Typically, in the advertising process, clients come to James with the layout and he does the estimate. "I have a conversation with the art director and explain how I'd solve their problem, and give them as many details as possible. Basically, you have to figure out the entire job because you really need to know, or at least have a fairly good idea, of where you're going. Because if these people are going to give you this job and spend all this money, they want to make sure that it's going to be the right way and you're the right person to use. It's a real communication thing."
Generally, he looks at a layout from an art director and says 'What is the ideal way to do this?' "I don't suggest an approach until I hear how they envision it. You get a lot of information from hearing that. I'm doing the photograph for someone else, so I want to make it as good as I can make a photograph every time. But, I need to be making it with another person's aesthetics in mind and their vision."
I enjoy trying to make a single image that really crystallizes what they're trying to get at. And often, they want to tell a lot of different stories. It's really a distillation process. Once we arrive at an idea, we start the execution stage, which is basically pre-production, photography, and the final stage is the digital imaging. Then I send them a disk delivered in RGB or CMYK.
Porto advertises in The Workbook, does some direct mail and gleans some work from his Web site, designed by Vesper Stamper. "I've been in business for 19 years; I'm fairly well known, but the problem is, people forget. You have to continually reinvent yourself. It's a matter of continuing to evolve. As an artist, if you rest on your laurels, you're dead in the water. It keeps you in a state of constantly striving to recreate yourself."
James Porto continually reinvents himself. And it shows. Kudos.
SUB EQUIPMENT LIST:
Hasselblad -40mm, 80mm, 150mm
Fuji - 6x8 - 125mm. 250mm, Fuji 6x9 - 65mm, Mamiya 7-43mm, 80mm, Arca Swiss 4x5mm, 150mm, 300mm, Digital: 24-85 Nikkor zoom, 80-200 Nikkor zoom
Profoto Pro 6 Pak with 3 heads, Profoto Acute 2 Pack with 2 heads. Norman and Comet strobe systems
Lexar Media 40x 512 and 1 gb size compact flash cards
Mac G4 - dual gigahertz - 2 gb ram, Sony G520 monitor, Epson 1280 printer, Photoshop 7
Tenba, lightware cases, Sprint phone, police flashlight
RALPH MENNEMEYER (Advertising)
MIKE WARLOW (Entertainment work)
For more info, go to www.jamesporto.com