So often people want to know the story behind the photographer or the creative on a project, but what about the art producer? Art production is such an interesting job to say the least. The people I know in this position come from such rich and diverse backgrounds and rarely do they follow the same path to become one. Understanding this, I thought it would be fun to host a series of interviews with art producers that doesn’t just address how to get their attention, but instead celebrate the art producer for who they are, where they came from and what is important in their life.
Thank you Maria Marrocchino for agreeing to be part of this series. Maria is a Freelance Art Producer whom I have known for years even though we met for the first time only a few years ago. Maria is top notch, easy to work with and knows her stuff. She would be an asset to any freelance team or agency. If you don’t already know Maria, you can get to know her better by reading her profile on FreemanceArtProducer.com.
Here is what she had to say:
Does a photographer need to reflect the values of a an agency, client or brand? If it is indeed necessary, how do you determine if they are a good match?
Whenever I am triple bidding and we need to do creative calls, the photographers that have researched the Agency and the brand are always impressive and usually end up getting the job. It’s really important for photographers to know the brand they are going to potentially shoot for. It’s too competitive a market not to.
Does the photographer’s work speak for itself anymore or are there other important attributes you look for when choosing a partner?
To some degree, yes the photographer’s work does speak for itself but I think a photographer that is good at directing talent and can capture images beyond just the layout is really needed and important. Friendly, flexible and efficient are also things I look for in a Photographer.
Sometimes art producers say that when a photographer sends them a promo, they feel as if they are trying to be sold something. How do you think a photographer could change that experience? How instead can the work shared leave you feeling inspired, motivated or engaged?
I really like getting promos and I think it’s important – that being said, Art Producers do get inundated and that can be a turn off so I think it’s really important to have promos be very eye-catching and relevant to who you’re sending them to. I do a lot of portraits so a big bold juicy portrait will resonate with me.
Do you find that commercial photographers have become more purposeful and emotional in their imagery?
Yes for sure, because it’s so competitive, photographers are always striving to re-invent themselves and connect with viewers emotionally. Richard Avedon once said “If each photograph steals a bit of the soul, isn’t it possible that I give up pieces of mine every time I take a picture?”
How did you get your start in art producing?
I actually started out as an account person, shh don’t tell anyone:) But I found myself dedicating most of my “account” time on print shoots for the L’Oreal business, and I loved watching the concept become a reality so I made the move over to Art Production. And I’m so glad I did.
What experiences in your life lead to you being a strong producer?
I actually think being an account person helped me be a good producer because I understand what Clients want. I think freelancing also has helped because you jump into many situations and need to adapt quickly. I’ve worked at many agencies and have taken the good from each of them. It’s made me a really nibble Art Producer.
What do you find most challenging about our industry right now?
I think that in general Production is not valued or appreciated for what it is. But it happens to be the most important aspect because you are turning the concept into reality and that’s where all the magic happens. Many Clients don’t understand how production works and so we have unrealistic timelines to getting it done. That’s why it’s important to educate people about how production works and how important it is. I usually find if you take the time to show someone a timeline or explain why things cost what they do, they are very receptive and get excited about the shoot.
If you weren’t an art producer, what would you be?
hmm that’s a tough one for me because I’m a Gemini and I like to do so much:) I like writing so maybe a writer but I always fantasized about owning my own art gallery.
What are you known for on your team when producing a job?
Being extremely efficient and helping to come up with ideas on how to best shoot. Many creatives love me because I end up doing the shot list for them, maybe deep down inside I think I’m an Art Director:)
What is your favorite thing to do on a Sunday?
Get a massage.
When you are searching for a photographer for a project, where do you search? Has that changed over the years?
I have my own list I’ve accumulated over the years but exploring good talent can really come from anywhere. I like looking at artsy magazines and seeing who is shooting. I think it’s good to expand your horizons here, it keeps you fresh.