Interview With Jen Jenkens of Giant Artists

- - Photography Agent

Good interview with Jen Jenkens founder of Giant Artists over on Too Much Chocolate (here).

“Clients in the editorial or advertising world are constantly looking for fresh, creative talent, and I wouldn’t say that having years of experience or having a rep necessarily makes you more or less of a commodity. If a client is looking for a specific style and a younger artist fits that style, they’ll want to consider them.”

“What advice can you give on new photographers’ portfolios, and what is the one thing that could be improved on the most?

Consistency, a strong edit, and a high quality portfolio and prints. I want to see a consistency in terms of the photographer’s style, and I want the client to walk away from a portfolio review confident in what they’ll get if they hire that photographer. It’s important to invest upfront in the right presentation, in order to get taken seriously. If the prints look cheap, so do you!”

There Are 6 Comments On This Article.

  1. Good points for books or web portfolios.

    It seems to be a constant struggle for me to update my books. I always ask myself if my books look old school, do they look cheap? or over the top strange. I’m just more comfortable presenting online these days.

    I rarely show books anymore. 90% of my portfolio views come from the web and I’m rarely asked for more. Once in a while I get a call for my bag, it’s not like is used to be.

    We used to do showings at ad and media agencies on a regular basis. But, often the attitude is I’d rather see your work online. Even long time good clients.


  2. Its great to hear more from a photo agent who is keen on grabbing new talent. I’m in the world where all my peers are graduating from school, and think they need an agent to make it. Jen writes a brief sentence about not needing an agent to make things happen for yourself. I’m wondering if she has any experience with young photogs who get rep-ed before they’re ready, and what effect this can have on their career.

  3. I haven’t yet delved into the interview itself yet, but I find it interesting that the photographers that Giant represents all have a vintage look to their work – a 60s and 70s vibe. Curious. Is this what’s hot in LA now? Going to be a a whole lot of reinventing looks soon I’d imagine.

  4. Speaking from experience with Giant, we had gotten a few pretty large jobs without an agent and had a decent career for about 6 years with no agent at all. So yes, of course it can be done with no agent. About 3 years ago we landed a (to us) massive ad campaign through Lowe NY and had no idea how to handle something that large and we had met Jen a few times so we called her in a panic. Jen, they want us to submit an estimate for a worldwide usage shoot over 2 weeks! She agreed to help us out and said she was starting her own agency and the rest is history. It’s been an amazing 3 years!!! Thank you Jen, Eleni, and Team Giant.

  5. Agents are expensive… if you’re just out of school you can hardly afford to have one… Besides their cut, you also have to pony up substantial amounts of money for marketing. there’s always exceptions, but most photographers could use a few years of running their own show and learning the business side before they should even think of having an agent.

    Dare to dream of course, but be realistic… most agents are not going to want to take someone who may be completely clueless when it comes to the reality of business.. Its a bit of a chicken and the egg problem – you want to have someone with a good track record of working with commercial clients, but yet many commercial clients require an agent to get…

    That said, the first photographer i worked with starting out shot for 25 years with no agent, and he had a long list of big name clients. He did quite well without giving anyone else a cut…

  6. trumancapote

    just lies….portolfio doesn t meant anything anymore…and it nevr really did…go out everynite….n meet as many people as u can..then maybe the day after u ll hve a job