Know all the angles.

Imagine these pictures:

1. A baby lying down.

2. A group of men talking.

3. A broken down car.

4. A Policeman on the street.

5. A girl skipping.

6. A kid playing marbles.

Most people would imagine them something like this.Y baby-01 Y men-01 Y car-01 Y police-01 Y Skipping-01 Y Marbes-01
Mid-shots.
Side on.
With the main object in the middle of the frame.
Almost in 2D, a bit like a diagram.
It’s hard to imagine pictures from other angles.
Even harder to draw them.
So most layouts start life a s a kind of 2D diagram, a bit like the pictures above.
It’s always been the case.
But over the last ten years or so, the ‘mock-up’ has grown.

So now, after the art director has drawn rough, we look for a better, photographic representation of what the art director has drawn.
The client signs the ad off.
Now we have a blueprint for the photographer to match.
The photographer doesn’t have to think about it too much. Why reinvent the wheel?
It can be embellished, but essentially the image is related to the one we used in the mock-up. Otherwise why mock it up?
Consequently the idea was stunted at birth.

It didn’t evolve from that very basic 2D drawing.
Good photographers work in 3D.
They can find angles which can make an idea more dramatic, more surprising and more emotional.
Useful when you’re trying to get someone to engage with your message.
At the moment too many photographers are simply used to colour in, not create.
It’s a waste, because they know all the angles.

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 21.24.07
Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 19.41.11 Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 09.07.39Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 13.29.14Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 19.26.03Marble Boy-01

12 thoughts on “Know all the angles.

  1. So I gave Dave Dye his first job in advertising in the late 80s. He went on to do very well indeed and is now considered to be one of London’s top art directors. He lives, eats and breathes advertising and writes Stuff From The Loft, which to my mind is easily the best ad blog out there. This week’s offering is a cute little insight into working with photographers, which I thought you might like to see. J  xx From: STUFF FROM THE LOFT To: janvanmesdag@yahoo.co.uk Sent: Saturday, 7 November 2015, 14:22 Subject: [New post] Know all the angles. #yiv0110936044 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv0110936044 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv0110936044 a.yiv0110936044primaryactionlink:link, #yiv0110936044 a.yiv0110936044primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv0110936044 a.yiv0110936044primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv0110936044 a.yiv0110936044primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv0110936044 WordPress.com | dave dye posted: “Imagine these pictures:1. A baby lying down.2. A group of men talking.3. A broken down car.4. A Policeman on the street.5.A girl skipping.6. A kid playing marbles.Most people would imagine them something like this. M” | |

  2. Dave, As you probably guessed, that last email was not destined for you. I was trying to send it to a photographer mate. Hope all’s well. Best, Jan From: STUFF FROM THE LOFT To: janvanmesdag@yahoo.co.uk Sent: Saturday, 7 November 2015, 14:22 Subject: [New post] Know all the angles. #yiv0110936044 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv0110936044 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv0110936044 a.yiv0110936044primaryactionlink:link, #yiv0110936044 a.yiv0110936044primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv0110936044 a.yiv0110936044primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv0110936044 a.yiv0110936044primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv0110936044 WordPress.com | dave dye posted: “Imagine these pictures:1. A baby lying down.2. A group of men talking.3. A broken down car.4. A Policeman on the street.5.A girl skipping.6. A kid playing marbles.Most people would imagine them something like this. M” | |

  3. Well put Dave, many times as a photographer you have no room for movement as the client does not have the vision or indeed is not on set to allow anything else to happen, it’s always a little disappointing. I’ve found it is some times best to be as vague as can be in the pre prod (without looking like you know nothing) or shoot lots of rough angles first thing so people can see what is happening and the often endless possibilities.

  4. Spot on. I spend a ridiculous amount of time mocking up magazine covers, often using stock photos, because the client has no imagination and has to see almost exactly what it will look like. There was a time when I could sell them an idea using a marker rough but no more. I still try to leave myself some wiggle room by stressing it may change slightly then giving the photographer the freedom to interpret it where possible.

  5. This is outstanding, as usual. We still insist on showing scamps – we’re not always successful, but this post nails exactly why we should persist.

  6. Love this. It’s exactly what I’ve been experiencing for the last 10 years or so. I used to liken the crafting process to being like a slowly focusing lens. Initially the image is blurred – just a general idea of something. Then, as you bring other skilled craftsmen into the process, the image becomes more and more refined and clear. And the final result would nearly always be so much more than what you saw in your head. Now, alas, you virtually have cut and paste imagery with no flair or sense of magic. It’s just as bad with TV commercials. What with edited ‘borrowed footage’ and library music, the client is typically no longer able to understand a storyboard. (Love your sketches by the way, you convey a great deal with very few pencil strokes.)

  7. So true.
    When I was with David Thorpe in the seventies, the layout was usually the point of departure not arrival. Sometimes the Client hadn’t even seen it !
    By the nineties that had reversed in most cases.

    Graham Ford

  8. What a breath of fresh air . . . and what a great development …. Phewy!
    Allowing photographers to join the creative process and deliver the unexpected ( as well as the expected I guess ).

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