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Sean Arbabi

Digital Production leader | Photography specialist






San Francisco Bay Area, California USA


Photography, Digital Production, Photo Studio leadership,  Creative Ops, Content Creation, Creative Strategy and Process

Resumé | CV

I bring high-level photographic expertise with deep experience in photo production and creative ops. As a proven leader who successfully drives growth, I’ve produced thousands of projects, standardized numerous critical processes, balanced budgets while creating savings, assisted systems and software integration, improved work environments, and assembled teams for various campaigns. I’ve enjoyed piecing the intricate digital production puzzle together. Whether on-location or in the studio, I help team members and crew succeed in their roles while improving quality, efficiency, moral, work environment, managing budgets, lead times and process with a focus on OKRs and KPIs.

Regarding photography, I possess a unique skill set. As a commercial shooter at the highest level, I can decipher every part of a photograph, from exposure to dynamic range, intricate lighting to the ingredients necessary for creating an impactful message. Through editing and retouching hundreds of thousands of shots, I possess a keen eye for detail, gesture, mood, and composition when choosing top selects. As a photo studio leader and senior photo producer, I manage all aspects of photo shoots booking talent and crews, leading updates and improvements of style and lighting guides, handling contracts and invoicing while creating budget savings, recognizing the importance of organization and thorough project management. I work with on-figure fashion, product stills, and editorial shoots understanding tailoring, styling, and set building. Overseeing post-production for major brands like Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Teen, and Men’s Wearhouse, I can identify the capabilities of retouching, whether for print or digital, while uniforming image quality and consistency for customer experience. To be a successful Dir of Photography, Photo Studio Director, or Senior Photo Producer, you need this level of expertise, a clear vision, and a collaborative nature to ensure a major brand's direction of photography.

My managerial style is solution-based, inclusive, innovative, kind, genuine and decisive. I'm pro-active, self-driven, organized, and efficient. A down-to-earth people person who enjoys collaborating with or leading a team, inspiring colleagues and crews, while making the work environment rewarding and productive.

I’m interested in working with a company championing my skill set, mirroring all I've worked on throughout my career. If your company is in need of a studio production leader or consultant, we may be a perfect fit to build a great team or turn your current team into a smooth running engine of happiness.


December 2022 - Current


Photo Studio/Digital Production Consultant | Senior Photography Producer


From directing photo shoots to opening photo studios, with a strong skill set in creative ops, I’ve enjoyed piecing the intricate digital production puzzle together, helping teams succeed in their roles while improving quality, efficiency, lead times, budgets, overhead, OKRs and KPIs, metrics, moral and work environment.  



Photography, Digital Production, Digital and Photographic Workflows, Art Direction, Creative Operations, Project Management, Leadership, KPI Driven Performance Improvement and Metrics Management, Creative Services Operational, Optimization, Staffing Strategy.



Having worked with major brands such as Pottery Barn and Men's Wearhouse, I lead and consult in digital and print production for high volume eCommerce photo studios. I've directed crews, managed teams, produced studio and on-location shoots, defined roles and responsibilities, delegated tasks, and improved industry standard processes for digital workflows. With great results our teams save millions in annual budgets.

August 2021 - November 2022

WILLIAMS-SONOMA | POTTERY BARN, San Francisco | Richmond, CA

Post-Production Mgr: Assets, Color, Print | Pottery Barn Kids - Pottery Barn Teen



Overseeing all post-production imagery and retouching for digital and print, editorial and eCommerce, to produce high-quality final assets while delivering accurate and consistent product color-matching for PB Kids, PB Teen, including collabs with Disney, Harry Potter, NFL, NBA, Lego, Hello Kitty, and Star Wars.



Strategically partnering with Digital Production, Creative, Photo Studio, Digital Asset Management, Merchants, and Product Developers to oversee project timelines, style and lighting guides, production workflow, and supply chain efficiency. Supporting photography, editing, merch tracking, retouching, and digital asset management. 


Maintaining, forecasting, balancing, and maximizing quarterly/ annual budgets. Managing quarterly attestation for Digital Production and Photo Studio team system access.



Fine-tuned processes throughout production to maximize budgets, reduce lead times, increase quality, update KPIs, reduce customer returns, and improve overall efficiency for 16K+ assets annually

March 2017 - April 2022


Photo Studio Director | Senior Photo Producer | Men’s Wearhouse, Jos A Bank



Directing all operations for a multi-bay shared-services Photo Studio for various eCommerce and editorial based shoots for multiple brands: Mens Wearhouse, Jos A Bank, K&G, including collabs for Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and Kenneth Cole.



Managing and hiring a team of 15 employees and 50+ freelance photographers, models, producers, stylists, digital artists, tailors, and assistants.  


Maintaining and forecasting a multi-million-dollar annual budget (freelance, on-call, full-time payroll). Photo Studio purchase requirements. tracking costs, analytics, KPIs for studio production.


Strategically partnering with Merchants, Brand, Creative, Site Merch, Digital Asset Management, Engineering, Legal, Human Resources, to oversee project timelines, style | lighting guides, production workflow, and supply chain efficiency; supporting photography, merchandise tracking, and post-production.

Producer/Project manager of all E-commerce Stills and Fashion photo shoots



A 94% production increase with just a 19% cost increase in four years. Increase in moral, efficiency,  process, image quality. Discovered various layers of inefficiencies through product procurement and E-commerce processes, Merchants to Site, Creative to Studio.

July 1991 - March 2017


Commercial Photographer | Author | Producer | Art Director



Produced hundreds of assignments creating photography and licensing imagery for various uses worldwide. Led crews in on-location, including models, stylists, assistants, art directors, and clients, photographing on-location in the US and internationally. Involved in pre-production planning and post-production preparation of all jobs.



Grew a professional photography business from scratch into a successful well-known industry name, hundreds of assignments with major clients, published worldwide.



Published with and completed assignments for numerous major clients worldwide (300 magazines,200 companies):  Amazon, American Express, California Tourism, Discovery, ESPN, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, National Geographic, The New York Times, The North Face, Nikon, Random House, Sunset, Timex, The Travel Channel, Vogue.


Photo editing and managing a million+ image stock collection from worldwide locations. 


Authored and photographed numerous articles (Petersen's Photographic, Outdoor Photographer, Shutterbug) and two how-to books for Random House | Amphoto: The BetterPhoto Guide to Exposure (2009), The Complete Guide to Nature Photography (2011). 


Led live and online photo workshops: Multi-media digital presentations with field photo sessions.

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