key visuals were for print. Print was most
important because there was a media buy
behind it. The creative team had the
idea: Why not do an extra media piece, and
some extra content? They created a cool
motion piece that paired with the stills.
The motion piece is on the splash page of
the brand’s website, and the stills were
blown out everywhere.
Sometimes the [stills and video] have a
consistent look, sometimes they don’t.
PDN: Has your way of evaluating
JL: Since coming here, I literally look at everyone.
If their work is good, I meet with them as long as
my schedule permits because I never know what
I’ll need or what will come across my desk.
I always ask if they [photographers] shoot
motion. Not because it’s a requirement, but if
a project comes up that requires X, Y and Z,
I have a stack of bookmarks and I keep a
lot of notes from my meetings so that I can refer
to them and remember who I’ve met. Motion
work can include something pretty without
a story, or it can be a longer narrative. When
I’m looking for people who can do integrated
work, I’ll consider: Is this just a motion piece,
or do they know how to direct and tell a story?
PDN: What do you learn from meeting with a
photographer that you don’t learn just from
looking at a website?
JL: Their personality. I also love learning the
stories behind the images. I love seeing their
personal work, in addition to their client work.
We all know that the client work can get a
bit diluted. So seeing personal work helps me
understand your lighting, your technique and
your point of view.
PDN: How do you like to view motion work?
JL: If I’m meeting with someone, ideally I’d like
to see a reel that has : 30 to : 60 seconds per spot.
If there’s a longer cut, you can follow up with an
email so I can take the time to really watch it.
PDN: Do you have advice for photographers
on how to present themselves during a
JL: Sound engaged. Don’t go overboard and
sound overly happy. We want to hear your ideas.
This is a collaborative process. The work is
what gets you in the door, but the steps that
follow are about how you engage with us
and how you collaborate. If you need maybe
20 minutes to have a Zen moment and pull
yourself together [before the call], take that
20 minutes. In the 13 years I’ve been doing
this, I can probably count on one hand the
number of bad phone calls I’ve had. The agent
will say: “How did that go?” I’ll say: “To be
honest, that was bad. You may need to pick it
up in the treatment,” or maybe we won’t even
move forward with that person.
PDN: Do you have advice about how to do
JL: It’s ultimately about showing creatives
your ideas. Treatments for photography aren’t
as elaborate as for directors. For photographers,
treatments weren’t a big thing until a couple
of years ago. It’s a good way to follow up and
elaborate about what you spoke about on the
phone [during the creative call]. If you put
your ideas down on paper, it gives [creatives]
a way to dive in and read it over again, maybe
at home. If you say, “I have a particular lighting
technique that would work for this,” show us
what that might look like.
PDN: Thanks for judging the 2017 PDN
Photo Annual. Why do you take time to do
something like that?
JL: I like judging because it’s a way to see what
people are doing and discover people out there
who might have great work. I think supporting
the community is important. And it gets me
out of my daily routine and reminds me why
I do what I do.
OPPOSI TE, RIGHT: An ASICS ad, shot with Benedict Redgrove, included stills and animation for use across online
and social platforms. ABOVE: For HP’s “Keep Reinventing” campaign, 180LA created a series of motion spots
and related stills. “Our clients are wanting more integrated campaigns, and we’re asking photographers and/or
directors” to provide stills and motion, says Jason Lau. BELOW: An image for Mitsubishi.