Whether I am talking to photographers in our own group, potential photographers for our roster, other reps or even other art buyers, the same questions about estimating come up and have been for quite awhile. So much so that whenever an art producer is open to contributing to our blog, I often share these questions with them first. I was thankful when Art Producer, Haley Silverman was open to being part of this series. Haley just took a job at We Are Unlimited, the new agency dedicated to McDonald’s. We are so excited for her and can’t wait to hear how much she loves it. Here is what she had to share with us.
How often are you asked to triple bid a project? And, if there ever is a clear first choice, do you let that person know they are the recommend?
I would say we’re triple bidding 90% of the time, there are cases where the client has a relationship with someone and asks us not to. I love to give everyone a fair shot and we always bid people we really want to work with anyway.
We all know there are many reasons for a photographer not getting a project. Besides the obvious of price or creative, can you share some other reasons that they may not be awarded a project?
It does usually come down to cost or creative, now-a-days location can have a lot to do with it. Often times we have clients that want us to come to them or shoot in a specific location. Knowing if a photographer is willing to travel is important. Knowing where they can work as a local is great too. Creative calls and treatments/write ups are really playing a huge role these days too, the creatives look for confidence in their selections based on how much effort is put into treatments and what they hear from an artist.
What sort of things are you doing behind the scenes that you would like photographers to know you are doing to sell in the project to a client or get an estimate approved?
Since these days timelines are always so scrunched I’m doing everything I possibly can to get the job awarded so we can have the most time for pre-production as possible. There are often many levels of approvals and it can take time for us to sell in a shoot and sometimes we’re not only selling in photographers we’re just trying to sell in why they should do a shoot. So a lot of my work is to educate my team and clients on the value of photography.
Is Havas hiring influencers at all and if so, how do they find them? How many followers does someone need to have in order to be considered an influencer?
We are hiring a lot of influencers! Our creatives find them directly on Instagram, sometimes they give me the person’s Instagram handle and I have to dig to find contact info or a website. I’ve seen influencers with anywhere from 50k-500k followers, it depends on if we’re paying for their influence or just hiring them as a photographer. Lately, I’ve been suggesting that photographers increase their following and post their work on Instagram. They should be using Instagram as just another portfolio tool, it’s a great way to show a cohesive body of work. Start a separate personal account for dog and kid pics.
Do you think this trend is going to continue or so you see signs of it evolving?
I think hiring influencers as photographers is a trend, the technical ability and production sense that photographers bring to the table is worth so much more. I think it’s going to take a while for clients to see it since a lot of them are just starting to get their feet wet in this medium.
Do you share budgets when they are available? Why or why not?
If I get a budget these days, which is so rare, I absolutely share it. I don’t want to present a bid that’s way off from the client’s budget; one, it makes that photographer look bad or too expensive and two, it makes it seem like we didn’t hear our client’s request. With how few opportunities there are to shoot lately I don’t want to leave the client with a bad taste in their mouth.
What misconception about the estimating process from your end would you like photographers to have an clearer understanding of based on your experiences?
I don’t think it’s a misconception per say, but I want photographers to know that I’m their biggest advocate. I’m always fighting for better budgets, timelines etc. Doing everything I can to educate our clients and fighting for quality photography for every project. Coming from a photography background I’ve been on their side so I try to do everything I can to make sure they’re treated fairly and are paid appropriately and in a timely manner.
When video and print shoot together, do you find print is being added to the video portion or is it the other way around? Do you think there is a particular reason for that and do you see it changing at all?
I’ve seen it both ways, but certainly more in the case where we’re shooting alongside broadcast. Those can be more of a challenge for the photographer and me. We’re constantly negotiating time and space to shoot while trying to remain stealthy and work within very challenging lighting situations. Directors can be very temperamental, you don’t ever want to get in their way or they won’t give you any time to shoot. A photographer with a more laid back personality is key there, I need to know they understand that we’re not the priority but we still have to deliver print quality work.