An Anonymous Art Producer Speaks Out on Behalf of Photography Networking Events

© Ron Berg

© Ron Berg

As both Sasha Carillo of DavisEllen  and Shannon McMillan of GSDM shared in previous posts, Photography Portfolio Review Events are becoming more and more popular for both art produces and photographers alike.   The particular art buyer featured today, had such a positive experience at a recent At Edge Face to Face event in Minneapolis, that even though she is required to remain anymous per her company’s policies on social media, she still wanted to share her opinions.  Thank you!

It is so hard to find the time to attend events like this, why do you make it a priority to do so? 

It’s not often that we have events with national photographers here in Minneapolis.  It was a great way to meet new talent in one location during one evening.

Besides having exposure to new work, how does your company benefit from your attending? 

Attending allows me to make new connections with photographers I may not otherwise be able to meet.  In doing so, I was able to streamline communication for portfolio show requests and contact information requests.  I provided a face to the organization for the photographers that I met and they walked away with a positive connection to me and my company.

You are given only 15-20 minutes with each photographer – is that enough time?  Why or why not?   

I think 15-20 minutes was plenty of time.  I had ample time to get a gut feel of whether or not the personalities of the photographers will fit with my creative team.  There was also enough time  for the photographer to walk me through their portfolio and share their story and point of view on the portfolio.  I even felt like after all that there was still time for some Q & A.   It’s basically speed dating with photographers.

What was the thing you found most surprising about the photographers you met at the At Edge Face to Face event?

There was nothing surprising, everyone that I met was lovely!

Did you notice any trends while you were reviewing?

I saw that a lot of work these days is continued to be created solely for the digital space where  it wasn’t several years ago.

Since you have a captive audience, what things do you share with the photographers or advice do you give them?

I do think it is important to be honest and share whether or not you feel the work can translate to the company/brand you represent.  We also talk about the work that isn’t in their portfolio.  Sometimes the more pedestrian work is the work that we can use to help sell them when we pitch them for creative assignments.

Do you have any advice for photographers who want to attend in the future? 

Make sure you have work that you think is relevant to the company/agency you are presenting to.  If not, explain to them how you envision your work being relevant and what you would bring to the table that their current creative may not capture.

What advice would you give to established photographers who are “on the fence” about attending a networking event like Face to Face? 

If you haven’t met the art buyers or creatives from the companies/agencies of the particular city the event is going to be held in, it’s a great way to meet many of them in one evening.  And, you have a captive audience.

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