Guest interview with Joe Giacomet

Feb 15, 2024 | Photographer Guest

“Show Notes”

Joe Giacomet⁠ mostly works in advertising. It’s an area that has allowed him to do what he wants. And has given the spare cash to be able to focus on personal projects from time to time. Marcus describes Joe’s style as photography on steroids. He says Joe is known for vibrant, quirky, comedic ideas. Joe has studies graphic design and worked with a lot of influential people and those have come together to get him where he is. His shots have a lot of humour in, but he says clients can sometimes reign this in.  Joe says when he goes into a shoot he likes to remind himself that he is there to have fun.

Joe studied graphic design initially and photography was a hobby. He then found he was enjoying the photography more than the graphic design. At university he studied photography, but also worked as a freelance graphic designer. He then moved to London, started assisting as a photographer and the graphic design work drifted away. Joe worked as an assistant for ⁠Mark Denton⁠ and he has been very influential in Joe’s work. He assisted for ⁠Julia Fullerton-Batten⁠  and she really pushed him develop, especially around lighting. Joe says it was fascinating assisting as he learnt so much from seeing how other people work.

Joe says what a lot of people don’t realise is how planned everything is for a shoot. Every detail is planned out in advance. He tries to leave space for creativity, but the planning needs to be in place. Working in advertising can be very prescriptive. Joe did a personal project based on ⁠football cards⁠ with ⁠Mark Denton⁠. This was a long running personal project making comedy football cards. This project brought Joe’s work to Marcus’s attention. They did the shoots for 6 days over a couple of years. The cards started as thirty portraits. They then invented the teams, got woven badges made, printed huge backdrops, and spent a long time on casting. They looked at over 5000 people to find the right people for the cards. Then post production was done over Covid. This was a huge amount of work that probably wouldn’t have got done without Covid. All of this was simply for a personal project. The time spent on it was certainly not commercially viable. Joe thinks he landed work at the Qatar world cup due to this project. But he says don’t always believe that personal projects will always turn into work. Before the football cards Joe did a parody of a ⁠Tretchikoff painting, Chinese girl⁠ . A friend of Joe’s, Kate is Chinese and she needed a business card, so they decided to make a ⁠parody of this painting⁠. This was just for fun, but ended up in the ⁠Royal academy⁠, was on TV and ⁠Paloma Faith⁠ has a copy on her wall.

What comes across from these projects is Joe’s intense attention to detail. He says this is a great quality, but sometimes needs reigning in. If he does a job he always gives 110% he never gives half effort. Joe’s style has allowed him to move into other genres, so his style comes across in whatever he does. Joe has a process for whatever he does and thinks he could apply this to projects outside photography. Joe says he came to London in his twenty knowing no one. So all his contacts he now has in the advertising business have come through building a network over time. He has also found that as he has been in the industry for a good number of years now, his contacts have been moving up the corporate ladder. So, the people who were very junior when he first met them have started to become much higher up in the business. That means now he is able to get higher level work with the contacts he has. He has been nurturing these contacts over time and without this nurturing over time he would not have these contacts.

He did have a time a few years ago where he gave up photography for a month or so as he was making almost no money. He felt sometimes like he was banging his head against a wall trying to get work. But he then got a commission for 3M which took him forwards.

“Show Transcription”

Marcus: Well, hello there, Sam, and hello, listeners. How you, Sam?

Sam: Very good, Marcus. And how are you?

Marcus: Yeah, I’m really well, thank you. Yeah, very well. And my gosh, what a show we’ve got lined up for you, Sam. And I have to be really careful here because I’m a bit of a fanboy of our next guest, and so I don’t want to come across as too gushing, but on today’s show, we’ve got a photographer I’ve been following, as I say, for a little while called Joe Jacques met. He’s a british advertising photographer and I think he’s one of the people in the photography business who is at the top of their game. So, without any further me, let him introduce himself over to you, Joe.

Joe:  Hi there, Marcus. Hi there, Sam. Lovely to meet you both. Thanks for the kind intro. It’s very. Yeah, yeah. As Marcus said, I’m a photographer also direct as well. That’s more of a recent thing in the last sort of five, six years, but yeah, sort of mostly work in advertising. Yeah, I mean, I would work in other areas too, but that’s just sort of been my focus, really. It’s sort of the area that’s allowed me to do what I want because I sort of also have quite a keen interest in doing personal projects and fine art things. And so getting into advertising has sort of allowed me to sort of have the not only sort of focus on ideas from the ads, but also give me the sort of spare cash occasionally to kind of focus on sort of more kind of indulgent artistic projects. That’s my little.

Marcus: Joe. Maybe for our listeners who don’t know you, obviously they’re going to find out about you. But for those who don’t, maybe we can describe your style. Because I think this is what this podcast is going to be about a lot is style, and your style is like photography on steroids. For me, it’s uber photography. It just works so well. It’s super vibrant, it’s quirky, it’s funny, it tells great stories. It’s just got it all in there. So is that a fair assumption of your work, Joe?

Joe: Yeah, I’ll take that. It’s one of those things I’ve always struggled with is like, how to describe my work. My work is quite multifaceted, but what I would say I’m sort of known for is vibrant, quirky, comedic ideas. I really appreciate what you said by then. That’s very nice of you. But, yeah, I guess it’s sort of been influenced by lots of different things over the years. I’ve done a collection of different things throughout my life and I’ve sort of studied, like, I studied graphic design for a long time, and I think I also worked with some quite inspirational people who’ve been quite influential on me. So, I think just sort of the amalgamation of all these different people, ideas and experiences sort of has led me to where I am today. But, yeah, it’s a hard one to explain. Often people are like, oh, what do you do? And I was like, it’s just easy to show you a photo. There’s a couple of definitely, it’s 1000 words or one photo. Right. And not. I’m terrible at words, but it’s definitely easier to show a picture than chat for half an hour.

Sam: Yeah. And I looked, and the instant I looked at the site, that humor instantly hit me. Or every shot. Every shot. That humor comes straight through, doesn’t it?

Joe:  Yeah. I don’t know. I sort of don’t take things too seriously. And I think it’s like, especially when you’re shooting ads, I really like shooting funny ads. Often people book me to shoot funny things and they end up not being funny because they kind of see the funny, but then they rein it back in and they end up getting, like, mildly amusing. But, yeah, for me, there’s a lot of serious stuff out in the world. I think it’s nice to do fun things and sort of like when I go into a photo shoot at the beginning of the morning, sounds a bit weird, but I sort of always try and remind myself, like, this should be fun because sometimes it can get quite serious. There are clients’ deadlines, and there’s all these moving parts. I’m not saying I’ve hit this every time, but I had a job last year that got really stressful at one point just because it was not going well. But normally I try, and this should be fun. That’s like my kind of go to thing that I try and remind myself. And it is fun. I did a shoot yesterday, actually, which was really random. I was actually the subject. Yeah. Although I sort of like my ideas and I end up lighting a lot of it. But, yeah, I needed some pictures of myself for. I’ve got a new agent coming soon and they wanted some pictures, so my girlfriend very kindly agreed to photograph me for it. And so, we collaborated on it and it was really fun. We just sort of went to the studio. I had some loose ideas and had some lighting in the studio, and she added in lots of great things and it was a really fun day. It sorts of reminded me that photography is really fun. Not that I’d forgotten, but it’s nice to have it.

Marcus: Yeah, definitely. Now, if I can press you a little bit further than this. Joe, you say when you start off, you’re starting off photography. You did graphics. Did you not study photography?

Joe:  I sort of started off studying graphic design and I was like, as a national diploma, sort of sort of the equivalent of a level, I guess. And I was more interested in being a designer. And then I sort of did photography as a sort of side hobby, which sort of came off the back from when I used to skate. And so, I started off making, like, skate films in my sort of teenage, early teenage years and then sort of got a camera off my dad. Classic story. And then sort of was doing photography as a bit of a side. And then I sort of suddenly sort of realized that I was enjoying photography more. So, I sort of studied photography at uni, but then I was sort of working more as a graphic designer, freelance, and then moved to London, started assisting. And that’s where I sort of really started moving more into photography. And the graphic design sort of slowly fell by the wayside and, yeah, sort of worked with some quite inspirational people who sort of had quite a lot of effect on me.

Sam: We can kind of pop them in the show notes for people to check out.

Joe:  I suppose. I was thinking about this before, actually. There’s like two people who have been very instrumental in my career. There’s like a guy called Mark Denton, who’s an art director and director. We started working together, maybe I think we met around 2010 and sort of started working together more properly because I met him when I was an assistant and anyone who doesn’t know Mark should check his work out. He’s a genius. And, yeah, he’s had a big impact on me. And he sorts of really, I think, pre working with him, I sort of was much more focused on the aesthetics and the kind of look of a thing. And he sorts of really hammered into me this sort of idea that the idea is key. And, yeah, I’ve learned a lot of him over the years. There are a couple other people. So, there’s someone who used to rep me called Amanda. She’s been very instrumental in my career and very grateful for her. She’s sort of like helped me more with the business side of things and sort of getting work in. And although she doesn’t rep me anymore, just because that’s not what she’s doing, we still work together, we’re still friends. And then, yeah, there’s photographers that assisted, like, I assisted Julia Fullet and batten for quite a while. And anyone who knows her, like, working with her really kind of pushed my lighting. And there were a few other people. Yeah, I don’t need to go through names, but there’s a few other people that assisted. That sort of really kind of helped me on my way.

Marcus:  Gosh, that’s quite an interesting transition there. The way you’re sort of describing is if you’re almost learning on the job, I’m sure you weren’t, but.

Joe: No, absolutely. I know maybe this is the more classic model of an assistant, but for me, yeah, it was very much a learning thing. I mean, obviously I like making money, too, and that helped. But, yeah, I was quite lucky in that when I was an assistant, I was sort of a digi operator, and I sort of specialized in the leaf camera system, which is a bit defunct now. But a lot of American photographers use leaf. So, I quite often worked with lots of random American photographers that were shooting over in the UK. So, I sort of worked with all these different people. It’s the one thing I actually miss the most about assisting. Probably don’t want to ratle on too hard about assisting this, but it’s just the seeing other people work is fascinating. I hire my studio out sporadically, and one of the things I enjoy the most about it is sort of sitting in my office and low key observing what’s going on. I just find it fascinating because everyone works so differently and I think you can always pick up things from everyone. There are always little tidbits here and there.

Marcus: Oh, I totally agree with you. I mean, I started off assisting as well, and I still, on every shoot, I go back to the stuff that I learned from when I was assisting. I really think it is very underrated. People just want to get right into just in the marketing or whatever these days. But assisting is just so useful.

Joe: Yeah, definitely. I mean, I remember Julia. Anyone knows her work, she uses a lot of lighting, and I definitely learned a lot from that. I remember going to this, we did this farmer job out in America, and we had like, I think we had 20 packs and heads, and the local American crew were like, this is ridiculous. We’ve never seen anything like it. And me and John, her first assistant, because I was a digi, we were like, trust me, we’re going to run out of heads. We did on every shot. She was like, I need another light. There were these big scenes, but, yeah, I learned so much from that. It’s not how I like now, but it definitely has influenced me to a certain extent.

Marcus: She’s got that very crude, Gregory, crude aesthetic or feel work.

Joe: Yeah, no, definitely. Yeah. She uses gone.

Sam: Sorry, I was just looking at your work as well. You can kind of see it’s the graphic design coming through. There’s a lot of design. There’s a lot of thought gone into each shot, isn’t it? They’re very vibrant. They’re not just. There’s some pretty countryside and a person in it. They’re very designed. And you can see that graphic design side coming through.

Joe: Yeah, I mean, that’s actually one of the things I think a lot of people don’t realize is that everything is planned down to a t, and there’s always room for experimentation on the day. But I always like having a really solid plan. It was almost like every detail is considered. If there’s, like, a prop in the background, I’ll have thought about it when I do see the rise of the document for a shoot, which is actually quite good in some ways. Every detail would be mapped out, which is kind of the norm for advertising these days. But also, I totally find it very useful because it makes you think about things. I mean, the only thing is, sometimes it could be a little bit too prescriptive. As I said yesterday, going into a studio, knowing I’ve got a bunch of random props left over from jobs and a bunch of lighting and just seeing what happens, having a few loose ideas is actually really exciting, creative, and sometimes that’s missed a little bit. And actually, there’s one particular client that I’ve shopped for a long time, and they sort of trust me, and it. I give them a bunch of ideas; I get a bunch of props. But what’s really great about them is they’re not like, we have to do this. So, if I get there on the day and I go, do you know what? This actually isn’t working. Do you mind if we rejig this or come suddenly, can I do this unusual thing? They’re quite open to it, and I think that is a little bit of a dying trait, because I think everyone wants to kind of almost know exactly what they’re getting before they go into the shoot, of which it makes sense. They’re spending lots of money, and reshoots cost money and stuff like that. So, I get it. But it sometimes does SAP a little bit of the on-the-spot creativity out of it.

Marcus: Yeah, I hear you. I was always quite surprised when you get the brief from the advertised company and it would be a photograph exactly of what they were going to get. And it’s like, well, you’ve already got it.

Joe: Yeah, a few times I’ve been sent renders for shots, and I’m like, I mean, it kind of looks all right to me.

Marcus: exactly. So be it. Yeah, but so be. So, I started first noticing your work, Joe, when you did your football project. So maybe you could tell our listeners a little bit more about what that involved.

Joe: Yeah, absolutely. That was a long project. So actually, that’s something I did with Mark Denton, who I talked about earlier. And me and Mark were pitching on a job, I think, circa 2016, and Mark had done some sketches, some layouts for it, and I think I can say it’s for. It was for Yorkie. And the idea was a man draw. And so that kind of draw that everyone’s got in their house, which is full of random bits and pieces. And one of the things he drew that might have been in the drawer was a comedy football card. And then Mark, being Mark, had then gone away and drawn eight comedy football cards. And then the job never happened. And Mark always prints stuff out on his wall. So, whenever you go around his office, he’s always got various, like, it’s always an interesting place to look at because he’s always like, oh, you want to shoot this? And it’s like some random drawing he’s done. And anyway, these football cars just sat on the wall. And we kept looking because at that point, I wasn’t living in London, I was traveling down to London. So, I’d often sort of camp out at Mark’s office to do a bit of work. And we kept looking at these cars. These are really good, we should do. We started. We started shooting them and the sort of idea evolved a little bit. So, I think we ended up doing six days over a couple of years, because obviously it’s a whole zine. We created 30 portraits, plus a bunch of. There’s a couple we didn’t use, plus there’s a bunch of other random shots that we created. Like, obviously, Mark designed the football bat, the football teams, and then we had these badges woven. The craft that went into that project saying, yeah, it nearly broke me at the end, because I’ll talk about the preshoot stuff first, because the post production is a story in its own right to get the look that we achieved but the one thing on that is obviously the casting is everyone’s like, oh, did you manipulate these photos? It’s like, no, these are like, this is just. I love casting. It’s one of my favorite bits of the job.

Marcus:  Yeah, I can tell that.

Joe: Yeah. And I am a bit of an obsessive at points and so is mark. And we just. I mean, we must have gone. I’m not exaggerating. We must have looked at 5000 people for that. I exhausted every model agency, extras agency over the course of. We paid a couple of people, do some casting for us, plus we did our own casting. And obviously this was over a couple of years, so it’s spread out. Plus, we found people that we know. There are a few friends in there, just anyone that sort of looks like they could have been good. Obviously, there’s a picture of me in there.

Marcus: Which is brilliant. I love that one. It’s very good. Every start you’ve got there.

Joe: Yeah, exactly. And so, yeah, the sort of whole pre-production process was just exhaustive. And then when we shot it was really interesting, actually, because obviously when you look at the original photo card, this is the thing. If you look at original football cards from the 70s, they are ridiculous. And you think these people can’t exist. And they’ve all done quite crudely. Every shot that I did when we were actually shooting it, I’d use a different lighting set up. I’d just often just sort of do things that weren’t right. Kind of like, oh, just overlight it, do this and just sort of roll with it. Because I wanted each one to feel slightly different. If I had to recreate some of those pictures, I’d probably struggle to remember what I did because each one was different. And then a few last ones, there’s a couple where I’ve just put like a two K Fresno up, but others I’ve just done sort of weird, convoluted things. And I’ve also like the backgrounds of the football stadiums. We actually printed them out as massive sort of backdrops and put them behind. So just lots of different techniques that we use. And so, it just sort of rattled along. And then I think that we did the last shoot, Feb 2020. Obviously, we all know what happened then. I have to be honest though, because the post production on this is insane. And I have to say, without Covid, I don’t know how I would have done it. I mean, I spent two months straight retouching every day on this. And they’re not actually that over retouched. It’s just a lot of. Because all the shots have got wigs on. And so inevitably, with wigs, there’s, like, bits. Because one of the things we did, and we used a hairstylist called Anna Longaretti. And she’s an amazing hairstylist. She’s actually retired now. She sorts of semi come out of retirement for that. And she sort of basically uses these super cheap wigs, which you should not use for a photo shoot. They are not of sufficient quality, but they are also ridiculous. So, they require. She’s quite talented and she makes it look good. But obviously there’s bits where the wigs falling apart or there’s, like, the webbing showing through. Because these are just like cheap wigs she’s acquired over the years that are not of the right standard. But they are. If you see the photos project. Yeah, you see why we use them. So, there’s quite a lot of cleanups on the wigs was required, which is exceptionally time consuming. But then also we wanted them to have this sort of vintage feel and kind of of the era feel. So we retouched them all and then we printed them all out as rizographs. I don’t know if you ever heard of a rizograph. It’s a terrible printer from the 80s. Quite trendy in the art world. And it doesn’t really do CNYK. You just kind of load in plates that are loosely in the. And each. Each print that comes off the rizograph is slightly out of registration. And so, one is slightly individual.

Marcus:  Okay, nice.

Joe: So, you get all this weird registration stuff. So, we researched them all. Then obviously, there’s all the design that went into the cards, which mark and a couple of other people did. And then we printed them all out as rizzographs. Then we scanned them all back in. And then the rizograph process is exceptionally strong. So, what we ended up doing is ended up getting the original files and it was just end up aligning them. So that was that process. And then other bits of the process were like, there’s a spread where we’ve got eight cards, so we ended up printing all those out as business cards, sticking them to this piece so that this spread exists in reality. So, sticking them to a fake sort of spread from a football sticker book and then refotographing it, and then obviously you’ve lost a bit of quality on that. So then retouch the pictures back in. So, you can see that the process was extreme.

Marcus:  But I think the point that really needs to be hammered home here, Joe, that was for a personal project, you weren’t commissioned to do that. That is something you spent all that time and effort on, something that you really believed in.

Joe: Yeah, exactly. And I thought it was fun and we enjoyed. Mean, the hours that went into that were not commercially. Yeah, I have had a few.

Marcus: In the end it was, though. But in the end it was commercially viable for you, Joe, because that started your career off, didn’t it? Yeah, well, not started it, but that certainly helped your career.

Joe: Yeah, definitely. And you know what I mean, it cost quite a lot of money, this whole thing. But you know what, I ended up getting a job for the Qatar World cup, like an advertising commission, and I’m pretty sure it’s from the footballers and that paid for it. I don’t think people should believe this story, because it is always this kind of classic story, like, oh, you do a personal project, someone sees it, you get commissioned to shoot it. Jobs are good. I always believe that. You just don’t know what’s going to happen from things. Mark and I did another project. The project we did before the footballers, which we did around 2016, was this. They did these parodies of a Trechikov painting. We just did it for a laugh. So, there’s a friend of ours, Kate, who’s a graphic designer, she’s Chinese. There’s this famous picture by Treachcock called Chinese Girl.

Marcus: Yes, I know what you mean. The blue skinned one, the 70s painting. Yes.

Joe: So, Kate needed a business card. We said, let’s shoot this picture of you. Before we know it. We’ve obviously got in super hard on it and ended up doing what we did, but that had no goal and we ended up being. It was in the Royal Academy, it’s on tv. Paloma faves got a copy of it on her wall and various other people have bought it and that was just literally done for a laugh.

Marcus: It was a great parody of a really famous 70s painting. Well, I used to see it in flats in London in the 90s. Everybody had it on their wall. It was in the Camden that was like, do we go? If I just might move on to a little bit. And I do appreciate Sam, I am taking over a little bit here.

Sam: Well, I’ve had one quick thing just to finish that off. Mark, I think what came across to me there is detail. I’m getting the impression you have an incredible focus on detail. Amount of detail you’ve gone to there in every part, at every stage. Is that something that really drives you along? That really. You got to have every part right to the nth degree?

Joe: Yeah. I’m not saying it’s always a good quality because it sometimes takes quite a time. But, yeah, I am very detail orientated and I think it is a good quality to have. But sometimes I go a little bit too far. Like, sometimes I do need reining in. But I think it’s also really important. I mean, sometimes when I’m doing things I do often on commercial jobs, I’m sort of working with people and I sort of find it bizarre that they’ve not considered the details, but that is just how my brain works. I think it’s really important. It probably shows in my work. It’s an important part of the process for me is that to think about all the details. And I think it’s probably why people like using me, is that’s the thing. If I do a job, no matter what the job is, it’s like it’s 110%. I don’t really know how to do a half job. It’s like either I say no or I say yes, and you get all of me. I have been taught, advised that I should rate. People are like, oh, it’s not as well a paid job. You should just do a half job. And how can you do that?

Marcus:  I just don’t know how to do.

Joe:  I don’t know how.

Marcus: So I was just going to say, you’ve got such a strong style, and that strong style has enabled you to move out into different genres of photography in that you don’t just photograph people now. You photograph food, you photograph still life, you photograph lots of different things, which in the marketing world is not seen as the right thing to do, but you do it. And the reason you get away with it, if I might say Joe, is because it’s so strong. You can look at each of your photographs and you can say, yeah, this is definitely a joke. Jacques met photograph.

Joe:  Yeah, no, I really appreciate you saying that. Yeah. To be honest, I’ve sort of dabbled in lots of areas all over my life. And for a long time I had this bizarrely eclectic portfolio. It just didn’t really work together. And then I think sort of around 2017, I think I started to get enough work. I could edit it down and make something that even though it’s like food or still life or like travel or this, I’m going to actually say that travel. I’ve got a bunch of travel stuff that I’ve got that’s not shown anywhere. I don’t know how to put it into my portfolio. Looks like it’s been shot by a different person. It’s very nicely done, but, yeah, I don’t know. For me, I guess whenever there’s a brief comes in or an idea for something, I just sort of research it. For me, it’s all the same process, whether I’m taking a photo or making a video. I’ve never designed a chair, but I’m sure it’d be the same thing. It’s just sort of like, I don’t know, I just think about it and then I put a hat on, pretend I’m that person who might be good at designing chairs or making videos or what have you, and just sort of think about what’s the best possible way of doing it. I actually really enjoy shooting lots of things. I don’t know, sometimes because I do shoot quite a lot of food or not so much recently, but I have done a lot in recent years, and I have done some quite long food shoots, which have been like three or four weeks. And by the end of that, I am sort of craving a kind of like, more kind of involved, creative shoot. But then I do the more involved, creative shoots. I’m like, oh, do you know what I really want? Like a nice, chill, still live shoot.

Marcus:  Yeah. It’s great that you’re able to in a position where you can choose that, what genre to work in. May I ask, do you rep yourself? Do you find the work yourself? Or are you got an agent? How does that work with you, Joe?

Joe:  Yeah, I mean, there’s lots of different. Classically, I got signed by quite a well known agent around 2010, and then I had six years of poverty, no work, and then I got with a different agent, and then that kind of things started moving. And in the last couple of years, I’ve actually been self repping. And the reason I’ve done that is that only in the UK, like, I still have an agent in America and the EU. But, yeah, I just sort of found it was working well for me. But I can’t really say who it is right now because until I’m on their website, I don’t want to announce something, but it’s pretty much a given deal. But I’ve just sort of signed with a new agent. And the reason I think self repping can work, but I think it requires a lot of contacts. And it’s one thing to bear in mind is that I do not have some bank of contacts. I moved to London as a 20 year old, knowing no one. And all these people I know in advertising and all that, they’re just people I’ve met along the way. It’s not like there’s some family contacts or XYZ.

Sam: It’s just photographers coming up, isn’t it, that, yeah, you can just come in and just get in there, meet people, and you can do it. You don’t need to come in with that background.

Joe: No. Obviously, as I previously alluded to, believe it or not, at the end of 2015, I kind of gave up photography because I got to 30. I think it was 30. Like I said, I’ve been signed to an age for five years. I was absolutely broke. And I was like, I can’t do this anymore. And then I sort of gave up for about a month. I had other plans, which I had other plans, I’m not going to lie, which were creative. And then I ended up getting a campaign in for three m, and then that just sort of started snowballing it. But I got to the point where I was like, I think my profit for one year was like eight grand or something. I can’t do this anymore. I was doing all sorts of random stuff just to make money. I was driving for FedEx at one point, and various bits and pieces. No, but in that period, that’s one thing to bear in mind. It’s not always the sunny story that social media alludes to, but in that period where I was not getting a lot of work, a lot of people, and I was also contacting a lot of junior creatives, and that sort of panned out long term because they then sort of became more senior creatives. There’s a creative team that I sort of met when they were sort of starting their career, and then six years later, they gave me my first directing gig for McDonald’s. Yeah. And that’s because they knew and I’d done a photo shoot for them, and they sort of knew that I could do it. So I just, yeah, just met. I just contacted lots of people and also talk about, I mean, this is a tip for marketing for people, because I get sporadic emails from people saying they want to work with me, but they’ve clearly not looked at my work. And like, do you know what? If you’re going to get in touch with someone, literally just take a four second look at their website, pick a random project, tell them you like it. Obviously, if you got time or you’re interested, look at more. But just that cursory bit of just shows that you’ve not copy and pasted it. Go like, oh, you know that thing you did for x? That was great. Or, I love the colors in blah. It literally takes all of, like, maybe not 4 seconds, maybe like a couple of minutes at tops if you’re really in a rush. But, yeah, I just did that with lots of people. I just got in touch with loads of people. And obviously there’s contacts that I met while I was an assistant. There was like, art directors that I’d met while I was an assistant. I sort of stayed in touch with them. Not stepping on the photographer’s toes. It wasn’t like I was working for photography at the time. Yeah. And obviously, like the guy I mentioned before, Mark, obviously we’ve met in 2010 when I was an assistant, we just loosely stayed in touch. I showed him work and then around 2016, he was like, oh, do you want to do this? Or maybe. Yeah, I think it’s 2015. Yeah. And there’s just all these. I just nurtured lots of contacts over a long time. And I have to say, actually, one of the reasons why I’ve been going recently, getting an agent is that where I’ve been quite busy, I’ve kind of neglected my marketing and I think that’s kept me rolling for a while. But I do feel like I kind of want to push up to a sort of level above what I’m doing now. And I think I need someone to help me with that.

Sam: That’s interesting, because we have just done a show about consistency in marketing, saying just that. Yeah, I mean, I’ve not done any marketing since.

Joe: Yeah, exactly. I mean, I’ve not sent out, apart from the footballers, which I sent out in 2020, I’ve not sent out anything other than stuff on social media. And I’ve not really done any actual emailing or seeing people since about 2018. But that’s just because I’ve been really busy, which is great.

Marcus:  You’re busy, Joe, you’re busy, of course, yeah.

Joe: But it wasn’t like that for a long time. And this is the thing, like I said, I don’t know, things have been good since 20 18, 20 16, 20 17 was like, okay, this might be working, but yeah, 2015 was dark in terms of work. I was not doing well and I was just like carrying on, making things and doing what I could and pottering along. But yeah, I felt like I was just like banging my head against this, trying to please someone. Look at my work. It’s actually not that bad and no one was giving me any work.

Sam:  But it paid off in the end. Right? We are. Joe, it has been amazing speaking to you, but we are running out of time. It’s been a fantastic conversation. We could be here another 3 hours. We do have to finish at some stage, so yes, thank you so much for your time. Thank you so much for being with us. We’ll put all of Joe’s contact details in the show notes so you can go and have a look at his work. And we’ll put also links to all the people he’s referenced and stuff like that in the show notes. As always, there will be for the newsletter readers a little extra bonus bit of content from Joe. So, if you are already subscribed to the newsletter, that will come in your inbox very shortly. If you are not, get on the shoot to the top website and subscribe now. And if you subscribe a bit later, miss it, then if you ask nicely, we’ll send it on to you. So yeah, don’t forget, you can go to the website for past episodes, you can go to the Facebook group and we’ve got lots of guests and other photographers there. And yes, Joe, again, amazing. Thank you so much.

Joe: Thanks for having us. It’s been lovely chatting.

Sam:  Amazing. And Marcus, see you next week.

Marcus:  See you next week. And thank you for myself, Joe as well.

Joe: Brilliant.