A couple of weeks ago I was on a photoshoot for a client in Seattle. The shoot was just part of a massive overhaul of the 102-year-old jeweler's brand that the new president has had the vision and nerve to go forward with. We brought in a great photographer and had amazing pieces of jewelry to shoot. That's where the glamour ended.
But it's where the true colors of the team began.
I've been on a lot of photoshoots. They usually have, at some point, an element of panic- a model doesn't show, an icy beverage sweats too much. It rains. But when you have a big corporate client and a huge production budget, it's no big deal. If all the ducks aren't in a row, the shoot is pushed back. Everything gets figured out and no one is any less comfortable. People have catered lunches and wrap drinks either way.
On this shoot, it was obvious how much everyone cared. The small team became the Olivia Pope and Associates of that scenario and all proved their multi-faceted talents.
The client was moving retail spaces and so having a sale- the same week as the shoot.
The jewelry was so expensive it was not insured to leave the premises. So the shoot was done inside the cubicle of a sick employee in the back of the retail store. The photographer had about 6 square feet to shoot in, if he maximized by standing on a desk. The cubicle was masked out by foam core. The copywriter came in and held a meeting from a foot stool so that the whole team could attend both at once. Prop styling was adjusted to incorporate items brought in unannounced by the client. And on day 2, the flu struck.
The photos came out AMAZING. And no one, had I not posted this blog, would have been the wiser. I have no doubt that they will help enforce the new brand positioning for this company and sell pieces like crazy along the way.
The point is, the team nailed it because they cared. They were willing to make something out of nothing, rather than stomp their feet and wait until conditions were perfect and push other deadlines back. Maybe because when you are a small business or freelancer and have your own ass on the line you feel a greater sense of urgency. Maybe it's all about the piece for your book. Or maybe some people just have so much pride in their own creative product that they couldn't work for anyone else, because the standards wouldn't be high enough. I don't know. But I do know that big companies and agencies hire a lot of people with cool portfolios and shitty work ethic and attitude, when they should be hiring smaller teams of capable people who CARE, and who bust their asses.
It would save everyone a lot of time.