Agent Extraordinaire Is on Call for Questions

By Agent Extraordinaire

Dear Agent Extraordinaire,
How does someone photographing wild-side subjects and style find the niche market of bold risk-taking creatives? I use the phrase "Dangerously Creative Photography" to call attention to the progressive thinkers, but I'm not sure that works for or against me. What do you think?" I'm one of the art-leaning photographers considered a "Punk Icon", and a pioneer of the West Coast Punk art-styles that have permeated our culture. At least, that's how people in the press and lectures have referred to me. Yet, I am presentable in modern and professional terms. Is there any hope for me?
Richard of Dangerously Creative

 Dear Richard,
Ah, the famous fine art rep that doesn't want to cross over to commercial art.  I get it.  Unfortunately, it's true.  Working with a fine art rep is different than working with a commercial rep.  Both address different markets with different needs.  Your work is definitely fine art and how wonderful that you have a rep that can help sell your work.  But, commercial photography is another story.  The commercial market looks at work that reaches a specific consumer audience.  Mostly to use photography to help sell product or services to a buying audience.  Explore ads in publications and you will get a sense of the type of photography that is used today in the commercial market.  That doesn't mean that an art director can't be inspired by the work of a fine art photographer and interpret it for a commercial campaign.  But, on average, that is not the route that is taken.  If you want to work in the commercial market, you will have to look at your photography differently and most likely create a new body of work.  
Good luck and happy shooting!

Dear Agent Extraordinaire, 
 How do I manage to get my work in front of creatives if I don't have any agent.  I have been told that some art buyers will not meet with a photographer unless they have representation.  Is that true?

 Dear Orphan,
 Don't fret.  All is possible.  Although art buyers like to review the work of photographers, it helps when a photographer is with an agent and most likely is working and understands the process of working with agencies and clients.   Agents provide a valuable service to photographers as well as agencies.  They know how to present the work of the photographer, understand negotiations and the management of production and client services. And although a photographer should be involved in the process, an agent serves to manage the photographer and agency to provide a mutually beneficial and successful relationship.  Keep promoting yourself and let art buyers, creatives and agents know what you are doing.  Network as much as possible and build relationships that will lead you to the right agent.   Good luck!

 Dear Agent Extraordinaire,
You are not going to believe this.   I am still struggling with this and I don't know where to turn.  I have just completed a huge campaign for a major client and I was issued several purchase orders for different segments of the project.  However, the last purchase order that I was supposed to receive was never issued to me, although I have been told that the client has signed off on the agency estimate and the ad agency is just waiting to send it to me.  Can you believe this?  I have tried working with the art buyer but he doesn't seem to care.  It has been a month since I finished the shoot. I feel vulnerable and worry that I will not get paid without this purchase order.  Please help!
About to have a Nervous Breakdown

 Dear About to have a Nervous Breakdown,
Oh dear… I hope you have a bottle of Xanax around.  But, seriously, this is a mess.  I am shocked that this has gone on for so long.  You need to work with the art buyer, which I am sure you have.  But, if he  is not providing the purchase order, you will need  to contact the account team to help you. This is a serious matter.  You did your part of the job is good faith and they should honor that with a signed contract.  Honestly, I don't understand this behavior from the art buyer.  Certainly, he was able to issue the other purchase orders in a timely matter.  I don't see why he cannot issue this last purchase order as soon as possible. 
Hang in there!

 **If you would like to submit questions or comments to Agent Extraordinaire, please feel to contact PhotoServe Director Barbara Goldman: She will be glad to pass your questions and comments on to Agent Extraordinaire and present answers and feedback for our next column.    




PDN August 2016: The Fine-Art Photography Issue

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