Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Agent + Artist Relationship (part two)

I wanted to continue today from yesterday's post with a few more comments and advice from current photo reps. The comments will remain anonymous but these agents work for their own company or one of the larger ones. (a hearty thanks to all the agents who offered their time and their opinions)
The questions I asked of them were: What do you think the most important things are as a rep in your partnership with your artists? And what advice would you have for an artist who is shopping for an agent?

On important aspects of the partnership:

"I would say that the most important elements in an agent/artist relationship are the same elements that are most important in any other successful, healthy relationship: communication, honesty and trust. If the lines of communication are kept open and the artist is open to honest and direct feedback from the agent based on their knowledge of the marketplace, then there is the opportunity to develop a partnership that fosters growth and flexibility."

"Most important things... Honesty, shared vision and work ethic, creativity - appropriate division of labor and respect for what each person brings to the table to create a partnership"

"Good communication. Mutual trust and respect. A common vision about the artist's work: where it applies, as well as the means of getting there. A strong collaborative spirit."

"Before looking for an agent, I think an artist needs to be very clear about why they want an agent. A lot of artists aren't good at marketing themselves or negotiating with clients, or are too busy shooting and they see the value of having someone handle this side of the business for them. Other artists also see the value in having an agent that can offer career advice and a professional perspective on the marketplace. If an artist already feels like they are the best negotiator, marketer and feels like they have a current, global view of the industry then I would say they don't need an agent."

"A relationship with a rep is VERY MUCH like a can't take it at face value, you won't get something without putting something into it, it doesn't come easy and it takes time and patience."

"Do your research: What talent are they currently repping? How is the fit with what you do/want to do? What is their reputation among your clients (chances are, if your clients/prospective clients have never heard of them, it's not a good thing)? What do their talent think of them? What are they like in person (there should be a strong personal connection/fit)? What are their expectations? How do they align with your own?

Include the reps who you've researched and feel might be a good fit in all of your marketing efforts.

Remember: a rep is NOT a panacea!"


Jon Marshall said...

Great insight into many of the questions I've had relating to representation. Thanks!