Is Lürzer’s Archive Worth It?

- - Marketing

I got a question form a reader about Lürzer’s Archive that was similar to another one about CA Photo Annual. Basically, are these things worth it? Both these publications are read by people in the Advertising industry so I have very little experience with them, but the panels I’ve been on they are always mentioned as sources for finding photographers. But “is it worth the $750 for a 1/2 page” in Archive, the reader asks?

My opinion, based on just listening to people, not actual experience, is that none of this is worth it unless it’s part of an actual campaign to reach potential clients. A general rule that a client must see your work in around 5 different places before they will place you on the “to hire someday” list seems smart. That means if your work appears in Archive it should also hit their desk in a mailer and their email box then possibly on a blog or magazine they check out and finally at a portfolio showing. Actually this is related to another question I got about resource books. Are they still worth it? Generally, people are still advertising in them because of the websites and events they have along with the books but also because they create additional points of contact. Don’t forget the old advertising adage: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.

Love to hear some empirical evidence from readers about this.

There Are 16 Comments On This Article.

  1. Hi Rob. I thought I would weigh in with our experience with Archive, Many of our photographers have advertised with Archive and we have found it to be worth the investment. We have definitely had assignments that could be directly attributed to a creative seeing the photographer’s ads in Archive.

    Our view has always been that Archive is unique in that its draw to creatives is primarily to see what their peers are doing and not just a showcase of photography and illustration. So, given that , we’ve felt that it has a more consistent audience of the people we are trying to reach with our marketing efforts than other industry publications and source books.

    • Our view has always been that Archive is unique in that its draw to creatives is primarily to see what their peers are doing and not just a showcase of photography and illustration. So, given that , we’ve felt that it has a more consistent audience of the people we are trying to reach with our marketing efforts than other industry publications and source books.

      Agreed. The effort is multi-leveled, Archive is a great place to be. Your audience is targeted if you are shooting advertising. But, you have to reach out in other way including source books, along with emails and direct.

  2. I think archive sounds like a deal $750 for a half page is cheap. Archive is small as well which makes it a better buy. I think books like the workbook are so big, it’s next to impossible to get noticed inside unless you buy a bunch of pages. You are right though it has to be part of a campaign. I love walking to a meeting and having an art buyer feel like they know some of my samples, that means they saw them, either in an email, postcard, or on my site and remembered them because of the repeated exposure. I heard some place that people have to see your name 5 times before it really sinks in. I try and find 5 ways to expose people to my images.

  3. It’s better to be featured in these journals, than advertise in them. It has been said in the past, half page or single page ad communicates a lack of substance in journals and sourcebooks (unless it’s an inside or back cover). The strong studios go with spreads in EVERY issue. The content has to fit the needs and perceptions of the creatives reading the media. Even then, spending five or six figures on advertising may only put the image maker on the “someday list”. ROI?

    Most of the journals have cut back on the number of issues published each year.
    What does this say about the journals and the advertising industry?

    Another important question. When a creative can hire a longtime very well known seasoned image maker (often at competitive rates) for a campaign with a large media buy and similar production costs – why would they risk going with a relative newb?
    What are the risks vs benefits? Keep in mind the CD, the AD (and the client to some extent) will be directing the creative – less so the image maker, who will usually be more of a technical producer of the concept.

  4. I’ve gotten an email for the last 5 years about being a worlds top 200 advertising photographer for only 1000 bucks a page or something but it’s always sent to an email from an old website I had before teaming up with my wife and actually becoming a top 200 advertising photographer. So I guess it’s the top 200 who pay money.

      • Hi Day 19 and Doug…
        My photographers have had paid ads in Archive, and have been selected as one of the World’s Top 200 Ad Photographers.

        There are 2 things we are talking about here:

        The first is the ARCHIVE book – 200 Best Ad Photographers Worldwide. You usually have to be asked, by email to submit your work for consideration. You will get an email that says “an art director, or client has suggested you for this book”. Then you can submit your work. It is reviewed by judges, and then 200 images/photographers are selected. If you are selected, you do have to pay a fee. The fee depends on how large they run the photo in the book. They decide how large to run it, and the larger it is the more you pay. I think this is pretty fair, and I can’t imagine someone turning this down, because the book is a great resource for people who are looking for quality photography. It’s also a great book, -eye candy, if you will….

        You can ALSO be in the same book, and BUY an ad advertising your services/style as a photographer. Just the same as you can buy an ad in any Archive book. It is about $750 page, or $1400 for a spread, the last time I checked.

        Day 19, – if you got an email that says you were selected, I think you probably were- that’s the same email one of my photographers got and he was featured as on of the Top 200.

        At any rate- my point in writing was that I want to quiet any thoughts that anyone has that this could possibly be like those “who is who” books. The top 200 photographers are “vetted”, and it is an accomplishment to be in the book.

  5. As an advertising art director I can tell you I hardly ever pay attention to photographers ads in any publication. What I (and many of my peers) do pay attention to is the photography that has gotten into Archive. For us Archive is a great showcase of fresh work.

  6. We have been advertising in Archive for many years off and on. I can say that when we do a campaign in Archive requests for our portfolios definitely goes up. And jobs come through. It took us awhile to make that link, it was a bit difficult to pinpoint. But once we saw it our jaws dropped. It is the only place we have ever advertised that actually makes a difference. And I have to admit we’ve run some clinkers. We have also noticed that ad placement in Archive really makes a difference. We are gearing up with a new campaign due to launch in the new year probably. No doubt we will feel the result from that as well.

  7. Although I’m just seeing this post, I’d like to clock in. Archive’s and Communication Arts Photography Annual are two totally different publications. Although,I think both are highly regarded. I guess what I don’t understand Rob is that you cover PDN 30 ,as well as PDN Annual, but not CA Photography Annual.

  8. I wouldn’t be desperate to work for an Art Director that uses either of those sources to choose a photographer, they haven’t shown the most interesting photography for several years now, they can only show what they get submitted and fewer and fewer of us send them anything anymore. My US agent always used to encourage me to enter CA Photo Annual but not anymore.

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