Portfolio Review events such as NYCFotoworks, At Edge Face to Face and Photo Plus Portfolio Review brought to you by the Palm Springs Photo Festival are right around the corner. It is an exciting time for photographers who want to show off some new work, meet new contacts or connect with old friends. We are a big fan of these events and think that any opportunity to make a connection and share your work is positive.
Last year, we started a blog series where we asked Art Producers their opinions on the event. It proved helpful for photographers who may be on the fence about attending and for those just interested in how art producers perceive the event and what makes it successful for them.
In light of the new season starting, we thought we would share our latest post from an anonymous art producer in NYC.
It is so hard to find the time to attend events like this, why do you make it a priority to do so?
I really like meeting new talent and talking with photographers about their work face to face. I can see what their personality is and I can ask questions about their process, flexibility, etc. It’s also a really nice way to see other Art Buyers and photo reps. I’ve definitely met reps and art buyers at Fotoworks in previous years who are now friends.
Besides having exposure to new work, how does your company benefit from your attending?
It allows me to talk to photographers about the type of work my company does, who the clients are, etc. The photographers can also see if they’re a good fit for us
You are given only 15-20 minutes with each photographer – is that enough time? Why or why not? Yes, it’s a little like speed dating, but it’s definitely enough time to see at least one book and have a conversation. If I’m interested in the work and want to see more, I keep the promos on hand so I can remember to go onto the site later.
What was the thing you found most surprising about the photographers you met at these events?
There were a lot of Danes! I met so many people who flew in from other countries to try and break into the New York market.
Since you have a captive audience, what things do you share with the photographers or advice do you give them? I would say, be honest about what you want to get out of it. There is such a large range of photographers who participate. There are those who are just starting out and want to hear about the edit of their book and how they can change it to be considered for jobs. There are others who are well established photographers who just want some face time.
What advice would you give to established photographers who are “on the fence” about attending a networking event?
To be honest, I’m not sure it’s worth it for established photographers who have a presence in NY already. It’s expensive and it’s probably more worth their while to put that money towards promos or testing. I would, however, suggest it for photographers who are trying to break into the scene and meet reps and art buyers.