Agents And Art Buyers Go To War

- - Working

UPDATE: April Fools!

What started as friendly banter when photography agent Heather Elder wrote an open letter to art buyers with several responding back and everyone agreeing and asking for open and honest dialogue between the two, has suddenly taken a turn for the worse this morning when a senior art buyer at DHPH-NY/LA declared “I’m tired of this shit, you people work for me” then announced a new policy called the “silent bid off.” Now up to 20 photographers will be asked to submit silent bids on all jobs. The job will be awarded to the lowest bid or picked based on “arbitrary rules we’ve made that you have no idea about.” Additionally, an a la carte menu will allow agents to purchase more information about a job (e.g. budget, creative call, who you’re bidding against) that may or may not give you an edge in the bid off and could potentially mean you’re paying them if you win.

Senior agent David Chartikoff from Creative Photographers Agency fired back with new surcharges that will be added to all jobs. Photographers will have at their discretion the ability to charge thousands of dollars in “dealing with agency/client buffoon charges.” The DWACB charges include additional surcharges for people trying to eat and drink the expense budget in a single evening and people standing around set acting like they’re on “spring break” instead of working. He hinted at some type of hangover fine but was initially unsure if that might backfire on some of his well known photographers who “work better” when everything is a bit blurry in the morning.

Another art buyer jumped into the fray and instituted a new portfolio show policy inspired by the pac-man video game. Agents must schlep 400 lbs of portfolios, snacks and drinks throughout the agency and try to find as many creatives as they can in an allotted time limit. Each creative you find gives you a small time bonus that you can use to show a portfolio or go find another creative. When found you can ply them with snacks and drinks, but if it’s not something they like (e.g. they’re allergic to an item) they get to smear frosting on the prints of the book you were trying to show them. Once time runs out all the creatives convene in a conference room for a meeting and you must exit the building immediately. Obstacles placed throughout the building (e.g. life size sponge bob squarepants) will prevent agents from using any mechanical aids in this new pac-agent challenge.

Finally the Agents Association of America made a surprise announcement and revealed a new email marketing tool they’ve been working on called the “Email Blast Master.” The EBM is capable of locking up a computer and rendering it useless until the email is read and the link to the website clicked on. In addition to locking up the computer anyone not expressing enthusiasm at the invitation to “check out new work” will immediately have their personal email blasted to all flickr users with the headline “Looking For Fresh New Photographers To Work With.”

This was all happening in a secret forum where agents and art buyers discuss jobs, so “untouchables” (photographers without agents) cannot land them, but someone broke in and opened the thing up to the pubic. Go check it out (here) before they close it again.

There Are 52 Comments On This Article.

  1. The EBM is really f*cked up. Anyone using it should be blacklisted and forced to work on a Class B Honey Bee farm for 2 years.

  2. Moya McAllister

    This was brilliant – thanks for a good start to April Fool’s Day!

  3. Son of a… You got me, too. Was getting all riled up about how childish this seemed. I didn’t think I was gullible, and I was even thinking about whether I could come up with a good April Fool’s joke for my wife, just before reading your post! Nice work.

  4. Nice. I clued in pretty shortly after ‘arbitrary rules’ but was thinking, someone was self destructing their career with “ people work for me!”. Well done.

  5. only barely unbelievable…. slight reductions in hyperbole could make me less likely to look at the datestamp….

  6. This is a joke, right? I mean, it is April 1st and all and I mean like, you just can’t believe everything you read on Wikipedia… right? I’m just not sure what to think any more. You mean I need to get my portfolio up to 400lbs? Yikes. How many IPads would that take? :)

  7. Given that I’m a multi-trillionaire with absurdly great looks and a license to kill, I have no use for this post’s bodily fluids.