Creative Pitches That Land Advertising Clients

November 14, 2013

By David Walker

©Melie Bianco. Photo by Diana King.

Ad agencies often hire photographers to shoot to layouts, but the most desirable clients are looking for creative partners who can bring vision and ideas to the job. For photographers, creative collaboration is usually rewarding, and clients who view photographers as more than technicians are likely to pay better fees, too. But in order to win over those clients, photographers have to demonstrate the creative value they can bring to a project. There are various ways to do that, from effectively communicating your ideas during a creative call with an art director, to illustrating your ideas for a particular campaign with story boards, mood boards and other visuals. For those looking for ways to convey their vision to prospective clients, here are some recent PDN stories that offer insight, strategies, and tips that will help prepare you for your next big bid. Please note: these stories are available only to PDN subscribers.

Joey and Jessica: Using Personal Work and Mood Boards to Get Clients Excited About Their Vision

The lifestyle photography explain how they create mood boards and prepare a production script for nearly every advertising bid they are invited to submit. (subscription required)

James Worrell: Sketching Concepts for Editorial Clients to Gain the Attention of Ad Agencies

The still-life photographer describes how he shows potential clients his vision and thought process by presenting booklets of images and sketches that conceptualize campaigns for their brands. (subscription required)

Curtis Johnson: Explaining His Approach, and Showing His Experience

Curtis Johnson discusses the importance of making a good impression during creative calls, and managing clients’ changing expectations of photographers in an era of creative caution. (subscription required)

Diana King: Showing Style, Illustrating Her Estimates

Diana King describes how she probes a client’s advertising ideas, goals and budget, and then constructs mood boards that address the client’s expectations–and highlight her style. (subscription required)

Estimating 2.0: Bidding on an All-Media Library Shoot

An inside look at how three photographers competed in a triple bid on a big commercial assignment, including details about the creative brief, the photographers’ creative calls with an ad agency art buyer, and their written estimates. (subscription required)

How to make the Most of Pre-Production Calls and Meetings

Landing an advertising job requires more than a written bid. Photographers have to go through what amounts to job interviews, too. Reps, art buyers and producers offer tips about what to ask (and what not to say) when you’re during creative, pre-bid, and pre-production phone calls with ad agency creatives. (subscription required)