I have known Elise Daher, an art buyer at Bank of America, for quite some time. I have always appreciated how she returns calls and emails and how she is always the first to reply when we are trying to schedule a show or an appointment for our photographers. She is professional in every sense and photographers and agents all enjoy working with her. When I asked her if she would like to contribute to our Solving Mysteries series, she of course said yes and we of course were not surprised. Thank you Elise!
• How do you search for photography nowadays?
The way that I search for photography these days has certainly changed quite a bit from my days as a junior Art Buyer before the internet! I find that anything goes when looking for talent. I still go the traditional route using sourcebook sites such as At-Edge, Workbook, Le Book, etc. I get a lot of emails and, believe it or not, I do open most of them! Sometimes someone new intrigues me and I will bookmark them for future reference. I have done photographer searches via blogs, or even on Facebook. Crowd-sourcing is a great way to find new talent, it’s so easy to reach out to a large group of people quickly (example, via Facebook) and get a list of photographer recos within minutes.
• Which industry events for photography do you attend and why?
I’ve been a bit delinquent in my attendance of industry events of late, although I try to do a few portfolio reviews here and there, such as the ASMP Review or the APA Review, both where I’ve met some great people. I have sat on photography panels (most recently at Photo Plus Expo last fall) which is a wonderful networking opportunity as well as resource for meeting talent. I also enjoy gallery openings and another great way to scout new talent is to attend art school graduation exhibitions such as Pratt or SVA.
• What are photographers doing lately to stand out from their competitors?
More and more photographers are upping their presence in social media, I find that the ones who utilize the various platforms stand out to me the most. I will be the first to admit that I am a little bit addicted to the interwebs, so having a Tumblr blog, posting on Twitter, and posting photos on Instagram will always grab my attention. It’s a great way to get new content out there in real time. I follow loads of Tumblrs, and add more on a weekly basis.
• What does your client value most from a photographer? Does that differ from what you or your agency values? And, has that changed over the years?
I have found that what most clients value from a photographer is the work, as well as flexibility on cost without jeopardizing the final product. At the end of the day, my clients want the photography to reflect well on them and their services.
Note: These opinions are solely that of Elise Daher and not Bank of America.