Q&A: I promised to answer a great question posed by one of our photographers (thank you, Tim) in the feedback section below. I’ll tackle his first question: “Where exactly do reps get their training and experience with regard to photography?” Short answer: There is no “exactly”. If you are taking notes, write this question down as one of the first questions you ask your prospective rep. Every rep will have a different answer, and they could all be the right answer, depending on who you are as an artist, what you expect from them, etc. Here are a few true scenarios of successful working reps in the market today:
a) I have a degree in photography and was a photographer’s assistant for a well known photographer for 2 years before I began repping.
b) I am married to an incredible photographer who needed someone to handle the business side. Years after working just with him, we decided to grow and I (we) took on other photographers.
c) I worked as a producer for 10 years in film/video, and then as a print producer for 5 years. My parents are both in the business.
d) I was a studio manager for many years.
e) My husband had a close friend who was a superstar photographer that needed some administrative help. I morphed into his rep, and after a couple of years added more photographers to my roster.
f) I worked as an art buyer in several big advertising agencies before I started my own repping agency.
By the way, none of the above belong to me. I supplied a brief in my first post about my experience. As I continue to blog, you’ll get more details about my experience. Suffice to say – it’s vast, and I know I am one of the most fortunate reps working today because of my experience and training. I will tell you that I became a rep because I was laid off from Corporate America after many years, and every single contact in my network – clients, co-workers, bosses, competitors – suggested I should become an independent rep. (I’m glad I listened.) Beate was the first outside connection I made during this time, and was instrumental in my final decision to make it happen.
The Rep: Marta Aldriedge is an Artist Representative and owner of Big Picture Reps. From offices in Dallas and LA, the firm reps photographers, illustrators, and retouching/CGI studios. http://www.bigpicturereps.com