Paul Kurzeja - Creative Director, Redwood
What does your job role entail day to day?
Creative direction across the all aspects of the business with a focus on new business, digital innovation and the maintenance a highly creative culture.
Your career history is diverse, from Wallpaper magazine to Dennis Publishing and Emap. How has this influenced how you work now?
I’ve learned that inspiration, innovation, collaboration, quality and chemistry are all key to success... I try to apply these to whatever I am working on.
How do you work effectively across such a large, diverse subject range of magazines?
Apply the above five principles to any subject in any channel - print or digital.
Is there a difference between the use of photography in customer magazines compared to consumer magazines?
Essentially no, in both cases the photography should visually convey the brand, whether in Vogue or Volvo magazine. In reality, within customer publishing there are often more stakeholders involved in the decision making process around image choice, its strategic purpose and therefore its use.
You’ve presented seminars on magazine cover design – what are the essentials of a good cover image?
Great cover images should instantly capture the heart, soul and spirit of the brand - people react to covers emotionally before rationalizing an action (purchase or pickup).
What are the most important elements of design and photography in customer publishing?
As above - but consistently throughout the magazine (or digital channel) - customer publishing is about creating connections between a brand and customer that leads to action or a deeper relationship between them.
How should photographers approach you with their work?
Every picture tells a story... send an image, then follow up with an email.
What makes a portfolio stand out to you?
Images that show a unique way of looking at the world, a way of making the 'ordinary’ look extraordinary and that can capture a moment forever.
How do you choose the right photographer for the job?
Attitude, photographic style, intelligence and chemistry.
What are the most common mistakes photographers make when trying to get commissioned?
Not understanding or considering the position of the person commissioning .
What are your top tips for photographers trying to get commissioned?
Be yourself, love your work, be curious, have a vision and be able to articulate what your images will bring to the party.
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