Q&A: Lauren Gonzalez, Head of Production at Coveteur on Industry Changes and Hiring Image Makers

September 8, 2017

By Ian Spanier

© Coveteur / Jake Rosenberg

© Coveteur / Jake Rosenberg

© Coveteur / Jake Rosenberg

© Coveteur / Jake Rosenberg

© Coveteur / Jake Rosenberg

Fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazine Coveteur (@coveteur) is a brand that leads with photography first. After all, it’s co-founder, Jake Rosenberg, is also the company’s main photographer, and much of the company’s success is thanks to his collaboration with Director of Production, Lauren Gonzalez (@GonzalezLauren).

Photoserve photographer Ian Spanier had a chance to talk with Lauren about the experiences at Coveteur and how the company’s collaborative environment is a model of success for other companies to consider.

Ian Spanier: What’s the creative process for you? How are ideas formulated and what’s your process as far as finding the photographers you are working with?

Lauren Gonzalez: The creative process is super collaborative here at Coveteur. Every idea is custom tailored to our clients, and our sales and marketing teams work closely with our editorial team to make sure everything that goes on our site is true to our voice and brand identity. All teams play a part in bringing creative concepts to life. It’s my job to hear everyone out–the marketer, creative director, sellers, client, etc. to make sure everyone’s needs are being addressed all while making sure the final concept is executed within budget.

Our co-founder and creative director, Jake Rosenberg (@jakerosenberg) shoots the majority of our custom content so having his ear and his presence in the office is an amazing advantage. He’s involved in the creative process and sees concepts through to execution right alongside me. It’s quite a unique situation to have full-time access to your photographer, but being able to work so closely has allowed us to really find our groove so that our sets always run smoothly. It’s a very, “we’re all in this together” kind of attitude in the office and on set, which as a producer makes me feel super supported.

IS: What are some of the challenges of your job?

LG: Anytime you’re working with multiple clients at the same time who all have different objectives and fast approaching deadlines, it’s a challenge. In a perfect (and boring in my honest opinion) world, I’d be working on a single project for months at a time, but it’s a digital world and everyone wants everything ASAP.

At Coveteur we pride ourselves on being nimble and being able to turn projects around quickly. I often find I have less than a month to produce and turn around final assets for, say, a three-part video series all during which I also have an additional four to five photo shoots to produce from beginning to end. I’ll be honest and admit there are some days that I want to pull my hair out, but for the most part, I love it. Every day is different and every challenge is new. You’re always using your brain in different ways to creatively problem solve and in my opinion, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a creative concept come to life–it’s my favorite thing about my job.

IS: How do you find the photographers you work with? What are some of the ways you find new photographers?

LG: In addition to having full-time photographers on staff, we also have an amazing group of freelance photographers we work with. Some of them come recommend to us by different people in the industry, others reach out directly and some we find on social media.

IS: If you could sum it up, how has the business changed in your time working in it, and what would you like to see change going forward?

LG: Social media, primarily Instagram, has changed the way we do everything. From discovering talent and photographers to scouting locations, it’s kind of crazy!

Our Creative Director, Senior Manager of branded and editorial content and myself are always DMing each other cool and interesting things we come across on Instagram. That just wasn’t a thing a few years ago. You have so much information and inspiration at your fingertips, more than you sometimes know what to do with.

There are also so many different mediums to produce content for. If you had told me ten years ago that I would be producing social media-only content, I would have laughed. Now I’m working to create assets that will only live for 24 hours. It blows my mind the way social media has changed the game and how many opportunities it has created.

I think it’s great that social media keeps us on our toes and I hope that continues to happen. I think it forces brands to keep things fresh, to constantly innovate and to really listen to what the consumer wants. I’m all for it and can’t wait to see what the next few years bring.