Dear photographers and B:Studio readers…
Before introducing myself, let me just say how proud I am that Irene asked me to write a weekly column on B:Studio. Irene and I go back a long time but more about that later. My column will cover everything that has to do with photography. As a photographers’ agent for the commercial market, every Wednesday I will discuss various topics of interest in relation to commissioned photography, ranging from the daily grind to future trends. Taking a consultative approach I will talk strategy and interview key industry figures (art buyers, art directors, stylists etc) to share their insights and give a broader perspective on photography. I intend to discuss all forms of photography such as fashion, documentary, art and so on.
I hope that Mrs. Robinson’s column will become your weekly fix of must-read-about-photography, a place where we share our thoughts and inspire each other.
Who is Mrs. Robinson? Three years ago I started Mrs. Robinson, a photography agency based in Amsterdam. To me Mrs. Robinson (an incredibly well played character by Ann Bancroft in the 1967 movie The Graduate) is the personification of good taste and sophistication but, as some of you will remember, also a little naughty. Exactly the qualifications I would (somewhat immodestly I admit) use to describe my business and outlook on photography.
What I find most interesting and at the same time intriguing in my work is the relationship creative-agent. Guiding photographers in their career and helping them make the right choices. Discovering strengths and weaknesses. Trying to find the best way of giving direction to their professional life and helping them avoid pitfalls, but without interfering in their creative development. These items are on the agenda every day, evolve over time and provide for a very exciting industry to work in. Every day you and I ask ourselves many questions: should we approach this magazine or how will this publication be perceived by other prospective clients? Add another photo to our portfolio or will it distract too much? Do I use my iPad to make a presentation or a more traditional portfolio? And the list goes on. The answers to these and other perhaps seemingly innocent questions are crucial in building client perception and expectations. And, most importantly, will determine the direction of your career.
Our industry is a very dynamic and demanding one. To be part of it I find energizing and rewarding. Naturally, there are aspects of our work that I would rather not experience but we will definitely also discuss those in future columns. Rest assured that Mrs. Robinson will leave no stone unturned.
Already fifteen years ago a then very famous Dutch agent asked me to help her out with what she described as some administrative and sales tasks. It turned out she actually meant to ask me to build the complete admin, sales and finance function of her agency. A great challenge that I happily accepted. A new world was opening to me: names like Prada, Dazed & Confused, Nike, Emanuelle Alt echoed through the workspace and I felt like I was starring in my own movie: young girl from the countryside stepped into the glamorous city life. Sound familiar? When Irene (yes, that is how we met) joined a few years later both of us found that of course life at a photography agency is nothing like a movie: happy end not guaranteed. Looking behind the scenes of productions and sales we could often see frustration of the artists who felt misunderstood and who may not have been well prepared by their agents for the sometimes harsh world of advertising. I felt that I could and should do a much better job! Enter Mrs. Robinson.
I started Mrs. Robinson out of love for photography, convinced that artists and agents can succeed in this demanding environment by thinking differently about their business, changing the dynamic of the creative-agent relationship in a positive way, with less frustration and less stress.
Therefore, when Irene asked me to join B:Studio and explained the rationale for launching the Studio I did not hesitate. B:Studio and Mrs. Robinson are a perfect fit. It feels very natural to be working again with Irene and I think we both felt that some day we would join forces. I am very happy our paths have crossed.
So what can we offer you? A very committed and inspired team that has set clear goals for B:Studio and ourselves and that we are confident to achieve. Knowing Irene and myself we’ll add to that a huge dose of enthusiasm and humor. All coming together in our shared passion for photography.
In the meantime, you should feel free to approach me with all sorts of questions. Mrs. Robinson likes a challenge ~ send me an email.
It is great meeting you !
~ Mrs Robinson Photography Agent in the Netherlands ~
~ images above are by Gustavo di Mario, Liesje Reyskens and Petra van der Veer, just some of the photographers Mrs. Robinson represents ~