Looking back, we probably should have expected that driving in New York shortly after a hurricane would be problematic, but on November 15, Paul and I drove in for portfolio reviews blissfully unaware of the traffic horrors awaiting us. Things were going smoothly until we started seeing signs directing us past the Lincoln Tunnel, then the bridges. Eventually, we had to enter Manhattan through The Holland Tunnel. This took us over an hour and we found ourselves rushing to our first meeting (even though we left quite early in the morning!). But luck was on our side and we were shaking hands with Marie Claire photo editors Ashley and Lizzy right on time.
Having visited Marie Claire two years ago, we knew they prefer seeing reportage and non-LA/NY based shooters. With that in mind, we showed the work of our documentary photographers Beth Rooney, Eli Meir Kaplan and Radhika Chalasani—all of whom got great responses from Ashley and Lizzy. Eli was a particular favorite, especially his adorable pony series.
And just in case, we also brought a few celeb/portrait/fashion shooters from cities large and small. Of these books, Jeremy Deputat‘s iPad was a top pick. They were especially happy to learn that he’s based in Detroit—which is not always the easiest place to find amazing celebrity photographers.
We packed up the car and moved at a crawl to More Magazine. Luckily, we made it into the Meredith building just in time to meet More‘s photography director, Natasha Lunn, and three members of the photo department. Unlike Marie Claire, this group was happy to see lots of fashion and celebrity work, “oohing and awing” over Monica Stevenson, Samantha Wolov, Austin Hargrave and Jodi Jones‘ books.
We had a good visit at More, and they were extremely pleased with the selection of work. And when they found out our next meeting was across the hall at Fitness Magazine they ran and grabbed the FM photo editor Karina. That way, we didn’t have to lug all the books across the building. Thanks, More ladies!
Paul and I sat down with Karina who was looking for (no surprise) sports and fitness work, along with still life and fashion. She said they’re moving away from happy-go-lucky women working out on seamless backdrops, and moving towards more “realistic” photos of athletes exercising on location. With that in mind, we showed the fitness work of Nick Hall and Kevin Winzeler, who were both well received. She also loved David Arky‘s still life and Christopher Shane‘s lifestyle photography.
After thanking Katrina for her time and presenting her with a highly sought-after WM t-shirt, we rushed to the car for our last meeting: NBC. Seeing that we wouldn’t arrive on time if we had to park, I dropped Paul in front of 75 Rockefeller Center (their temporary office) with a giant case of portfolios. He made a mad dash into the building where he was asked by an employee if he was there for the casting. Personally, I might have dropped the case and played along, but Paul declined. Finally, he met up with NBC’s photo coordinator and director of photography.
Right off the bat they asked Paul for recommendations for photographers in Atlanta, which he was happy to provide. Of the books on hand, they particularly enjoyed Austin Hargrave, Jeremy Deptutat, Stephanie Diani and Winnie Au‘s work. They were also intrigued to hear that we can handle production as well as stock requests.
After looking through the books and learning all about Wonderful Machine, the NBC meeting wrapped and Paul met me outside the building. We breathed a sigh of relief, knowing we’d made it through all four meetings, even with the horrendous traffic. Victorious, we headed to our last stop of the day, a happy hour at The Stag’s Head.
There, we sipped on a couple well-deserved beers with WM photographers Annie Tritt, Axel Dupeux, Gil Lavi, Stephanie Diani and her husband Tim. It was a fun time, with lots of laughs—especially from Axel and Gil, who could hack it as a comedy duo, if they ever tire of photography. Eventually, we had to call it a night since we needed to drive back to Philly. We said our goodbyes and jumped in the car to spend another hour fighting to get out of the city. I’ll tell you one thing, I’ve never been so happy to be in New Jersey in my entire life… Until next time, New York!
Need help getting your portfolio in front of dream clients? Reach out!