Professional Practice: Editorial Shooting

In early November I was contacted by the team at 3CC, a creative agency based in London. They were interested in getting me to shoot a Portrait of an architect called Hugh Petter for the Princes Foundation Magazine. This would have been the first ‘cold call’ job I would have got as most of the work I have received before was from people that I knew. From the outset both the producer and art director I spoke to by e-mail were very professional, rates were set out and a rough brief was given. However, I was told by the Art Director that I was chosen for the work that I make so not to worry too much and to do what I do. 

Because of the nature of the shoot, primarily portrait with a few interior shots, I decided to use this as an opportunity to use film on paid work. This is something that I would not always do because of the costs involved however they had offered £350 for a portrait so I decided to take both of my film cameras and make the most of the opportunity. I was given an afternoon with Hugh and the art director Joel to get what we needed. It seemed to me that the art director wouldn’t usually go on all the shoots however because it was the first time they had worked with me they wanted to make sure they got the results. This was re-enforced by the fact that I figured out that a previous photographer had shot Hugh and potentially not a way they felt was up to standard. 

I over shot the afternoon. I wanted to be sure I got what they needed, and it was a good testing ground for me to see how much I need to shoot to get results for others. I have included a small edit of the selects.

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They were very happy with the results and asked me to shoot another job the week after. This time it was a slightly broader remit but within a similar framework. The job was focusing on the village of Poundbury, a very strange place in Dorset. The village is part of a model village thought out by the Prince of Wales and planned and designed by two reputable Architects/Master Planners. I was offered £700 for the day which I accepted. They wanted me to start at 8am but it was a two-hour drive from Bristol so I asked them to cover a hotel nearby which they were happy to do. 

The day itself was frustrating. Part of the remit was to make the town look alive but because of the strangeness of the place it was very quiet, and I only saw about 4 people for the first hour or two. Thankfully I did come across people and find ways to create pictures to get what they need. They also wanted a document of the buildings of the town, so I was sure to get some shots of this on the way around. The portraits were of two shopkeepers and then of the Architect and Master Planner. The shopkeepers were easy enough, if a little boring to work with because of the nature of small amounts of time with each and the environments within their shops. The most frustrating part of the day was the portraits with the Architect and the Master Planner. I was supposed to get individual portraits of both and a combined portrait of the two of them. I ended up getting given 20 seconds to do this in so I only got the shot of both of them. This was due to the fact that they were doing a speed walk around the village with the Prince of Wales and had to run off after him. Thankfully the picture worked well, the agency seemed please and were understanding about the madness of the event I had to work around. 

I felt it pertinent to talk about both of these jobs in the dissemination folder because they equate to about a month’s worth of money for me within about three days’ work including editing. I am happy with the results, I think they work well for what the client needed and yet somehow still look like they are my images (more so the portrait shoot with Hugh). Even with the frustration of the one shoot I am able to look past it as it is a job for money and the client was happy. I feel like the more work like this I can push for the better the situation I will have for making my own work. I do however think that I would quickly move to shooting digitally for the more mundane work simply for ease and quicker turnarounds, allowing me to focus more time on my personal work. 

Shortly after this I was also asked to shoot some portraits/promo material for a friend who is a musician. This I have also included below as more examples of commercial work I have been making outside of Folly yet trying to retain some element that make the images feel like they are mine.