Apply: Agent/Art Producer

Do you have a love of photography and an entrepreneurial spirit? Wonderful Machine may be the place for you!

Wonderful Machine is a production company with a network of 700 photographers around the world. We currently have 13 full-time staff members, 2 part-time staff members, and a dog, all working from our office in Narberth, Pennsylvania.

We're currently seeking someone who has experience creating estimates for commercial photographers and producing advertising photo shoots, to add to our team.

The job has two main parts: project management and business development.

The project management part entails helping photographers create cost estimates for commercial and editorial photo (and sometimes video) shoots, and producing photo shoots for agencies and brands.

The business development part entails connecting with art buyers to tell them about our capabilities and to learn more about their needs, and writing case studies (about 1/month).

  • You can read some estimating case studies here.
  • You can read some shoot production case studies here.
  • You can read about our portfolio events here.

More About Our Company

Wonderful Machine provides three main services: we promote our member photographers (collectively) through our directory, we help photographers with a variety of consulting services, and we produce photo shoots for agencies and brands. We charge photographers a monthly fee for a listing on our directory, and an hourly (or project) fee for consulting and shoot production.

Since all of our opportunities arise out of us cultivating existing relationships, making new connections, and understanding the needs in the marketplace, we put a lot of effort into learning about the people and companies in our industry. Those people tend to fall into the following categories:

  1. Clients (we also refer to them as prospects) are important to us because nothing happens without clients and it’s why all the other types of people exist at all (including us). Clients include ad agencies, brands, corporations, catalogs, magazines, graphic design firms, book publishers, record companies, non-profits, etc. (anyone who uses high quality commercial photography (and increasingly video) on a regular basis).
  2. Photographers account for the majority of our revenue through their membership and consulting fees. We work to attract the best photographers from around the world. Having great photographers on our site allows us to attract quality clients.
  3. Crew is a term that describes all the people and companies who help photographers execute photo shoots. They include stylists, make-up artists, digital techs, location scouts, caterers, and more. Photographers and clients love that we can help them find excellent crew anywhere in the world.
  4. Many photographers and crew work with agents, who help get them assignments and manage their careers. Many of our photographers have agents, and the exposure we provide augments the promotion that their rep provides. We also frequently help photographers find the right agent, and we sometimes help agents with branding, marketing, estimates or shoot production.
  5. Resources is a term that covers everyone else in our industry – everything from legal and accounting services to website templates and hosting to associations and workshops. Knowing all the important people and companies in our industry allows us to be valuable to clients and photographers.

Internally, the work that we do to support those relationships falls into three categories: brand management, research/outreach and consulting. Brand management is a term we use to describe everything we do to maintain our directory of photographers (and to support our company in general). Research/outreach describes our efforts to find and connect with the people in our industry who are important to us. And consulting describes projects that our staff members perform for individual photographers and clients.

Hours, Location, Company Culture, Compensation, Benefits, History

We work Monday-Friday, approximately 8:15am - 5:45pm (plus as needed). We expect our junior and mid-level staff members to work an average of 45 hours per week. Senior staff members have greater flexibility to set their work schedule.

The benefits we offer include 18 paid days off/year (which can be used for any reason, including vacation, illness, or snow days), 7 paid holidays, an additional 330.00/month towards your health & dental insurance premium (after 90 days), and 401k matching (the percentage varies from year to year).

The work environment is relaxed, friendly, collaborative, and professional.

Our salaries tend to be modest which allows us to pay significant bonuses when someone is really able to connect with clients and photographers.

You can read more about our history on Kate Osba's blog.

How to Apply and How I’ll Respond

If you think we might be a good match, please send your resume to [email protected] listing your education and experience, and a brief cover letter (which can be in the body of the email) describing why you’d be a good fit for Wonderful Machine. I'll acknowledge your email by saying, “Thanks, I’ll take a look.” If you don’t hear from me again, that means that I don’t think that you’re quite right for us at this time. I get a lot of inquiries, so I’m sorry that I won’t be able to offer more feedback than that. It’s nice if you address your email to me personally (please call me Bill), rather than to “Dear Hiring Manager.” And you’ll score extra points if you include a link to your LinkedIn profile (which helps me keep tabs on you if I can't hire you this time around).

If it looks to me like you might be a good match for us, I’ll ask to meet up over Skype for a quick chat. I’ll have some questions for you, and it’ll be nice if you have some questions for me. I tend to interview a lot of people and I tend to take a long time to make a decision. I will do my best to let you know if you are definitely not getting that particular job. But since we’re growing fast, sometimes one set of interviews can run into the next. So if I don’t tell you that you didn’t get the job, it could mean that I’m still considering you for the next opening. I’ll do my best to keep you posted, but there are times when I simply have to leave people hanging. I don’t mind if you follow up by email, and I’ll do my best to give you a meaningful update.

I hope that’s helpful. Please let me know if there’s anything I could add to make this explanation more useful. Thanks!