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Work Life Pushes Forward

Due to the current happenings of the world, creatives are finding ways to pivot and adapt to the new production parameters. We felt it would be helpful and beneficial to our community to talk about what work will look like for our industry moving forward so we sat down with photographer, Stewart Cohen to see how he handled the new normal.

Meet Stewart Cohen

The Consultants: What were your thoughts when you were asked to do a job during these times?

Stewart Cohen: I was thrilled to be asked to do a project. I wondered who had gotten a project green-lighted during this. The agency said that the client had the brief on their desk since December and had just said: “Go”. Come hell or high water, we were going to figure out how to produce it for them.

TC: What was the nature of the job?

SC: The brief included two TV spots with stills to back them up. We were tasked with filming 24 unique women in different locations with on-camera dialogue as well as doing still portraits to be used for digital ads and social.

TC: How did you handle your production and workflow?

SC: The first challenge was casting, we had to find 24 women willing to be filmed. We asked the agents to have their talent do a self-cast video reading the scripts, send in their auditions and we would choose from there. Then the challenge was figuring out where to shoot. The agency wanted them in all sorts of locations, some of which were unavailable during these times. So we did the best we could by finding areas that looked right and the client would be comfortable with. We did not need to get the locations pre-approved by the clients as they trusted us to deliver. We shot on location for the most part, outside the talents’ homes, a few even allowed us in to get interior shots. Then we used parks, downtown streets and we did a few in our studio. Our tiny crew of four all traveled in their own respective vehicles to each location.

TC: What were your thoughts after the shoot? Do you have any advice for others?

SC: After the shoot, I knew that doing a production of this size in a very safe way, while complicated, was possible. Everyday things are changing, and new protocols are being developed by creatives and photographers. ASMP has developed waivers for models and crew as well as clients. I suggest developing your own or using theirs as a starting point. It’s important to continue to educate yourself on the safest practices on set. The Art of Freelance blog has hosted several webinars discussing “Safety On Set” and ASMP has hosted a webinar speaking on the potential business ramifications that photographers should be aware of in terms of contracts, cancelations, etc. While safety on-set is of the highest importance, understanding contract clauses including Force Majeure, Cancellations, Insurance, etc. is important as well.

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If you’re looking for deeper insight and more resources, check out ASMP. They have done an incredible job of providing current information and resources to our community.

ASMP COVID-19 INFO HUB

In addition to ASMP, another great resource is AICP’s Workplace Guidelines and Considerations. They break down guidelines by department to make it easy to find what you’re looking for.

COVID-19 WORKPLACE GUIDELINES

We hope that you found this information beneficial! Stay safe, healthy and keep creating!

The Consultants

The Consultants of Agency Access is made up of Jennifer Kilberg, Lynn Kyle, and Karen D'Silva. Combined we have worked in all areas of the business as a Photo Editor, Art Producer, Stock Agent, Artist Representative, Trend Forecaster, Producer, and Photographer. Sitting 30,000 ft over the creative marketplace, we are creative marketing consultants connecting with photographers, illustrators, directors, and designers... all over the globe. This real industry experience gives us an insightful understanding of what buyers and clients are looking for. Together we work with clients to collaborate on portfolio development, marketing strategies, and visual/brand evaluation. From seasoned professionals to new "it" content creators to emerging talent, we give you what you need to be relevant and get hired.

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