A photographer’s manager, or agent, acts as a buffer between her client and the outside world. The manager keeps the business and administrative aspects of the operation running smoothly, freeing the photographer to get on with the business of taking photographs. To be a successful ambassador, a manager must be able to multitask because this is a job where creativity and a keen business sense go hand-in-hand. Photographer’s managers, who receive a commission in return for their services, sometimes represent several photographers at one time.
Marketing and Promotion
It’s in the manager’s and the photographer’s mutual interest to secure as much work as possible. Managers showcase the photographers' work on their website, help them compile a portfolio that will appeal to specific clients, enter them for competitions and send out promotional postcards and direct mailings.
A photographer’s manager must be prepared to network and forge good working relationships with other people in the industry. Potential clients include magazine editors, ad agency professionals, graphic designers, public relations executives, interior designers and news organizations. The manager must get to know and keep in regular contact with industry professions to secure assignments for the photographers on his books.
It is the photographic agent’s job to match clients with the photographer’s skills and experience. This means finding clients who want what the photographer has to offer. Someone representing a photographer who specializes in interior design might, for example, scrutinize design magazines, network with up-and-coming designers and keep current with the latest trends.
Managers should be prepared to travel at short notice because they are expected to represent photographers in meetings with potential clients worldwide. Someone managing a successful fashion photographer, for example, would probably have to travel to meetings in far-flung locations.
Strong administrative and organizational skills are a prerequisite for the job. Keeping a record of all transactions between photographers and clients, invoicing clients, chasing up unpaid commissions and negotiating contracts are routine tasks for photographer’s managers.
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