A couple weeks back we were interviewed by Ami Lannone, Creative Director of Snapfluence.
AI: You guys have such a strikingly distinct and abstract style. How do you evaluate which brands to work with?
JB: Working with brands boils down to the aligning of two points, our vision and their vision.
Being self aware has become a huge part of the process of evaluating which brands to work with.
Knowing what our vision is for our business and creative career is crucial to how we choose who to work with. We have our own vision and perspective, thus the brands and magazines that align with our personal guidelines are on the radar. We always try to jump on a call as early in the process as possible. This allows us to look for specific traits and gives us both an idea of expectations and viewpoints. Does this company have vision? Do they understand the current culture? Are they kind? Are they innovating? Is the creative director or art buyer a kind and passionate person? Do they understand what they’re looking for? The beginning stages of the interactions with the brand determines if there is mutual benefit to both of us. We strive to bring an artistic vision and visual innovation to each brand we work with as well as keeping true to their message.
AI: Once you've decided on a brand, what is the creative process like for creating branded content that suits your style and feels so seamless to your audience?
JB: This is where our portfolio becomes very important. We work very hard to keep our portfolio fresh and in the voice of what we enjoy shooting and creating. This way when a brand or art buyer is looking to work with us they have a realistic idea of what we can do and we know that we will most likely be approached for work we enjoy creating. This way it is a win/win for both parties. It has taken time to develop our niche and we will always be refining and innovating it, but we are self aware enough that we know we are going in a direction that is true to who we are.
AI: When did you start doing branded promotions? Was that a hard decision to make?
JB: It was couple years ago when we really made the switch. It seemed like a really seamless transition for us and a great way to learn what collaborating and working with brands looked like. It was a fairly easy decision for us to make because it really allowed us to craft our voice alongside these brands who were giving us so much creative freedom.
AI: What have been some of your favorite brand collaborations and why?
JB: This past January we were brought onto a campaign with Amex and Airbnb on their upcoming collaboration. They approached us to capture how we creatively experience their brands. We had some basic guidelines but these brands initially approached us because they already aligned with our vision for what we were showing in our portfolio and work as a whole. After the initial consultation we headed out to the desert and photographed a series of images that were focused on innovative new perspectives and bold design.
Another brand that was so enjoyable work with was Buzzfeed. We worked with them on a editorial piece that featured Apple Music and the creative artist behind this enterprise. First, the assignment was outstanding and working with incredibly passionate people can make for incredible imagery. Second, Buzzfeed is phenomenal to work with, they understand their reader inside and out which allowed us to have a clear vision on what to deliver. This story was shared globally.
AI: Have you had bad experiences with brands? If so, what do you wish brands knew about working with influencers?
JB: It is probably inevitable that there will be a negative experience with a brand at some point. All in all, the majority of the brands we have worked with have been really enjoyable. There have been some pain points but we were typically able to resolve whatever issues we had. We have said “no” to brands though because we could tell early on that it wasn’t right or their vision was askew. There was one car company that approached us for a campaign that really lowballed on the rate of the shoot. It was really insulting to be approached by such a major company for an amount that was so low, it was just a slap in the face. We knew that the kind of campaign they were asking for was really worth 100x more once you factor in usage like billboard and print. With that said, you get what you pay for. Right now there is an abundance of photographers in the market, our goal is to be among the best, those who help bring innovation and push artistic boundaries in the industry.