The Bid Revision

You're in play is one of my most favorite phrases. Not that anyone in the advertising industry uses the phrase all that often, but it's a phrase that I hear in my head when an art buyer tells me that I'm being considered for the job. Being considered for the job means it's time to re-work the numbers of your initial bid. Bid revisions are a norm in this business. Whether you're working with an ad agency and bidding against two other photographers, or you're working with a regular client who...

Spotlight Shooter Gil Smith

Lights Camera Action The bustle of the TV and movie location sets and sound stages in New York and Hollywood made a lasting impression upon child actor, Gil Smith. That cry has been part of his life ever since. Our movie fantasies growing up were Gil's everyday real life, and his DNA was embedded with grips, dollies, lOks, and more. His true first step into photography was taking a summer photo class in junior high with the renowned photo teacher Warren King in Los Angeles. He never looked back...

The Comparative versus Competitive

There are these magic times when you get called to shoot a job because you are you. Your style, your set demeanor, your execution. The only question that remains is whether the client has a budget that you can work with. This is a comparative bid. You and the client or the agency are trying to arrive at a common ground about how much it will cost to execute their ad with your creative suggestions. There will probably be another photographer or two that they will be looking at, but the bid is...

Getting Noticed

The compulsive urge to panic while waiting for your next job should be recognized as a medical condition. Many times over the last 20 years I've found myself on the verge of a complete breakdown, spending huge money on promos, emails, and sourcebooks, trying to figure out the magic bullet for getting noticed by the ad agency art buyers and art directors the people with the work. There were times when resources ran low, and the whole effort seemed overwhelming. And then, out of the blue, often...

Help with Pricing

In this industry, as you're starting your business, trying to get someone to talk to you about pricing is sort of like trying to get a meeting with the pope. Fortunately, there are others ways to get an idea of pricing that won't leave you shooting in the dark. Your fees are based on a variety of factors, including how the photo is to be used, your expertise, your length of time in the industry, and of course, your popularity. There is no price fixing in photography, so there is no one...

Spotlight Shooter Michele Clement

In my mind, Michele Clement is a heroic figure in photography Mostly because there's no bull with her. She puts her work out there as she imagines it in her mind's eye, and then she lets the rest of the world, advertising or art, sort it out for themselves. She was working as graphic designer and photographic enthusiast in Carmel, California, when her photography caught the eye of a gallery owner visiting from Chicago. She was invited to exhibit in the smaller of two rooms in his gallery at the...