Solving Mysteries with Jigisha Bouverat of TBWA\Chiat\Day

© Leigh Beisch - www.leighbeisch.com

We all know Jigisha Bouverat of TBWA\Chiat\Day as a professional and talented art producer.  So it was no surprise when she agreed to answer the top 5 questions that we are discussing in our group right now.  Thank you Jigisha.  Your insights are always valuable.

How do you search for photography nowadays?
One of the core functions as an art producer is to maintain a current and extensive knowledge base of the artist community, technologies, and trends. We use all the industry resources available, such as web, email, social media, blogs, etc to search out talent.  Still…so much more important are the human opportunities; in-person meetings, industry events, gallery shows, art books, portfolio reviews at schools, chance meetings.

My favorite method for sourcing photographers, both emerging and established, are meetings conducted at the agency.  It allows us to have a more personal insight into the artist’s work and access the chemistry they might have with our creatives.  Industry publications like PDN, American PhotographyArchive, and Communication Arts are very important reference points for most art producers and art directors. Source books are useful but not our first line of research. 

Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration is two-fold.  One aspect is purely commercial, working with the creative teams and being inspired by their drive to create impactful visuals and ideas for our brands.  A great producer needs to be inspired by the work. The other aspect is from the artist community.  Inspiration comes from the work we see everyday in photography, fine art, graphic design, illustration, street art, etc.  Seeing the passion an artist pours into their work is always inspiring.  I love the days when a new talent walks into the office to show their portfolio and I’m in awe of the work.  That is the best part of the job!

What are you reading online?

On an average day, I’m on the computer for 90% of the day so if I have down time I prefer to pick up a magazine or publication versus online content. I do check out a few industry related blogs each day for inspiration or research.

What are photographers doing lately to stand out from their competitors?

Passionate, honest work.  That is the one constant in this rapidly changing industry.

What does your client value most from a photographer?  Does that differ from what you value?  And, has that changed over the years?

Diplomatically, I would say most of our clients value good work that delivers the concept or brand idea….within budget and schedule…had to say it : )  Art directors and producers are always looking for the perfect artist to collaborate with on the project, who can bring the idea to life.  In that respect, I would say nothing has changed.  What has changed dramatically is the expectations on the budgets and schedules.  We’ve moved into a fast paced world with unrealistic budgets and timing.  In the past two years, the economy and technology played a role in creating this unfortunate dynamic. But this always happens when something new is shaking up the industry.  Right now it’s the word digital. The beginning of this year has been very promising.  I believe the quality of the visual is becoming important again and clients are understanding the connection of strong imagery to the brand identity. We’re coming back full circle to having the same goal…great work for the brand.

If you are an art buyer or a creative in our community and would like to contribute to this conversation, please do email us.  We would love to hear from you.

Perspectives: Eric Harris from Tracy Locke shares his experience with Leigh Beisch

 

Bella

Who would have thought that a simple request to a recent client to share his observations about a shoot would lead to such a lovely reply.  It is not everyday that a client is able to take the time to reflect on their experience with the studio and then share it with the group.  Well, Group Creative Director Eric Harris of Tracy Locke did just that.   And for that, we are grateful.

Here is what he felt compelled to share:

Leigh Beisch is a rare breed of photographer. One who truly drives the creative process; one who goes beyond merely capturing the result of it. For many reasons, it was clear to me from the beginning that Leigh’s vision would define not only our time in her studio, but also the outcome of our entire project.

First of all, what a rare occurrence in this industry to stumble across a photographer/stylist relationship like Leigh and Dan Becker. They compliment each other so well, and they speak very highly of each other (even when they think the other isn’t listening!). As the line blurs from styling to shooting, one of them is there to complete the other’s sentence… Visually. I can’t count how many times Leigh – looking at the monitor – would ask Dan to move a shred of parmesan, or add a small puddle of sauce to the dish. Only Dan had already done just that. And the difference in the shot was night and day. It’s an art director’s dream.


Speaking of art director, it’s clear that Leigh’s wheelhouse sits on an AD’s foundation. She injects and demands the highest quality design into every single shot. She deliberately and carefully affects every element of every photograph, and she does it seamlessly and gracefully. I found it particularly interesting that Leigh did not have a prop stylist on set with us. Leigh is so capable and confident in her tabletop styling that she understands the physical presence of a stylist isn’t necessary. When sifting through the props on set, I knew they were meticulously combed over by Leigh with her unwavering eye for what would support the brief. Props that added life. Props that added soul. Props that told a story.

Just like in her work, at Leigh’s studio it’s the details that make the difference. The little things: The quarry of cordial glasses resting on the hearth. The herb garden just outside the kitchen. Bella, the bloated little pug that sits around all day licking her chops. A sushi lunch on the picnic table in the backyard. These are not typically things we see in studios. These are all the makings of a home. And that’s how I felt when I shot with Leigh.

At home. It was the icing on the cake of beautifully strategic (or strategically beautiful – depending on your stance) work. “