Ask an Agent / Agents Are Ignoring Me!
Ask an Agent is a regular monthly column answering your questions about the business of photography– the photography industry’s first Agony Aunt! If you have any questions you’d like to ask a photographers agent please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions can be on anything to do with the photography business, such as photoshoots, marketing, professional practice, pricing, contracts, legal stuff – anything!
We recently had this email in from a photographer who has been trying to get in touch with agents.
Dear Ask an Agent,
I recently sent an email to ten different agents asking them what they thought of my work but didn't receive a response from any of them. So I resent the email , still nothing. Finally I phoned them all and was just 'fobbed' off by whoever answered the phone in most cases or told that they would look out for the email. Is this normal?
I am just trying to work out what you kind of response you were expecting ? Us agents are usually very busy, often juggling several things at a time with a whole load of deadlines and demands to meet and our own roster of photographers and clients are the priority. We also often get several emails a day from photographers like yourself. So if you are simply wanting a free critique of your work then the cynical side of me would say I'm not surpised you haven't heard anything! Having said that you might catch one of us at the right time and if your work really stands out, I’m sure at some point you might receive a response with some positive feedback.
If you are, however, expecting one of the agents to respond with an interest in representing you , they are only likely to respond if all of the following criteria are fulfilled:
a) Your work is strong and relevant to their client base. b) They personally like your style of work (we have different tastes!) c) The agent happens to be looking to take more photographers on at the time. d) You fit with their current roster.
And many will be looking for ...
e) An already well established client base and proven track record.
If it is an agent you are looking for rather than just an opinion on your work, I would also suggest you get to the point and say this, but do also quantify why you think you would be a good match, what you can bring to the show and what you like about their agency.
Bagging an agent may well take more than a couple of emails and a phone call; often we take photographers on whom we have gradually built a relationship up with, maybe we've met them at an event and then built up a relationship over social media for example. Having said that, just yesterday we responded to an email from a photographer and asked him to come in to meet us as we liked the look of his work - it is our job to be aware of whose around - so it’s not all bad news!
Whether you’re a creative director or a student, a photographer or a designer, an art buyer or an assistant, if you have any questions you’d like to ask a photographers agent please send them to email@example.com and we’ll answer as many as we can!
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This advice should be taken as a guide only. This is the personal opinion of Lisa Pritchard and she cannot speak for all other agents, but from discussions over the years, she has a pretty good idea that most of them will agree!
Lisa Pritchard, LPA and guest bloggers take no responsibility for any omissions or errors.
Please seek professional legal advice should you require it.