By John Sharpe
Every day, 3-4 photographers or other artists write us interested in joining our roster. We do our best to review and respond to all. Rarely though, does it go past that. Why? There are many reasons, but we’ve culled them down to the 10 we feel are most important, and want to share them along with some of the imagery from our current roster that got us interested.
Zachary Scott, circa 2002ish
1. Work that is inspiring, relevant to our clients and well presented.
Are we moved? Will our clients be moved? Is this something our clients need? Is the artist’s portfolio, and website ready for “prime time”, or if not, how much work will be involved to get them there?
2. Work that fills a need within our roster.
Is it too close to another of our artists’ work, raising the possibility of conflicts? Or, is it too far outside of our world to work for our clients? (See #1 above). Does it bring something to the party that will open up new opportunities?
Eva Kolenko, circa 2004ish
3. An exhibited drive, passion and enthusiasm.
Commercial photography can be very challenging, exhausting and deflating at times. Does this person have what it will take to persevere?
4. Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
Now, more than ever, clients require written communication (ie: treatments) from photographers, and those who don’t write well are at a distinct disadvantage. How well does this person communicate? Do they give “good phone”? Are they comfortable (& nice) to be around?
Chris Turner, 2011
5. A willingness for and interest in a collaborative relationship.
A good rep-artist relationship takes a commitment from both sides and works best when each is supporting the other. Does this person look at us as “hired hands”, or as an equally important and collaborative partner?
6. Mutual trust and respect.
Like all successful relationships, mutual trust and respect are the cornerstones upon which ours will grow. Without them, it won’t last.
Electric Art, circa 2011
7. Realistic expectations.
We are not magicians, and cannot make anyone buy our artists’ services. We can expose the work to people we feel are relevant and help fine tune its presentation as much as possible to apply to the market’s needs. Is this person’s expectations in line with what we can deliver?
8. Willingness and ability to invest in marketing & promotion.
Building awareness in today’s crowded marketplace takes more than the available free platforms (email, social media), and we require our roster to participate in the print materials we develop to support our sales efforts. Is this person going to be able to fund the minimum necessary, and how willing are they to go about it?
9. Demonstrated grasp of the importance of and strong presence on social media platforms.
While we do still use traditional means of connecting with our clients, photographers who do not have an on-going and active social media presence to complement our own put us both at a disadvantage. Does this person embrace social media and have they made it part of their professional lifestyle?
10. Business and personal goals that align with our own.
We are acting as a face for our artists’ business and want our business persona to align with theirs as much as possible. Common goals provide a basis for keeping us both on the right track and a means of measuring our progress during the journey.