How cool would it be to get a group of LA Art Producers in a room and pepper them with questions about the business? And, not one of these panels where everyone is on their best behavior, but a cozy room filled with like minded professionals, where you can seriously discuss the state of the industry when it comes to finding and hiring photographers. Well, that’s exactly what Community Table, a series of blog posts based on a lunch Matt Nycz, Kate Chase of Brite Productions; Heather Elder, Lauranne Lospalluto of Heather Elder Represents; and and Alison McCreery of POP Blog put together.
Here are a few highlights:
There is a rise in the “pay to play” events where photographers pay a fee or pay into a program that allows them direct access to creatives and or art producers. The organizers sometimes offer compensation to the reviewers in an effort to elevate the seriousness of the event and show a respect for the reviewer’s time. What is it about these types of events that are most successful and what do you feel could be improved upon? Do you see this as a positive trend and if not, why?
Here is how Jigisha got everyone thinking:
“In the past few years I’ve thought about this a lot because I’ve needed to strategize as my role as an art producer in an ad agency and as a department head. With regards to the pay-to-play events, I’ve thought about what is a conflict of interest and what is acceptable.
At first, I would get an offer to come look at and critique portfolios that came with a stipend. I knew the people putting the shows together were also charging the photographers to have their books reviewed, but I would do them. However, in the last couple of years, the books that came to me were photographers who didn’t need my critique, who were already quite successful and could call me and get a showing
Acknowledging that the pay-to-play events present a valuable opportunity to emerging photographers, Jigisha continued, “Then alternatively, there have been other reviews I’ve done for beginner and emerging books where I could be constructive and helpful. In this case, my time was worth it for them, if the photographer uses it as a critique to make their book better.”
Based on an evaluation of how much each side gets out of it, Jigisha now only participates when she feels it is not a conflict of interest. “I made the decision not to participate in events where the caliber of photographer is good enough to come in to my agency and be seen. But I will participate in the ones where I can use my experience to help them and they can maybe do a little more work and see me at my agency the next time and not have to pay.”
But back to eBlasts. “I like them and I don’t like them,” offered Melanie. “A lot of time I have to delete them every morning. But the email trend has helped cut down on the mailed promos. It now takes a week to get what I used to get in a day. I feel better about the impact on the earth.”
“I’m the total opposite,” said Kristine, “I love promos and am guilty of not opening every email blast. Promos have always been a favorite part of my job. I just love them.”
And in conclusion, one final bit of advice from Cara. “One thing the creatives ask us over and over is how they can make the eblasts stop. The eblasts should be targeted directly to the art producers.”
Make sure you check out both posts and look for future updates.