Solving Mysteries with Sari Rowe of RPA.

sari rowe

I always love it when people let us know that they want to contribute to our blog.  And, Sari Rowe did just that.  When we saw each other at Le Book’s LA Connections event, we talked about all the different ways she could participate so I am hopeful this isn’t the last time we will hear from her.   As Senior Art Buyer at RPA she has gained a deep level of experience that she is willing to share.  Lucky us!

I thought a good way for her to introduce herself to our readers would be to write answers to our Solving Mysteries series.  Here is what she had to say.

How do you search for photography nowadays?

I use search engines like At Edge, Le Book (now that its working), and Blogs from fellow art buyers, artist, & artist of all mediums. I also look on websites and magazines like Agency Spy, Ad AgeCA, & Archive.  And, my favorite and most inspiring is to surround myself and workspace with mailers, posters, clip-outs, & postcards.  If it’s cool and you can stick a tack through it, it could be on the walls around me.  I have boxes of fun trinkets, chatzkys, things that have caught my eye throughout the years. The best is when you get a promo that has a good box you can keep. I’m old school with my Rolodex and still keep business cards in boxes, which I have many of.
Which industry events for photography do you attend and why?

I go to Le Book and events thrown by photographers and reps where you get to meet with people one on one. I try to go to the Directors Club events and Award shows. I love to go to gallery shows for all types of mediums. You never know what or who you will find. Whenever there is a photo exhibition at a museum I check them out too.  At RPA we have a show once a month where a few reps come in at the same time for a big show we call Bigger Better Portfolio show. It’s great because the entire agency is invited. This year I have noticed an increase of Art Buyer dinners thrown by reps, which in LA is great as our community is much smaller then Chicago or NYC. It’s great when you can get everyone in one room.
What are you reading online? When I’m not sucked into watching my TV shows which my husband will never let me DVR, I love looking at blogs. One article can lead you to another and then another. It’s how I find all the hidden gems these days. I love the images on Amazing Things In the World, a site I found through Facebook. They have fascinating images! I also read the Sunday newspaper and PDN online.
What are photographers doing lately to stand out from their competitors?

I have noticed that a lot of photographers are trying to incorporate footage into their reels, but that’s a whole other topic. What I’ve seen that catches my eye is a big push for natural light in life style setups. It’s the best way I can describe it. It’s amazing when you find a shooter who can make the light and the talent, flow as one. They capture a natural moment and at the same time are satisfying the staged moment created for advertising.

I also love it when you can look at an image and completely think its something else; it’s the magic of photography. One of my favorite images at the moment is by Nicolas Alan Cope.  The image is of flowers but at first glance it made me think of a painting of Dante’s painting of Inferno. The flowers and the way the light hits them makes me think of people rising to heaven and falling to hell.

© Nicholas Alan Cope

© Nicholas Alan Cope

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

Clients want a good price, efficiency, and the right shot to sell their brand.

I value the same things and get the opportunity to do the thing I love most, producing photo shoots, negotiating the deal, collaborating with my creatives and getting to work with photographers I admire. Not to bad!!

What I have seen change the most within our industry, budgets are smaller and usage request are almost always expected to be unlimited in some way. You can make it all work out If you’re savvy and can work with your creatives in a way to bring their visions to life!

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