The colorful and delicious juice photos on this page were put together for a "Juicing Today" recipe book. The food photos are for an ongoing quarterly recipe magazine. I absolutely love working on photo shoots. From what I've gathered over the years, the art director’s job starts well before the photoshoot. In fact, the campaign creative strategy is typically the brainchild of the art director, copywriter, and design team. As the campaign creative is developed, the art director must ensure that the work articulates the client’s brand—both strategically and graphically. Campaign elements are developed and the photographic components are designed. One of the best ways I can execute a creative plan is through physical and digital tear sheets—samples of inspiration from art, advertising, nature, literature, pop culture and more. Sometimes I sketch a layout of the shots. This can be important for photos that will have copy, diagrams or other photos sharing the same space in the ad. In some cases, art directors work with photographers to create masks that show on the photos through a tethered laptop during the shoot. The art director is also heavily involved in selecting talent, props, backgrounds.
During the shoot, the art director and the photographer are part of a well-prepared collaborative team. The art director must ensure the creative strategy is met. I oversee the stylists, which may include food, apparel, product, hair and makeup team members. I both assist and direct the photographer to ensure the team gets “the shot.” And once the planned shot is perfectly captured, I encourage and support the photographer to go off script and capture the unexpected.
Most photographers and art directors enjoy that creative burst of energy at the end of the shoot. This is when the camera gets taken off the tripod, the stylists get a little bolder and at least a couple people exclaim, “I have an idea. Let’s try this….”
Directing photo shoots isn’t a job, it’s intense creativity and fun wrapped up in a great day at the studio. There’s hardly anything I enjoy more than presenting strikingly beautiful and technically excellent photography to help build a client’s brand.