We had the good fortune of connecting with Eric O’Connell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eric, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
One thing that is misunderstood about our industry is what a collaborative process it is to be creative, and how much production goes into a photograph. I liken it to a popular band, or recording artist making a new recording: even the “garage band” or the artist who did it all in their ‘bedroom’ has been polished by engineers, producers, and others by the time it becomes a multi-million dollar selling song, or album. There are no shortcuts. It seems easy to take a photo. And, in and of itself, it is. Press a button; modern cameras make it look pretty good. But, to take a photo that meets a clients needs, tells a story, enhances a brand, and taps into the psyche and soul of the intended audience takes much more than pushing a button. Choices made at many levels of the production require collaboration between art directors, photo editors, communication and marketing directors, stylists, hair & makeup artists, assistants, PA’s, retouchers, producers, location scouts and many other parties involved. Like a director on a film, the photographer is responsible for making sure all of this is organized, blending together to make the most of a clients money and to produce deliverables (photos/images/video) that are expected and, hopefully, beyond their expectations.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
As Eric O’Connell Photographer, my 20+ years of experience in creating images for magazines and commercial clients, such as: Ritz-Carlton, IBM, Quicken, Monrovia Nurseries, HBO, CNN, People, Time, Forbes, Wired and many more gives me unique insight and practice solving visual problems for clients. I have always been conceptual – looking for the idea behind an image, a ‘why?’– to best tell a client’s story. Much of getting the best image is problem solving – who, what, where, why and how? I’m very good at it, and have teams who are very good at helping me realize a vision. As I’ve moved more into corporate photography, working with marketing and communication managers, that ability to conceptualize visually, problem solve, and work in teams that I have honed over the years has proved extremely useful. I, and indeed, we, at EricOConnell.com, and at CorporatePortraits.net are proud of the work we do and the support we give our clients.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’d mountain bike Sedona, and the Flagstaff area. Take day, and overnight trips to areas along the AZ/UT border, such as White Pocket. If they haven’t seen them, we’d visit Saguaro National Park. Eat at La Indita in Tucson, and have pie and perhaps a burger at Rock Springs Cafe. I also love the Painted Desert for stunning, surreal views especially at sunrise/sunset.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My marketing manager Jordyn Verzera… we’ve been creating social media posts on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn which tell a story of who I am as an artist. Her insight, rewording, and collaboration have helped me look closely at how I define myself, which helps clients feel confident and motivated.
Other: The Youtube channel primarily houses my visual anthropological work. I have a master’s degree (USC 2010) in visual anthropology. My interests lie in cultural communication and this work helps me tell deeper, meaningful stories for clients, responding to their corporate culture.