I have been representing Hunter Freeman for almost 15 years now and I am still constantly learning from him. He has a professionalism and approach to business and life that I model as best that I can in my own business and life. He is respectful, thoughtful and truly a genuine person. He makes everything he does seem effortless. And, for those of us who strive for this, we know how hard effortless can be. It is no wonder then that the photo shoots he orchestrates are well oiled machines where the clients walk away happy.
Hunter recently produced and shot a complicated campaign for Executive Creative Director Sunny Teo and Senior Designer Gigi Lam of DAE and Wells Fargo. It was complicated because not only was there a variety of talent and ethnically specific wardrobe to manage but there were multiple locations and many shots in one day.
The first scenario was a series in a Chinese “Saturday school” classroom, which included multiple repositioning and relighting options. Following that scenario, in a different area of the location, was a scene shot in an Indian Kathak dance studio, which had a group of Kathak dancers in the background.
The day had a schedule and Hunter depended on the crew to help make it run smoothly. As a team they had to load in gear, props and wardrobe, light and prop the sets, direct talent into wardrobe and makeup, postion them on the set, shoot them (minor detail, right?), and then wrap out of the location within the scheduled ten hours.
When it went off without a hitch, I asked him to share with me what made it work. Of course the list is straight forward and all about common sense. But then again, so is Hunter.
Here is what he had to say about his experience:
1) It was very organized. My producer, Sue Pinkerton, put in more than enough time on the front end (as did the prop stylist and location scout), and it paid off when I shot. The timing during the whole day, the arrival/departure of talent, prep areas, lunch break area, really everything, had been considered and squared away ahead of time. There was no room for error and every scenario and every need was well thought out.
2) We were flexible. When the client had specific needs that changed, we were able to move quickly to adapt our talent, props, wardrobe, etc., to those needs. On any shoot, anything can change, and the fact that everyone was aware that things could change, and was prepared to handle it, proved invaluable. No time wasted scrambling for an unexpected change of wardrobe, or an added prop.
3) The whole crew was thoroughly professional. I am so grateful to work with people who are so patient and SMART. I try to always hire people who are smarter than I am, and they’re intelligent enough to think, plan, and act in advance of the day’s events. No egos, no problems.
4) We didn’t lose the forest for the trees. Focused: Everyone was keeping an eye on all parts of the shoot, so that no details went wrong or, worse missing. The stylists were extremely organized and laid out everything we would need. The hair and makeup stylists more than kept up with the shoot, and were there on set when needed. Photo assistants were always right there to move a light, change a flag, raise/lower the tripod – you name it, they did it.
“The bottom line is that everyone acted as part of the team – always keeping an eye on the goal. I know that the ideas are obvious but I remind myself all the time that it is the obvious details that can make or break a shoot. If I get the easy ones right there is plenty of time to spend on the more complicated ones.” - Hunter Freeman