** Note: all pro tips questions are now tagged “protips” so you can read everything all at once.**
So I’ve worked with some editors and worked for some companies doing small time shoots and small editorial things. My relationship with editors/publications is kind of going much too slow and I don’t feel confident in sending them promo or emailing them and expecting results. Would it be appropriate to find an agent? I feel confident in my work and abilities but I’m wondering if ever there’s a time to search for representation, would it be now?
What exactly should I be looking for with representation? And what should I be prepared to send them?
By and large, the appropriate time to search for representation is when you literally can no longer manage shooting and client requests and calendars and making estimates and negotiating all at once.
The other time an agent is helpful is if you’re extraordinarily talented but a recluse, and want someone to be your “face” and leave it up to you to just make photographs. But the key thing here is that you need to be extraordinarily talented. Extraordinarily. Talented.
It sounds like you’re looking for a rep because a rep might help solve your problems, your problems of having few people get back to you about your work. I’m gonna real-talk it for a second: if you don’t feel confident in sending photo editors promo or emailing them and expecting results, why the hell would an agent want to bring you on? It’s one thing for you to be confident in your abilities, but does a photo editor know that? Do you have the right kind of work to back it up? Have a look here at this other thing I wrote.
There’s a difference between thinking you’re good enough and having the portfolio and chops to start getting work. Alot of people get quickly frustrated by how they can’t get access or meetings to photo editors off the bat. Dude. It took me YEARS to get into some magazines. Years. Yeeears.
If you can’t get to where you want to go, you need to work harder. Shoot more. Get your email game tighter. Plain and simple. Thinking a rep will do your legwork will not do the trick. I’ve written some photo editors upwards of 10 times before I hear a peep from the. I’ve written, called, and promo’ed the photo director(s) of Real Simple for two years and they still won’t give me the time of day. A rep won’t solve your problems, you, sir, need to.