OPEN Spotlight Series – Will Bowman

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So for this month’s edition of the Spotlight Series, we’ve spoken to our Photography & Design Executive, Will Bowman about his new role and the switch from sales to creative.


What do you do at OPEN?


I am OPEN’s Photography and Design Executive. This is a brand new role within our company and it is essentially split into two parts.

Photography involves going out 2/3 days a week, photographing all the new campaigns across our digital screens. This is called proof of play (PoP). We send the photos to our clients to show them that their campaigns have gone live when they should.

On the other hand, Design is a lot less rigid. It can range from planning and designing nationwide OOH campaigns, with over 500 pieces of individual creative copy, to designing the company Christmas card. It can be quite stressful at times – one misplaced bauble and I’m out of a job.



How did you find the transition from sales to design and photography?

“Other photographers/designers think that OOH is their ally? They merely adopted OOH. I was born in it, molded by it.”

When I made the transition from sales to photography and design, I had no idea how to photograph or design. I had zero experience in either of those things. I probably wasn’t the best candidate.

However, 3+ years experience in OOH sales definitely helped a lot. I’d seen thousands of photos and designs and had a pretty good idea of what things look like when they are done right. In some ways, it was an advantage to start from the ground up. I’ve been looking at everything through the eyes of an OOH salesman, rather than a photographer.

All of this is fair and good, but ask me to photograph anything that isn’t a digital screen and I’ll burst into tears.




How are you finding being in a more creative role?

It’s amazing! I’m definitely a creative at heart. Life is great and I embrace each day with a smile on my face. When you enjoy doing something, self-improvement is no longer a chore. Any bad days, problems, failures, are just building blocks for a better long-term future.

All of this is great, except my girlfriend thinks I’m starting to sound like one of those motivational LinkedIn gurus. And she certainly doesn’t like it when my new HITT routine wakes her up at 4:30 every morning.

I promise I’m not a motivational LinkedIn guru, though. I’m just a photographer/designer, and here’s five reasons why…




How important do you think offering POP images is for client delight?

I think we all underestimated the power of our PoP images before our photography was done in house. In-housing has brought a whole new level of consistency to all aspects of our photography. By now, we’d like to think that top quality PoP is a USP of ours. Our clients’ clients seem to love it and the feedback has been great.


Because PoP isn’t just proof of delivery – it’s literally the only way we can show our clients how brilliant our screens are, and how fantastic their brands look on them.


It is especially important to us, though. Because to many, we’re relatively new on the OOH scene. We have everything to prove. Our service is high quality LED in absolute prime locations – real premium stuff – but not everybody knows that. And without evidence, people could assume otherwise.

Trust is something that we are constantly having to earn, and when PoP is often quite literally the only evidence a client will get of our service, I’d say it’s pretty important!



What is your favourite part of your new role?

We have a great bunch of people at OPEN, and one of my favourite things is that I’ve been able to work alongside every single person within this role. Whereas in sales, I was quite isolated from marketing, for instance, Photography and Design has allowed me collaborate with everyone at some point. I’ve loved that.



What are you most looking forward to working on at OPEN this year?

Pride, in a few weeks! We’re running a month long campaign to celebrate all things LGBTQ+, and the design brief I got given this time was to ‘make it look like a rainbow has thrown up all over it’. I reckon I’ve nailed the brief already. Whether or not the designs will be any good – that’s a different question.


More long term, OPEN’s growth is and always has been exciting. We survived the crippling hand of Covid and have resumed adding more and more sites. Naturally, there is more and more work, and once it all becomes too much for me to handle on my own, I’d love to take on another team member and expand this new department. That would be awesome, so I’m definitely excited to see where the rest of the year takes us.