This past February, I began working with lifestyle photographer & filmmaker Shravya Kag to help her find representation. Shravya is located in Brooklyn, but was born in Vijayawada, South India, and moved to the States in 2015 to pursue a master’s in photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
Last year, Shravya worked with one of my Wonderful Machine colleagues on a client list and she mentioned to me that it was a great help as she was able to triple her contacts. This time around, she was looking for a photographer’s representative who could help her grow her current business in New York while also building awareness for her in LA, where she is moving soon, and she reached out to our team for our Find a Rep service.
From start to finish, I enjoyed working with Shravya and admired the elegance and subtlety with which she works on editorial projects. During our call, Shravya mentioned that she was very interested in working with an agent who could support her in finding more lifestyle-focused projects with a natural touch.
While Shravya initially wanted to shift her focus to lifestyle commercial projects, we realized her strong body of editorial work highlights her storytelling abilities and would continue to connect her with those in the editorial world. On her website, Shravya admits she is “captivated by oral histories” and explores themes of home, identity, and personal space in her own work. When we described the style and intent of her photography we centered around this idea:
Shravya treats the camera as an extension of herself, a channel through which her subjects can share their stories and be treated with care.
As a young and progressive photographer, Shravya has participated in transcendental projects such as “Process: 20 Years Since,” a mini-docuseries and interactive digital exhibition focused on telling stories of South Asians living in post-9/11 America. She displays several of her photo essays on her website, where she reflects on different social issues and intersectional perspectives. Of these projects, my personal favorites were The International Express and Out of Transit.
My research focused on reps and collectives in the US and Europe, who would be interested in a lifestyle photographer with a corporate/editorial focus. I specifically began to look for collectives of women photographers with an international profile. Although Shravya wanted to focus on the United States, I think many would appreciate her unique perspective as an international photographer with great sensitivity to current global topics.
Early on we agreed to take a break in the middle of the process because of a trip Shravya was taking to India to visit her family. Upon her return, Shravya shared fresh and unique material about her country and community in India, and we felt this trip added a personal touch to our process.
Shravya carefully reviewed each prospect, and the result was a mix of agents between New York City and across Europe. I decided to include reps in countries like UK and Germany, who focus on lifestyle artists that employ a natural touch or corporate artists who use a documentary approach. We finally came up with a solid and selective list of 25 reps. Shravya designed a composition that projected the editorial/human side that characterizes her portrait and documentary work.
The email campaign was a success with an 86% open rate, 60% clicks, and eight responses. Both corporate and editorial agents shared positive reviews of her portfolio, such as Germaine Walker, Lundi 13, Maps Images, and Majority World. Two reps wanted to connect with her immediately. As a result of our work together, Shravya had a meeting with Institute for Artists Management with whom she is currently collaborating.
In fact, a couple of weeks ago Shravya decided to share with me her first project with Institute, documenting the mountainous journey across six states on the California Zephyr. I was very proud to see the results of our process. During my time working with Shravya, I felt as though we guided her through both a career shift and a cross-country move, and I’m excited to see all the great opportunities that await her!
Thank you for all the help, Elo! It was very helpful to think about my career in a more structured way.
Wonderful Machine: Expert Advice: The Photographer/Agent Relationship
Wonderful Machine: Expert Advice: Agent Contracts
Wonderful Machine: Case Studies: Find a Rep