Solving Mysteries: 5 questions for Cindy Hicks of The Martin Agency

© Kevin Twomey -

For those of you who have never had the pleasure of working with Cindy Hicks of The Martin Agency, she is one of the good ones.  In all the years I have known her she is not only professional and personable but she is one of the nicest people in the business.  She has a respect for the industry and all of its participants that can only come from years of experience.  So, when we emailed her to see if she wanted to contribute to our blog it was no surprise that she emailed us right back that she would.   Thank you Cindy for your dedication to this crazy business and of course for your blog post too!

How do you search for photography nowadays?  

I search everywhere; traditional reps, galleries, events like Le Book (which are great).  I have even gotten lucky on Flickr.   And, I of course still love a portfolio show.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration everywhere; my daughter, music, galleries, mailers and nature.  I shoot a lot myself and I am inspired by those I work with and places I travel to.

What are you reading online?  

I tend to stumble upon design sites, photo sites, a few blog sites but it varies day to day. Some of my favorites are:  Neu Black, Guardian and of course all of my favorite reps!

What are photographers doing lately to stand out from their competitors?

I notice smart mailers, thoughtful pieces and personal work that is well crafted.   I am hoping there is return to craft.  I am seeing it with letterpress, silkscreeners, and street art.   I think photographers are doing the same and getting back to relying on the eye vs. technique.

What does your client value most from a photographer?  Does that differ from what you value?  And, has that changed over the years?  

Clients seem to value price mostly.  I value quality / service / attention to detail and craft.  I think I value production more than I had in the past and I now realize a great photographer can just have a bad production or producer.   The shoots are more complex now and there are more people involved.  Since there are more people to please the entire shoot experience is judged, not just a single photo.

I still love what I do. I miss good budgets, days without cost consultants, decent timeframes to produce jobs, concepts with grit & heart and advertising that isn’t so watered down due to excessive focus groups.

I see it turning, I just want it to move a little faster!

Thank you Cindy Hicks!  If you would like to contribute to Solving Mysteries please email us.  We are open to you suggesting your own questions as well.

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