After the success of our Dear Art Buyer, Dear Rep letters, I thought it would be interesting to hear from a photo editor to know what makes for a successful relationship on their end.
I reached out to a few photo editors and received this letter back from Amy Feitelberg of Outside Magazine. It struck me once again that we are all up against the same challenges and that mutual respect, open communication and common courtesies are the keys to any successful relationship.
Thank you Amy for letting us know how to best work with you.
One of the best parts of my job is to get to know all the great talent that is out there. I love photography and feel so fortunate to be in this business and surround myself with such amazing imagery and fantastic talent. When Heather reached out to me and asked me to write a letter letting photographers know how to best work with me, I came up with a list of the top five things to consider if you want to work successfully with me.
Here they are:
1. Phone calls
I want to hear about your photographers and I want to hear who’s going where. I promise I do! But phone calls are really hard for me. Email me. I promise I’ll look. I am really good at that. Those of you who know me, know that If I had the time, I would chat with everyone!
2. Direct Access
I need direct access to your photographers as soon as we have agreed to work together – if not sooner. So, as soon as you and I have agreed on the details of the shoot please put me in touch with them right away. I know sometimes it is easier on your end if the coordination comes through you but I much prefer at that point to be in contact with the photographer; especially if I have not worked with this photographer before. I don’t want to take the chance that something will get lost in translation. Besides, this is the best way that I can get a feel for how a photographer and I will work together. Feel free to be involved, but please do make sure I have direct access as well.
I know there is a lot to read and review, but please return photographers contracts in a timely manner. We have so many rights to negotiate these days that many departments need to know immediately from us if we can use the images in our foreign editions, online, on our ipad, etc.
Scheduling is so hard nowadays – on both ends I am sure. So, let’s agree to be very clear on which dates are available as well as any changes. I know this is a dance between us, the photographer, the subject, the location….and when that other job comes in while we’re trying to make this all work. But if I’m given parameters from the outset and I work within them – you should have to adhere to them as well. Please.
I know this sounds obvious, but you would be amazed at how many sites are still a challenge to use. Please make sure they load quickly, the photos are big and the site is easy to navigate. Fancy flash and graphics take a lot of time and I just want to see the photographer’s work.
Also I love, love, love when it’s made clear where a photographer lives and if they’re a travel photographer, where they’ve been. It’s also so great when an agent has their photographers broken down by category. When a rep’s site is organized like that, I go back time and again to look at what’s new, who’s shooting what, what I can use for stock, etc.
Thanks again for all of your interest in Outside Magazine and your passion for your craft. We are fortunate to work in such a creative industry and I am honored to be able to get to know as many of you I have.