My Independent Project took place at Theo Wenner Studio in New York. Theo Wenner Studio is a photography studio specialized in still and moving image. The assignments mainly include high fashion photography, consisting editorials, advertising, campaigns, portraiture, look books and music videos. Above that the studio is producing different book and zine projects. The studio has also been working the early pre-production for movie production.
The perspective of my Independent Project was to study leadership and project management in photography production, understand the meaning of self-management in a position of a leader of the production and see all of this with an international perspective.
I was working in a position of Production Coordinator. My job was to continue supporting the studio manager in leading and managing the photo production process. My position enabled me to see leadership of large-scale photography production close by and gave me understanding about different methods of project management and leadership in United States.
New York is a true melting pot, as it is known to be. The creative industry is not comparable to any other city I’ve ever been into. The creative sector feels extremely powerful and there is a foothold for every small business. Americans, especially New Yorkers, are very used to working in multicultural atmosphere. Finns and Americans share many common traits in the working culture. Both countries believe that we are created equal and that is mirrored to the workplaces. It is very easy to catch the extroverted culture very fast: what is easier than talking about yourself, both in business and pleasure?
My conclusion of the project was that there are multiple levels of management roles. The more there are hierarchies in the industry, the more there are management and leadership levels. Nearly every party have their agents to manage the work flow, which gives the massive photography industry its stru
cture. All the industries where there are plenty of different types of agencies, requires also special expertise. Especially in the expertise work, a lot of self-management skills are needed. In that field it is crucial to understand how self-directed team is to be led.
I strongly recommend everyone to take a risk, throw themselves into the deep end and seek work place from abroad. During my year in New York I have learned managing photographic projects from inception to completion. I consider myself leaving from Finland as a production student and coming back home as a professional producer. That is the shortest way to describe my year in Theo Wenner Studio.