“Dude, I’m totally going pro and I’m going to rock the ad world”

And of course this dude knows how to sell his work to the art buyers at all of the major ad agencies.

Reality check: Many of the major photography schools will help you learn the craft, expand your horizons, and build a book. To pass your course.

“But once you’re out in the big bad world, who’s going to show you the real ropes? How should your book flow to really make a sale? Should you have hooked up with that awesome web designer in the interactive department to make the right site to showcase your work? That shot of your girlfriend totally got you an “A” but is it right to start your book with that image?

Here’s Mark Focus, from the one of the funniest advertising movies, EVER, Putney Swope, presenting his work.

The best place to go for the straight info is the pro. Someone who has been on the right side of the sale: the buying side. Physician heal thyself, but photographer, maybe you should let someone help edit your portfolio.

Thankfully there are people around to do just that. Call em’ coaches, call em’ career counselors, but for your own sake CALL EM!.

I recently digitally met Christine Saunders, who is just such a person.

“There are now certain ‘coaching tools’ that Christine has developed to make the people who come to her really look at their careers. She works to navigate each client through the process of how a book is selected through to the finished image and explain the various different roles within an agency. She helps new talent work on their folios and websites, gives advice on self promotion, advertising or perhaps networking tips. With this vision they focus on a plan to achieve their ideal career with attention and motivation, in the way that a personal trainer might provide for physical fitness. It’s not just those new to the industry, as many of her photographers, illustrators, and reps have been working for 10 or 15 years and are no longer sure how to appeal to younger art directors. Their books may not have changed and they may want to know how to update. Which are the more creative agencies? Where should they be targeting their work? Can the advertising folio work for editorial? Should they consider stock photography? How can they get an agent in LA, New York, London, Paris? ”

Now, when I first was introduced to Christine’s business model it sounded like a great idea but who really was going to go for this type of “coaching” ?

Coincidentally, a few of my friends had just met with someone similar in the Los Angeles area as a way of getting a tune-up for their book. Not only a way of getting feedback, but professional advice on what gets the money.Ways to pitch and present. Even if you have an agent, you still need to tune it up.

With someone who knows the market, can see the skills and talent of a photographer and can help direct those talents in the most productive way, it may be the best money you’ll ever spend.

Talent is just the price of admission. Well-tuned presentation and marketing win the day.

Look, I’m not going to tell you that this person is the final word. But try to find some one who can help you make that first step. Or clear a new path.

So when you ask “Dude, where’s my career?” , the answer could be ” Dude, it’s right over there!”

Cheers!
Damon Webster

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Current Exhibitions

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  • “Inside Tracks: Behind the lens on the assignment of a lifetime”
  • Through February 1, 2015
  • 2000 Avenue of the Stars, #10
  • Century City, CA. 90067
  • Tel: 213.403.3000
  • ICP
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  • Sept.15, 2014-Jan 15th,2015
  • 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street
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  • Phone: 212.857.0000
  • Getty Center
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  • Through Dec.14, 2014
  • 1200 Getty Center Drive
  • Los Angeles, CA. 90049
  • Tel: 310-440-7300
  • Yossi Milo Gallery
  • Lorenzo Vitturi: Dalston: Anatomy
  • Nov.6 – Dec. 15th, 2014
  • 245 Tenth Avenue
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel: 212-414-0370
  • Howard Greenberg Gallery
  • Vivian Maier: In Her Own Hands
  • Through Dec. 6th, 2014
  • 41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406
  • New York,NY 10022
  • Tel: 212-334-0100
  • Staley-Wise Gallery
  • Arthur Elgort: The Big Picture
  • Nov.14, 2014 -Jan 10th, 2015
  • 560 Broadway
  • New York,NY
  • 10012
  • Phone: 1-212-966-6223
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Nicholas Nixon: Forty Years of the Brown Sisters
  • Nov. 22nd, 2014 – Jan.4th, 2015
  • 11 West 53rd Street
  • NYC,NY
  • 10019-5497
  • (212) 708-9400
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Thomas Struth: Photographs
  • Through February 16, 2015
  • 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street)
  • New York, NY 10028
  • Phone: 212-535-7710

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