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Where Do Buyers Look For Talent? If only I had the answer to...

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Where Do Buyers Look For Talent? 

If only I had the answer to this question, I’d be king.

Truth is, there are so many correct answers to this question it can make your head spin and make you go broke in the process. Buyers, like the rest of us, look everywhere, all the time.  Here are some helpful tips to get you in the right direction without breaking the bank.

Today it’s never been more complicated for photographers to get noticed. The advice I get from Art Buyers is as varied as are the choices of where to spend your marketing dollars. I don’t believe it’s about the amount you spend but rather the placement and follow-up to your numerous efforts that gets you noticed.

This bit of advice is true: if you do nothing, for sure you won’t get noticed.

Dont think… an ad in any single source book or listing on a search engine is the key to success. Social media, a platform with more imagery and verbal bullshit, that even on a good day of tweeting, posting and blogging, you still feel like you got nowhere. One single direct mail – you’re kidding right?  

Heres the key: do a piece of all of the above with consistency. Decipher what your possibilities are and work off your strengths. Avoid the mental block of “this is too big a job for one person”.

Buyers find talent from these sources:

  • Online Sources
  • Rep referrals
  • Email and Direct Mail Promotions
  • Their own bookmarks (how do you get on that list - look above)
  • Meetings & Portfolio Reviews
  • Personal Outreach
  • Social Media (if they have time and see something consistently from the artist)
  • Art Director inspirational finds (“Hey I want this guy for this campaign – how do you get on that list – look above)
  • Magazine Awards – CA, PDN, Archive, etc…

What speaks to you? What feels authentic, budget friendly and realistic to be consistent with?

Great content is a must. Your images must WOW us every time. I suggest you tell us something about your work. Think of engagement as a pillar to your marketing foundation.

Nobody likes to market. My feeling is you better come to grips with this “new reality” because it’s already the old reality. Be targeted and consistent with all your promotional efforts. Determine your audience and focus on the clients that need and understand your vision. Cut the pie narrow and go after the sweet spot.

Create a game plan that you’re comfortable with. However, you better be ready and wiling to get out of your comfort zone.

Another great resource is Rosh Sillars. Check out his blog. He gives you a framework to which you can get your head around this social media quagmire.


This blog post was written by the Director of FoundFolios, Frank Meo.

Roster Refresh: Pinkstaff PhotographersPinkstaff Photographers...

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Roster Refresh: Pinkstaff Photographers

Pinkstaff Photographers is a premier boutique agency based in New York City representing a diverse group of photographers.

Founded by Marsha Pinkstaff the agency is committed to a personalized approach that provides equal support both to the clients and to the photographers. We represent Jim HughesAaron Graubart,  JJ Sulin,  James Michelfelder + Therese Sommerseth, and Francesco Bittichesu in addition to Sasha Gulish and Mark Holthusen introduced below.

INTRODUCING SASHA GULISH

Sasha Gulish is a San Francisco-based photographer who studied documentary photography at UC Berkeley. In 2014, Gulish earned national recognition through a PDN article titled “Sasha Gulish: From a Little of Everything to Lifestyle Advertising”. Inspired by a love for family and a good laugh, her images highlight the small, overlooked moments in everyday life.  Gulish lives in Larkspur, CA with her husband and two photogenic children, Ziggy and Delilah. Currently, Gulish is preparing to launch her new website with rebranding.  

Follow her on Tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook.

Clients include ConAgra, Huggies, Land of Nod, Ogilvy & Mather, Parents Magazine, Razorfish, SC Johnson, Sephora, Similac, ULTA Beauty, YMCA and Young & Rubicam.

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INTRODUCING MARK HOLTHUSEN

Mark Holthusen is a New York-based photographer known for creating complex images that push boundaries. With a career that spans photography, motion, theater and digital innovation, Holthusen’s work contains elegant painterly imagery and graphic animations. Holthusen has been honored by Communication Arts, Graphis, American Photography, and PDN.  Raised in Reno, Nevada, it’s fitting that Holthusen’s past projects include capturing Appalachia’s demolition derbies, Nevada’s brothels, and Oaxaca’s gender-bending muxes. Last month in London he wrapped an opera featuring the Tiger Lillies; this month he shot a spread for Smith & Forge Hard Cider for the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. He is currently working on a theater production of River Bride for Oregon’s Shakespeare Festival.  

Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and his blog.

Clients include Adidas, BBDO LA, Carmichael Lynch, CDM, Chick-Fil-A, Honda, Jack’s Links, Kohler, Mekanism, Purina, Smith & Forge, Target, The Richards Group, Toyota and Zeus Jones.

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Stand Out In Front of The Creative CrowdWritten by Peter...

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Stand Out In Front of The Creative Crowd

Written by Peter Berberian, AXS Director of Brand Development

“Definition of Branding: The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.

What exactly does "branding” mean? Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.“Entrepreneur.com

Most photographers think of branding as the design of your logo or type on a website but it goes way beyond that. I sat down with a few of my photo editor friends for a conversation. We not only talked about logos and promos, we talked about the look and feel of the photography. Think about a Terry Richardson image, now think about a Mario Testino photograph. Both fashion, yet extremely different. Different sides of the same coin. You most likely wouldn’t mistake one for the other. 

Guess what? That’s branding.

Libby Petersen, feature editor at Rangefinder Magazine; "few photographers stick in my mind more than Chellise Michael and Mike Busse. They’re a husband and wife team out of Brooklyn and a breath of fresh air, creatively and personally. Always up for collaborating (and they’re absolute aces at communicating and following up), they have this contagious zest for life and curiosity to walk down new, surprising avenues of creativity, playing around with the limits of digital and film. They’ve even established a separate arena called Meet the Michaels for personal work—they’re always feeding it, always trying new things.”

For me, both the personal work and professional work look similar, muted with a limited color palette. Looking and feeling like their brand.

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James Wojick is the photographer in Amy Wolff’s head. He does really off beat stuff like putting his name on tuna cans and having his own oyster farm.

Photographs of the oysters are made into postcards and well, you get the picture. These types of promos make me angry, because they are so good.

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For Deborah Dragon, formerly deputy photo editor of a little magazine called Rolling Stone; Matt Maturin is the artist that sticks with her the most. He reads the story about the subject he is photographing and comes with his own ideas, yet is still open to outside ideas and starting points from the photo editor. Lots of photo illustration guys don’t shoot their own photos, Matt does. Below is this image (I was going to say picture, but it’s far beyond it) of Chuck Palahniuk. Look closely for the fine detail of the illustration. He’s a photographer, illustrator and also combines the two. It’s his eye for detail that makes him rise to the top.

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I asked James Pomerantz, freelance photo editor and photographer, (via email) and this is what he says:

“When I was working for the New Yorker, Emiliano Granado; This one time, with very short notice and a very young baby at home, Emiliano dropped everything, flew to Mexico with an open return date, arranged his own mule and rode into the jungle to wait for a cave explorer to surface.”

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“Another time, Emiliano spent a day documenting New Yorker writer Gary Shteyngart’s day wearing Google Glasses

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“Emiliano went above and beyond to come back with great photos. Both times, and every other, he did it without a single complaint. He plays well with others and is talented both in the studio and on the road. A rarity, he’s capable of producing both extremely heartfelt, emotional work and lighthearted, fun photography too. ”

What James is talking about is the way a photographer presents themselves. A lot of what goes into getting hired is the confidence the artist exudes at the creative meeting. Good work is just as important as you looking and acting like you can complete the job.

Oh yeah, a great logo is pretty good too.

If you want to check out more about me, here is an interview I did with the Photo Brigade podcast. If you get bored, fast forward to the end. I really get going.

Facebook me

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Roster Refresh: E+C CreativeETC Creative represents visionaries...

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Roster Refresh: E+C Creative

ETC Creative represents visionaries in photography, live action, motion animation and music. With offices in New York & Chicago, their artists collaborate with Ad Agencies, Design Firms and Corporations to create solid branding for their clients. Their resources are un-paralleled, their projects are accomplished on-target, within budget and their success is measured on creativity, high-level performance and trust. 

Jordan Lutes

Style: Lifestyle

Notable Clients: Urban Outfitters, Toyota, Lorna Jane Active, Oregon Health & Science University

Social Media: 

Instagram

Facebook

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Harold Julian

Style: Fashion/Lifestyle/Portraiture

Notable Clients: Sparkling Ice feat. Kevin Durant , Foster Grants, FCB Health for Blood Equality, Gin Lane Nyc for Adidas Women, FCB Health for Dysport, Modern Luxury Magazine, Marisol magazine Japan, The Bellevue Collection.

Current Projects to watch for: Blood Equality Campaign

Social Media: 

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

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Dad Time - A Photography ProjectThis project is both a personal...

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Dad Time - A Photography Project

This project is both a personal journey and a professional test kitchen. 

My exploration of fatherhood through portrait, reportage and conceptual imagery – is something I have been building upon for the past couple of years. The project is both a personal journey and a professional test kitchen. The problem solving skills required to work on this long-term project provide new ideas for ways of producing client work and approaching new creative challenges.

I am a stereotype of my generation: a career-driven woman who delayed motherhood until it seemed like she might be able to take a couple weeks of maternity leave without breaking the bank or saying no to some sort of career-changing opportunity. Little did I know that once I made it through the initial shock of adding motherhood to my already full plate, parenting was an unexpected joy that has become a huge source of creative inspiration.

A large part of that inspiration comes from observing the culture of parenting that surrounds me. Moms feel so much pressure to conform to a specific ideology. How long are you breast feeding? Did you have a natural birth? Are you co-sleeping, attachment parenting, making your own organic baby food? Do you plan on home schooling? Are you going to quit your job?

And yet, no one asks these questions of dads.

When we had our second son, and my husband moved more time away from helping run our business and towards caring for our two young children, I started to notice the differences between how moms and dads parent. I learned to understand and appreciate these differences. I was surrounded by boys - I was surrounded by cars, trucks and diggers. My sons did not go on playdates. They started listening to Motörhead.  

On one hand, I like to observe the way men parent: unconcerned with neatly organizing toys or keeping tiny hands out of the guacamole; unwilling to sacrifice a basketball game with his friends; unaffected by inspirational Instagram feeds or Pinterest boards. And on the other hand, I identify with the more traditionally male role as the primary earner for the family.

One image from the Dad Time series, for example, is of a dad juggling two toddlers at his desk – something I often do with my 3 and 4-year-olds in my home office when they are missing me throughout the day. As much as the project is inspiration from dads themselves, I consider many of the scenes to be self-portraiture with the dads as stand-ins for me.

Professionally, this project has been an incredible journey. My clients often want images that feel completely un-posed.  Simultaneously, there is a need to control every aspect of the production – from casting to wardrobe, location to gesture. The more I shoot for myself, the better examples I have of what kind of images I want to make. This gives me the strength to push for my preferred production style, or for the location or talent that I know will provide the best possible outcomes for my clients. That is often the biggest challenge for my commercial shoots – not being able to influence production while trying to deliver my style of imagery. Each personal shoot improves my ability to explain exactly how my photographs are made to a potential client, providing examples of specific lighting and directing approaches that will ultimately help us achieve what they need for their particular brand and story.

Through the Dad Time project, I have also gained a tremendous amount of experience working with kids of all ages. Recently, for example, we walked into a shoot where, within minutes of our arrival, the kids talked about how bored they were. We moved as quickly as we could to light an enormous space, trying to get the shoot done before the kids lost focus entirely. These experiences help me explain the need for extra pre-light time, child wranglers, or particular schedule approaches when clients suggest things that simply will not work well with a specific age group. This project is also just great critical thinking practice: I’m constantly thinking on my feet, and any time spent observing the interaction between parent and child – rather than between models – helps me direct better down the road and know what to be looking for.

To view more of Callie’s work head over to her site, or give her a follow on Instagram.

A New Approach to the Portfolio ReviewI hear from creatives and...

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A New Approach to the Portfolio Review

I hear from creatives and art producers all the time that need to actually see work.  From talent, all they want is to get their work in front of creatives. The stars are aligned! So the question screams; how do we make this happen in the most unobtrusive way for the creatives while at the same time economically realistic to the talent we promote? Certainly not brain surgery. The facts are crystal clear. Creatives need to source new talent all the time because they want a fresh vision to present to clients. Yet, they have virtually no time to review new work.  

We created a format so that the creatives (i.e. the reviewer) could see portfolios and iPads in the least cumbersome way with no photographers present. This format of portfolios only lends itself to being a truly productive and creative experience. A creative can come see 60 to 70 portfolios in the matter of one or two hours and be able to focus on the work that they need and want to see. That was our goal from day one and by any measure, we nailed it!

“I really enjoyed viewing at my own leisure. When artists are not present it allows me to hone in on what I am looking for in a less aggressive way. The quality of the work was excellent. I took pictures of everyone’s names I plan to reach out to.”

Brian Keenan, Art Director, Food Network

Brian brings the point home; it really was about the visual experience in every way. High quality work in a casual setting.

Other feedback I got, first hand (I was there both days ushering the creatives) was “this is really a great setting” and “I don’t have to worry about making chit-chat. I can look at books and come back as often as I want.”

We also had about 15 iPads showing a variety of work that, in most cases, included motion. This too was set up in a way so that a viewer could actually hear and comprehend the intended message.

“The experience of having all of these books and iPads in one room and having the flexibility to go at my own pace was unique.“

Kimberly Stoeker, Senior Art Producer, McGarry Bowen

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photography by Tony Gale

A few reps actually came back three and four times looking at work and searching

for new talent themselves. A nice unforeseen addition to the event was the casual and understated networking that happened. It was very organic, like a Dead concert.

Janice Moses, said it best:

"I appreciate the effort Found put into creating this event. It was great for us to be able to display our work to the Art Producers and Art Directors who attended.”

Janice Moses, Photo Representative

From the very beginning, the photographers loved the idea. How could you not? They didn’t have to travel, no hotels, no time away from studio, meals etc. and the nervousness of personally showing their work was eradicated.

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photography by Tony Gale

The photographer’s main concern was who and how many folks will see my book? So I was able, with certainty, to tell them that with our reach and history within the industry, we’re going to get 30-35 maybe even 40 reviewers. We got 50+ which consisted of Art Producers, Creative Directors and Photo Editors.

Most importantly, not many organizations can pull something like this together and make it successful. That’s why no one else even tries. I’m proud of our staff, the blinding commitment to our talent and our collective reputations within the creative community. That is why this event was such a sterling success.

We are now planning reviews across the country, Boston is up next.

Hoping to see you on the road…

A Successful Promotion: Creatives Reveal Their PreferencesFound...

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A Successful Promotion: Creatives Reveal Their Preferences

Found Director, Frank Meo, sat down with an acclaimed panel of creatives consisting of Artist Representative, Joe Lombardo, Creative and Art Director, Jana Jarosz and Deputy Photo Editor, Raydene Salinas. They talk about many important topics including the best ways for photographers to promote themselves. These pros discuss the process and ways to break through the clutter and see positive results. Why does one promotion work better than another? What type of follow-up works best with an Art Producer and Creative Director? Who should you be targeting with your promotion and how often?

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The Panelists:

Joe Lombardo of ETC CREATIVE is a New York City based representative with 15+ years of experience. He has a diverse background as an agent in both the commercial advertising and fashion worlds. He serves the industry as a photography consultant at the Palm Springs Portfolio reviews, is a frequent panelist for APA NY and has helped curate and promote many artist gallery exhibitions over his tenure. He is a fan of the printed piece and helps in the concept and design not only of his agency promotion but his 11 artists as well.

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Jana Jarosz is perhaps the only Art Director in the Publicis NA creative department who has a Menswear Tailoring Certificate from FIT in New York. Jana is both an inveterate fashion junkie and a “think outside the box” Art Director. Having worked at both a large and small agency throughout her 19 years in the business, Jana has instigated and actualized everything from digital projects to street projects and not outdoor, but indoor for Courvoisier to numerous brand-building solutions for Softsheen-Carson, Garnier and Almay. As a Creative Director at Publicis, Jana has worked with her partner, LaRonda Davis, to author the original Fructis Style work and successfully launch the Effie-Award winning campaign for Dark and Lovely Au Naturale. Beyond advertising, Jana is an active volunteer with Free Arts NYC, an arts-based mentoring program, and with Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School where she coaches night school students through their Regents exams.

Raydene Salinas is currently the Deputy Photo Editor at Time Out New York. Along with being a freelance street style and portrait photographer she is also a certified yoga teacher. She has previously shot for The Huffington Post Style section and her work can be seen in Cosmopolitan Magazine, Time Out New York and The Cut.

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The Moderator:

Frank Meo has been newly named the Director of Found, a subsidiary of Agency Access. Found is an online global search engine that markets and connects photographers to Art Buyers, Editors and clients. For 25 years, Frank has represented photographers that include Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalists and helped them in securing highly valued commercial assignments. He has worked on hundreds of company photo libraries and campaigns for clients such as American Express, Acura Motorsports, U.S. Coast Guard, Xerox, ESPN, Citi, Nike and others. He participates on various panels and workshops; The Eddie Adams Workshop, International Center of Photography (ICP), The Art Directors Club, The One Club for Art & Copy, American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), NY Foto Works and Advertising Photographers of America (APA), PDN Expo and Palm Springs Photo Festival. In 2010, he was a nominator for the prestigious Infinity Awards. He has judged for Lucie Awards, IPA, Foto Week DC Awards, Moscow Photo Awards as well as PDN Photo. Currently he writes a monthly column for Resource Magazine and Pro Photo Daily.

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Emerging Talent - Whitney OttWhitney Ott is a food and still...

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Emerging Talent - Whitney Ott

Whitney Ott is a food and still life photographer. With an eye for detail and composition, she primarily uses natural light to capture the essence and subtle beauty of her subjects in ways that are both simple and unique. She graduated from Mercer University with a minor in photography before moving to Atlanta to further her photographic studies at The Creative Circus. She currently resides in Atlanta, GA, with her husband and their Australian Cattle Dog, Scout.

Name: Whitney Ott

What is your style of photography? 

Food and Still Life 

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How did you start shooting?

My love for cameras and photography started when I was little. My dad let me play with an old Pentax MX camera of his, and I remember that I most enjoyed the sound of the rapid wind lever followed by the the satisfying heavy click of the shutter release button. For my 13th birthday, I received my first film camera and I haven’t stopped shooting since. I started out photographing trees, flowers, and our dogs. Lucky for me, my high school had a dark room and when I was a junior, I had the opportunity to take photography as my art elective. That’s where I learned how to develop my own film and my fate as a photographer was sealed. I minored in photography at college, which is where I really started to hone in on being a still life photographer. After I graduated, I moved to Atlanta to go to The Creative Circus to build my portfolio and fine tune my skill set.

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Who has inspired your style?

Irving Penn’s still life and floral work, Johnny Miller, Jamie Chung, The Voorhees, to name a few.

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