Ask an Agent / Who wants to see my portfolio at an Advertising Agency?

August 29, 2014

Ask an Agent is a regular monthly column that answers all your dilemmas about the business of photography – a sort of photography agony aunt. Whatever area of the industry you are in, if you have any questions you’d like to ask please send them to


Dear Ask an Agent,

I’ve finally got a printed portfolio together with a view to trying to get my foot in the door with some ad agencies. Can you advise me on who I should try and show it to?

John Oliver, photographer.

Hi John,

The best people to show your book to in an ad agency are the art buyers, art directors and creative directors.

It is the art buyer’s job to source photographers suitable for a campaign, negotiate the shoot costs and oversee the production process, making sure everything is delivered on time and in budget. Some of the smaller agencies don’t have art buyers or they have different job titles such as creative services manager or project manager for example.

The art buyer liaises with the ‘creatives’ as to what kind of photographer would be right for the campaign they have created. The creative department is made up of teams of art directors and copywriters, with the art director creating the visual side of things and the copywriter the words, although the boundaries are often blurred these days.

The creative director oversees the creative output of an agency, they are also very good people to try and see but in the larger agencies they are generally very busy managing the creative team. The art directors are a really good contact to ‘get in with’.  If they like the way you see the world and your ideas it may well inspire them to create their next campaign with your work in mind. It’s all very much a collaborative and a people business, so networking with art directors often pays off for individual photographers.


A few final words of advice:

• Don’t be put off if an art buyer books you in 4 months ahead, this is fairly normal.

• Try and book to see a few art directors (e.g 3 or 4), at say 15 minutes intervals as it’s likely some will cancel on the day as they suddenly have a pitch to work on. They aren’t being rude it’s just the way it is.

• Don’t be put off if you make 20 calls and send loads of emails and don’t get anywhere. It is part of an art buyer and art director’s job to see as many photographers as they can, so don’t think you are being a pain or wasting their time.

• Having said that, be respectful of peoples time and only show relevant, well edited and well presented work that is actually useful for the ad agency to see. Do your research before your meeting and familiarise yourself with their clients and recent work, everyone likes to talk about themselves!

• Don’t ever get shirty if your calls or emails don’t get acknowledged, if someone says they don’t want to make an appointment or gives you negative feedback. Sooner or later, if your photography is right for the brands an agency works for, your perseverance should pay off.

Good luck!

Please Note:

We reserve the right to shorten questions due to space constraints.

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This advice should be taken as a guide only. Lisa Pritchard and LPA take no responsibility for any omissions or errors. Please seek professional legal advice should you require it.

LPA Photographers / Sam Stowell / M&S

August 28, 2014

LPA Photographer Sam Stowell was recently commissioned by M&S to photograph their Slate Range of serving platters.

Sam used simple and beautiful moody lighting to compliment the dark stone, whilst simultaneously drawing the gaze in directly to the delicious food.  He shot a diverse range from cheese to tapas, bread to fruit, showing how the platters provide elegant dining solutions for every occasion.

Lazy Susan Slate-V4.1

© Sam Stowell

Slate Rectangular Platter Closed Box-V4.1

© Sam Stowell

Slate Square Platter Closed Box-V4.1

© Sam Stowell

Slate Round Platter Closed Box-V4.1

© Sam Stowell

LPA Style / Claire Louise / Halfords / Women’s Cycling

August 27, 2014

Claire Louise recently worked with Halfords and Women’s Cycling Magazine on this great cover shoot.

Claire provided the natural grooming for Olympian Victoria Pendleton who has collaborated with Halfords on a range of bicycles.  Here’s what Claire had to say about the shoot:

“This shoot was really low key and fun.  We grabbed a bike each (I chose the Pendleton with the basket on the front for my kit) and had a lovely ride round to the location on a nearby country lane.  It was a brilliant sunny day and everything went really smoothly.  I ended the day by secretly racing to get back first so I could say I beat an Olympic gold medalist but she sailed past with no effort at all!”

Issue 8 is out now – cycling fanatics grab your copy whilst you can!

Women's Cycling

© Claire Louise

LPA Style / Alice Timms / Getty Images

August 26, 2014

LPA Style’s Alice Timms recently collaborated with photographer Liam Arthur on this high-tech shoot titled ‘The Glitch’ for Getty Images.

The idea behind the shoot was to explore our interaction with technology and visual media, utilising lots of experimental techniques to create the images.  Embracing the element of chance, the final images play on the idea that imperfections are beautiful, with some really interesting results!


© Alice Timms / Liam Arthur


© Alice Timms / Liam Arthur


© Alice Timms / Liam Arthur

LPA In Focus / Futures

August 20, 2014


LPA Photographers / Kerry Harrison / Savvy / Adidas

August 18, 2014

LPA Photographer Kerry Harrison recently worked with retail specialist Savvy on this great project for Adidas

Shot on location at the luxurious Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire, Kerry brought a more urban edge to the normally very gentile sport of golf. LPA Style’s Alice Timms provided the great sports luxe looks while Claire Louise was on hand to make sure all the male models looked their very best. Fab team effort as always guys and lovely results.

ADIDAS2© Kerry Harrison

ADIDAS3© Kerry Harrison

ADIDAS1© Kerry Harrison

LPA Guest Blogger / Edd Fury

August 15, 2014

‘LPA Guest Blogger’ is a new regular feature on the LPA blog, giving professionals from all areas of the photographic industry free reign to talk about their work, inspirations and career so far.  You can expect a range of inspirational stories from photographers, producers, stylists, make-up artists and everyone in between. 

For our first post we asked LPA Student Challenge winner Edd Fury to shed some light on his experiences as an emerging photographic talent, from his time at university to his exciting future projects.

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 12.25.49

© Matt Stansfield

I applied for LPA’s Third Student Challenge in January, which required me to submit a statement as to why I am the ‘One to Watch’ along with a selection of my work, and was delighted to be selected as the winner.  My prize was a bespoke handmade portfolio by the amazing Cathy Robert at Delta Design studio.

Putting a printed portfolio together was a new thing to me.  The guys at LPA were great helping me pick the work and arranging it in a way which flowed.  Metro kindly did the printing for it, and tweaked a few of my images in their retouch department before they were printed.  Cathy was great too, talking me through the whole process.  She’s amazingly good at what she does, I can’t wait to pick my folio up soon and show it off.


IMG_0081 copy

I left university in May with a great optimism.  I had been shooting and assisting a lot over the previous 18 months and my portfolio was starting to come together really nicely.  I had some work in there that I was proud to show off.

I loved university.  I made a great bunch of friends along the way and learned a lot too, but the one thing they don’t teach you is how to get your own clients.  I’ve been spending the past few months figuring that out.  Its tough, but I think its something you have to teach yourself.  So my goal at the minute is to start and pick up some clients that I think could benefit from my work. Getting into some meetings with my new portfolio is a must over the next 12 months too!!

Joels Wish106122

© Edd Fury

I like testing, shooting my own bits and bobs and trying to push myself to become a better photographer.  I can definitely see an improvement in my work over the past 12 months.  Next in the pipeline, I want to shoot a series of cocktails in a minimal and clinical way, playing with shape, colour and form, and a series to do with coffee at some point too.  I’m also enjoying shooting a lot more portraiture these days and have a few exciting projects that I’m working on, which I’m looking forward to completing.

I’ve been lucky enough to work with a bunch of great photographers along the way. Jonathan Beer’s work always blows my socks off.  James King’s lifestyle stuff is incredible and it was awesome to be part of the team on some of it.  Dan Winter’s and Dan Tobin Smith’s work is both equally amazing in their respective fields.  I also came across Adam Voorhes the other day, and I keep going back for more!”

edd melting

© Edd Fury

edd trainer

© Edd Fury

edd milks

© Edd Fury

LPA Photographers / Andy Smith / Beach Test

August 14, 2014

LPA photographer Andy Smith recently shot this lovely lifestyle test on the sunny south English coast.

Andy’s candid approach allows the images to feel natural, spontaneous and authentic, whilst stylist Natalie Corfield has created a laid-back look to compliment the quaint beach surroundings of Hengistbury Head in Dorset.


© Andy Smith


© Andy Smith


© Andy Smith


© Andy Smith

LPA Style / Claire Portman / Papier Mache Magazine

August 13, 2014

Hair and make-up artist Claire Portman recently worked with photographer Ross Bolger and stylist Emma Thatcher on this brilliant editorial titled ‘Red Tartan’ for children’s publication Papier Mache. 

Claire’s grooming channels a rock’n’roll vibe to compliment the styling and pull the shoot together perfectly.  Papier Mache is one of the most beloved children’s magazines worldwide, providing polished and intelligent content to showcase “artists, photographers, designers, illustrators, writers, inventors, creators, kids, dreamers, doers and magicians”.

Shot_2_ 014

© Ross Bolger


© Ross Bolger

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© Ross Bolger

LPA Futures / Holly Pickering / Palm PR / The Duppy Share

August 12, 2014

Our great LPA Futures photographer Holly Pickering has been busy lately, most recently with this commission for premium rum brand The Duppy Share.

Adopting a contemporary aesthetic to highlight the brand’s premium standing, Holly’s shots show off the many ways the rum can be enjoyed and make the most of the bold, tropical design.

The Duppy Share rum is available exclusively at Selfridges now.


© Holly Pickering


© Holly Pickering


© Holly Pickering


© Holly Pickering

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