AWARDS CURATOR 2019 INTERVIEW: Kristie Girvan
14 December 2018
Next up in our series of interviews with our Awards Curators is Kristie Girvan: Head of Production, The Corner. Read on to find out about what inspires Kristie and what she feels makes for an award winning image.
Tell us about your role at The Corner London.
The Corner has been my home away from home for the last five and a half years. I started off as a producer / in-house photographer. These days you’ll find me doing a mixture of the following.
- Assessing incoming briefs and pitches, assigning producers - including myself - and creatives.
- Keeping close to the production team - whether it be giving a second opinion on budgets and timings, suggesting artists and production partners, or being available to support and trouble shoot. I think The Corner’s integrated production team was one of the first in London - I say this because even 5.5 years on, a truly integrated creative producer who can deliver across broadcast, print, online, social, digital and experiential is still hard to find. So, I’m lucky to have a very capable, but also fun and collaborative team.
- Meeting with director, photographer and illustrator reps, post houses, music companies.
- Nurturing and growing our in-house production department, Busk.
Outside of production, I lead a team which runs The Corner’s social channels. Each platform has its value and nuances, but Instagram is my baby - I consider it a nouveau dark art and I won’t rest until I’ve perfected it! It’s been a challenge to get it looking cohesive and pleasing, given the variety of work we showcase, whilst also retaining the personality of the agency. But, I think we are getting there.
I’m passionate about all things eco, so I give an annual agency talk - educating, motivating and making change for good. This year, switching the agency to glass milk bottles was a highlight.
I’m also on the culture club, tasked with making sure happiness levels are maintained.. Mostly through food and drink! I’m often making playlists and QC’ing what’s on Sonos.. And I will still pick up a camera if someone asks nicely.
How is commissioning changing for photography?
The way we can find and connect with artists now is much more fluid. Whilst the ritual of portfolio viewing is wonderful and important, there is something satisfying about scrolling through Instagram at midnight and finding someone you know is perfect for a brief.
For any artist, the piece of the pie is smaller now, due to the digital democratisation of creative tools. And in a time of bottomless content consumption and dwindling attention spans, clients seem to want things cheaper and faster. In saying that, some still respect the process and will find the money and give you the time - a lot of it is down to confidence, good relationships and trust. When you get that combination, it’s a happy space to be working in.
What Photographers inspire you?
Juno Calypso, Gustav Almestål, Alice Moitié, Elsa Bleda, Hart+Lëshkina, Eliot Lee Hazel, Todd Hido, René Burri, Harri Peccinotti, Nan Goldin.
As curator for the Still Life & Object Category of The Photography Awards, what in your opinion makes for a winning image?
I love the how the way light falls on something, changes everything.
When an image draws you in, removing the fact you are separated both in time and distance, but also leaves a sense of intrigue... “What was happening leading up to this exact moment?”. The absence of humans can deepen this. Ultimate wonderment.