Listen: Cowgirl Candace doesn’t care how well you can write an article, capture in image or illustrate an idea in my industry if you don’t have professionalism to back your craft. Point blank. Period. I’ve collaborated on hundreds of creative campaigns around the globe with media “professionals”— some who have demonstrated unforgettable, career-changing editorial experiences for me and others who could care less about the project and delivering meaningful results.
During my recent Durango Boots photo shoot, professional photographer, digital educator and cinematographer Corey Reese reminded me of why I put in the hard work to garner award-winning editorial outcomes. He truly lives by his tagline: “Where Image is Everything.” His attention to detail is spot on; his execution is well devised; and the way he naturally brings you into the moment to create storytelling imagery is pure brilliance. His extensive background working with veteran creatives and big brands is beyond apparent.
Therefore, log and exercise these characteristics of professionalism below if you want to land, complete and rebook projects (and, of course, earn bank) while also staying within budget, working above standard and meeting deadline on national, international campaigns:
Presentation. As a freelance journalist and editor, I’m reporting and developing thought-provoking content that connects with readers around the globe. This task often requires team collaborations with creatives in both traditional and new media. To ensure I’m working with the best for the gig, I conduct comprehensive research on potential partners to make sure they’re well-versed in the type of media I need. One of the first places I reference are portfolio sites and social media pages to gauge experience. I instantly knew Corey was the creative for this particular job because of his modern, responsive site design and engaging display of professional work with local to national talent. He understands how to produce clean, cutting-edge content that makes viewers/followers want to learn more.
Punctuality. I contacted Corey, and within the day, he responded. Even better: He had already researched my editorial work — and had great questions and recommendations ready to take my Durango campaign shoot to the next level. After our initial conversation, he also delivered on timely follow-up emails to lock in the best day, time, location and weather conditions to accomplish various parts of the project. We started the shoot right on time, and once we finished, he edited my favorite images in record-breaking turnaround time as well.
Proficiency. Off the top, I know if you’re genuinely about your business if you talk industry lingo and actually apply it effectively and efficiently. Corey quickly grasped the creative concept for this particular shoot. He spoke my brand strategy language and effortlessly executed each boot scene required for the assignment. Because he holds ample experience working on national campaigns, Corey could deliver on the feel for the project in both imagery and accompanying footage.
Performance. When cub reporters intern with me and come into any project with a tape recorder, I know they’re not going to perform to their best ability. Tape recorders mean pure laziness in by book, forcing one to depend on equipment instead of their senses — especially their ears — to gather the facts. In Corey’s line of visual work though, producing pioneering content with today’s top-notch equipment is a must. From lighting to lens, Corey carried everything needed to tackle our finicky weather challenges and disguise possible wardrobe malfunctions.
Pull-Through. In the final project completion stretch, creatives have the tendency to slack up and waste time on concluding details. I know firsthand how easy it is for writers and editors to brush off rounds of last-minute edits because they feel like those are easy fixes that can wait. No, go ahead and get ’er done. Corey gets that. He went ahead and jumped on touchups to the images and edits to all our b-roll footage to close out the photo shoot experience in less than a week. That’s how you win repeat clients and awesome recommendations from Cowgirl Candace.