Life as a Commercial and Advertising Photographer in Bristol
This has been a great year for me and I'm so pleased that my client base keeps building year on year, yea!
Now that I've been living in Somerset for 9 years I've had a chance to settle into the community and I've met quite a few people in the industry here.
Some are doing pretty well, some are just about hanging in there and others have gone out of business.
It has never been easy to make a living as a photographer and I think the advances in digital technology have made it even more difficult.
The first professional DSLR I bought back in 2005 had a 12Mp sensor; now my iPhone has a 12Mp sensor and Apple runs full-page ads in glossy magazines using iPhone photos.
Obviously, the DSLR I use now has a much larger pixel count and there are many advantages to using a full-frame sensor and professional lenses but in reality, most of my clients will have a sophisticated digital camera in their pocket.
So what do I bring to the equation as a professional photographer?
Over the course of this year, and the previous 20+ years I've been in business, I have worked with teams of graphics and advertising professionals to produce images that conform to detailed creative briefs.
The ability to understand and interpret instructions to achieve a very specific look and feel creating a strong brand message is not something that comes with the purchase of a phone, or any other camera.
Luckily, the clients that I'm working with understand this.
At the corporate level, art directors and marketing managers are looking for a photographer who they can confidentially share their creative brief with and expect to receive a set of professionally polished images that conform to the brand message.I also work with owners of small businesses who look to me to help them create a visual brand identity after learning about their business and their marketing goals.
While I would never share the specifics of any creative brief I've been given there has been a very clear theme of 'authenticity' in the last few years.
Most everyone wants a relaxed and natural feel for their brand.
I think this is somewhat influenced by Instagram and other social media and it suits my style perfectly.
My preference has always been to let things happen and then photograph the results.
The 'reportage' feel delivers that authenticity that so many clients are looking for and consequently the shoots are more relaxed and free-flowing that they used to be.