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Whenever I work with an ad agency or an art director, it’s a very different experience from when I work by myself. The agency people always have a very solid idea of what they want in a picture. They’ll often have diagrams and set drawings ready to go. They know what they want and that’s fine. When they are paying the bills, they get what they want.
But just for giggles…
Whenever I go out on a shoot like this, and its less often these days than it was 10 years ago, I still shoot two shots. I shoot one shot for the art director the way they see it, and then I sneak in another when they’re not looking. I shoot the second shot for myself. Good art directors and agency people will actually encourage this behavior. They know that the photographer is happiest and typically performing the best work when the photographer is shooting to take their craft to the next level.
Shoot for your client first, but then shoot for yourself. Be sure to show the client BOTH shots – the one they asked for and the one you believe in. In my experience at least half the time they’ll select YOUR shot over their shot. Of course, be prepared to get some dirty looks from the art director at that meeting :)
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