Hi all. I attended the biennial International Conference on Food Styling & Photography which was held at Boston University last weekend. In past years I’ve been a presenter; this time they wisely decided to feature all-new speakers. Lots of ideas to pick up and people to network with, some who’ve come from as far as Argentina, New Zealand, and Egypt. For me one of the two outstanding presentations was the first, with Nanci Dixon (director of photography at General Mills) and Noel Barnhurst (food photographer based in San Francisco). Nanci is in charge of 13 studios and hundreds of freelancers. She gives her clients an iPad and a beeper, and when an image is ready for approval the client gets a beep and a look on the iPad, wherever they are on-site or off. They have 15 minutes to approve the shot, or the crew moves on to the next shot. I loved that!
The other outstanding presentation for me was the last, with Clare Ferguson (stylist based in the UK) and Jeff Kauck (photographer based in Chicago). One theme that both Jeff and Noel stressed was the need, during a bad economy, to give the client as much bang for their buck as possible. To that end, they routinely run multiple sets and hire multiple crews.
Clare Ferguson’s enthusiasm for the material was contagious, and she closed by reminding us that to the rest of the world, what we all do every day is a dream job. Whatever happens, never be bitter or cynical, because we make magic. Never stop laughing; and never stop learning. I would say a loud AMEN to that!