Why it pays for clients to embrace a photographer’s craft

Clients are increasingly recognising that unusual, well-crafted and even ‘weird’ imagery is what stands out in advertising campaigns. And that that is worth paying for, both in time and money

Recently Saatchi & Saatchi commissioned Christopher Anderson to shoot for HSBC Private Banking – so far so unsurprising, given that he’s a Magnum Photos member, has four books under his belt, and has worked for clients such as Huawei, Hennessey, Rolex, Newsweek and New York Times Magazine. What was unusual was the amount of freedom he was given, with a brief that centred on a certain quality of light and broad themes such as ‘energy’ and ‘communication’, and – initially at least – the time and space to simply explore.

“Initially it was wandering in an open way, working on how we would get to certain ideas,” he explains. “Then as we, on both sides, discovered what was working, we were able to nail the brief. The brief evolved, and how we achieved that brief evolved. I felt very involved in the creative discussions, it was very much a collaboration.

“It was liberating to have that sort of freedom,” he adds. “It makes me enthusiastic about making images that feel special.”