5 Questions for Boda, WIB Agency

- - Photography Agent

Boda, Director of Photography at the WIB Agency has a 20 year career as an agent under his belt and in that time he’s worked with some very talented photographers at a few of the biggest agencies in town (NYC). He also has the good fortune to have one of the most memorable names in the business. I didn’t know about the move to WIB and he was telling me about it and I thought I’d ask him a few questions for everyone to read. I even found a couple photographers I like to add to my list (below).

1. Boda, you’ve been an agent for quite awhile now. Can you tell me how you got started in this business and why you’ve kept it up for so long?

When I first moved to NY, I met the Art Director Paula Greif and Director Peter Kagan, they were just editing the video of Chaka Khan and Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” I worked with them for about 2 years and always seemed to gravitate to the client, making sure that they were happy and they were getting what they wanted. From there I started at Art + Commerce assisting Jim Moffat with Annie Leibovitz, Robert Mapplethorpe and Steven Meisel. I knew then that my passion was making people happy, making sure things got done, and making sure that in the end everybody had what they needed and that nobody got hurt doing it. Paula Greif called me a “Gentlemen’s Agent” meaning one not to backstab or do anything malicious. Just a good guy trying to do good work with good people.

2. Tell me about your agency? How big is it (offices, number of agents, photographers)?

Our agency started in Paris about 13 years ago and then grew to Milan and London. A little over a year ago, it seemed only natural to open in NY, most of our artists had apartments in NY and Paris and were traveling often. In NY we have only 2 agents, our office is very minimalistic. We consider it to be a boutique, an agency that pays attention to the photographers. That when they call they talk to their agent, not the assistants. We want this to be our “Thing” a boutique, small, cozy and friendly.

3. You’ve got a top roster of what appears to be mostly European photographers. Do you find it difficult to convince clients to bring in someone from Europe to shoot in NYC?

We always tell our clients that travel should not be an issue, most of our photographers have places to stay when in NY and will fly themselves here at anytime. Dean Isidro, Mary Rozzi and Alexandre Weinberger live in NY and the same goes for them when they have to go to Europe.

4. Juggling a photographers schedule with fashion clients seems like it would be awfully stressful. Do you have any special techniques that keep everyone happy?

It is just what I do, I love to keep people happy, I don’t get stressed ever. Everything will always get done if you just breathe and do one thing at a time, lists are very important. You will never, ever hear me say to a client or photographer the phrase, “I AM SO CRAZY,BUSY,INSANE” I am so sick of hearing agents say that, the truth is if you are well organized it will all get done. And there are never EMERGENCIES, yes a belt or a lipstick may be forgotton or Salmon wasn’t delivered at lunchtime, but really, nobody is being rushed in an ambulance to the hospital.

5. What’s the best way for an emerging photographer to get on your radar for potential representation someday?

I love links to their work, I love seeing all work, personal, editorial, catalog, advertising. The more the better. If I like their work then I will always meet with them, but they better be a good person and have a genuine nice personality, because that is who I surround myself with.

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There Are 9 Comments On This Article.

  1. Its always great to hear that there are good people looking for good people in this industry. The negative gets too much press.

  2. Question 4 really rings true with me – there is nothing I hate more than going to talk to someone, just so they can spend 5 minutes telling me ridiculously busy they are and how they don’t have any time for me. Gee, it looks like you just blew 5 perfectly good minutes there… perhaps it’s your time management that needs work. Just a pet peeve, and it was nice to hear it called out.

  3. @ Jacob Gibb, yes indeed Ive found its usually those who are in a position of power who have the attitude problem. Always remember my first meeting with a “noted” photo editor in the early eighties, I had a specific appointment and after travelling for three hours arrived bang on time only to wait another hour for him to show up, his first reply to me “people from your area are usually late, I was busy sorting my mortgage out” If there was an apology in there I don’t recall it. Wasn’t difficult to see why he may have been having financial troubles despite his reputation.

  4. I need to tighten up my time management. I always feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. I find I’m relying a lot more on to-do lists and schedules than I once did, but I think I need to do some hiring, as well. =)

    I think I’m going to take the advice never to be “crazy busy” again. Don’t take on more work than I can handle: Check. Hire help: Check. I think I can do this…

  5. ““I AM SO CRAZY,BUSY,INSANE” I am so sick of hearing agents say that”

    Me too, may that be agents, clients, make up artists, hair stylists, or whoever actually.

    This interview is refreshing.

  6. i am currently looking for an agent in the south shore area of mass do you happen to know any? plus i am just starting out with the agent thing but i have been working with photography for years, any suggestions?

  7. I had the great pleasure of sharing office space with Boda for a little while in NY over a decade ago and I have to say I’ve never met anyone in the business quite like him. He has a rare combination of sensitivity, honesty and extraordinarily perceptive taste. Just seeing the books of his Photographers completely opened my eyes to new ways of seeing and doing.

    The fact that he is also a huge success it is great to hear in this increasingly jaded climate. Long may it continue.

    Justin.