Q & A SERIES:
With budgets tightening, is now the time to stick to your regular photographers, or are you reaching out to new talent?
Are photo editors and art buyers still keeping tabs on new photographers? With jobs being cut and much of the media industry in panic, do they even have the time to peek at the hundreds of promotions in their mail? Obviously each photo editor or art buyer has a list of photographers which they work with regularly or would like to soon. So how do you get on that list? I’m curious about the flexibility of rosters and whether our current economic condition is affecting their fluidity. Do photo editors hold tight to those people they know to be reliable? Or perhaps now is the time to take a risk and branch out? Does the lowest bidder always get the job?
If you’re competing again their regular contributors, how do you get the job? Keep submitting and keep pushing your own work to evolve. My advice is to always be the photographer who thinks through the job more than the next guy (or gal). Always be the one who is more prepared, creative, and ready to try something new. That being said, don’t be afraid to give a client a great deal if the particular job will mean pushing you onward creatively and professionally… because you’ll be the one working while others are still sending out postcards.
As I do each month, I’ve put this question out to some of my favorite art buyers and photo editors in the industry. With budgets tightening, is now the time to stick to your regular roster of photographers, or reach out to new talent?
As always, thank you to everyone who contributed to this month’s Q&A! The feedback has been wonderful and incredibly encouraging. Let’s keep it up!
- Jacqueline Bovaird, Assignment Rep, Glasshouse Assignment
KELLIE BINGMAN, ART BUYING SUPERVISOR, MCKINNEY
Regardless of the economy, we always reach out to the best photographer for the job. Over the years I’ve found that there isn’t a shooter out there who won’t do everything in their power to work within the budgets I have. It’s great to establish and work within a partnership like that and it almost always results in a win-win for all involved.
ANDRÉS CORTÉS, ART BUYER, THE VOX COLLECTIVE
Stick to whoever is flexible in terms of budgets…. Also reaching to photographers overseas. Personally I prefer to work with people I’ve worked with in the past.
CAROLINE HIRSCH, PHOTO EDITOR, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ADVENTURE MAGAZINE
Happily, we are working with our regular outdoor-adventure-friendly photographers (who already are comfortable sleeping by the side of a river or on a mountain, not at the Ritz), and also searching for new talent that are up for the challenge and are based just right where we need them! ………………………………….. ……………………………. ………….. …………………………….. …………………….. ………………. ………………………
There are so many interesting young photographers out there that I’m always trying new talent. In terms of photographers who I use on a regular basis, it seems that most people are pretty flexible and are adapting the economy; they may not be happy about being paid less, but they are definitely happy to be working. If I think a story is right for a certain photographer I’ll give them a call first to see if they want to shoot, but if the budget we offer doesn’t work for them, well, then I move along… The fact that the restricted economic climate might be giving more opportunities for young blood is really encouraging for our industry; although there have been cut backs it’s allowing new talent to grow.
KRISTI DRAGO-PRICE, PHOTO EDITOR, BRIDES MAGAZINE
I think it is a mix of both. On one hand using photographers you have a steady relationship with is helpful because they understand the magazine and what you need. There is less of a chance for a reshoot and you can rein them in on expenses. On the other hand, new talent is always exciting to find and they maybe more willing to come in under budget to create a steady relationship.
SEE ASSIGNMENT EMAIL BLAST HERE.
Keep a look out for next month’s question and email blast!!
If you have any ideas, comments, or if you’d like to participate in our monthly email Q&A, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Jacqueline Bovaird. I am always looking for new voices to add to this evolving discussion.
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