Golden Rules For The Perfect Photoshoot From Our Head Of Production
By Miles Holder - 4 min read
We sat down with our Head of Productions, Grace Farson, to discover key insights on how brands can best bounce back when shooting new campaigns. Find out how she was able to avoid the pitfalls the global pandemic had on photoshoots and creative production.
We often say that here at EyeEm that there are no productions that are the same and no one knows more about this than our own Head of Productions, Grace Farson.
How To Ensure Your Photo Productions Run Smoothly
With many companies scrambling to rethink their campaigns and photoshoots in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, our production team were able to adapt to the new lockdown rules and find innovative ways to ensure our photoshoots continued safely. Grace and the team have been able to support a number of brands during the disruptions, helping them to rethink their photo production, rather than their campaign.
We sat down with Grace to gain her expert insights into planning photoshoots, challenges that might come with your first production and find out more about EyeEm’s customs shoots.
What is unique about EyeEm productions?
I’ve seen EyeEm grow and shape so much over the years and one of the things I will always come back to is the people and talent that EyeEm attracts - both who the company’s team and all the incredible photographers that EyeEm connects through The Collective.
Every day is different and it’s the part of production I actually enjoy the most - I’m never bored. During my time at EyeEm I’ve seen how the company continues to adapt to be equally relevant and creative.
What’s your advice for brands keeping photo productions running smoothly even when disruptions hit?
Adapt to new challenges. In the first weeks of the pandemic, we began to focus on smaller productions and shooting at homes and/or smaller studios. Now, with extra safety measures and precautions, we’re able to shoot larger productions and adapt to the type of content that is both applicable and realistic around the world.
What keeps EyeEm Productions adaptable and relevant?
The clients I work with find that the EyeEm approach is very fresh and tailored to them. No production or photoshoot are ever the same, so we are constantly changing too.
We’re a small team and capable of doing so much thanks to our solid network around the world. We can run productions of most any size and scale simultaneously. All of this is due to a lot of hard work, creative thinking, and amazing the amazing photographers, editors, designers, stylists, etc. that we get to work with.
What are three tips you can give to clients who are new to custom shoots?
#1: Custom content sets your brand apart:
I love nothing more than seeing a brief and/or idea come to life. There is energy and enthusiasm in this and it always brings life to a brand and helps establish the ways in which they want to stand out.
#2: There’s always a new approach
Everyday I get to learn from talented people who are not only wildy skilled but also challenge me to think in new ways. This mindset is particularly helpful for production but also when establishing the visual language for your particular brand.
#3: Enjoy the process
One of my main goals and ambitions is to work really hard and remain focused so that I can enjoy the process and be present from start to finish. Being present on a shoot or when creating a brief goes a long way and it always shows!
How does EyeEm say in-tune with the changes in the industry and experiment creatively?
These days we’re exploring more with animations and motion graphics and not to mention new approaches to retouching and editing. I’m excited to see where further collaboration with more artists, directors, designers will take us.
Photography will always be the heart of what we do as well as what drives me personally, but I am also eager to continue to explore new mediums and see how they continue to support and strengthen the work we already do with photo and video.
When it comes to your personal work, what is your key focus?
I started off as a documentary photographer and filmmaker and am always drawn to a solid story. The majority of my personal projects to date are tied to helping support my friends and contacts to develop and realize their own creative projects. Lately, I am particularly interested and eager to get more involved in audio storytelling, particularly podcasts.
How have your personal projects helped with your job at EyeEm and vice versa?
I was originally drawn to EyeEm because I wanted to be in an environment where I could be fully myself. In my first few months at EyeEm I started off working closely with the curation team and gradually shifted to work and build up what is now the EyeEm Collective and productions team.
In working across these teams, I have been able to apply the work ethic I originally learned while working on documentaries across the Himalayas and Indonesia to eventually apply to client work. I have enjoyed finding the intersection of my personal projects and work at EyeEm to produce genuine and hopefully memorable work.
You have to juggle a lot of different tasks for your job, how do you best unwind?
There are many ways, but I’d say my yoga practice both at the office (*currently made possible thanks to video conferencing) and outside of the office, making elaborate meals with friends, walks with a podcast in my ears, and a nice bottle of wine in the parks here in Berlin.
Is there a production that you’re most proud of?
It’s difficult to say but it would likely be the large-scale travel projects and international photoshoots that I have produced. Perhaps it’s just because I miss traveling these days that these are on my mind, but regardless, I think there are a great number of shoots I can be thoroughly proud of. Nothing beats seeing a project that started off as just an idea come together and work seamlessly to create a beautiful, thoughtful final outcome.