Another Art Producers Point of View Shared. Photography Portfolio Review Events.


On the heels of our successful interview with Sasha Carillo of DavisEllen regarding the power of Photography Portfolio Networking events, I reached out to a few other art buyers that recently attended one of these events to see if they had a similar experience as Sasha.  At the LA Fotoworks event, Hunter Freeman met with Shannon McMillan, a Senior Art Producer at GSDM.  She was so appreciative of being able to attend and had such a positive experience that she did not hesitate to answer our questions.  Thank you Shannon!

Be sure to check back to see which other art buyers provided us with some more answers.

It is so hard to find the time to attend events like this, why do you make it a priority to do so?
I have found it a great way to network with other Agencies and Art Producers, and find those so called,  “emerging” photographers. In addition, I found it to be my place to help educate and guide the younger photographers who are diving out into a very competitive industry.
Besides having exposure to new work, how does your agency benefit from your attending?
It helps my colleagues and I stay up-to-date on current trends in the industry, another way to give GSD&M exposure and find those emerging photographers.
You are given only 15-20 minutes with each photographer – is that enough time?  Why or why not?
Sometimes it’s too long if you know what I mean…for most of the time, I feel 20 minutes is just fine; however, it’s nice to have 5 minutes in between that way we can check email, get a drink of water, etc…
What was the thing you found most surprising about the photographers you met at Fotoworks?
I was impressed that most of the photographers attending were just there to network. I really appreciate the fact that they took time out of their busy schedules to make time to meet with us in person. Also, that most still showed their work in a traditional book vs. an iPad. Print is not going away but we have to be creative on how to get the message or photos seen.
Did you notice any trends while you were reviewing?
The growing trend of photographers doing stills and video.
Since you have a captive audience, what things do you share with the photographers or advice do you give them?
Create a budget for marketing, create a brand, keep shooting that way the work is always fresh, be personable when doing email blasts and make sure you know who you’re marketing to when doing email blasts and don’t rely on your rep to do all the work.
Do you have any advice for photographers who want to attend in the future?
The reviews give photographers a chance to meet with a handful of influential photo professionals in a short period of time without the hassle of running around town or city to city. In addition, it gives the reviewers a chance to meet with photographers beyond their website and conference calls.
What advice would you give to established photographers who are “on the fence” about attending Fotoworks?
It’s the best way to meet with a group of gallery owners, photo editors, art producers, etc. under one roof. If they want their business to grow and create new relationships then it’s a no brainer to attend Fotoworks….one stop shop!!  And you never know who you’ll meet or new business you may acquire….not to be cliché but sometimes it’s a case of being at the right place at the right time.

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