© DEAN KAUFMAN/JULIAN RICHARDS
heavily on archival work. “When it comes to something
like a lifestyle shoot, a client might see all the right energy
[in the portfolio], but then ask if the photographer has any
mixed race scenarios, or groups of people in the 60 to 70
age range with a high net worth. And you’re frustrated because that’s just a casting spec,” Hopkins says.
So instead of sending portfolios to convince creatives
to hire his photographers, “We’re doing really specific
file pulls to put in front of creatives,” Hopkins says. That
means photographers must have well organized archives,
from which they can pull and send images on short notice
(because clients are almost always in too much of a hurry
to wait more than a day). The agency sends prints, or at
least PDFs, providing clients with what amounts to a custom, one-off portfolio.
When triple bidding a job, clients will often ask for a
narrow, customized portfolio so they can compare each
photographer’s ability to shoot exactly what the assignment calls for. Lee says creatives who want to compare
work by food photographers, for example, might call and
say, “‘Only send me chocolate.’ They don’t want to see fruit
or soup or drinks, they only want to see chocolate.” So Lee
will send PDFs or links to those specific images.
Richards is another rep who sends PDFs made from a
photographer’s archival images, but he sometimes takes
it a step further, working with photographers to shoot
work on spec to match a client’s brief. “Why would you do
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