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Solving the remote collaboration dilemma

Jennifer Davick by Jennifer Davick on Dec. 10, 2020


Translating a brand’s story into ownable visuals requires a lot of communication. In particular on the day of the shoot. In the past, I would fly to perform a shoot locally with the client and agency present on set. However, COVID has required me to stream my productions across the country to other cities and timezones. My team and I have creatively modified the same core technologies we’ve always been using to solve for virtual shoots.


Interview excerpt from Heather Elder’s blog

COVID has undoubtedly brought changes when it comes to productions. Can you tell us about the role technology plays in your shoots, both pre and post COVID?

In the past, I would often fly to perform a shoot locally with the client and agency present on set. We would stream our motion capture or still photography to a conference room or designated area on set. However, COVID has required us to stream our capture across the country to other cities and timezones. We’ve modified the same core technologies we’ve always been using to solve for virtual shoots.


What are some skills that have become necessary for present-day shoots?

Communication is more necessary than ever. In the past, we could all stand at the monitor and review an image together — pointing at the changes needed. Unfortunately, not being in person makes it very difficult to describe in words the small tweaks that might be required for a still life photo of food. During COVID, we figured out that using Zoom on an iPad while streaming with clients allows us to draw on the screen! Now we can circle areas that need to be changed. For example… please move that steak an inch to the left.


Has there been a change in how you go about translating your vision for brands?

I’ve evolved the way I translate my vision. For example, I’ve always written and designed treatments for bigger jobs. Now, I am able to present them visually on video calls. It’s a big advantage and great way to connect with the agency in a very personal way.


How has communication and collaboration with your clients changed since COVID?

We have come to love collaborating with Zoom. Sometimes, we even have two calls going simultaneously… one for the set with a live camera and a second for the client/agency in order to discuss the take or photo captured.


Some would say that visuals are a universal language, and they need no translating. How do you take a brand's story and translate it into visuals?

Translating a brand’s story into ownable visuals requires a lot of asking and listening. I find that in talking through where a brand has been and where they want to go, I get a better understanding of their brand personality — and I get inspired by their unique story. I then take the time to think over the ideas shared and play around with concepts. Sometimes translating a brand’s story into visuals happens in an “aha” moment at 2a.m.!

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More About Jennifer Davick

Jennifer DavickJennifer Davick is a California and New York based Director and Photographer dedicated to crafting striking stories that feature food as the hero. She helps brands utilize motion and still photography to create visuals that are vibrant, stylish, approachable and appetizing. Her work explores the beauty-from-within of ingredients and reveals a portrait of implied lifestyle in the process. Recent clients include Walmart, Starbucks, The Food Network, Aldi, Hillshire Farm, Lifeway Kefir and Electrolux.

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