The Iconic Imagery of Adam FreedmanJul 25, 2022
Photographer schmootographer. Adam Freedman isn’t the same; his brand has morphed into something extraordinarily enticing. Call him a visual designer, image artist, visual producer, visual artist, image creative, or visual imaginary. Conceptionalist?
Whatever you label Adam Freedman, an award-winning commercial lifestyle/resort photographer, producer, and artistic director, he’s in high demand!
Adam excels with images that jump from the page, reflecting an exciting array of talent, vision, logistics, and art. And brands love him. Why not–he delivers life from product line imagery, making brands highly desirable, immersible, relatable, and wanted. Incredible.
Simply, he’s so much more than a mere commercial photographer.
Adam Freedman says a typical photo says, “hi,” but he’s striving to say, “H E L L O!”
Adam orchestrates shoots resembling the complexities and intricacies of a Hollywood set, and nothing happens by accident. He walks in, ready to go and sure of it. He and his team pre-check and recheck to make sure executing the schedule is seamless. They test and prepare. In advance.
Adam’s transfixed attention to detail is nearly OCD, but he’s always thinking big picture while at the same time considering trivial things like whether there’s enough drinking water for the models and crew.
He talks about the “energy” on a shoot and understands how important it is to keep every part of the team at peak performance, further illustrating his utter awareness of every aspect he needs to align to create excellence in his art. Adam synchronizes, coordinates, maps, and conceptualizes each detail in his plan.
What he envisions becomes what he conceptualizes becomes what he strategizes and builds out piece by piece. Usually, he collaborates with a core team of pros who assist in areas ranging from setting up lighting/set designs to hair and makeup to videographers and b-roll photographers on location.
Setting the Scene
The long-time study of lighting and using it to create spectacular images by design truly inspires him. But, Adam’s obsession with lighting manipulation comes from 18 years of teaching photography and the experience of continuous learning in the process.
Largely, he finds everything about lighting intriguing, inspiring, and useful.
Combined with the other elements of art and composition, lighting power multiplies for breathtaking results. Adam’s talent and insight always invite him to stretch further, keeping him on a mission to discover more and take his work higher.
But, to Adam, his best photo is the one he hasn’t yet taken. His race to create more and more powerful imagery in his work is a gift to his clients and the world at large.
Adam firmly believes two things, 1- “You have to control your set. Take your time. Get things set up correctly. Then take your shot.” And 2- “You don’t want to show up unprepared.” To prove he means it, he tells stories of practice, practice, practice, and even so far as to take friends as stand-ins while pre-shooting an entire upcoming booking for practice, and to test his plan ahead of time. To me, this attitude spells dedication and is the grit that propels some people higher.
Although he realizes there are always issues and complications at any turn–no matter how prepared you are–Adam explains how your job is to make the client happy and to solve whatever problems arise. All in stride. Cool as a cucumber. Unflappable.
He jokes, “I’m a duck on a pond. I’m really calm on the outside, but those little feet are moving a thousand miles an hour under the surface.”
Give the Customer What They Want
The bottom line, Adam reminds, is you MUST make it work no matter what you encounter! “You can’t publish an excuse,” he notes as a core message. However, that’s not to say he isn’t interested in delivering beyond what a client expects. It’s the story, the background, the environment, and the theme that excites Adam.
Clients pay money for locations for a reason, so location and context mean everything he says. Plus, he strives to exude movement in his stills. Yet, everything is planned.
A sense of motion adds to the story and heightens attention, helping pull you into the photo, and into the lifestyle. Envisioning yourself there. Step right in!
Creating this kind of iconic imagery is all in a day’s work for Adam. But he labors meticulously for it, setting high expectations for himself while making viewers the ultimate winners.
Detailing every highlight, every shadow, every shimmer, texture, and shine is purposefully created and captured, corner-to-corner, in the frame. In the images, however, these planned touches are woven seamlessly, so well-constructed or subtle that their impact merely whispers within the photo.
Make no mistake; it’s all by design for Adam. Aside from “happy mistakes,” as he and Lee laugh about during the interview.
The thing is, happy mistakes happen when you have vision, experiment, and push limits. Happy mistakes come from experience, problem-solving, and resilience. And they come from forward-thinking artistry.
To help you create happy mistakes with outstanding results Adam gets, listen to him and Lee talk shop in this first part of PMA’s latest interview. Adam’s philosophy aligns perfectly with what Lee mentors, but he’s spilling secrets and real-world techniques every five minutes!
Secrets From the Set
- Learn how to create a look of sunlight on the skin with (safe) hairspray
- Find out about using Motivated Light to illuminate textures, feel, and shape
- Understand how gels can help you “trick” the lighting
- Feel inspired to use lighting in natural light for surprising results
- Get the scoop on the latest tactics to help “feed the beast” and delight clients
- Discover how to deliver hero shots clients crave and how to improve on them
- Borrow the wrist sundial Adam uses to determine your directional light source
If these don’t excite and entice you to go check out Lee and Adam’s enlightening conversation about shooting commercial photography for big brands quite yet, just wait til part 2 is LIVE!
Because in it, Adam gives you a step-by-step guide to becoming a commercial photographer, and how to get hired for higher-profile projects with the higher budgets that come with them. Want to know the difference between a seven hundred dollars a day and a five thousand dollars a day model?
Tune in to Lee’s Photo Mentor TV YouTube channel interview with Adam Freedman, Part 2, coming out July 26th, and find out. See you there?
To learn more about Adam Freedman and his work, follow him in Instagram at @adamfreedmanphotos.