What Photo Buyers Want

Buyers of photography rely most heavily on colleague recommendations when looking for new hires. Email promos are an equally important resource to buyers in finding hires as reps and agencies were. And a majority of buyers say their budgets have stabilized or are increasing. These and other tidbits are part of a new report that provides insight into how photographers can best market their work to clients, which was recently released by portfolio Web site company PhotoShelter, and Agency Access, the creative industry marketing company. The report is free for anyone willing to register an email address with the companies.

“What Buyers Want From Photographers” was generated using data from a 25-question survey that went out to Agency Access’ database of photography clients, which includes art buyers, creatives and photo editors. According to the report, 1,000 photography clients answered the survey. The topics addressed in the report include: Where buyers search for photographers to hire and images to license; what personal characteristics and business skills buyers look for in photographers; information about typical mistakes photographers make in marketing their work; and tips for creating a good Web site.

The report also presents data on which social media sources buyers use to find photographers to hire, but its value is undermined somewhat by another section of the report that suggests that only 9 percent of the respondents use social media to find photographers to hire.

Additionally, “What Buyers Want” includes interviews with buyers from agencies GSD&M and JWT, a photo editor from Billboard, and an art director from Random House book publishers. Other clients contributed more specific suggestions. For instance a photo editor at Men’s Health provided tips on email marketing, and Real Simple‘s photo editor made Web site suggestions like, “Don’t hide your personal work.”

Anonymous quotes that appear throughout the report are interesting to read even if they are only one person’s (unattributed) opinion. For instance an art buyer at an agency laments tricks photographers use to try and “outsmart” him/her—for example into thinking they have already spoken with one another.

To receive the report visit: http://www.photoshelter.com/mkt/research/2012-photo-buyers-survey


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