Lifestyle Photographer Wanted

- - Artist Rep

Once in awhile I see a cryptic email from someone who knows someone who is looking to add a photographer to their roster. I received this non-cryptic email a couple days ago and think it’s pretty bold and cool of Mollie to just put it out there. The language on the request should give you a good idea what all agents are looking for when you approach them: who are you, how much money do you make, who are your clients, what do you want from an agent and what do your pictures look like.

Mollie Jannasch from Agency MJ is currently taking submissions to consider new lifestyle talent.

Please send your submission for consideration to:
Mollie Jannasch – mollie@agencymj.com
Please submit:
1 paragraph (no more) stating who you are, your current client roster, 2009 billing, what you are looking for from an agent and what you can offer (no more than 300 words please)
1 PDF portfolio – (with a minimum of 20 images)
Link to Website
All submissions are confidential

There Are 39 Comments On This Article.

  1. Amanda & Suzanne

    This is SOOOO exciting! Mollie – you are one BOLD LADY! We can’t wait to see what you come up with. To everyone else – if you haven’t met Mollie, she is wonderful! SUBMIT – what do you have to lose?

  2. A little like online dating – always assume that the person is on average 3 inches shorter than what they say. And their 2009 billings are 30% lower.

  3. Rob, I hope you plan on checking back with Mollie to see how many emails she receives on this opportunity. I’m guessing a lot. It would also be interesting to see what process she uses to winnow down the stack.

  4. Thank you for posting that! I’m not only glad to know there’s a specific agent looking for talent, but I also know what she’s looking for in a presentation/email.

    My only question is: if a photographer just started working independently in 2010, what information should she submit re: “2009 billing”? Do you think current year billing would be sufficient?

  5. Here’s another question that might be worth asking: How much money has the photographer spent on marketing each year, and how much have they budgeted for the year ahead.

      • @A Photo Editor,
        indeed. unless interviews are bestowed on those with high billings- Agent seeks lifestyle photographer, only those with lots of clients and high billing need submit. sorry, it’s a cynical day, er year.

        • Amanda & Suzanne

          @nm, If you are GOOD – sometimes that can override BILLING! YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT APPEALS TO AN INDIVIDUAL!

        • @nm, It does feel like an uphill battle, you need enough clients for a rep to take you on, but you need a rep to help build your client base. However, and I posted this recently on here, there are a lot more photographers than reps, allowing reps to be picky and choosy. That’s why you just have to keep producing good work and not give up(at least that is what I tell myself)

          • @Neil,

            Seems that a lot of photographers fall for the golden ticket myth of having of an agent. “If only I had that agent, I would be successful…” or “if only it wasn’t a down economy…” or “if only there weren’t all those cell phone photographers…”

            Success is really a result of one’s own talents + their stubborn efforts.

            Agents are expensive. They take a cut and you have thousands of dollars of contractually obligated marketing fees. If you’re a young photographer, built a client base on your own, learn how to run a business and then when you get too busy to market yourself, then look at agents… they might even come to you.

            I know plenty of photographers who self-rep and make excellent income without giving a penny to someone else.

            • @craig, Good points/advice. I don’t see an agent as a golden ticket, but I think specific attributes could help fill in some holes of my own personal business.

    • @nm,

      Agents are businesses too and money is the gasoline a business runs on.

      If I were an established agent, in a down year I’d be looking mainly at established or semi-established talent that can get along with clients

  6. Great, i think is a great opportunity for photographers out there, and the message is clear and straightforward.
    I wanna see too what she comes up with

  7. >>your current client roster, 2009 billing,

    This didn’t stand out as an unreasonable request when I first read it, but it has bugged me all day. I can see sharing this information with your agent, but submitting it as a prerequisite for an interview with a potential agent? It seems to me you would want to establish mutual interest before sharing any confidential information.

    This sounds like a cattle call for lifestyle photographers. If everyone complies, Mollie winds up with a nice list of clients to contact and some other financial data that could be useful. Am I just being my usual cynical, suspicious, self here? Not to sound accusatory but we don’t really know if Mollie plans to take on anyone as a rep. She might just be dangling an opportunity to scam some information (again, apologies Mollie — I don’t even know you so I don’t mean to paint you as evil). I’m very cautious about sharing personal or business information unless there is a clear reason for it.

      • @A Photo Editor,

        Sorry, but I think it’s a legitimate question. How much confidential information should you be prepared to provide for an opportunity like this? This is an open call for submissions. It’s not like the rep has already reviewed your work and sees a potential match.

        • @Tom, my two cents: it’s up to us photographers to decide how much we want to share in a situation like this. I’d be willing to bet though, that there will be no shortage of folks applying and gladly including that information.

  8. If Mollie has put down her criteria of what she is looking for I am also sure that she is astute enough in her understanding of the business that she knows photographers will also have their questions.

    *where is the majority of the agencies client base?

    *what is her marketing plan for you?

    *what was the agencies billings?

    *where do they see you in five years?

    *who are the people calling her for photographers?

    A Rep/Photographer relationship is not for everyone, nor is every relationship perfect….do your research, ask the questions, don’t jump in.

    • @Hasnain Dattu, I agree, those are fair questions. And she did say, “what you are looking for from an agent?” It’s a partnership, neither’s the boss of the other.

    • blacktrees

      @Hasnain Dattu, I had an older post asking about important questions a photographer should ask prospective reps to make sure it will be a good long term fit. Thanks for posting your list. I curious to see what others advise…Amanda? Suzanne?

  9. Jason Abernathy

    Ooooh, Ooooh, Pick Me, Pick Me!

    By the way here’s all my billings and client information and stuff.
    Hope you get some use out of it! Don’t feel the need to call me back or qualify your request for everyone’s info!

    LOL – Sounds a lot like a nozy Rep in need of some work. What a cheezy way to do it. If she’s that lazy to go out in search of new photogs, should that tell me anything?

    So Rob, since this place is getting to be a lot like craigslist job postings, how long ’til I start to put up posts for all my old gear? ;)

    Jason

  10. Why so negative people? Also, what damage could a rep do with your billings and client info?

    I found this to be a pretty great opportunity to get in front of a rep that is actually looking for new talent. Based on some of the comments on here looks like I won’t have much competition.

    • Jason Abernathy

      @Clark Griffiths,
      Well have at it there friend. If you don’t mind disclosing who you work for and who’s spending money so this person might potentially drum up business for her other clients.
      Also, your billings, well let me say this…she’ll likely only consider you if there’s a significant profit potential she could make off of your hard work with established clientele.
      Damage, well maybe not directly, but let me tell you this, if you’re willing to share that kind of information with a total stranger, YOU’LL be no competition soon. :)
      This is a business for sure, and I can tell you this, a businessman WOULD NEVER divulge this info to a total stranger.
      J

        • @Scott Hargis,
          Um, well Scott, I don’t see how googling an SEC filing would shed light on someone asking for a private party’s business info?
          Help me out there?

          Funny thing is I see this from several angles…
          As for Personal Business info: No way I would give that info without having spoken with this person and qualified their interest in helping my business as well as qualifying “who” they are.

          From the opportunity front: Kind of interesting to see that reps are looking to get in touch with photogs they may not have heard of or might not turn up in a cursory search for new talent.

          From a similar yet less cynical approach on “why here”: I find it odd that someone would want so much info and effort from someone that may never even get a “thanks, but no thanks” note.
          Not sure what her protocol is once the info is sent in to her….Simply culling all the info and throwing out the crap -or- database build to qualify photographers worth their weight with a no thanks note -or- something else….?
          Would be nice to see more info on that from her here.

          That said, it is what it is. If you don’t like it, ignore it. :)

          Rick

  11. What, specifically, would be the damage from disclosing a “total billings” figure?
    Anyone?

    She’s not asking for a breakdown by client, or a profit %, or anything specific. Welcome to the world of business, folks. Ever heard of a 10Q?

  12. To the negative responses – ouch! If you did a quick search you would see that Mollie is legit, has incredible talent on her roster, and lists a heck of a lot of clients on her site (for each photographer no less). She is not paranoid or secretive – it appears she’s confident. She doesn’t need a list of clients to go after. Reps generally know who is working, who is hiring, and what clients they want to go after. We have the best databases, lists, relationships, etc. Unless she gets a contact list with phone numbers, the information is only helpful in determining the personality, style and credibility of the photographer, as well as whether there is a conflict with another shooter on her roster.
    I don’t know Mollie, but from her website and her professional boldness, I wish I did. Either you guys have never had a rep, or you’ve unfortunately had a bad experience. Being a rep is not all sit back & wait for the money to flow in. We work a LOT of hours on behalf of our talent – because we believe in them, want them to succeed, and have a crazy love for this business. We also spend a lot of our own money to promote each talent. I don’t think you negative guys understand exactly how it works. It IS a partnership.
    There is no shortage of photographers looking for reps – so it can’t be that Mollie is lazy. More likely, she believes this is a professional forum with legit, talented photographers and thought she might find a gem.
    You might consider that she would like to know if the billings for the photographer might be either very low or very high so there’s a good fit. Both can be problematic and challenging. I hate that you feel the way you do and are so cynical and negative… it can’t be helping your business or your stress level. I say that genuinely and with good intention.
    I’d also add that if you follow Rob/this site, you must have some faith in the content and author. There is a degree of credibility that should come with his post.

    • @Marta Aldriedge,
      Thanks for this comment.

      I put it up as and experiment, on the chance that something interesting might come in. I’ve made suggestions to agents in the past so I thought it would interesting for people to see what it looks like.

      But, I tend to spend very little time explaining what will be obvious to most photographers reading this blog. This leaves the door open for people who don’t understand what we’re talking about to get all crazy in the comments.

  13. I think this is an awesome opportunity. Unfortunately I’m JV watching the big guys play. Despite shooting for i-D and Discovery in the past, my 2009 was anemic. Is it a waste of time to send her my stuff. I mean, it seems that she wants a heavy hitter.
    Thanks Rob for posting this though.

  14. Sounds like the rep wants to make a quick calculation to see how much money she’s likely to make off the photographer before she even gets out of bed in the morning. It appears to have way more to do with what the photographer can do for her than what she can do for the photographer.

  15. This one really has polarised people! On one hand I admire the straight-forward and non-bureaucratic approach to bringing on another photographer to her books. On the other, it does seem slightly one-way and presumptuous, along the lines of ‘will all photographers form an orderly queue’. A little like the Getty-Flickr agreement – lots of effort from photographers and win-win for the agency.

    Guess we’ll see how it turns out! I’m sure that she won’t have a shortage of applicants! Not sure the divulging personal info argument holds much water….

  16. Hilarious…never heard of the agency?
    Never heard of her photographers?
    Seems she’s in need of some income(we are in a recession still).
    Basically she is looking for someone who can make her money with the least expense from the co. Audacious/smart…perhaps?