A frequent question from young photographers is: “How can I get advertising work so that I can make a living?”
That, of course, is just about the most fundamental question there is once you’ve figured out how to make good images. There’s not a single “silver bullet” answer to that complex question; there are a multitude of various approaches. The answer that has provided the main force behind my career is: Do original, inventive and creative work on your own. Make your own explorations into the areas about which you are passionate. Make memorable images that you haven’t seen before. Then let the world know about them. Almost all our advertising work has come to us as a direct result of my personal work shared with creative directors from advertising agencies all over the world, mainly through my books and website, as well as magazine editorials and articles written about the work.
Here is an example: Collective Force, a production company in New Zealand, called and asked if I would make “Body Knots” images for a Haagen-Dazs campaign. After negotiating the details, we accepted this commission and made a number of images of different “flavors.”
This is one of them; “Cookies & Cream”
The reason I got the nod from New Zealand is because my eleventh book, BodyKnot, was just published and well-publicized; and we had posted many those images from the personal work I had been doing. In my case, and in the cases of many of my photographer friends the adage is: Art Directors are constantly looking for original ideas for advertising campaigns. Make great, original imagery; they will find you.
This book, Body Knots has lead to a great deal of commissioned work:
The lesson: endeavor to make images that come from your own imagination and passion. Strive to create great work that is original, unique and memorable; this will enhance the odds that the phone will ring.