I can spend all day moving two matchsticks around and shooting them… I like to experiment and play around.
The best way an art director gets the best out of a photographer is to help guide him in the correct direction.
Most photographs are taken either for an editorial purpose or a commercially to sell a product or idea. The art director has generally worked on the project before the photographer and hence know more of the details that need to be considered.
The best art directors encourage the photographer to look at new ways of exploring the subject and experiment in different directions.
Unfortunately nowadays the budgets and time are so restrictive that most photography consists of trying to produce an image that has already been agreed and accepted by the client.
Today with the introduction of email the client is sometimes sent an image for their approval, which effectively turns the client into some form of surrogate art director. This did not happen when photographs were taken on film.
As Truman Capote wrote about Alexey Brodovitch:
“All those who ever had the privilege of his guidance discover new ways of seeing produce something original.”