Two Stops Down

A journal on photography by Thomas Riggs

Rolling up your sleeves

“Clients will always ask you to make their logo bigger, prescribe solutions, and ask you to do things that will make you smack your forehead. You can roll your eyes at how much they don’t understand about design or you can roll up your sleeves and begin practicing your craft by helping them clarify what they need.”

Straight out of college I have been lucky enough to find myself in the deep end of client services for the first time, inside of a huge company where most people have never worked with a photographer before, or even any kind of creative professional. It can all get a bit weird, particularly when big money is involved.

But that’s why I’m glad that I came across “Design Is a Job”, by Mike Monteiro, when I did. Mike is such a smart-ass, and an equally smart talker. He sets it straight: if you disrespect your clients for not knowing how to work with you (see above), you aren’t doing your job. You’re just being a jackass.

Above all, Mike’s book has helped me see something which I was beginning to lose sight of, as we took on more and more work, and we all began sitting around laughing at clients’ briefs and feedback; that is, seeing the work I do as providing a service on one hand, but also as educating and making the case for good photography on the other. And that’s a whole lot cooler of a job than I could ever wish for.

And for $9? Totally worth it.

This article was published on 3 November 2013.