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Monday Q+A

The Standard “Book” For Representation

What is considered a standard “book” for somebody seeking representation…

Is it a website? A physical book? Something else?

The standard book question does not have an absolute answer, but it is good to have a website, an active Instagram presence, and a printed book. An iPad can be your portfolio, although printed books are the hot item.

The Secret To Being A Successful Creative

What is the secret to being successful as a creative?

It is to be open to listening instead of being so busy with everything you already know. 

The Key To An Amazing Creative Call

What is the key to having an amazing creative call? What will make you stand out above the other photographers running for that job?

The Creative Call is usually the primary place you will win or lose the job you are bidding on. “Communication Mirroring” is a way to make the other feel heard. Creatives want to know you hear their concepts and will achieve their goals with your technical tools. It’s that simple. Show them who you will be on set by speaking up with your ideas.

Pros And Cons of Being Represented

What would you say are the pros and cons of being represented?

While some photographers don’t need or want a rep as they feel they can handle it better on their own, I of course believe that us REPS can be the all-encompassing teammate elevating the photographer’s brand. The key to this is to have the RIGHT REP, as we are all different in our approach and which clients we focus on. Instagram and other platforms make it easier for photographers to build their brand, so it depends if you have the qualities to do it better yourself.

Is It Important For A Photographer To Assist?

Do you think it’s important for a photographer to spend time assisting professional photographers before launching their own career? And if so, what kind of photographer should someone assist?

This really depends on the photographer and what they need to learn. Some photographers never assist and end up wildly successful. However, assisting can be extremely informative and build your confidence. If a photographer needs to learn what an editorial or commercial advertising job is like, then they can assist any type of photographer in that market. If they need to learn more about the technicalities of cars or people projects, then they should assist a photographer who does that kind of work. Figure out what you need to learn and assist in that. Or jump right in to build your own education. There is no absolute right answer here. 

A-La-Carte Rep Commision

Q:

How do I find an a-la-carte rep (e.g., I imagine not every rep offers these services), and is there a ballpark of how much commission they’d need to make to rep you for said job? I imagine a job where the photographer makes $ 1,000 wouldn’t qualify.

A:

Most reps do “a-la-carte” repping; others, like consultants, producers, and Wonderful Machine, do this for a commission or hourly rate. A $1,000 fee does not sound worth “a-la-carte repping” for anyone, including you unless this client carries a long-term high value for your branding.

Does A Rep Evaluate A Certain Project Is Right For A Certain Photographer?

Does a rep evaluate whether a certain project is actually RIGHT for that photographer’s aesthetic before agreeing to bid on that project?

Yes, reps help shape the work that may be helpful (or not) to a photographer’s career. Reps are the managerial presence to keep the focus on track. I’ve seen time wasted and directions sway by taking on off-path time-consuming projects. Consultants are also a good source of these short-term or long-term considerations; photographers should carefully readjust with focal goals.

Work Exchange For Experience and Portfolio Work

Q:

I have been working with a start-up fashion magazine, and the chief editor agreed for me to photograph her arranged fashion shoots for experience and portfolio work. However, the problem is that when I turn in my edited photos to her, she often retouches them over my finished edits. She then posts this and tags me in the photos. I hate this and don’t know how to get her to stop.

A:

I’ve heard all types of photographers get upset about this topic where clients change the final retouched images. In my business, we cannot control clients from retouching images as they like. We may demand that we do the retouching in-house, but all of this must be agreed upon before the job estimate is approved. We can control whether we grant permission for the client to tag the photographer’s name or not.

Can A Photographer Be Represented By More Than One Rep?

Can a photographer be represented by more than one rep, in different locations?

Reasons photographers may want more than one rep:

  1. Think of reps/agents as “market-focused,” as we have our brand clients, and if you have two types of careers happening, you may want a rep covering a different market focus.
  2. Reps can offer full-time or temp-rep style representation where you can get to know many reps and how we work.
  3. Location can affect your rep choices depending on whether your type of work is region-focused.

Shooting Tests With Models As A Trade Deal

Q:

In building my portfolio, I test often with many models as a trade deal. The problem with this is when I send the model the raw images, they ask for all of them. I don’t want my name associated with all the images, so how can I set this boundary to only share the best images? 

A:

All photographers – make every term on your test or job estimate form clearly agreed upon BEFORE the job begins.

Term topics to cover:

1. A certain amount of final images to be shared.

2. Retouched/finished images are to be used only and cannot be edited in use.

3. Usage rights permitted for the model and photographer need to be clearly stated and agreed upon in an official talent release form.

4. Payment to models must occur on the same shoot day.

4. Copyright is the photographer’s, and the photographer must agree upon any other usage by the model in perpetuity.