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Jeff Tse is a renowned beauty and fashion photographer in New York City whose client list includes many top brands and publications from the beauty industry. Jeff has also been a liveBooks client since January of 2007, and has recently launched a newly redesigned website which combines elegant minimalist design with custom interactive elements and the latest Scaler version of the liveBooks offering. Please take a look at his when you have the chance: http://www.jefftse.com. Jeff tells us about the benefits of attending NYCFotoWorks Portfolio Review, which takes place June 19th-21st at Canoe Studios in NYC.
liveBooks: As a working photographer, how does an event like NYCFotoWorks Portfolio Review fit into your promotional strategy?
Jeff Tse: NYCFotoWorks is one of the biggest pieces of my promotional strategy. In this era where everyone is overworked at their positions, art directors and photo editors have no time to take meetings. It is virtually impossible to get your book seen much less have a face-to-face meeting. The event fills that gap by creating the opportunity for a photographer to not only ensure that his/her work is seen with undivided attention but also allows the photographer to talk about his/her work. With all the different ways of reaching out to clients (promo blast, mailers, website, etc), nothing is more intimate than a face to face meeting with someone. We do email blasts and social marketing as other means and I think the final meeting face to face rounds out the interaction process.
liveBooks: What advice would you offer photographers, both professional and emerging, thinking of attending the event?
Jeff Tse: I believe both emerging and established photographers can benefit equally from the event. With emerging photographers, the event allows one to make a strong introduction with your work and yourself to people in the industry. For established artists, I have been told from potential clients that it was really nice to finally meet the photographer after seeing the work for months or years. At the last FotoWorks event, I met the creative director from one of the biggest ad agencies in the US. I can tell you that there would be no other way a photographer can get his/her work in front of someone of that stature in the current market, have a conversation and get feedback. Even if one has an agent, it does not guarantee an opportunity like this. While some of the more seasoned photographers may feel this is beyond them, the thing to consider is the caliber of the reviewers. Whether you have been doing it for 10 years, you are still given the opportunity to meet the art buyers, art producers, and photo editors that you want to work for.
liveBooks: How does FotoWorks differ from other portfolio reviews you may have attended?
Jeff Tse: The quality of the reviewers is the biggest differentiating factor. I haven’t seen the art buyers and photo editors that I want to meet with at some of the other events. So it has been an easy decision as to whether it’s worthwhile or not. One thing to consider is how challenging it has been to meet with decision makers on your own. I know for me, it has made it much easier and much more efficient.
liveBooks: How would you compare a more targeted approach of the FotoWorks model to the broader approach of mailer campaign?
Jeff Tse: Gone are the days when a photographer will be hired to shoot between different genres and subject matter. Everyone is required to be a specialist to stand out today. If a photographer knows his/her market well, there will only be several dozen art buyers and photo editors that are appropriate for the kind of work that he/she does. A fashion photographer that shoots outdoors will never be hired for a food shoot. With that in mind, there is no need to send out a 5000 piece promo. I also think the impression that comes from meeting with someone face to face and showing an entire body of work has more value than a promo card that may or may not make it onto that person’s desk.