In defense of art buyers and some other words of wisdom for photographers from Sheri Radel Rosenberg.

© Ann Elliott Cutting –

When I wrote the Dear Art Buyer and Finding Your New Glasses posts, I received so many emails and comments that helped keep those conversations going.  One of which came from Sheri Radel Rosenberg of Maven blog fame.  Her experience as an art buyer, producer and blogger provided so many helpful insights into what clients find valuable nowadays that I shared them in another post.

Recently, I was reviewing her original email to me and remembered that in addition to the client insights, she had included some thoughts on what art buyers are up against as well as some words of wisdom for photographers.

It is always interesting to hear what she has to say, so I thought I would share her thoughts with you now.

“….I also wanted to say a few words in defense of art buyers- if you think the game has changed for you, think about them as well. There is nothing that we like more than producing work, than getting out on the road, or on a plane, to make some magic with our team and bring to life amazing ideas. I am not sure people realize just how long it takes a creative to “sell” an idea- there are layers to sift through and hoops to jump over before we can award you a job.

I have talked to many people who were in advertising “back in the day” who tell tales of clients with briefcases full of cash and ideas being bought over martini lunches and sketched on cocktail napkins. As the world has gone digital, so too do more “traditional” agency folks have to redefine  (and reboot) what they do to adapt to the tremendous amount of change in our industry. And now the stakes are much higher for brands and agency people alike- we all have to think about (and often defend) how we do our jobs yet still maintain the belief that great ideas must live, regardless of the latest social media darling or a budget choked by a multi-tiered strategy.

If you think of yourself as a brand (and you should), take notes from the biggies out there like Apple who have found a way to connect with consumers in very meaningful ways. Maybe integrate a personal element into your marketing as we’re all doing so much sharing these days. It’s no longer enough to just show your work, but to make a “connection” with your audience. Hopefully, your images will speak for themselves, but a little creativity in showing us how you got there wouldn’t hurt.

And most importantly, I leave you with something I have written much about on my Workbook blog posts- don’t let go of that passion you have for creating great work, or find a way to reignite it STAT. If you get so wrapped up in the slashed budgets, the marketing, and the ridiculous turnaround times, you will forget why you’re doing this in the first place.

This is a time of great challenge for those of us who fell in love with print and decided to make it a career, but use that fear for good- because through the power of connection, we can help set a course and navigate this brave new world together.

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