We emailed Art Buyers and Art Producers around the world asking them to submit names of established photographers who were keeping it fresh and up-and-comers who they are keeping their eye on. If you are an Art Buyer/Producer or an Art Director at an agency and want to submit a photographer anonymously for this column email: Suzanne.email@example.com
Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Amanda Jasnowski. I have ben following her for a while and have really enjoyed watching her career take off this year. I really admire her use natural light to capture her subjects and her ability to capture real and honest images
How many years have you been in business?
More or less four years.
Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
Mostly self-taught. The last two years of high school I attended a vocational school where I studied photography in-depth, that was my introduction. Thanks to Troy Baker and Jay Vada for showing me the way.
Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I think more than one person it was a community of folks. The internet helped show me in some type of honest way that there were young creatives out here making a living. It was possible! Everyone doing their own hustle individually but also together.
Living in a rural town was its own bubble so it was easy for things to feel far-fetched, but, through the internet this bubble expanded and the idea of moving here and taking photos for a living seemed a lot less crazy. The response I got from people online was so positive. In a time where I didn’t really have my own physical community that support I found online really helped in a big way.
How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
I think this is a matter of being self-motivated. Motivating yourself to be active, to not get lazy, to stay curious. Feed yourself (whether it’s from books, magazines, museums, on the streets, films, your peers), look in places you haven’t looked before.
In my experience staying true to ones self requires a level of frequent self-evaluation (which also maybe requires a level of constant dissatisfaction? Some type of hunger that fills you with the desire to keep moving in any direction) and honing your aesthetic (practice makes perfect?). I feel strongly about that when you’re working hard and making work you really want to make you radiate a specific kind of energy and people pick up on that.
Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?
There is almost always some sort of balancing act, moreso in larger jobs.
What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
Keeping in touch (whether it’s through email or mailing physical objects), having some type of internet presence, going to meetings with and without my agent. I’m very fortunate to have teamed up with an agent who understands my practice and personal goals, it’s a relief knowing that she is also out there hustling on my behalf.
What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
I promise this will lead nowhere good. For you or for buyers.
People will hire you based on the work you put out there into the world, so it’s very important to put out work that you are proud of and eager to do more of.
Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?
Trying my best.
How often are you shooting new work?
This fluctuates, lately I’ve been so consumed by work and taking care of other aspects of this job (taxes!). I definitely haven’t been creating as much new work as I’d like but for me it’s very important to cultivate some movement, whether it’s through making things or thinking about making things.
I try to listen to the ebb and flow of a freelance lifestyle and understand that I’m not a machine. Someone awesome once said “If you’re feeling bad in your heart, you’ll look bad in your art” (that awesome person is Adi Goodrich).
Spanish-born, Ohio-raised, Amanda Jasnowski is a photographer based in Brooklyn, NY.
She has served as a guest editor for the Saachi Gallery Magazine Art & Music and has exhibited work in New York, Los Angeles, and London. Firm believer of fun, the therapeutic power of art and never taking yourself too seriously. She is represented by Assignment Agency Theresa@assignmentagency.com assignmentagency.com in the US but in Europe by O firstname.lastname@example.org
APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter fed with helpful marketing information. Follow her@SuzanneSease.