Heidi: Why did you choose to form this?
The Group: It has become harder and harder for individual photographers to secure a book showing at advertising agencies. We’ve banded together a diverse group of photographers in order to efficiently meet with agencies where solo shooters might have more difficulty securing a show. Art producers and creatives have very limited time, so this is a way to meet several artists at once.
Does one of you act as the agent or is it a shared responsibility?
There is no agent. Each of us are independent photographers and we work together to build name recognition for the group, and to prepare for and plan our group showings. We do have a coordinator that does our outreach, books our showings and acts as the point person for agency communications. We don’t book jobs through the group or have a point person working in an agent’s capacity of estimating, negotiating, or marketing any of us individually – that’s up to each of us separately.
Does everyone travel or one photographer travels and brings all the books?
We feel it is important to meet with creatives directly. These days it is about building relationships and each member is committed to doing just that, bringing a personal touch and a true sense of artistic collaboration to everything we do. Consequently we all try to attend every showing.
Do you have to apply to join?
The Group really is a democratic collaborative. We as a group definitely vet each potential member to ensure that they are like minded and of a certain caliber so as to keep the quality of work at the highest level.
What are the requirements to be involved?
Each member must contribute in an equitable fashion, both financially as well as with tasks. Each member is forthcoming in their strengths and weaknesses and everyone is quick to take on duties that speak to their strengths.
Why this over an agent?
We’ve often heard that creatives like to meet the artist they will be working with. Artists are able to create a more personal connection to their work and also verbalize their process and workflow on a deeper level than an agent might. Also with group showings, individual creatives can get more personalized attention while reviewing a portfolio, than with a single agent showing multiple books.