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The photography industry is highly competitive and can be a difficult career to succeed in. The rewards can be huge, both in terms of personal satisfaction and the earning potential; and so having an agent working on your behalf can make a huge difference to your future success.
Of course, as a photographer, it’s likely that you want to dedicate most of your time to actually taking photos and expressing your creativity which is why having an agent to help manage your scheduling, negotiate contracts, write up invoices and find you new clients is an excellent idea.
There are a lot of agencies to choose from, however there are some which stand out from the rest both in terms of the clients they have on their books as well as the success they have helped their photographers to achieve.
When you are looking for an agency remember that each agency has its own style with many focusing more in certain genres than others. To find the right match for you will take some research but you should be able to track down the perfect representation.
Art + Commerce, USA.
Founded in the 1980s, Art + Commerce has focused on representing creatives in a wide range of disciplines. They have represented directors, hair and make-up artists, illustrators and set designers. However, they have an emphasis on photographers and currently have over 60 on their books. The agency works hard to promote their photographers in the long term and so you can expect a really hands on approach with plenty of support and guidance.
The agency is fairly exclusive though so you’ll have to be on top of your game to get your foot in the door. Some of their clients include Vogue and Louis Vuitton with the agency specializing in the genres of fashion, street and high fashion editorial photography.
Poppy Creative Agency, USA.
This small, friendly agency is a real gem that was founded in 2009 and has gone from strength to strength in their representation of their photographers. The agency prides themselves on giving their talent a personalized service that takes into account their future hopes while helping to nurture their skills over time. The agency mostly works with established retailers, a wide range of magazine and editorial content creation teams.
Poppy Creative Agency specializes in lifestyle, food and drink and interior photography and with some excellent clients on their books it’s an agency that you need to keep in mind if those genres are in your niche of professional work.
Soho Management, UK and USA.
With offices in London and New York, Soho Management are experts in entertainment, advertising, art and fashion photography. They have a huge portfolio of talented photographers and are always looking to take on new talent as their company profile continues to grow on the world stage.
Some of the agency’s top photographers include Fee-Gloria Groenemeyer, Jason Bell and Marcel Hartmann; so if you want to get represented by them to some of the top names in entertainment, high fashion, editorial or art photography then this agency should be on your list to approach.
Wonderhatch is an inspiring new London based photography agency that works with top luxury brands to provide the best photography and images for their promotional and editorial pieces. They also work heavily within the professional services industry, hospitality, property and the automotive industries all around the globe.
The agency always has plenty of clients on their books which is great news for their photographers who are rarely out of work and frequently find themselves working with some of the world’s biggest names in industry, entertainment and hospitality.
United National Photographers, UK.
As one of the UK’s top photography agencies with decades of experience in the industry, United National works closely with magazines, newspapers and some of the most influential marketing firms.
Their client list includes some huge names such as Ford, Amazon, Ikea, Rolls Royce, Barclays Bank and Lloyds Bank to name just a few. The agency takes great care of their photographers and are always looking for ways to grow their careers.
This agency has been representing photographers and directors in the creative industries for years and with an impressive client list that includes Adidas, L’Oreal and Nike they always have plenty of work for their photographers. AMP also specialize in more creative content, in both still and video format, in the art and entertainment sectors.
A fantastic opportunity for up and coming photographers and since they’re always on the lookout for new talent this might be an agency to give a call.
JSR Agency, UK.
JSR Agency is one of the leading creative management agencies in the industry and has represented many award winning photographers, illustrators and CGI animators. The agency focuses on product photography and brand building and has some incredible clients on their books, including, among others, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Nike, Adidas, Sony and Panasonic. They also work with publishing companies around the world and have a prestigious reputation in the editorial genre.
JSR Agency is one of the top agencies that you can work with if you are in the product photography genre and with such an incredible roster of clients if you can create a relationship with JSR Agency your career will rapidly start to sky rocket.
Create Agency, Holland.
Representing photographers and illustrators the Create Agency in Holland has a fantastic client list with international reach. They work all over the world with their clients and can offer their photographers some incredible opportunities.
Create Agency works in product, sports, entertainment and fashion photography with clients as diverse as Bayern Munich Football Club and Universal Music Studios. They also spend a lot of time working with their photographers to help their careers flourish in directions that suit both the agency and the photographer.
Every Agency Has Its Own Style.
No two photography agencies are alike and so when you’re looking for the right fit for you it’s vital that you not only focus on the genre they work in but also the type of photos they are promoting. Ideally, you want your photos to represent the kinds of work that the agency is already promoting so that the clients they have on their books will see your photography as a good match for them.
Every agency though has the potential to massively improve your reach, boost your income and handle a large part of the administrative side of professional photography.
When you work with an agency you will immediately start to benefit from their extensive industry contacts and networks which you can tap into to. This huge wealth of connections is hard to put a price on so if you have found your career starting to stagnate then signing up with an agency can turn it around for you and help to create the success you are looking for.
The agency will also help you with negotiations, something which many photographers struggle to do on their own. In many cases, especially when working with former clients, the agency will already have an understanding with their clients and so you will get a better rate of pay than if you were to approach the client on your own behalf.
Depending on where you are in your career, you should be aiming to sign up with the best possible agency you can. There are many world leading agencies you can approach, including the selected ones listed above; however, even smaller and less well known agencies can be a huge help to you earlier on in your career.
Given the chance, which agency would you like to join?