Monday, November 16, 2009

Kenneth Willardt: Photography's Triple Threat

A Photo Editor blogged an online interview with photographer consultant Selina Maitreya in which she discusses the challenges a photographer faces when building themselves as a business. Hopefully we have all faced the fact that times have and never will stop changing, and in this digital-media-computerized robotic culture we are growing old in, we need to adapt.

To even be considered for roles in theater and film these days, actors must be labeled with and possess the 'triple threat': the ability to thrive at singing, acting, and dancing. So what is the photographer's 'triple threat'? In this digital age, a good photographer must thrive at crossing many medias to produce his/her aesthetic. Photographing, directing, and being personable are the three main factors in making a successful commercial and editorial photographer. And by these standards, Kenneth Willardt is a triple threat.

Kenneth's photography has always been at the forefront of digital media. He was one of the first
photographers to work digitally in post-production and has even created an online production tool that allows photographers to upload their work to the website and have the creatives tweak and edit the work without having to be on set.

Be it print, digital or social, Kenneth understands and works with all aspects of media. He is able to create both print ads as well as commercial ads for a client, and has done this for the beauty powerhouse Maybelline and is working on doing the same for Biore. Additionally, a 'backstage look' or 'sneak peak' online can really fuel a certain campaign or celebrity shoot, so Kenneth will also provide B-roll for requesting clients.

So why is the third facet of the 'triple threat' (being personable) so important for photographers? From the A Photo Editor interview, Selina Maitreya says that the ability to communicate and have a relationship with the Art Director of an account still weighs heavily on really securing a job. Maitreya says, "The visual is the front end sell now and used to be the personality and the relationship was the front end sell but those are now what seals the deal". Kenneth has always believed that a relationship with the client is more than just 'sealing the deal'. "You want to make sure that you and the client are on the same page creatively to produce exactly what they are envisioning, and that's going to happen only after you communicate with one another."

Making your art also your business seems like an oxymoron, but the key is creativity. There are ways you can further your art and your career without compromising your artistic vision. Computer technology and social media are not the antithesis of art, so it’s vital to accept and integrate them as well as creating a relationship with the client so that your vision is understood and used.

Click on the picture for a link to Kenneth's website and commercials:

Read A Photo Editor's "Selina Maitreya Interview" here

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