UK agency Panos Pictures has put out a call for portfolios from social documentary photographers interested in joining the agency. The deadline is March 1, 2011.
Although Panos lists more than 100 photographers on its roster, director Adrian Evans says a number of them are inactive. That has left gaps in the agency’s coverage. Evans says the agency is looking for photographers from Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Arica. “We’re also very interested in photographers applying from the States,” he says.
It may seem odd that a picture agency is soliciting photographers at a time when so many are begging for representation, and demand for documentary stories is so weak. Evans explains that Panos is simply trying a new system for portfolio reviews. Currently, the agency averages about six unsolicited submissions per day. But the agency staff doesn’t have enough time to review them all.
So Panos is switching to a once-a-year open call for portfolios instead. “We can look at the submissions in a far more transparent way. Photographers will know when to apply, and we will have the time and energy to focus on their submissions,” Evans says.
He anticipates accepting only three or four new photographers for representation, and perhaps none at all. The decision will be announced at the end of April.
Evans says Panos is looking for photographers with great ideas, an ability to create compelling narratives, and an ability to interpret the world, not just illustrate it. “We’re not a wire agency,” he says. Click here for more details about the agency’s selection criteria.
For information about how to submit a portfolio, visit www.panos.co.uk/submissions/ .
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