Creativity & Collaboration: How a Campaign Comes to Life

How does an award-winning commercial campaign come to life? In troubled times a client wants to illustrate the diversity, authenticity and true nature of a great country. To execute it well takes a lot of talent, collaboration, organization and of course, great ideas.

Creativity & Collaboration: How a Campaign Comes to Life

Featuring: Aidan Sullivan,
Gillian Laub, Lauren Steel

Presented by

Photoshelter’s Luminance


Friday, September 15 | 4:00PM – 4:45PM
Location: St. Ann’s Warehouse – 45 Water St DUMBO Brooklyn


How does an award-winning commercial campaign come to life? In troubled times a client wants to illustrate the diversity, authenticity and true nature of a great country. To execute it well takes a lot of talent, collaboration, organization and of course, great ideas. Panelists Aidan Sullivan, CEO of Verbatim; Lauren Steel, Visual Director of Verbatim; and filmmaker and photographer Gillian Laub will discuss how they worked together to produce powerful, award- winning content with integrity, plus how the creative process evolved from start to finish.


Aidan Sullivan started his career as a staff photographer for a local newspaper in the U.K.

He then freelanced as a news photographer in Fleet St., traveling extensively to cover stories, events and conflicts in Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, India and Pakistan, among others. From there, Aidan became the Director of Photography at The Sunday Times of London and The Sunday Times Magazine.

During that time, Aidan also cofounded, a leading distributor of high-resolution publicity materials for major entertainment companies. Getty Images acquired in 2004. In 2005, Aidan moved to New York and became Vice President of Photo Assignment for Getty Images, managing editorial and commercial assignments via Orchard and Global Assignment. In 2009, he created the new Reportage division, which attracted a number of internationally renowned award-winning photojournalists, and is now considered one of the leading sources of documentary photography.

In 2013, with the rapid decline in editorial budgets, Sullivan focused on the rapidly expanding CSR market, which led to his decision to launch Verbatim, a new and unique agency representing internationally renowned photojournalists and videographers who are not only highly experienced in photojournalism, but also adept at commercial and advertising photography. Collectively, they have been assigned by all of the major publications globally, received every prestigious editorial industry award, and have worked with many of the world’s leading Brands, NGOs and Foundations.

Gillian Laub is a photographer and filmmaker based in New York. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in comparative literature before studying photography at the International Center of Photography, where her love of visual storytelling and family narratives began. Laub’s first monograph, “Testimony” (Aperture, 2007), began as a response to the media coverage during the second intifada in the Middle East, and a desire to create a dialogue between apparent enemies. This work is comprised of portraits and testimonies from Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, Lebanese, and Palestinians all directly and indirectly affected by the complicated geopolitical context in which they lived.

Back in the U.S., Laub spent over a decade working in Georgia exploring issues of lingering racism in the American South. This work became “Southern Rites,” Laub’s first feature length documentary film, which she directed and produced along with musician John Legend for HBO. “Southern Rites” premiered on HBO in May 2015. Her monograph, “Southern Rites” (Damiani, 2015) and travelling exhibition by the same title came out in conjunction with the film and are being used for an educational outreach campaign in schools and institutions across the country. “Southern Rites” was named one of the best photo books of 2015 by TIME, Smithsonian, Vogue, LensCulture, and American Photo. It was also nominated for a Lucie award and Humanitas award. Laub has been interviewed on NPR, CNN, MSNBC, Good Morning America, Times Talks and numerous others. Laub contributes to many publications including TIME and The New York Times Magazine. Her work is collected and exhibited internationally. On the commercial side, Gillian has shot campaigns for brands such as PUMA, Airbnb, Fusion and ESPN.

Lauren Steel is a Founder and the Visuals Director at The Verbatim Agency focusing on introducing authentic storytellers to brands’ social impact initiatives. She works with an exclusive group of world renowned photojournalists who have won numerous awards and recognitions including World Press Photo, POYi, OPC, and The Pulitzer Prize. She has guest lectured at ICP, SVA, and Columbia. She works with the photographers on their long and short term projects, portfolios, marketing materials, archive as well as their story and grant proposals. Lauren graduated from Boston University with a bachelor of science in photojournalism. Her career started in the editorial world after college when she worked at LIFE magazine as the photo and art assistant. From there, she started doing photo research and continued to work on their special book projects including the New York Times Bestseller “One Nation.” Lauren also worked for Rolling Stone and ImageDirect before joining Getty Images. She started as an entertainment assignment editor at Getty in 2003, assigning daily coverage of entertainment events. She has been part of the Eddie Adams Workshop faculty for the last 12 years. She currently lives in Brooklyn.

Full day passes ($25) are available for purchase here.