Illusion of Control

“Let’s get the team together on a call so that we can address some concerns.”

This is the moment where creativity gets drenched with a bucket of cold water.

Advertising photography is a strange amalgam of disciplines. Yes, it’s work created with a camera but it’s more illustration than anything else.

If you think the epicenter of risk aversion is the underwriting department of your local bank, you probably haven’t been inside of an ad agency in the last 13 years.

Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that clients should get exactly what they want. The trouble is that often what they desire doesn’t exist in real life.

In a no-excuses world, the only smart move is to offer the illusion of control. That’s when I’ll deploy protections, back-stops, contingency plans, and coverage for every base. Of course, there’s a cost. Not in money, because there’s so little there now. I’m talking about a diminution of the creative output.

I still have limitless opportunities to create new works without constraints, which I do every chance I get. To date, I have produced almost 1200 self-financed stock sessions.

This one, from St. Petersburg, is the result of my unconstrained approach that didn’t require a single meeting, mood board, or focus group.

My “working without a net” approach isn’t suitable for everyone. As they say in Silicon Valley, that’s a feature, not a bug.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.

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