Photographers are the New Art Directors

by Team Nader
fashion photographers blog silvergumtype james nader

A creative director is typically the head of the creative team and usually have the final say on what goes to the client and make important upper-level creative direction decisions. 

The art director typically executes the details of the clients brief to the photographer. They see the project through the phases of production, edits and final execution.  Photographers now seem to move slightly towards being what is known as a DOP, or Director Of Photography as know in the film industry. Its the way forward. Boundaries and job roles are almost merging into a hybrid creative photographer who now has to add into is tools, not only creative direction but an understanding of everything else. Photographers are cinematographers and vice versa.

fashion photogrpahers blog silvergumtype james nader

Driving forces behind tighter creative collaborations in advertising are more noticeable these days. Agency staff are strapped for time, smaller companies and startups working directly with photographers wish to control their budgets!

Freezing motion offers a graphical look to shot when the moment is right. Here the model is frozen mid-jump and captured with an unusual shadow to his side.

In recent times it has been apparent that some brands are establishing their control for a shoot. For Lookbooks especially, they are booking directly to cut cost and have more power in the finished looks and look book design. More so for online brands where content quickly becomes old. Social media means a faster pace is required to feed the hungry Tiger of the internet and its insatiable appetite for images and content daily.

Picking the correct lens to create a little depth is essential and although I could have taken this with my 70-200mm Nikon lens or even the 105mm prime. I have learned that just a little softness to the background sometimes offers extra interest to the shot. I used my 24-70mm lens at around F4 to pick the model out from the confusing structure but retaining an element of interest.
Elegant but straightforward lighting can often be the best foot forward. I used a simple one-light LED with battery and handheld so the position of the light can be moved up and down on my command. My assistant for the day held it.

Photographers have or are becoming more directors rather than just photographers and required to have more knowledge about shoots, production, post-production and now video.  If you can shoot and direct video, then this gives you an edge.

Volpe Satoriale, a Pimlico based fashionable men’s brand, has been one of my clients who like the fact that I can direct their campaign, shoot the images and video production for their online presence. 

Volpe is in the high street, but clients are often from the media and TV with some very high profile clients who wish to remain anonymous.  

Choosing the right location for a shoot always offers a shooter more diversity and opportunity to get better images, I love to include the backgrounds and locations within my shots to place the model. Crop shots are not needed and telling a story is where the skill comes in and anyone can shoot a cropped portrait with an outfit This doesn’t show your talent as a shooter

Our production for the Volpe campaign included location finding and shoot planning and our locations for the three-day shoot were, Blackpool, Manchester and London in and around Piccadilly and Pimlico. I was a photographer and video director or D.O.P for the days.

Budgets a relatively tight these days and the more discerning client requires so much more for their money. I don’t have a problem with this, as long as I get what I need from the shoot and that isn’t always just the money. A shoot can sometimes inspire me because of a location, subject or even opportunities.

We shall see how it all maps out after COVID 19. I suspect many changes are ahead in terms of agencies and how they do business but also how photographers cope with current difficulties.

The Video Below is my first attempt at Directing

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