Agency Access Helps Commercial Photographers and Illustrators Find Clients

PHOTOGRAPHERS. ILLUSTRATORS. When you’re busy meeting multiple project deadlines, it’s easy to let marketing efforts lapse. But when you’re about to wrap up the last job in the pipeline, panic sets in because no new projects await. It’s time to restart your marketing!

Keith Gentile, CEO of Agency Access, understands why many small commercial photography studios and illustrators neglect marketing when things get busy. The trouble is, he says, “Marketing only works if you’re consistent.”

This is particularly true in today’s ultra-competitive environment. Your name and work must be in front of a buyer when they are ready to make the assignment for which you are best qualified.

Agency Access can help. They provide one-stop direct-marketing support for commercial photographers, illustrators, artist reps, and stock agencies. The company’s sole purpose is to help members find new clients.

At the heart of Agency Access services is an international database of 60,000+ commercial art buyers at ad agencies, magazines, book publishers, in-house departments, graphic design firms, and architectural firms. To help you connect with the individuals included in this database, Agency Access can help you plan, design, produce, and send email and direct-mail marketing campaigns.

With the all-inclusive Campaign Manager Pro program, you will work with a team of two Agency Access marketing experts, a Professional Artist Consultant, and a Campaign Manager. To help you land the type of jobs you want, the consultant will help you improve your brand, choose the right images, and edit your website. If your consultant believes your work isn’t quite up to the quality standards most clients require, they will coach you on steps you can take to improve. Your Campaign Manager Pro team will also help you develop a marketing plan, create the perfect leave-behind portfolio, produce and send direct-mail postcards, design and send e-mails, and conduct 6 cycles of follow-up telemarketing on your behalf.

Merger with ADBASE

Gentile expects services to Agency Access clients to become even better now that the firm has acquired the Adbase marketing mailing list service for creative professionals and the Adbase FoundFolios division. The FoundFolios Creative Network combines an online portfolio site for artists with a social-networking community for photographers, artists, designers, and photo buyers.

Adbase and FoundFolios are now divisions within Agency Access and will be maintaining their websites, brand identity and product offerings. Nelson Nunes, the co-founder of Adbase and FoundFolios, is now the vice president of the ADBASE group within Agency Access, responsible for its technology and day-to-day operations.

Gentile believes that “Combining forces will give both Agency Access and ADBASE members the best of both worlds.”

Adbase subscribers can continue to use the self-serve marketing tools they originally purchased from Adbase. Or, they can migrate to the full range of marketing support, campaign-management, and consultation services available through Agency Access.

Through new bundled subscription offerings, Agency Access members can purchase FoundFolios, additional self-serve marketing options, and all members will benefit from even stronger technology.

Gentile says the Adbase and Agency Access mailing lists will both continue to be updated and improved. Eventually, the two databases will be merged to become the largest, most comprehensive database available to commercial photographers and artists. For example, commercial photographers who want to market some of their work as fine art will be able to connect with some of the fine-art photography galleries that were originally included in the Adbase list. And Adbase members will be able to use the new Agency Access database of 6,000 broadcast clients for motion artists.

In a recent interview, Gentile said he doesn’t expect the consolidation of the companies to result in higher prices: “We have no plans to raise prices, and in fact some prices may drop. We’re just happy that we’re going to make Agency Access even better than it was before.”

Free Marketing Advice

Even if you don’t plan to use Agency Access or Adbase services in the immediate future, check out the valuable marketing advice that is freely available through Agency Access and Adbase blogs, podcasts, and videos. Here are a few posts that caught my eye:

Art Buyers Talk About Assigning Still + Motion Projects

Photographers: Stop Treating Video as an Add-On

Art Buyers Talk About Stock Imagery

Why and How Artists Should Use Social Media

21 Questions to Accurately Estimate a Photography Job

Some blog posts are being consolidated into e-books. When I signed up to follow Agency Access on Twitter, I received a link to en e-book entitled “35 Tips for Getting Noticed, Getting Meetings, and Getting Hired.”

The Creative Collision video series lets you see for yourself how industry experts answer questions frequently asked by Agency Access members. The Creative Collision team (Jennifer Kilberg, Suzanne Sease, and Amanda Sosa Stone) have interviewed top reps, art producers, art directors, and creative directors from firms such as The Martin Agency, StrawberryFrog, Saatchi & Saatchi, Jed Root, Bernstein & Andriulli, and GSD&M. Take a look:

Creative Collision Video: Is Print Dead?

Creative Collision Video: The Industry’s Direction

Creative Collision Video: Making Sense of Printed vs. iPad Portfolios

A free 3-day trial of Agency Access is available. The trial includes an online demonstration of how to use the Agency Access website.


Agency Access


Found Folios

FoundFolios Creative Network


Seminar Teaches Photographers Fundamentals of Filmmaking

PHOTOGRAPHERS. If you want to learn the fundamentals of filmmaking, check out the “Get In Motion” tour conducted by CineStories. Led by Jeff Medford and Ross Hockrow, the seminar will teach you how to use your artistic talent, training, and equipment to also make moving images.

Get in Motion Tour LogoWhether you want to learn how to make films yourself for your clients, or plan to hire someone else to make them for you, understanding the fundamental principles will allow you to contribute to the final finished film and filmmaking process.

The Get in Motion Seminar Tour kicked off Sept. 19 and is scheduled to make stops in more than 35 cities until the end of November.

During the 4-1/2 hour seminar, the instructors show examples of specific films you can make right now, including:

  • web commercials
  • wedding films
  • birth-announcement films
  • family films
  • senior music videos
  • films for events

They will also discuss fundamental filmmaking techniques, what gear to acquire, and how to use it. Some of the specifics you will learn include:

  • Why purposeful storytelling is the most important aspect of filmmaking
  • Techniques that can enhance the story and move it forward.
  • How to “see the story” before you start shooting.
  • How to create the intrigue necessary to keep viewers engaged.
  • How to choose lenses, camera movements, and cuts that lead back to the point of your story.
  • Techniques for creating the types of emotions you intend your viewers to feel.
  • Why your camera moves tell the viewer how to interpret the scene.
  • Why the proper selection of lenses will enhance your ability to create emotion.
  • How to record clean audio and mix it properly during post-production so viewers can pay attention to your story and not be distracted by an imperfect soundtrack.
  • Why the quality of your audio should make the quality of your footage.
  • Why editing doesn’t have to be as complicated as you think.
  • How to use cut points and transitions, line up audio, add text and graphic elements, make basic motion enhancements, add a music soundtrack, and correct color.

If your clients haven’t asked you to provide video services yet, chances are they will soon. Over the next three years, spending on video advertising is expected to swell from $1.97 billion to $4.71 billion. Plus, tens of thousands of companies (big and small) will be using video content on their websites, to tell the stories behind their products and services.

To see examples of the types of films CineStories has produced, visit their website. And don’t forget to watch the very amusing trailer on the Get in Motion Tour website.


About CineStories

Get in Motion Tour

Book Explains How to Publish a Photography Book

PHOTOGRAPHERS. If you have an idea for a photography-book project but aren’t sure whether to self publish or seek a publisher, read the new book “Publish Your Photography Book” by photography-book-industry insiders Darius D. Himes and Mary Virginia Swanson. In addition to explaining the process of publishing a book of your photographs, the book highlights avenues you might not have considered and points out potential pitfalls.

It also suggests that a photography book can help enhance your visibility and career. Himes and Swanson note that a well-executed photography book can provide you with a passport to the international photography scene and lead to exhibitions, talks, gallery walks, press interviews, and other opportunities.

The book is divided into six sections.

Section 1: The Photography Book Phenomenon
Here, the authors explain why interest in books as a means of photographic expression is rising (and isn’t likely to be disappear any time soon). They point out that a photography book is more than a simple collection of printed photographs. It is often regarded as an autonomous art form.

Section 2: The Nuts and Bolts of Publishing
Whether you plan to self-publish or submit a proposal to a trade-book publisher, this section emphasizes the importance of clearly understanding your goals and developing a solid and engaging concept for your book.

The authors recommend examining your favorite photography books in more detail: What is the book about? Can you summarize the subject in one clear sentence? Is there a singular artistic vision? How is the cover designed? How are the pages laid out? How are the images sequenced? How much does the book stick with you after you’d viewed it?

Section 2 also talks about how publishers work, explains how to approach a publisher, and suggests things to look for when reading a publishing contract.

You’ll also learn how and when it makes sense to use print-on-demand technology to publish a book yourself and when you’d be better off going through a publisher.

For example, working with a publishing company involves collaborating with experienced professionals. This means you must be prepared to compromise in certain areas because the book is not just yours alone, but is also part of a company with a brand and a mission. When you self-publish, you must take on all steps of the process yourself, including hiring individuals who can help you execute your vision for the book and help market it.

The authors write that: “Successful self-publishers are those who are organized and entrepreneurial at heart, who know their audience, can effectively reach that audience, and have the financial and labor resources available to take on numerous roles.”

Section 3: The Making of Your Book
This section walks you through the three main stages of making a book: determining and shaping the editorial content, creating a design that enhances the content without overwhelming it, and working with a printer. Many of these decisions will be based on the concept you have developed and communicated for the book.

Section 4: The Marketing of Your Book
No matter whether you self-publish or have your book published, expect to play an active role in marketing and promoting your book. And you don’t wait until your book is printed to begin thinking about marketing. The first phase of your marketing strategy should begin well before your book is ready to ship. The second phase will be designed to extend the life of your book beyond its publication date.

“Publish Your Photography Book” provides tips for building mailing lists, creating a budget, maintaining a consistent brand identity, working with a publicist, mailing publicity packets, and using the Internet.

The authors also talk about opportunities for cross-marketing. For example, “If the photographs featured in your book can be acquired as limited-edition prints, or are available to be presented as a collection in a traveling exhibition, it is wise to include that information in all formats of your press materials.”

Section 5: Case Studies
Throughout Sections 1 through 4, you’ll find insightful interviews with publishers, editors, designers, photographers, and self-publishers that reinforce some of the advice presented in the book. Section 5 profiles seven photographers who have published one or more photography books:

  • Alec Soth, “Sleeping by the Mississippi” and “The Last Days of W”
  • Paula McCartney, “Bird Watching”
  • David Maisel, “Library of Dust”
  • Lisa M. Robinson, “Snowbound”
  • Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, “Violet Isle”
  • Sean Perry, “Transitory and Fairgrounds”
  • John Gossage, “The Pond”, and “Stadt Des Schwarz”

One of the profiles quotes McCartney as saying, “It is very important that my books are artworks in themselves, not merely portfolios of my photographic projects…I think of books as a medium—like painting, photography, or sculpture—where all of the elements, including form, content, and materials are in dialogue with each other and are meaningful to the finished work.”

Section 6: Resources, Appendices, and Worksheets
This section includes 24 pages of helpful resources. For example, it includes: a diagram of the anatomy of a photography book; timelines for design, production, and marketing activities; a worksheet for preparing for your book; and guidelines for submitting a proposal to publishers. Also included are lists of: publishers; distributors; independent bookstores and dealers; festivals, awards, and trade events; blogs and book art resources; and online marketing resources.

About the Authors
Darius D. Himes was a founding editor of photo-eye Booklist and is a cofounder of Radius Books, a nonprofit company publishing books on the visual arts. Himes is a lecturer, consultant, and writer who has contributed to numerous publications. PDN magazine named him one of the fifteen most influential people in photography book publishing. For the past four years, Himes has been the lead judge of Blurb’s Photography Book Now Competition.

Mary Virginia Swanson is a consultant in the area of licensing and marketing fine-art photography. Swanson frequently lectures and conducts seminars and educational programs for photographers. She is a respected judge of competitions and awards as well as frequent portfolio reviewer.

If you want guidance about how to proceed with a specific book idea, Darius Himes and Mary Virginia Swanson offer one-on-one in-person or Skype consultations. To schedule a consultation, visit:


Publish Your Photography Book





Helpful Resources for New Bloggers

Whether you publish a blog to build a following,  attract traffic to your website, earn money, or simply express yourself, blogging involves more than selecting a template and uploading a few posts. Success in blogging requires a commitment to the project and knowledge of tools and techniques that can help you be efficient and productive.

Here are some resources that can help you get started or refine your approach.  If you
have other resources that might be particularly helpful to authors, designers, artists, or photographers, please let us know.

101 Essential Blogging Resources

If you’re assembling a blog on your own, you might be surprised to see how many options are available. A post on currently lists 122 resources, including 5 domain registrars, 6 different hosting services, 7 content management systems, 6 services for competitive analysis, 9 feedreaders for blog-post research, 11 sources for monetization and advertising , and 12 resources for customizing the look of blog. The list
also includes resources that can help you get statistics and promote your blog online. (The post started out as a list of  101 resources, but has been expanded to include resources suggested by readers.)

LINK: 101 Essential Blogging Resources

ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging

Cover of book of First Week of BLoggingDarren Rowse, who publishes the most popular site about blogging (, has published a new guide for anyone who is either starting their first blog or wants ideas on how their second or third blog can get off to a faster start than their first blog.

In seven practical chapters, he presents 32 achievable tasks that can get your blog moving forward.

Day 1: Set solid foundations.
Day 2: Publish and build presence.
Day 3: Concentrate on content.
Day 4: Understand your blog as a product.
Day 5: Put yourself out there.
Day 6: Define and demonstrate quality.
Day 7: Strategies for success.

The book assumes that you already understand the technicalities of setting up a new blog and focuses on what steps to take after the blog has been set up. He explains systems for planning content, building a social media presence, establishing a workflow, and maintaining quality.

The ebook is one of three that Rowse has written.

ProBlogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging

31 Days to Build a Better Blog

Copywriting Scorecard for Bloggers

The Photography Blog Handbook

PhotoShelter Photography Blog Handbook CoverBlogs can be a terrific way for photographers to their websites, deepen relationships with customers, and build a bigger following. But some photographers wonder if a blog is really worth their time. PhotoShelter’s 35-page Photography Blog Handbook presents strategies and tactics that can make blogging worth your time.

The 35-page e-book demonstrates how to use a blog to attract new visitors to your website and connect with existing clients. It explains elements that can make or break a photography blog, and includes case studies and examples of smart blogging tactics used by photographers from different specialties.  The guide also shares content ideas that will attract more visitors, influence social sharing, and boost search engine optimization.

Also included are tips on choosing the best blogging platform, designing your blog, and outfitting a blog with features that will make photos look outstanding.


Photography Blog Handbook


Campaign Promotes Bill of Rights for Creatives

Logo for Bill of Rights for Creative PeopleEleven professional photography associations have launched a worldwide campaign to help promote the intellectual property rights of creative people in all disciplines—photography, video, film, fine arts, music, writing, design, etc.

The campaign centers around an Artist’s Bill of Rights that outlines a set of ethical principles that enable individuals to control how their creative works are used. It updates a document that the international Pro-Imaging Organization initiated in 2008 to protect the rights of individuals who enter photography competitions.

The Bill of Rights is helping to raise awareness of the practice of “rights-grabbing” in which some competitions harvest unlimited usage rights, or even the copyright, of the works submitted by contest entrants.

According to campaign manager Gordon C. Harrison, “The worst type of rights grabbing is where the terms and conditions for a contest require the entrant to assign the entire copyright and other rights for any works submitted to the competition, and to waive their moral rights. These practices are not uncommon. We have documented 35 cases of  copyright grabbing, 26 cases where moral rights have to be waived, and 7 cases where both occurred.”

If the practice of rights-grabbing continues to spread,  it will devalue photography, art, music, and creativity as a whole by reducing the need for organizations to commission or purchase creative works.

A key aim of the Artist’s Bill of Rights campaign is to educate the public about the importance and potential value of their intellectual property rights. The campaign can also help educate contest organizers who might unknowingly be asking for more usage rights than they actually needed to conduct and promote the contest.

The Artist’s Bill of Rights campaign is presented through a website that is now available in over 40 languages.

Campaign Aims

The campaign has the following aims:

  • To provide a means whereby all artists’ associations can unite around a common set of standards for preservation of their rights.
  • To promote the Bill of Rights’ standards for the preservation of artists’ rights in competitions and appeals seeking creative works.
  • To promote organisations who support the Artists’ Bill of Rights and to promote their competitions and appeals.
  • To educate the public about the purpose and value of their intellectual property rights and to enable them to recognise when they are being exploited.
  • To publish reports about the extent of rights grabbing and to analyse and quantify the rights grabbed by the private, public, charitable, and non-profit sectors.
  • To press for legislative changes that would protect the public from unfair and unethical terms and conditions that seek to exploit their intellectual property rights.

Campaign Supporters

The eleven associations currently supporting the campaign include:

  • Advertising & Illustrative Photographers Association (New Zealand)
  • Association of Professional Photographers (Iceland)
  • Association of Photographers (United Kingdom)
  • Australian Commercial & Media Photographers
  • Australian Institute of Professional Photography
  • British Institute of Professional Photography (United Kingdom)
  • British Photographic Council (United Kingdom)
  • DJ:Fotograferne, photographers within the Union of Journalists (Denmark)
  • Editorial Photographers of United Kingdom and Ireland
  • Pro-Imaging Organisation (United Kingdom)
  • The National Press Photographers Association (US)

In addition to these associations, many private and public sector organizations have proclaimed their support for the principles, including the Society of Authors. All of the supporters are listed on the campaign website. All artists organizations are invited to participate, and contact the campaign organizers through the website.

The website also lists photography competitions that comply with the principles in The Artist’s Bill of Rights and those that don’t.

If you or your studio or organization want to show support for the principles in the Artist’s Bill of Rights, you can grab the appropriate logo below, and link it to:

Logo for Organizations to Support Artist's Bill of Rights

Logo for individual support of Artist's Bill of Rights


Website: Artist’s Bill of Rights

Resources on the Artist’s Bill of Rights Website

Guide to Rights & Licensing
An overview of copyright, types of licenses, moral rights, and the consequences of rights grabbing. As the authors of the website point out: “Rights grabbing devalues creativity by acquiring creativity for nothing.” Rights grabbing can also damage your reputation if your work is used to promote products, services, or campaigns of which you don’t approve.

Organiser’s Guide to The Artist’s Bill of Rights
This section of The Artist’s Bill of Right website explains how contest organizers can write competition terms and conditions that will give them the rights they need for their own publicity and promotion requirements while respecting the rights of the entrants.

Rights-Grabbing Statistics
Spreadsheets on this page attempt to calculate the extent of the problem and pinpoint the sectors in which rights-grabbing occurs most frequently. An analysis of current statistics estimates that more than 6,000 images are being grabbed each day.