Who will do the boring stuff so he can do the fun stuff?
May 13, 2016 6:17 PM   Subscribe

Someone I know is an amazingly talented photographer; he does portraits with an old camera, it is awesome. His whole image is really "marketable". he has lots of totally great ideas. however, he needs help getting and organizing gigs. he wants to hire someone to be a sort of agent, do bookings and endorsements and other business-stuff so he can focus on the creative stuff, which he is good at, instead of the business stuff, which, um, he's not. what kind of person (or, who specifically) does he need to hire?

he's nashville-based right now but he travels a lot, and does tours and performance work where he sets up in a gallery, and takes and develops pictures and displays them while people come and check it out. it's totally awesome to watch. he needs help with logistics and tour booking, and stuff like that. but what kind of person is best to hire, and how does he find that person? he worked with a music manager, which wasn't totally ideal (but maybe a different manager would work?) he can do commercials and fashion shoots, which he'd like to do more of. someone like an agent? but which kind? and how does he find the right one?
posted by andreapandrea to Work & Money (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Does he mostly want someone to find him jobs, and he can remember when/where they are and get to them and buy supplies and invoice afterwards and bother them to pay up and file his quarterly taxes just fine? Then he wants an agent, or maybe you could call this a booker.

Does he mostly want someone to manage his schedule, communicate with people hiring him, bid jobs, get him to the church on time so to speak, etc? Then he wants an assistant or a coordinator.

Does he mostly want someone to inventory and maintain his equipment, keep him stocked on consumable supplies, and handle some of the "production" work (for example developing multiple copies of prints, scanning stuff, retouching, etc)? Then he wants a studio manager.

Does he mostly want someone to handle the money side of things? Then he probably wants a business manager.

If he wants someone to do ALL of this stuff, it's going to be really difficult. And, in that case, yes, the term "coordinator" will probably help him find someone who can do most of these tasks pretty well. The main hurdle, as far as I see it, is someone who is willing to do the dirty work, but also has the knowledge to act as an agent or booker for him. It might be easier to hire two people, an agent (which you'd probably find through a gallery or the like), and also an assistant who preferably has a photography background to handle some of the studio tasks.
posted by Sara C. at 6:48 PM on May 13, 2016 [4 favorites]

I think he wants a photography producer.
posted by Jubey at 6:50 PM on May 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

For everything except gig booking, I would think he would be best off with personal recommendations. That way, he doesn't need to come up with a title or job description. In particular, I'd look at college students or recent grads, who are more general in their skill set and (crucially, in the art industry) have lower salary requirements. Ask people you know if they know any students with an interest in photography and good organizational skills.

For gig booking, I'd ask people I'd already booked gigs with for recommendations. Is there someone they work with whom they particularly respect? As others have suggested, this will probably be a separate position from the admin one. This one also probably won't be full (or even part) time. You might be able to make a retainer arrangement with someone where they get a percentage of revenue.
posted by kevinbelt at 8:01 PM on May 13, 2016

Something like these people

PS Yes I know them personally.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 12:21 PM on May 14, 2016

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