I am a photographer that is currently signed to an agency, the contract is nearing completion, and they have asked if I want to renew the contract. Another agency has expressed interest in signing me at the same time. Is it possible to be signed to multiple agencies as a photographer/director?
No absolute rule on this, but it isn’t something I recommend for a commercial advertising photographer/director. Other industries may work like this, but clients in our world would be confused. Our goal is to have our clients know, think of, and contact us. If we offer too many contact associations, we may create more of a branding identity mishap vs. a sharp, concise system to register in their memory.
Where do creative directors, art buyers etc. look for new talent? I would appreciate any advice I can get.
The business of photography depends on who sees our images; we have to find every potential method to put ourselves out there. Depending on the type of photographer you are, we have some really good options these days like Komyoon, Workbook, At-Edge, Blvd, Behance, PhotoPolitic, LeBook, Production Paradise, Found and Wonderful Machine. They all have a different vibe, go through them and see where you fit best. I suggest asking clients you want to work with where they look for new talent. After you give one of these a try, you can SEO your website and use Google Analytics to see where the traffic is coming in. It’s a timely process with no easy answer, but if you pay attention to your analytics, you can see what works for you.
I wonder if you have any insight on “collaboration.” I reach out to brands to collaborate and they perceive that I want to create content with them for free. Maybe my approach needs to be retooled or the word “collaboration” means “free.” Any help would be appreciated.
“Collaboration” has become synonymous with “free” in the Instagram age, so utilizing an alternative to that word will probably be a good start. If you do reach out to agencies and clients, know that they are not used to having ideas given to them, so your collaboration could come more in a discussion. I’d suggest DM’ing the creative director or art director or designer to start sharing your passion for your idea. If you have good ideas, I’m sure they want to hear them. Make it a discussion vs a collaboration. Request a Zoom chat once you have a conversation on DM started.
Keep your business moving forward as clients are looking at us to set the trends. Stay hot, fresh, and relevant – here is a helpful tool to get your ideas out of your mind to make sense of the plan you need to put into action ASAP.
Your topic can be “GROWING FORWARD,” write it on a piece of paper, circle it in the middle of a page, and set it free!
How do you recognize a good rep? What are the signs of an agency that genuinely wants to speak in your best interests?
I’m going to answer this question in a big way since it’s such a significant decision. A “good rep” for you may not be the right rep for another photographer. You have some work to do before you jump into anything.
What support qualities would help you grow and shine? What type of people resonate with you, what size rep agency feels really right for you?
After checking out rep’s sites + social media, which have the look/feel/brand that your work fits with? Do you prefer a small or larger rep agency and is their location significant to your type of clients? Does the rep you are interested in charge a fee? Some reps do your production and billing which may or may not work for you. What are the terms of the rep’s contract? Do you already have house accounts that could benefit from a reps support or do you need a rep to agree with not taking a commission (or a lower commission) on those for a certain amount of time? Know your terms and requirements which can help you choose a rep.
The most important factor in your search is to know your own questions to ask reps and then truly listen to their responses.
And most of all, do you like who they are? Do they have a good reputation with clients and other photographers?
In literal terms, you want someone who will REPRESENT who you are. If all of this feels right, then I’d think they genuinely will be speaking in your best interests.