Wow what an opportunity sixty days Amsterdam. Took the chance to pick the brains of the European creative industry….had coffee with with creative directors of big ad agencies, and smaller funky agencies, trafficers, artbuyers, colleague photographers, reps and brand managers of Dutch lifestyle brands. The list is long and I am so grateful for their time and knowledge they shared.
The Middle East is a market I’m steadily getting to understand. Now nearly 9 years, it’s a whirlpool of multi cultural diversity with such a wide mix of clients and decision makers you’ve gotta be a multi brainer to keep everyone happy. As photographers we’re possibly a big fish in a small pond. Work is broad and varied, keeping the spirit alive and allowing a platform for continuous personal development.
Holland Summer 2010 is a taster, a ‘snuffelstage’ and a stepping stone to extend my business into Europe. Jump into Amsterdam first with the other crazy capitals to follow. It’s home territory but with so many nationalities working in the industry, English is the common language. Compared to Dubai the market is so different, it’s a big ocean with over 6000 self acclaimed professional shooters, that’s a lot of families to feed… In good times, the photography market had lot’s on offer and could sustain such a supply of creatives. In current times, judging from the stories and feedback, the industry has slowed down dramatically. In a market that was trusty for big campaign shoots, today cash is tough but still around…and now with more people staring at it. Big brands are seeking alternative routes for imagery, like flikr and other online image sharing provides. The level of quality can be discussed…but when budgets are slashed – what to do. International corporations are re-structuring with big names like Nike shifting their European head office back to the US. Yes, it’s tough out there.
All in all the industry spirit is still good. Long life the sinister Dutchies. Always open for new ideas and new talent. Question. How do you stand out? How do you get your foot in the door? Try hard…don’t take no for an answer…be daring…be different…just walk in and sing your song. Producing my book ‘Image Box & Story Tales’ has certainly helped. It has a strong selection of images, nice anecdotes and most important it’s a physical reference piece to leave behind. The book has a long shelf life, gets in side by side other famous magazines on the reading tables, supplies creative think-tanks and hopefully generates more web traffic (which at the end is the ultimate source of latest work) AND obviously more European assignments.
How my investment of time and marketing material will pay off…time will tell. The experience was amazing, I’ve made many valuable connections, got the chance to spread my message and it was well received. Key is now to keep the relationship alive!
Work aside. Living with my wife and two months old son in downtown Amsterdam was awesome. Believe we were officially spoilt!! Seeing the nation turn orange during the World Cup Footbal, enjoying classical concerts, absorbing the endless sunshine (stilll can’t understand why the Dutch always moan about the weather), ‘heerlijk terasjes hoppen’, eat ‘bitterballen’ and most important spend quality time with friends and family.
Working on a repetition for 2011….
ADIDAS originals presents The ‘STAR WARS’ battle of the beats! Eight DJ’s and two MC’s playing the crowd at Alpha Club Dubai. Bookmark your agenda 20th of this month.
Two interesting characters; the bad ‘Darth Vader’ and good ‘Luke Skywalker’, true hero’s in the music scene. Spend a great afternoon shooting with them.