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Reps

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.

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.

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.

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.

Is There a Database of Reps Sorted by Speciality?

Q:

Is there a database or list of reps out there sorted by spaces they specialize in?

A:

The best database list for reps I have seen is on Workbook.com, but their industry specialty can be found by looking up the top photographers in that market to see who reps them.

Do Reps Take A Cut Of Usage Fees?

Q:

Do reps take a cut of usage fees? If so, is there a standard amount?

A:

Yes, traditional reps are paid a commission of all fees based on your time and image value. Our commission (normally 25% or 30%) is for all photography fees, including usage, prep, travel, day rates, creative fees, shot fees, and sometimes post-work.

“A La Carte” Reps

Q:

Can you explain more “a la carte” reps and what are some valuable a la carte options which should be avoided?

A:

A LA CARTE reps, which I call Temp Repping has become a norm in our industry, where you could get an agent, consultant, or producer to jump in and represent you when bidding on a job. Being repped on a bid can help get you the job by advising strategy, reassuring the client with their clout, and getting you more money. Bidding on a job can be a lot on your own, so hopefully, you find the right person/company who represents the positives of who you are instead of bringing in a negative experience. 

Meeting With A Rep

Q:

A rep recently reached out to me for a meeting. Any advice on how to approach it? Things I should look for? What should I ask or not share? 

A:

The more rep meetings you can take, the better, as it will give you a feel for how different we all are personally and financially. My golden rule is that whoever the rep is with you is most likely who they are with clients. You need to like this rep as they represent who you are; they are your voice and brand. Do your research -do their clients match your portfolio and social media, and how will you fit in with the branding of their roster? Questions to ask – do they charge/how much, how would they go about marketing you, which clients do they see you working with, etc?

Finding A Rep

Q:

How exactly do I find a Rep? I’ve had several of them reach out to me over the years but didn’t hear anything back after replying to them. I want to take my career to the next level and I feel like I need some kind of representation to do that. Is there anything you could recommend I do or is there someone you recommend I reach out to?

A:

My general assessment of your described situation is that you are close, but your images or presentation need refinement to get you to that next level. Get feedback from clients and trusted consultants on how to perfect your portfolios (website + IG). If reps are in touch with you, you are near ready to be repped.