At BFA, the new fashion priorities for content creation

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A global leader in event photography, videography and social media services, headquartered in New York and Los Angeles, BFA was founded by photographer Billy Farrell, along with photographers Joe Schildhorn, David X Prutting and Neil Rasmus, in 2010.

Throughout its existence, the image agency has constantly adapted its offer to meet the needs of the industry and the demands of a varied and prestigious clientele. Quick to respond to the demand for new forms of content, BFA offers social media support and videography to complement existing images, as well as product shots for e-commerce and custom visual effects (VFX ).

In addition to its roster of New York fashion brands, BFA establishes significant partnerships with adjacent fashion companies including Instagram, CFDA and The New York Times. Other long-standing partnerships range from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum to the Standard Hotels, the New York Public Library and The Armory Show.

While the current climate presents considerable operational constraints, BFA has re-evaluated its offer to ensure the continuity of creative production, albeit redesigned. The agency was quick to pivot in 2020 to facilitate packages and pricing architecture for a new menu of content solutions to ensure that its clients’ creative output remains constant within the new restricted global settings. This provided the opportunity to showcase its content capabilities to existing and new customers.

Now BoF sits down with VP Business Development Stephanie Ketty to understand how BFA has evolved in scope and strategy, the importance of innovation in creative content, and the benefits of collaboration. creative.

What content offering was most effective during the pandemic?

What people are responding to now is settling for a clear goal, whether it’s a combination of stills, videos, or experiential projects. Quickly, we learned that scheduled content that resonated before Covid-19 no longer has as much of an impact. Content should be goal oriented.

Video and multimedia offerings have proven to be the most important to our customers. However, what has proven to be very popular is the ability to customize various types of content. We discuss the specific challenges with each brand and organize a specific content calendar that will include the types of content that are most useful to reach consumers. This has allowed us to diversify and cultivate relationships within the brands we work with. At BFA.com, we also saw a lot of interest in our 10-year archive. Everyone from publishers and brands to documentaries has licensed our photos to meet content needs on the web, print, social media and beyond.

With the new constraints in mind, we have developed an accessible, Instagram-focused license for customers who want to download and post photos entirely from their iPhone. We’ve actually found it to be a great time to work hand-in-hand with editors and content teams, laying the groundwork for broader partnerships after Covid once things get better.

How can brands use smartphones to create content while staying true to premium positioning?

We’ve worked closely with Apple on the best practices for using the tools available with each new iPhone release, and our team has leveraged this information on iPhone-specific projects ranging from BMW to Frieze London to a remotely produced social media series featuring Don Julio and the Lanvin behind-the-scenes video shoot.

The key is always the creator behind the lens.

It’s amazing how much smartphone camera technology has evolved over the years. The quality of photos and videos that smartphones can produce almost rivals those taken with DSLR and HD cameras, and the available editing apps allow for faster turnaround time.

However, the key remains the creator behind the lens. It’s important for brands to work with the right designers when using smartphones. Their unique perspectives, skills and techniques will ensure that the content always looks high, while also standing out from the average smartphone user.

How can brands create content that can replace in-person events?

By amplifying the content so that the whole experience tells a story in a cohesive and cohesive way. It’s an opportunity to create something that aligns with the brand’s goals and that truly resonates with its consumers while also having the potential to reach a much wider audience. Whether through a beautiful film, a digital gala or even a more digestible reissue of a round table to make it appealing to the audience.

At BFA we want to help brands create multiple moments, as we start to incorporate these types of activations into long term planning, it was important for brands to build and host their own platforms. Digital content has proven to be a tool that facilitates customer engagement, so we expect it to continue to be a relevant aspect even as we bring back events in person.

How had BFA’s creative offering evolved before the pandemic?

We have evolved and grown over the past ten years alongside our clients. We meet with them frequently to make sure we understand their goals and strategies. As a result, we worked with new media to create content, outside of the normal event scene. We were already collaborating with our talented team of photographers and videographers to integrate their creative contribution and skills into our offering and develop profitable and adaptable workflows that would meet the growing need for content across multiple social media platforms, e-commerce platforms. and paying. media.

What have been the biggest changes in BFA’s business model following Covid-19?

Before the pandemic, we were focused on expanding the market. For the past two years, I have traveled to Europe quarterly and have worked closely with our operations team to ensure we have the capacity to expand our service offering internationally, especially in Paris, London and Milan.

We want to help brands get more value from their content.

Our business model was reshaped the moment Covid-19 hit, with in-person events vanishing overnight. Our larger customer base was still trying to figure out what the weeks or months would look like. The first challenge we had was to speed up the “non-event” type photography offer on which we were already working. We saw this as an opportunity to expand our relationships and bring value to teams who needed alternatives to events.

How did you develop new content verticals?

At the start of the pandemic, we probably made more than 400 customer calls. They needed content to reach their consumer base and they needed to make sure it was done in a consistent, professional and, most importantly, safe manner. For us, that meant helping them create content that would help keep customers engaged in the first few months and eventually scale to meet their needs for store reopening, video projects, or even reflection on experiences. that we could help produce.

Which element of content creation will BFA favor in the medium term?

Developing our geographic network with content teams remains a goal, especially with limited travel, it’s just another way to help brands tell their story. In the last quarter alone, we’ve worked with contacts in Houston, Denver, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Aspen, and Chicago mainly because brands are focused on reopening their stores and having to safely showcase their opening. Being able to use the BFA service globally and regionally is something our customers can always count on.

We look forward to developing small footprint, in-person productions that follow all of Covid-19’s guidelines and safety precautions, which will allow us to create these traditional pieces that remain meaningful.

This is a sponsored feature paid for by BFA as part of a BoF partnership.

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Jenny T. Curlee