Heather Elder Represents Rethinks the Agency Portfolio.

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Last year, we decided that it was a good time to create an AGENCY PORTFOLIO.  We had a fantastic group of photographers and many opportunities to show it off.  We didn’t want it to be a typical group book that had a section for each photographer.  While we like those and they are always very strong, we wanted ours to be a little different so that it would stand out more at events such as Le Book’s Connections.

What we came up with was a portfolio divided by SPECIALTY instead of by PHOTOGRAPHER.  We liked this idea because it allowed us to showcase the type of work our group can offer while allowing the viewer to file our group away by different specialities.  Of course it is always our main goal for a creative to learn who our photographers are and what they shoot individually.  This will never change.  But, by offering an alternate way for them to view the work in our group, we are opening up another opportunity for them to remember the work.

More often than not the Agency Portfolio is shown in conjunction with the individual portfolios so if a viewer is interested in seeing more, they can choose to do so right then and there.  This is particularly helpful in a setting like Le Book Connections because there are so many books to view and it can get overwhelming for some. We have found that our agency book provides a breath of fresh air in a crowded market.

Take a look for yourself and see.  It is no mistake that we chose the song, Breathe by Sia as the background music.  Enjoy!

Click here to see the video of our Agency Portfolio

Click here to see the video of our Agency Portfolio

Happy Holidays from Heather Elder Represents! Enjoy our recap of a great year of blog posts.

© Chris Crisman

© Chris Crisman

Happy Holidays everyone.  Lauranne, Taya and I hope you are surrounded by friendship and family this holiday season and are able to take some time off to enjoy everyone you love.

We wanted to take this time to thank all of you for your support for our blog.  We had no idea when we started this almost two years ago that it would be embraced by the community as it has.  The conversations we have had this year are compelling, interesting and fun!  We really appreciate how you all engage with the blog and help keep it alive.  It is a special part of who we are at Heather Elder Represents and we have you to thank for that.

Since our offices will be closed until Monday, January  7th we will be taking a break from posting.  Until then, enjoy some of our most popular posts this year.

•  Have you read the post about One of The Original Mad Men?  Leigh Beisch’s dad, Chuck Beisch.  He worked with some of the greats, Diane Arbus, Avedon, Hiro and Bruce Davidson.  Link here to read the post.

•  Did you catch the controversy brewing on Chris Crisman’s blog on What defines a photograph?  This one went viral.

•  Did you get to attend Le Book Connections Chicago?  Link here to see what it was all about.

• How about the Community Table NYC posts?  Very informative conversation with NYC art producers.  A three part series that followed up our Community Table NYC posts.  Link here to see all of the Community Table posts.

•  We had some really wonderful Art Producers interviews for our Art Buyer Insider  and Solving Mystery Series.  Sandy Boss Febbo, Char Eisner, Suzee Barabee, Jason Lau, Lisa Crawford, Beverly Adler, Julie Rosenoff , Cindy Hicks and Ken Zane just to name a few.

•  Were you ever a waitress?  If so, you will enjoy reading this one.  I am Good at my Job because I was a Waitress.

•  How about Andy Anderson’s post about his series Birth Water?  Powerful.

•  Want to schedule 64 meetings in 3 days?  Ron Berg, Chris Crisman and Richard Schultz did just that. See how here.

  Why do we print?  Let Chris Crisman answer.

•  What the heck?  Birth of a Gummy Bear?  How is that even possible?  Kevin Twomey shows you with video.

•  Hunter Freeman shares how partnering with a CGI artist is a powerful combination.  Link here for the story.

•  Sheri Radel Rosenberg offers some tips on being freelance. A must re-read for the New Year.  Link here.

•  Looking for a new playlist?  Link here to see what David Martinez plays for his clients during a shoot.

•  Considering redesigning your website?  Good luck!  Ron Berg offers some helpful hints in this blogpost.

3 Photographers, 3 Days, 64 meetings, Endless Possibilities

In order of priority, here is what I think are the most effective ways for a photographer to generate more business.

1) Produce current projects, complete estimates

2)  Create new imagery

3) Make connections; new and old

In other words, if a photographer isn’t creating estimates or new imagery, the single most effective way to generate new business is to get out there and meet people.

I say all the time that when a photographer presents their portfolio or reaches out to a new client to share work on their own, the effect on their reach is exponential.  An agent cannot effect this same change on his/her own.  This is not because they are not capable, but because there is a different value in the photographer being present; a value that no agent could provide on their own.

Well, two weeks ago, Chris Crisman, Richard Schultz and Ron Berg proved me right.  They spent 3 days in NY attending the At Edge Face to Face event and the Fotoworks portfolio review.  Combined, they met with 64 art buyers, creative directors and photo editors.  How else but through these events could any of them (or even me?) meet with that many people in such a short amount of time?  It was a powerful and very effective way to spend the week.

Here are some insights and comments from the week:

•  They have a stronger insight into their work.  They heard first hand what people like (and don’t) and have experienced for themselves the connections that people make to their work. And, they have heard for themselves the feedback that we have been sharing with them already.  Now, when we talk about imagery and strategy they have an insight they would not otherwise have had.

•  They made or enhanced their own connections.  Now, these industry colleagues know them.  They engaged with their work, looked them in the eyes and connected with them on personal level.  The photographers can keep the connections alive on their own now and begin to foster a relationship when relevant.

•  They heard what other people in the industry think of their reps  first hand.   Our reputation is strong and it is nice for them to hear that for themselves.

•  They have added a layer of recognition to their work.  Our office creates a marketing plan that  focuses on us promoting their work over the course of the year.  By attending these events on their own, they added an extra layer of recognition and connection; one that we could not have provided on our own.  This personal connection is invaluable and the effect they have caused is exponential.

•  They have heard what other people in the industry think of their group.  This is important because as a group we share ideas, co-market and refer projects to each other.  Knowing that you are in good company always feel good.  And, in some instances, the photographers referred each other to the creatives they met.

It is also worth noting that a few creatives questioned why these particular photographers would be attending seeing that they could meet with the art buyers anytime on their own.   While a one on one, longer meeting is always preferable, the idea that Fotoworks and At Edge gather the top level creatives in one space for a set amount of time is very important.  It would be too challenging for each of our photographers to make all the calls necessary to yield 20 or so appointments each.  And, realistically, could they all happen over 3 days?  Never.  These events provide the most efficient way for our group to take time away from their studios.  Without the organization and the structure of the events, Ron, Chris and Richard would not have made one of those connections last week.

Overall, the investment that these photographers made in their future, their business and their relationship with us was well worth the money they spent.  I know how hard it is to be away from family, to push aside projects and to leave those emails behind.  And, for this we are so very thankful.  The time and effort they put into this week did not go unnoticed and we know it will pay off for them in dividends.

You too can enjoy Richard Schultz’s portfolio without even having to call it in.

Since so many of you rarely get to see the beautiful printed portfolios that our photographers create, we thought it would be fun to create a video of someone flipping through the book.  If you don’t have the time or budget to call in a portfolio, this isn’t a bad way to enjoy one; especially with the music!

This week’s featured portfolio is Richard Schultz’s.  To see his work on line, be sure to link to his website here.  And of course, if you would like to see Richard’s portfolio in person, please do email us. We would even pay for it!

To view Richard Schultz’s video portfolio, please link here

Beautiful people vs. Beautiful People

After a recent trip to South Africa, Richard Schultz came home with a beautiful collection of images.  He photographed such  wide variety of people, including an artist, a soldier, a skateboarder and a hunter. And of course, each image held its own special beauty.   When we asked Richard to reflect some on the new body of work, here is what he had to say.

“Beauty certainly is in the eye of the beholder. Looking through the pages of elites in Vanity Fair and then National Geographic  you would certainly get a different view of who populates our planet, but I think there’s beauty in both.

Models and movie stars are almost always easy on the eyes but what about the beauty one can find in everyday people? As photographers we get called upon to shoot fabulous models and famous people often, which we enjoy, but one of my favorite things to do is to make and find the beauty and uniqueness in the people we come across every day.  I think the authenticity and the details around that authenticity are what really grab me.  Those small caught moments that are so real it makes them special and gives a slice of, okay… just slightly idealized, life.

Great imagery always tells a powerful story. Blurb wants you to tell yours.

Recently, Justine Barnes,a producer at Duncan Channon in San Francisco reached out to us to see if any of our photographers had exsiting imagery for an upcoming campaign for Blurb photo books.  We were honored when they chose an image from Andy Anderson and one from Richard Schultz.

Thank you Justine for seeing the story in their imagery.

© Richard Schultz - http://www.rschultz.com

Richard Schultz wonders when did 6 shots a day become the new black?

© Richard Schultz - http://www.rschultz.com

So much of the success of our blog comes from the posts we get from our photographers. So, I love it when someone in our group sends us an idea for a post.  After a recent project, Richard Schultz had this on his mind and chose to share it with our readers.  I am guessing he is not alone in his thinking.

“When did shooting 6 or more lifestyle images, all in different set-ups, per day, for major advertising campaigns, become the norm?

Those of you who know me well, know that I am not a complainer.   I consider myself a problem solver and I welcome the challenges of more complicated shoot days.  And, those of you who know me also know that I am certainly happy (and appreciative!) to be as busy as I am.

That said, I do sometimes find myself longing for the “good old days” when we’d have the time and budgets to shoot 2-3 shots in a day, no variations, no set up changes. Remember those days?  We would have time to really explore a scenario and mine it for as many special moments as we could make happen.  We could engage the talent on a deeper level and experiment more creatively.  We could do all of that AND actually have time for a 30 minute lunch break.

Understanding that this is the new black, I wasn’t surprised when all of a sudden I found myself acclimated to this new expectation.  It was then a welcome change when on a recent library of images project, the art buyer asked us to increase the shoot days from three days to four days.  We were stunned.  Happy, but stunned.

I know doing more with less is just part of the current economic picture.  I have gotten good at it actually.  Maybe that is why despite talk of the continued recession we are still busy, and most of my photographer/agency friends are the same. I would like to think that with our collective hard work we can contribute to the recovery.

I do wonder though if we will we ever get back to a 2 shot day with time to kick back and have an enjoyable meal as a group again? My parents always said I was a dreamer, I’m still holding out hope.

In the mean-time, I guess lunch was my least favorite meal anyway.”

To see more of Richard’s work, please do link here.

© Richard Schultz - http://www.rschultz.com