Ilona Siller Shifts the Focus to the Story Behind the Photo

Ilona Siller is an art producer at BBDO in New York and has recently launched an Instagram page to highlight stories behind the photographs as a way to introduce creatives in the industry to photographers without the distractions of their busy days.  She hopes the images and the stories behind the images will provide unique inspiration for them as well as other people who follow the page.

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What inspired you to start an Instagram page dedicated to the story behind the image?
I realized that most of the experiences “pushing” photographers on creatives have been rather awkward.  It’s either a portfolio happy hour where I beg them to come to look at a couple of books in exchange for a glass of wine or a meeting with a photographer that takes them away from their insanely busy days. 

@photograph_with_the_story  provides introductions on their own terms. Creatives can flip through the shots during a boring meeting or while waiting for their beer at the bar. The story behind the shot shines a little light on the personality of the photographer and Instagram platform allows creatives to come back to the shot or photographer when they are searching for the project. 

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What sort of response have you gotten from photographers and reps?
Only positive. I am being thanked for my time to which I respond, “It beats watching 172 season of Bachelor.”

Has this response been surprising?
I am thankful for all the submissions and humbled by the stories I receive.  

What do you hope happens as a result of hosting this page?
I am trying to curate a site that I myself would follow. I hope that creatives trust my taste, follow me and hopefully hire people that have been showcased. 

When do you plan to launch the page?
It is live now. Thank you for following. 

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How can photographers and agents send you imagery and stories?
Please submit 2-3 shots with the story to The story should be about your choice of the subject, production process or anything that touched your heart regarding the shot. Please mention your location and Instagram name in the email so I can link it to your submission. 

Any specific information about the length of the story or other specs about the images that should be considered before submitting?
The images should represent your unique style and the story should come from your heart. Those are the only two requirements. 🙂

Thank you Jimi Stine for help with the post.

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