Welcome back to the Community Table: Agents in Conversation with San Francisco Art Producers: The Digestif

Welcome to our 3rd series of posts where we share the results from our conversations held directly with community leaders about top of mind photo-industry issues.  Community Table was formed from the collective efforts of Matt Nycz and Kate Chase of Brite Productions and Heather Elder and Lauranne Lospalluto of Heather Elder Represents with the idea that there is nothing more powerful in our industry than education.

And we held this event in San Francisco, hometown turf for not only advertising luminaries with names such as RineyGoodby and Silverstein but also Elder, Lospalluto and Chase.   For this one, the Art Producers who joined us were long-time friends and neighbors that have been instrumental in keeping SF on the advertising map, who have played a key role in the creation of stand-out imagery for such national clients as Foster Farms Chicken, Sprint, GM, Comcast, The North Face, EA Games, Mini Cooper and Priceline.  So we invited them to start the year with us, add their hard-earned insights and voices on estimating to our series, and over a lunch in December and a breakfast in January they were more than happy to do so.

As a reminder, each Conversation Starter was directed to one person with a general discussion ensuing.  Not surprisingly, many of the answers were similar to those of our LA and NY colleagues.   Therefore, rather than sharing the entire conversation, we included the original question and then the quotes and notes that were most relevant.  Please note, often times the person leading the conversation spoke most often.

To see the first posts in the SF series, click here to get the Appetizer, Main Course and Dessert portions.

And, with that, we welcome you back to our table.

San Francisco Participating Art Producers

Owen Bly/Art Producer/Freelance

Kate Stone Foss/Art Producer/Freelance

Cameron Barnum/Art Producer/BBDO

Shayla Love/Art Producer/Razorfish

Suzee Barrabee/Art Producer/Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Dan Southwick/Art Producer/ Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Kristin Van Praag/Art Producer/Heat

Jacqueline Fodor/Art Producer/Venables, Bell & Partners

Rebecca Lanthorne/Art Producer/Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners

Analisa Payne/Art Producer/Freelance

Justine Barnes/Art Producer/Duncan Channon

Marissa Serritella/Art Producer/Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners 

COMMUNITY TABLE – THE DIGESTIF

Conversation Starter 14: State of the Industry

Conversation Starter 15:  Pet Peeves

CONVERSATION STARTER #14

One word: State of the Industry

What one word would you use to describe the state of our industry right now?

Marissa Serritella/Art Producer BSSP

Changing

Suzee Barrabee//Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Evolving. Or maybe emcompassing because of the many new areas and fields and a lot of new resources and technologies.

Shayla Love/Razorfish

Emerging. It’s bringing a lot in, like a big merge.

Cameron Barnum/BBDO

Suzee stole my word. [Laughter] But I have two words. Wild West. Kind of crazy out there. Evolving in good and bad ways and keeps you on the edge of your chair.

Kate Stone Foss/Freelance Art Producer

Accessible. Because I think the recession weeded out people who weren’t really committed and left us with a lot of great artists to choose from and communication has left us with easier ways of finding and sharing ideas. Optimistically, we can create better, more elegant work.

Justine Barnes/Duncan Shannon

The immediacy of everything. I know we all feel it. Clients want it last week. Technology makes it possible to get things done quickly but also not possible. The level of quality doesn’t drop. If anything it’s higher

Analisa Payne/Freelance Art Producer

Crafty. Everyone is trying to take bits and pieces of something and build something that has never been done before. Let’s think about it a different way and not fall in traditional thought patterns. The needs are so great and ever-extending with all the different media and technology. It is like the Wild West. Who is going to draw first? How do you get there first? What are we going to need to do to pull it all together?

Kate Chase/Brite Productions

Segueing a bit before my word but do you think photographers need to be multi-disciplinary or can they survive as a craftsperson being the best at what they do?

Analisa Payne/Freelance Art Producer

They need to know where they fall and know what questions to ask rather than pretending. You get into trouble when somebody doesn’t know and they don’t know that they don’t know. But when a creative or photographer knows where they have their shortcomings and can reach out to the right people and ask questions. There’s no way for everyone to know everybody.

Suzee Barrabee//Goodby Silverstein & Partners

I think it’s a conundrum. You want that amazing person, but you also need to make sure the attention to detail is there.

Heather Elder/Heather Elder Represents

Exciting

Rebecca Lanthorne/Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners

I think it’s cliché, but I’d say ‘integrated.’ The people who are excelling are specialists in what they do but aren’t so narrow-minded that they only want to work on what they want ot work on. You have to have empathy with other people who work on TV and interactive. You have to want to learn about that stuff because it’s important to understand all of it.

What I’ve seen is that people only want to focus on what they do and not learn about anything else that is going on. And that’s a really tough way to survive in the industry as it is right now. And I’m sure that is very hard for photographers. Because not everyone can be a videographer or director.

Owen Bly/Freelance Art Producer

Evolving or devalued

Rebecca Lanthorne/Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners

Integrated. People who are exciting are specialists but have to have XX in and be open to learning about TV, interactive. It’s a tough way to survive in industry right now.

Kate Stone Foss/Freelance Art Producer

We’re talking from agency perspective here and there’s a lot of other ways to use photography. So you can still have those skills.

Kristin Van Praag /Heat

Mine would be unknown. If I had a second word it would be fleeting. We do so much and then it’s gone. I don’t know where it goes. Even when they show the reel at the end of the year holiday party, even that’s fast. It’s a million images and then it’s the next year.

I’m a print person and love to hold things and crafts and things with staying power. So for me it’s kind of the unknown.

Dan Southwick/Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Evolving. We have to find our path in this, to navigate it and contribute good work.

Lauranne Lospalluto/Heather Elder Represents

Dynamic. But I also feel like the rabbit chasing the carrot. We’re figuring out video needs and then the directors are trying to see how he can evolve and photographers seeing how they can evolve – do they have to have Instagram, Facebook and a blog.

Shayla Love/Razorfish

You never know where things are going. The other day I bought an image from a ‘mobile photographer.’ That’s what he was called on his website. You just never know what the next thing will be.

Kate Chase/Brite Productions

Evolving

CONVERSATION STARTER #15

One word: Pet peeves

What one word would you use to pet peeves during estimating?

Marissa Serritella/Art Producer BSSP

Options. Unending rounds and options requests from account team and client!

Dan Southwick/Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Late. If I’m under the gun and someone’s holding it up.

Kristin Van Praag /Heat

Over

Rebecca Lanthorne/Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners

Variables. 15 different print usage options for 5 shots vs. 10 shots vs. 7 shots.

Analisa Payne/Freelance Art Producer

Lack of decisiveness. We’re moving at such a fast pace and people need lay it on the table. Are you in or are you out? Let’s not waste the time playing games. Let’s cut to the chase. Same with the numbers.

Justine Barnes/Duncan Shannon

When people don’t read through what I give them and I have to repeat things. Going back to the estimate spec sheet. Mine is very detailed and has all the information they need to know and even when it’s due. And then they call me ‘Do I need to include retouching?’ ‘What is the usage?’

Lauranne Lospalluto/Heather Elder Represents

Not enough information or radio silence.

Kate Stone Foss/Freelance Art Producer

Both of mine were just taken. Variables and reading the brief that I spend so much time putting together. I guess lack of thoroughness, not including everything.

Cameron Barnum/BBDO

I share Justine’s sentiments. The information is all in there and I’ve taken the time to put it together and it serves a purpose. Help me help you to help yourself.

Shayla Love/Razorfish

When people lump the costs together. I don’t want ‘lumping’ to be my word, but it’s really right. I like to have it itemized and completely broken down to avoid a lot of back and forth and so I can compare estimates line-by-line. Easier to evaluate and make changes.

Suzee Barrabee//Goodby Silverstein & Partners

Inflexible. I just want you to work with me. I don’t think I’m unreasonable. But I do want people to tell me. ‘You have your parameters and I have mine. Let’s find out what they are and work with them.’

Heather Elder/Heather Elder Represents

Lack of engagement. Photographer and agency ambivalence. Disinterest.

Jacqueline Fodor/Venables

Incomplete estimates.

Owen Bly/Freelance Art Producer

Surprises

And it’s a wrap for Community Table SF.   And thanks for tuning in.   Also, if you have anything to add to the conversation, please do email Heather Elder Represents or Brite Productions, we would be thrilled to keep the conversation going.

And, as always, thank you  Allison McCreery of POP Blog for your flawless transcription and partnership on this project.

Finis.  


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