with only one name to go off of) website. I really like describing light.
The other card went in the garbage.
Photographer Don Flood came in to show me his portfolio which was a bit of a surprise because we’re a men’s magazine and Don mostly shoots women. I usually try and avoid these live portfolio showings unless it’s someone I know I’m interested in because they can be a bit awkward when you’re not sure if you can ever give the guy any work or even worse when the work sucks. Anyway, Don’s portfolio viewing was easily one of the best I’ve ever had because he’s super nice, talented and quickly ended the meeting and left. The ending can be the worst part because that’s where there’s sometimes a little extra selling on the photographer’s part but usually all I’m thinking about is all the shit I’ve got to do at the moment and furthest from my mind is future assignments. Don quickly wrapped it up and got the hell out because he probably knows like I do that it’s all about the photography and if that doesn’t pass the test everything else doesn’t matter. I hope I can find an assignment for him.
Talking with one of the editors today we both got a laugh out of the fact that we sit around in an office in Manhattan trying to come up with brilliant ideas all the time when really we should be relying on the talented writers and photographer to come up with the ideas. If our magazine was called, Manhattan office workers, which it’s not, we’d be coming up will brilliant shit all day.
I run into this all the time, where the expectations of the photography are, that it will exactly match the idea that we came up with. I rarely tell the photograph how to shoot, unless it’s someone hired specifically to give them art direction. Sitting in and office in the middle of Manhattan in a meeting is not where your best creative work comes from.
Craig Cutler came to the office today at the insistence of the editor, because Craig is shooting a very expensive project for us and well, the editor wanted to make sure that we were getting exactly what we wanted out of it. That’s always a bit of an awkward situation for me because I really don’t know what I’m trying to get out of it. I’m really just trying to match a brilliant photographer with a project that will play to their strengths. I have no frickin clue what it’s going to look like.
The meeting went well because as you can see Craig is a brilliant photographer and the project plays into his strengths (still life) but is something he’s not really photographed before (animals) and that always leads to the best work because it’s an opportunity for them to sink their teeth into something new and exciting and challenging. Should be amazing. Maybe even win an award and all I had to do is make one phone call. Perfect.
The beginning saw existence of a chosen dream
But then came pain …
Hold on to the love