The Brief: Commercial & Advertising Photography Workshop With Toby Burrows

An intense day of shooting and discussion at the Toby Burrows workshop in Sydney, led to awesome images. Check them out here!

The Sydney workshop on the 23rd of April began with Toby Burrows asking the participants what it means to be a commercial & advertising photographer. Participants learnt about Toby’s photographic journey, from working in the UK and finding photography as a form of expression, to establishing himself as one of the industry’s leading commercial photographers. Toby also talks about how he balances his desire and need to produce artistic based work along side this.

Toby Burrows, highly renowned commercial photographer in the advertising photography industry, delivered a unique experience to participants that they certainly won’t forget! Recognised through numerous awards such as Cannes, New York Festival Gold, World Press Award, Toby offered a truly exceptional experience for participants to learn from one of the best

Toby offered expert advice to participants on the ‘ins and outs’ of the photographic industry. Toby spoke at depth about putting a great deal of emphasise on creating "The Team" within a shoot scenario and ensuring the photographer is aware of and can acknowledge the role the Art Director plays in constructing the brief and ultimately the photo shoot concept. Toby also said that being able to fulfil a brief from both a stills and motion perspective is a crucial component to adopt in changing commercial & advertising photographic industry.

He encouraged participants to think about the ‘triangle’ when assessing whether a commercial job is viable as a photographer; e.g. does the job fulfil financial needs, creative needs or personal needs. If at least two of these components can be fulfilled then Toby considers it to be an ideal project to pursue. 

Toby also described how he normally works with the team that surround the photo shoot – this included the agency, the director, the client and his assistant crew. He then moved onto interpreting the brief and pitching to clients. 

"Having the opportunity to collaborate with others and develop ideas in commercial photography is a challenging and rewarding process."

The afternoon session continued with attendees participating in a hands-on dynamic shoot involving a wooden boat, rope, a fisherman and lots of water! In addition to practical photographic composition tips, participants also received valuable technical tips on shooting and lighting as well as post-processing work.

Check out the amazing images below that Toby captured during the afternoon shooting session. These images were all processed in camera!

Images (c) Scott Stramyk