Industry Insights with Le Guide: Has the role of the innovative agent changed?

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Achievement takes “focus, determination, tenaciousness and talent, ” states Steven Pranica. But does it take an agent too? The particular founder of Creative Swap Agency, discusses the value of an agent in today’s market

Securing a real estate agent can feel like an acknowledgement of your potential, and the addition of a trusted ally whenever work demands outstrip capability. But in a world where personal brands are launched from bedrooms, the role of a creative agent is changing. Are tenacity and talent enough to succeed?

Steven Pranica may be the founder and president of Creative Exchange Agency (CXA), in New York – among the industry’s most prestigious companies – managing renowned musicians such as David LaChapelle, Coco Capitán and François Halard. Pranica started in the industry in 16, as a photographer assisting greats including Victor Skrebreski and Norman Parkinson. From 19, he moved into musician management working for photo organizations in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles – representing Herb Ritts and Helmut Newton. By the age of 27, he started his own agency – rapidly building the stellar roster that we see today.

“We represent multidisciplinary artists at the intersection of art, tradition, design, photography and movie, and orchestrate their shows, ” Pranica explains. In contrast to other photography agencies, CXA represents a diverse range of artists in various disciplines, and therefore are “actively involved in their day-to-day management”. They simultaneously develop their art practices, whilst also orchestrating brand collaborations such as Kehinde Wiley with MTV and Amex; and avant-garde artist Robert Wilson with Nike. CXA musicians, including Brian LaChapelle , were among the first to demonstrate how it’s possible to cross between digital photography, commercials, fine-art, and movie with artistic integrity. “Our role is to support plus guide the photographer’s eyesight, while providing them unrivaled access to other collaborators in our network, who embrace their particular vision, ” explains Pranica.

Steven Pranica

Travis Scott x The Face mag. © David LaChapelle, Courtesy of Creative Exchange Agency (CXA)

The value of an agent in 2021

The growing demand intended for content and boom pertaining to brand collaborations has created sufficient opportunity for work, but long passed are the simple discussions of print publications. Contractual complexities associated with digital systems and publishing can keep creatives craving the assistance of an agent, who’ll take on the task of negotiating conditions.  

“The value of the particular agent has expanded exponentially, ” agrees Pranica. “While the core attributes of the agent remain, their function in navigating the huge media landscape has radically changed what we do. In the present marketplace, there is a much broader expanse of opportunities in new media and mediums, so we embrace and get around this new terrain. ”

The digital evolution continues to be fast, and it’s nevertheless moving – agents need to consider what’s coming following, he insists. “We should now envision and understand the utilisations which may occur within the lifespan of the photograph, including the timeline, territory, and mass media, and then negotiate favourable conditions to protect those usage legal rights. ” Forecasts must anticipate how content may be used later on, in what territories, in which mediums, with the conclusions correlating to a price that will protect a creative’s potential to get.

Bottega Veneta showcasing Naomi Campbell. © Jesse LaChapelle, Courtesy of Creative Swap Agency (CXA)

The role extends over and above that of contract negotiator. A real estate agent is an advocate for the artists’, a collaborator to support them in the practical path to realising their creative vision: “The agent is responsible for amplifying your own voice, articulating and communicating your story, and securing platforms to expose your work, ” explains Pranica. Is the support emotional too? Absolutely, ” he assures. “Our romantic relationship with our artists is very personal and there is a constant cross-over between their personal and business life. ”

Nevertheless , Pranica, who will be certainly one of a number of agents attending the particular Le Guide Connections event on thirty September , explains that will although often seen as a marker of success, having a real estate agent may not be right for everyone. “I would recommend that young and emerging photographers initially behave as their own representatives, ” advises the agent. “You can gain first-hand knowledge plus feedback by interacting directly with your clients. ”

Francois Halard x Architectural Digest. © Francois Halard, Courtesy of Creative Exchange Agency (CXA)

© Shaun Burton, Courtesy of Creative Trade Agency (CXA)

But not many people embark on an innovative career with the skillset in order to negotiate the best deals, to control relationships while delivering the creative and technical excellence required. For them, Pranica has its own practical advice for navigating the market.

Maintain an interest within contemporary culture 

Steven can be found at fashion events, art exhibitions, photography and film festivals – and it’s where the inspiration and human relationships behind many of his relationships are formed. “As industry changes and expands, ” he explains. “You must have an interest in and conversation with contemporary culture, and explore the vast possibilities for artists. ”

Target clients aligned with your interests and visual direction 

“For photographers who are representing on their own, it’s important to define and target a list of prospective content and advertising clients based on your interests and particular visual direction of your function. ”

Develop a ‘script’

Develop a ’script’ to describe the primary spirit of your work, that a list of questions for new briefs. “For assignments, create a group of questions to ensure you estimate the particular project accurately and understand the mission. Some examples might be – What is the creative brief? The number of visuals are required? What is the use for the photographs (including licensed time, territory, media systems and any planned paid promotion)?

Protect your brand, and your future rights 

You will find practical details you should pay out special attention to, Pranica states: “Ensure you are properly credited, ” he advises. “And, that the resale merchandise plus NFT rights are negotiated separately. ”

© Coco Capitan, Courtesy of Creative Trade Agency (CXA)

“I would recommend that you spend period researching and locating a real estate agent whose philosophy and roster of artists inspires a person. Then, contact them over email or social media to prepare an appointment to review your work. ”

“While there are more opportunities intended for young photographers than ever before, there is also much more competition, ” confesses Pranica. There is a point when an agent is the natural progression. They’ll provide access to a global network of clients, make a deal optimum terms, and orchestrate seamless productions which enable you to focus on your craft.  

“We sign new talent periodically, but are constantly researching new artists globally via social media, editorial books, books, exhibitions, and by means of referrals, ” he explains of the process for putting your signature on new talent to CXA’s books. “I would recommend that you spend time researching plus locating an agent whose philosophy and roster of artists inspires you. Then, contact them over email or social media to arrange an appointment to examine your work. ”

What CXA looks for in an artist is simple. “A photographer’s work will be reflective of social modify in their time, culture, and community. We look for professional photographers with an original voice who are able to express a cohesive viewpoint and narrative, and have the particular technical ability to execute their vision, ” he says. “Our philosophy is to cultivate creative projects which embody social plus cultural values such as variety, environmentalism, and sustainability. ” In other words: they’re looking for performers whose work has an information. A photographer should study light, composition, angle of views, consistency and the use of empty room, but ultimately they must develop a narrative for their photographs plus career – and video clip is becoming more important every day. ”

CXA is closely involved with the international photography and creative industry publisher LE GUIDE , along with Connections by LE BOOK , a custom-made trade show for the creative community as well as its digital presence, Connections Digital.  

Le Guide Connections Digital Europe takes place on 30 September 2021. Click here to find our more details about the event

The particular Fast Track eighteen will be presented to the LE BOOK Contacts Europe jury by way of 1854’s ‘Meet the Unsigned’ presentation area.

Robert Wilson x Hermes. © Robert Wilson, Courtesy of Creative Exchange Company (CXA)

Emma-Lily Pendleton

Emma-Lily is an article writer, editor and content advisor specialising in photography plus filmmaking. She’s worked as Editor of Professional Picture taking magazine, host of Canon Europe’s Shutter Stories podcast, and held the position associated with Content Director of Future Publishing’s multi award-winning articles marketing agency, Future Fusion.

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