Solving mysteries: 5 questions for Eric Harris

©Ann Elliott Cutting

We recently met Group Creative Director Eric Harris of TracyLocke on a shoot.  When we asked him to be a guest blogger, he did not hesitate.

So, thank you Eric for taking the time to help answer some of the questions that have been on the minds of our group and our readers.  Every little bit helps!

How do you search for photography nowadays?
It’s usually a long conversation between me and my art producer. She takes down my criteria and brings me a list of shooters who fit the bill, or a link to a lightbox of images that fits.

Where do you find inspiration?
Online. My RSS reader is full of inspirational feeds. , and slashfood’s flickr pool.

What are you reading online?
Lots of Fast Company, but mostly a news story here and there. Rarely loyal to any site over another.

What are photographers doing lately to stand out from their competitors?
Facebook is a great way to stay active in my “personal” world, where I’m less likely to ignore. On FB, I’m looking for passive entertainment. When photographers reach me at work I feel like I’m being sold. The exception is STUNNING direct mail. The only catch is that it has to be show-stopping. Something that’ll turn heads if I hang it up in my office.

What does your client value most from a photographer?  Does that differ from what you value?  And, has that changed over the years?
Speed and flexibility of schedule. I’m usually at odds with this mentality, since it disregards QUALITY, something I’m willing to sacrifice for. But in this world of Twitter and Google Instant, my clients want what they want when they want it. As an agency, that’s become a struggle too. How many times can we ask our vendors to shoot 12 products in one day? How, in good conscience, can we ask for a 2-week shoot the week before we want to start? (It’s embarrassing, but yes these scenarios are based on true stories.) I still value the equation that loyalty plus dedication equals better work, and I fight for it every chance I get.

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