What Is Photo Art Directing?

Written by paul cartmell
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Art directors work in numerous fields related to photography, including advertising, print media, fashion and TV and film production.

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An art director working on a photo shoot is responsible for virtually everything that happens in front of and behind the camera, including the choice of photographer, models, location and props.


In advertising, the art director is often responsible for the entire project, from development to the finished product. An art director is a part of the creative team that develops an advertisement.

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In the creation of a print ad using a photograph, the art director works on a rough computer layout before the photo shoot that displays the copy size, font and color. The art director also creates an initial rough version of what the photo will look like.


The creative team working on a photo is led by the art director in an area called the bullpen, where every aspect of the photograph is controlled, including any final touch-ups that may be needed.


There is no set educational pathway for an art director, but art directors usually have graphic design and marketing skills.

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