On a grey and drizzly morning last week, Kayleen and I hit the road for another thrilling day of New York meetings. After a long car ride through steady rain, we finally made it to HGTV Magazine. We were fortunate to meet with Photo Director Barbara Ovrutsky, who doesn’t normally take portfolio meetings. She made an exception though, and was able to squeeze us in. Barbara was a lot of fun to chat with, and already somewhat familiar with our site. She hadn’t used the newer search function, but I walked her through the interface and she was happy with how quickly she could find shooters in smaller markets. Barbara was especially impressed with Jon Roemer, Alise O’Brien, Ashley Giesking, and Stacy Zarin Goldberg, whose promo she absolutely adored.
After HGTV, we headed downtown to the beautiful offices of Baron & Baron, a fashion branding and design firm, where we met with two art producers and shared the work of 10 fashion/beauty shooters. They especially enjoyed the stylish work of Joshua Pestka, Pamela Lopez Grant and Martin Bauendahl. They also shared insight into how they hire photographers; while most of their still life is shot in New York or Paris, they shoot fashion all over the world for clients like Calvin Klein, Burberry and Tod’s. They also let us know that their creative director, Fabien Baron, is the editorial director at Interview Magazine. So working with Interview is a great way to get your foot in the door with Baron & Baron!
Once the meeting came to a close, we grabbed some delicious tea from Bosie tea parlor, before hoofing it a few soggy blocks down the street to our final meeting at the marketing communications agency, Havas Worldwide (formerly known as Euro RSCG Worldwide).
Space was a bit tight at Havas, since they’re in the process of moving offices, but we had a great meeting with art buyer Julie Rosenoff. She was familiar with Wonderful Machine, but mostly thought of us as a place to find editorial photographers, particularly reportage shooters. We came prepared with a selection of impressive books and I think she came away with a better understanding of the variety and quality that our members have to offer. She recognized and loved Dana Neibert‘s portfolio, and was also taken with the work of Claire Benoist, Saverio Truglia and Scott Witter. We spoke for a while about international productions, and their growing demand for photographers in Uruguay and Chile (they apparently have several clients there). She also brought up the consistent need for “over the shoulder” still shooters for video productions. Kayleen and I let her know about the stock services Wonderful Machine offers clients, and we received our first request from Havas before the end of the week!
The last stop of the day was at Adorama, for a panel discussion moderated by our pal Louisa Curtis. My fellow panelists included Julie Grahame, assistant director at Clampart and editor of the popular blog aCurator, Manuela Oprea, photo editor of Bloomberg Markets, Megan Re, director of photography at Food Network, Patricia Cortese, director of creative operations at Rosetta, and Meggan Reinhardt, deputy photo editor at WWE. Not a bad crew! I enjoyed meeting this broad range of art buyers and editors and hearing how they work with photographers. I thought one of the best lines of the night came from Patricia, encouraging photographers to be more careful with proofreading and design of their materials: “If you don’t care about your brand, why should anyone else?” The most fiery speech came from Julie, waving around a mailer that so offended her, she had been carrying it around for three months, showing it to everyone as an example of what NOT to do. Several panelists mentioned the importance of sustaining relationships after you’ve gotten your first assignment, through continued marketing and social media. They pointed out that editors and art buyers tend to move around, and if they remember you as a great person to work with, you might just get to come with them!
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