Since 1981, when I began my career as a professional photographer, I have collaborated with hundreds of other experts in their fields to help make sure that my clients receive the very best finished products and services.
I first learned the importance of collaboration when I started my career as a wedding and portrait photographer. I worked with many types of service providers and vendors at each of the 1,500+ weddings I photographed. I would notice who seemed to be providing the caliber of service and experience that resonated with my clients. How would these pros make the day special for our shared client? What sort of job would they do? Was the experience enjoyable, easy, and fun? Did they deliver on their promise to the client? Over time, I was able to know who I could trust to uphold the same standards as me and vice versa. I guess you could say we had a shared vision for our clients. Soon I was referring them and them me. Working together never felt like work. It was a pure delight and lots of fun.
Most of all, our clients were happy and appreciated how much we cared about them and trusted that we would always deliver our very best. Wedding couples typically had a choice about who they wanted to work with and referrals were then golden – just like they are today. What we did not always know until the wedding day, was who the couple selected to create their wedding experience. Needless to say, when this network of “A-Team” professionals showed up, the typical wedding stress was reduced for all of us. We all knew it was going to be a great day working together. Most of all, our collaboration allowed the couple’s wedding day dreams to come true!
One of the service professionals I typically worked closely with on the wedding day was the videographer. I was fortunate to find a videographer who was simply one of the best – he still is! I’ll share the story with him another time. Together, we “danced” with one another at hundreds of weddings. He focused on the moving and verbal part of the coverage and I focused on the portraits and still images to tell the wedding story. When we had to share working space at all the different locations in which we worked, we were both considerate of what the other needed for our respective parts of the wedding day coverage. That respect and trust allowed each of us to deliver the very best finished product for our clients.
Today, as a commercial photographer, even though my camera has the capability to do both video and still images, if someone wants video on one of my projects, I will bring in an expert filmmaker – someone I know and trust to work alongside me on a project as a sub/independent contractor.
Mike Kirsch, founder and creative director at Cinematek Creative based here in Orange County is one of the pros I can recommend. He graduated from Chapman Film School, worked with MacGillivray Freeman Films, and many others as he built his career, before starting his own business several years ago.
Mike and I met because we have shared a client - the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California - and, for many years, worked together on many projects.
One the most memorable was when we created stills and a video side-by-side for the 2018 World Premiere of the ballet entitled “Isadora” starring prima ballerina, Natalia Osipova, with choreography by Vladimir Varnava. Mike’s video was used as a TV spot and my stills were used in marketing and editorial stories all over the world. When I think of artist collaboration, I feel like I’ve worked with some of the best and hope that you find successful ways to collaborate, too!
To see the video – HERE
To see the still images – HERE
Please let me know how we can start a relationship with you and collaborate together on your next commercial project!
Doug Gifford Photography