Ask an Agent is a regular monthly column tackling all your dilemmas about the photography industry – the photography industry’s first Agony Aunt!
If you have any questions you’d like to ask a photographers agent please send them to email@example.com. Questions can be on anything to do with the photography business, such as photoshoots, marketing, professional practice, pricing, contracts, legal stuff – anything!
For this month’s Ask an Agent we have a question from a photographer on face to face meetings and how to get your personality across if you can’t get to actually meet people.
Dear Ask an Agent,
Buyers are happy (at least most) for me to send my book over for them to show the creative team but I’d like go a step further and try and get some face to face meetings without a job being necessary being involved. Do you think busy buyers are likely to take the time for this? I’m thinking not in which case how might a photographer sell his personality along with is work?
Simon Plant, Simon Plant Photographic Productions
If your work is strong enough and relevant, I would say a wholehearted yes that buyers will take time to meet you. It is an important part of their job.
Art directors and designers (the creatives) in particular like to meet photographers. If they like the work and think they can use it, they usually want to find out more about the person who created the images, the inspiration behind them and also see if they can get on with the photographer on a shoot. If a project reaches a stage where photography needs to commissioned, reassurance that the photographer of their choice will be a helpful part of the team in bringing their ideas alive and a good collaborator is just as important as shooting great images. And so you can see why they think meeting photographers is important as well as just being aware of the work.
Having said that, I won’t pretend it’s easy or that you’ll be able to book a meeting with every email or phone call. Here at LPA we try and see a certain amount of people a month, some days we can make several appointments and some we might make 20 phone calls and get nowhere. So be persistent, perhaps email some relevant images a few days before, send a great mailshot, try and grab their attention before you try and arrange the face-to- face. When you do speak to an art buyer, designer or art director it will help if you get to the point and immediately come across as someone that might benefit them, as opposed to the other way round.
And finally to answer your second point, how might a photographer sell his personality along with his work? You don’t necessarily need a face-to-face meeting to get your personality across. A photographer’s brand is their personality and should come across in all communication touch points. Social media can certainly give you a voice.
As can a printed promo, the tone of voice in a newsletter and the words you choose to describe your self on your website.
Being consistent in your marketing messages will help get your personality across and will also hopefully help you nail some of those face-to-face meetings!
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Lisa Pritchard, LPA and guest bloggers take no responsibility for any omissions or errors.
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