See the project video below…
… a mashup of an older fashion campaign.
Görtz - re:mix
A mashup of an older fashion campaign.
Why should any ambitious brand trust me with their visual communication? What makes me different than any other photographer or filmmaker out there? What is it that sets me apart? What are the unique values that I offer my partners and clients?
It’s well established now that photography has become a commodity. Like pasta or soft drinks, it's everywhere. Image makers offer their images and services for almost nothing and often for free. In exchange for “exposure” or “it will be good for your career.”
Rates are falling. Many photographers feel that they have to take part in this “race to the bottom”. I do not think you have to.
Instead, as a creative, you have to take a long hard look at yourself. Find out what makes your offer unique. What is the change or transformation you offer your client?
I have come to realize that one of my core strengths is that can get almost any project off the ground. I have the ability to turn almost any ideas into reality. I get things done!
What is the change, or transformation that I will make happen? I help brands transform and move up to a new level.
I’ll help you look #coolsexychic
It’s in this light I’m showing you my latest project. A remix of an older advertising campaign. Masterminded by creative agency loved.de, headed by Creative Director Mieke Haase, for German fashion brand Görtz.
Why would I want to take older material and re-use it? Shouldn't the challenge always ahead of you? Eyes fixed on the future?
The main reasons i choose to work on this remix project is that is it is exactly 10 years ago since I shot these images. To me it seems a good reason as any to revisit and re-work them. Reason number 2 is that I took a look at them and I realised that they are suitable to rework by adding some motion design. There are plenty of cut-outs and sharp edges which makes it easy to separate them in layers in After Effects. And finally, recent number 3 is that I actually like these images very much. This is some of my best work ever and I thought it would be fun to see if I could make something new out of them.
Furthermore, there is also the “the low hanging fruit” aspect to consider. Pick a project, that requires minimal effort but gives you a huge return. More bang for your "effort buck". These images already had their 15 minutes of fame, why not try to refresh them and make them move?
My starting point was the Adidas Gazelle remix campaign with Kate Moss. Directed by Maxime Bruneel, with artwork by @bessNYC4. The result was a visceral art film. A hybrid of unexpected live action and bewildering animation. I loved it!
Adobe Creative Cloud made me do it!
Taking the leap, paying for the full subscription to Creative Cloud changed everything. It made me grow bigger and bolder. All a sudden I had access to tools that I never dreamed about having before. Also bear in mind that these are the industry standard tools, battle tested, so to speak.
Video editing software, check! Motion design software, check! Colour grading software, check! I’m sure you get the general idea… The fact that all these applications also work together, in a streamlined workflow, is an added benefit.
I started to experiment with After Effects, Illustrator and Premiere. I learned things from YouTube tutorials and applied them to my own projects. I slowly but surely got more confident using them. Nowadays I can say yes to things I didn't dare to even think about earlier. When asked to describe what I do, I’m very comfortable adding filmmaker at the end of my résumé.
Photography is not dead. Even as many of my colleagues seem to be very pessimistic about making a living as photographer. I'm a firm believer that, today, you need to offer your clients video, moving image, and motion design.
I have become an one-man agency (sort of). I now offer my clients the capabilities of a full-fledged agency (sort of). I really believe this is the way to go and if you want to move away from the pack and distinguish yourself.
Earlier I mentioned the “race to the bottom”... My take on this is to refuse to take part in this in the first place. You can do that by level up your game and offer your partners more than “just” photography.
Here a real-world example. I now charge clients a fee for my time developing ideas and concepts for them. Earlier, I did that for free, giving away lots of effort and time, leaving money on the table.
Another way of upping your game is to raise your prices. This is, of course, scary because your first reaction is “my clients are not gonna like this” and it's true. Of course , some of your clients will not like this and they might consider booking other photographers. But these are the low quality clients you don't want anyway. You will replace them with new, higher end, clients who appreciate your talent. These new clients are happy to pay the new prices since you also offer new, high-end services.
Here is one way of testing if your prices are right.
If you constantly are under stress, struggling to meet the deadlines, it probably means that your prices are too low.
If you seem to have time to kill and find yourself sidelined, working on “busy work” which actually doesn’t have any value for you and your business, then your prices are probably too high.
Of course, you cannot raise your prices and offer the same old services. You need to offer new products, or services, with a higher value. (Or at least higher perceived value.)
One such new value, or high-end service, could be a stellar customer service. Why not make this a goal? Create such a positive user experience, that your clients will come back. Over and over again
In 2009, Creative Director Mieke Haase at creative agency loved.de approached me. She asked me if I wanted to help out with some images for their fashion client Görtz.
Marcel & Daria (agencies unknown)
For this project, I spend a lot of time in After Effects and Premiere as well as Illustrator. As a photographer, I spend most of my time in Lightroom. In this project, it helped to organize my files and keep an overview of the material. Photoshop came in handy here and there but I did the bulk of the work in After Effects and Premiere.
I'm new to After Effects but I find it fun to work with. In this project I spent a lot of time in 3D space, where I added cameras and lights. I also worked with the material aspects themselves, surfaces and reflections. I'm quite proud of the speed ramping effect I put in place on some of the clips.
Adobe Illustrator is the program that I know the least. To be quite honest, I find vector shapes hard to work with, coming from pixel-based Photoshop. I'm getting the hang of it. A sore point for me is that some of the keyboard shortcuts don't seem to be the same across all Adobe products. This is confusing when you spend time jumping between programs.