Just this past month, over 10 members from the Anyway MGMT team collaborated with the non-profit, ArtStart to photograph, style and composite images for their annual portrait project. Art Start is an organization that provides educational programs inside homeless shelters designed to get at-risk, marginalized youth involved in the creative arts. This specific project gave participants the chance to dream of the individuals they aspire to become and walk away from the shoot with a physical image of him or herself fully realized.
Which is why, at 8AM on a Sunday morning, photographer and Art Start Board Member and PhotoServe.com member Natalie Brasington, found herself loading a vintage settee into Fast Ashley’s Studio with set stylist Edward Scott, while PhotoServe and Anyway MGMT photographers David Johnson, Joshua Dalsimer, and Philip Habib prepared their sets. Meanwhile, hair & make-up artists Juliet Jane, Tomy Rivero, and Emma Strachman set up their counters, and I unpacked racks of costumes generously donated by Beyond Costumes, located in Yonkers, New York.
Although volunteering for the non-profit provided a great platform for different sectors of the agency to collaborate with one another, this day was not limited to participation from the company roster alone. Photographers Zach Stertz, David Lang and Heidi Gutman all found themselves on set, and next month’s shoot will feature work from a myriad of other photographers and stylists, all connected to the project through the agency’s long arms.
There have been many incarnations of Anyway MGMT, a company that prides itself on evolving with the times. From managing one photographer, to representing a roster of over twelve, taking on a CGI team, developing a styling division and opening up a shop over on North 1st in Williamsburg, Brooklyn; co-owners Darren Jordan and Matthew Coogan understand that the real secret to smart business is flexibility, especially in a market that is moving and evolving at a breakneck pace.
Anyway MGMT has in many ways become a “one- stop shop” that not only supports its rostered artists, but actively engages with the wider photographic community. Need a shoot produced for a major brand in one hour on a Friday afternoon? No problem! Oh, and you’d like there to be a video component, shot on the Red, with tight budget and need a camera operator? That’s fine by us, we know a guy.
There’s a lot to be said for “knowing a guy,” and this is an agency that knows a lot of them. By utilizing connections and fostering strong relationships with talented freelancers and friends, Anyway MGMT has been able to rely on a vast network of trusted partners that can be called on at any time.
This kind of community can’t be created overnight, although if you were to ask either of the owners what they thought, they would probably attribute much of the agency’s success to relationships that have occurred by chance; forgetting the hours of teamwork and thoughtful communication they have put into the relationships with those they represent, as well as other agencies and freelance artists who compose the company’s wide network.
Although the term boutique agency was once only used to refer to small rosters (supported by even smaller staffs), agencies such as Anyway MGMT have worked to evolve this phrase to mean much more, elevating the expression to suggest a place of not only personal attention, but continued support, creative problem solving, and integrated production, with virtually no personnel or budgetary limitations.
Sure, our office team might only be composed of two men, a little lady and a brindled beauty named Bean, but just come to one of our parties and you’ll see how big we actually are!
The ArtStart 2014 Annual Portrait Project will be on view at the West Chelsea Arts Building, with an opening reception October 2nd, from 7 – 9 PM. In the mean time, see the Anyway Mgmt Facebook page with behind-the-scenes photos for makeup, wardrobe, set design and production for the ArtStart Portrait Project.
Heather Newberger is Director of the Styling Division at Anyway MGMT. For more information on their services contact Heather at: email@example.com.