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The Purpose of the Creative Call


Do you think the purpose of the Creative Call is to give a verbal and preliminary treatment to clients before the actual treatment?


Yes, the creative call is when we introduce our verbal treatment, noticing the back and forth reactions sparked by the hot topics clients want to discuss. We use this call to monitor how the 2-way conversation flows, giving us a more concise roadmap to our treatment.

The Final Stage of The Treatment

The final stage of the treatment is where I find it easy to add in spots, sneaking in and dropping descriptive adjectives to modify our point wherever we can use an adjective to ‘bring it home.’

Example to show AUTHENTICITY:

“We will be using natural light to bring about the real-life/pure/true/convincing feeling that these are actual people and not models.”

Bring the Client’s Branding Into the Treatment


When you say to bring the client’s branding into the treatment, do you mean their overall visual language/aesthetic or their actual branding like their logo etc?


Your treatment is all about having the client feel like you “get them.” You are what they’ve been looking for to bring their idea to life! Use every way you can to translate this; it is your opportunity to speak their language with their logo in the titles, and their colors styled aesthetically throughout.

Bring the Client’s Branding into Your Bidding

Bring the client’s BRANDING into your bidding approach as much as possible. Do your research, ask the questions, as the ultimate purpose of receiving the job is to achieve your client’s branding goals.

When we’re in the process of getting a job, there’s a lot of times where we can focus on the branding for the client. We need to make sure a lot of what we are working around is their branding because that is what’s most important to them. Do your research to find out what their brand is. Check out their website. If they don’t make it clear what the feeling/color/ tone is then ask about it and make sure you mention it in your treatment. Because that’s what they want to hear. They want to know that you’re a part of it. You’re not just a part of this one shoot, you’re part of their long term vision.

Don’t Settle With Your Treatments

The TREATMENT webinar gives us the story behind the words and visuals needed to get us the job and why we need to take this seriously. Templates need a slice of who we are in them, personalized to stand out, illuminating you are the right choice for the project. Don’t settle with your treatments; take them further; use what is revealed in this webinar to make your template YOURS!

What Goes into an Impactful TREATMENT that Gets the Job? // Navigating the Unknown Episode 16

Navigating the Unknown Episode 16 – What Goes into an Impactful TREATMENT that Gets the Job? is now live on YouTube! This week we speak to Treatment Writer Scott Rickels and Artist Rep Mary Dail from Big Leo Productions about how to create a cogent treatment. 


Scott Rickels – Treatment Writer

Mary Dail – Artis Rep, Big Leo Productions

Navigating the Unknown is a Q&A series in collaboration with APA-LA where we speak to different members of the photo community about all aspects of the commercial photography business.

With Co-Host: Photographer Hugh Kretschmer

Treatment Final Edit Checklist

Treatment Final Edit Checklist:

  1. SPELLING and GRAMMAR mistakes are more damaging than you may think. 
  2. Use every opportunity to use SPECIFIC words/concepts relating to this client and project in particular. 
  3. Consistency of the organized structure through similar placement, layouts, titles, fonts, etc., to make it easy for them to follow.

Treatments are so important. When you are bidding for a job, you should always do one. Even if you think it’s too small of a job or the client doesn’t need it. Always do a treatment. There are three things to watch out for. The first is spelling and grammar. We know it seems little, but it really stands out if you have mistakes on your treatment. You’re a director, your attention to detail is important. The second is to be specific. You’re probably working off of a template. Make sure that the general lines that describe who you are and how you shoot always include the specifics on that job. That client is wanting to hear how you will shoot their job and not just how you shoot in general. The last one is consistency. Your style and how you set up the content in your treatment should always be consistent. Don’t jump around, make sure the treatment reads smoothly. You’re giving them something that can help you get the job. Remember that. Put time into this.

The Treatment is the Second Date

Guest Post: Executive Producer, Robin Daily

“When we reach out to an artist to bid on a project, it’s the start of a relationship of sorts. We’ve been admiring their work and would like to initiate a conversation. 

The Creative Call is the “first date”.
The Treatment is the second one. 

The treatment tells us whether the artist heard us, but equally as important, how it resonates with them, now that they’ve heard our thoughts and vision for the project. It’s feedback to that “first date”. It should never be just a regurgitation of what we said. It should be how they would take our starting point and build on it.”

Treatments are important. It can get you the job. We just lost a job because we didn’t do a treatment. I asked the client why? The winning photographer was chosen because their treatment was so fabulous and it reconfirmed what they heard on the creative call. They need to know you’re as professional as you sound. Because you might sound professional on the phone but they need to know you are the person they heard on that call.

Don’t Hold Back

My sixth-grade art teacher Ms Johnson said, “if someone copies your idea, that means you had a really good idea.”

The same goes for treatments.

Don’t hold back because the only way your idea won’t be used by others is if you never get the job.

There is a lot of apprehension from putting your secret ideas into your treatments because you may think the client may steal it and use it with someone else. That’s really not how it works. A client is going to hire a photographer based on their treatment and of other things. You might inspire them. But even if you share your idea and then they use that idea on another shoot with another photographer, what are we going to do? We can’t stop them. You have to give all of yourself to the treatment: every idea you have, the locations, the whole production, the schedule, and how you would make it all happen. If you don’t share all of your ideas you’re not really showing who you are and you probably won’t get the job.

Make the Treament Yours

Treatments are the opportunity to share a sampling of the Director you will be set in a very well designed, well written PDF. 

Reiterate what you heard on the Creative Call through a mood board of images and topics explaining your lighting, color and tone, location samples, talent, wardrobe styles, post work, etc. 

Make it yours, who you are as a director and how you envision this project with all the specific areas that create the look + feel you will be creating. 

Treatments are such a big topic. They are what will help you get the job or lose the job. The client wants to know that you understand from the mood board and their creative call what is their concern. What are some potential problems that you can solve. Listen to what the potential issues are on their side and what the challenges are and what you can bring to the table. Let them know you’re going to deliver a smooth shoot and get them what they need.