When bidding on a commercial advertising job a photographer is often asked to submit a treatment. The treatment should be a well designed PDF with a mix of imagery and writing to describe your approach to the project. 

In my 20 some years of being an agent I’ve seen a lot of different treatments, some with a design flair that expresses the personal touch of that photographer and some that feel like it could be anyone talking. The more specific you can keep a treatment to express your unique talents, the better.

The client wants to get to know you. They do this by examining your portfolio, maybe meeting you, the creative call and then the treatment. A treatment is just one more opportunity to get yourself in the door and book the job.

When a treatment has a smart design it communicates that you are not only a professional but also that your visual style is cohesive, clear and strong. A solid treatment will cover all of the production details like the talent, location, lighting and can also be a good introduction to how you and your team work together.

The more specific a photographer can get with their technical lingo, the better. As loaded as a treatment can be with info, our main goal is to make sure the treatment sounds like your unique voice as the leader you will be on the photoshoot.

Show in your treatment that you understand their concept and that you will be able to get the results the client is looking for. 

I once heard an art director, Neph Trejo say how the concept is his baby. They have been developing this idea for many months and they want to know that whoever gets the job really understands their “baby”. 

Treatments are extremely important and can get you the job you are bidding on.  In an effort to demystify this topic, I asked a variety of art producers to get the inside scoop.

Here is what I found.