Should you go for one?
In this profession, you have to show off your work in order to get work. Apart from self promotion, it might be a good idea to sign up for an agency. Agencies provide a service on behalf of another business, person or group. Companies, brands and individuals can go straight to an agency, then they will select the best person that fits the particular set of guidelines that the client wants. If you are selected, they will send your portfolio over to the client, then the client will make their decision. In essence, the agency is finding work for you, which saves you a lot of time and effort.
A major drawback to signing yourself up to an agency is that they will take a percentage of what you earn from a job. This can range from 10–50%, and the amount taken depends on the agency themselves, however you might’ve not got that job if it weren’t for the agency, so this is something to think about.
Here is a quick search for agencies:
The AOP is a UK based Membership Organisation that promotes and protects the rights of photographerswww.the-aop.org
East Photographic, London and New York based agency representing photographers, stylists, art directors and set…east.co
The best way to find photography agents worldwide. Search by agent, location, or even keyword across our extensive…theagentlist.com
The third link inparticular finds the agency that is best suited for your own photography.
In order to prepare yourself for applying to agencies, a good first step would be making yourself a digital portfolio of your work. (I wrote about how to make a digital and physical portfolio in a past post!) Use this digital PDF portfolio to send to agencies who you think are a good fit for your work. However, don’t bombard agencies with emails. Send them out once every month or send updated portfoilios. Agencies are sent hundreds of portfolios every day, so don’t worry too much if you don’t hear anything back. Try and try again!
If you do become part of an agency, don’t be surprised if work does not come in straight away. Both yourself and the agency want you to be commissioned for work, so keep in contact with them and keep up the expectations that you promised them. Having an agent working in the background for you means that you have more free time, so use this to your advantage. Continue making new work and generating new ideas. A constant stream of work will keep your name fresh and that’s exactly what you want.