I have known Connie Conway for years. She is one of Hunter Freeman’s favorite producers and dear friends (and ours!). Over the years she has produced more shoots for Hunter and our group than we could count and for that we are very grateful. With deep appreciation for her friendship, her talents and her sense of humor; we share this post about her.
Being an on-set producer is such a unique position. You do not really learn about it in college and many tend to discover by means of another job. How did you discover what the role entails and how did you know you wanted to hold this position.
I am the accidental producer. While working as an assistant for an editorial photographer in early 90’s I would help organized shoots. He shot a lot of covers and big pictures / stories for People and Life Magazines. After handling a few shoots successfully, the picture editor from People Magazine called and asked if I would help produce shoots for other photographers. It came naturally!
Growing up, what were your creative interests and what things interested you most that led you to your current position as a producer?
I’ve been making photographs since I was five years old. My first camera was the GRAY POLAROID LAND CAMERA. Which I still have.
Did you ever consider becoming a photographer yourself?
Actually, I did shoot for a while. I’ve had work published in People & Life Magazines along with shooting for record companies and smaller entertainment companies.
I quickly realized this is not what I wanted to do…I didn’t like being told what I had to photograph. I pursued producing and starting creating my own fine-art work.
How did you describe your job to your mother or someone else not in our industry?
My mom understood what I did for a living. Through the years she was able to come to a handful of shoots. When I told I was working on job, she would ask what’s for lunch and who’s the photographer?
What one thing has changed in the industry since you have started that you think makes for a better production experience?
Going DIGITAL. You hear the phrase, let’s move on to the next shot a lot quicker than the days of Polaroid.
What do you love about your job? What is the most challenging?
Collaborating with really talented people. Seeing the finish product. The biggest obstacle currently, is budgets and trying to achieve the client’s wish list.
What one thing would you want someone looking to become a producer themselves to know about the skills needed to get the job done?
Be organized, patient and listen to what people are saying. Going for daily hikes doesn’t hurt.
Photographers tend to find a producer or team and use them consistently making it hard for a new producer to get noticed. Do you find that most of your clients are long term? And, if so, how do you handle new photographer requests?
Yes, I’m fortunate most of my clients are long term. And, photographers talk. I’m often referred by photographers that I work it. My questions are simple, what is process? Do you have a local crew?
It’s really about us being able to work together.
What are you known for in the production world?
My HAPPY DANCE on the last day of the shoot. Being hard working, loyal to my crew, great food.
Favorite way to spend a Sunday?
Sleeping late, (8:00 AM) a morning hike and spending Sunday evening on a corner creating an image.
If it’s football season…watching the EAGLES.
Paddle Boarding – I’ve always enjoyed the water. Paddle Boarding has taken the enjoyment to a whole new level. It’s peaceful!