Artist Representative

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Trove Artist Management is a woman-owned, women-empowering talent agency based in Austin, Texas. We are dedicated to promoting, educating and supporting women and culturally diverse artists and social influencers. Trove represents photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists and other artists working locally and nationally. Our roster has served clients such as Elle Magazine, Aveda, Betsey Johnson, Zac Posen, San Antonio Magazine, Austin Monthly, Modern Salon, Jack Ryan, By George and more.

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Wynn Myers is a lifestyle photographer born and raised in Austin. Known for her eye for authentic moments, Wynn loves to capture the beauty and joy in the everyday. Wynn’s love of photography began when a friend introduced her to the high school darkroom.

After attending the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, she relocated to New York City, where she worked for fashion designer, Zac Posen, and attended the International Center of Photography. In 2006, Wynn graduated from the Maine Media Workshops’ Professional Certificate Program. Wynn received her BA in Photocommunications, Summa Cum Laude, from St. Edward’s University in Austin.

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Jeff Stephens ©

I met Maureen at the first ILTP Dallas happy hour and later had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with her over coffee. She’s full of energy and joy and is a powerhouse at representing some high quality photographers coming out of Dallas.

Mindy Byrd ©

Mindy Byrd ©


What is the Photo Division? How did it start and come to be where it is now?

The Photo Division was really borne out of me wanting to be a champion for creatives. I am the middle person, the connection between art and commerce. The Photo Division represents four amazing photographers that bring such a diversity of insight experience and inspiration: Jeff Stephens, Thom Jackson, Claudia Grassl, and Mindy Byrd. I am fortunate every day to get up and go to work with them.  I started the agency five years ago. The name is a play on an industry term of “divisions,” many other agencies represent other talents: hair and makeup, stylists, etc. – but we focus solely on photographers– hence The Photo Division.
No day is boring and every day is a whole day.  I wake up and hit the ground running .
So four is sort of the most manageable number? 
For me, it is the magic number right now.   Everyone deserves time and attention, I can’t be overextended. They deserve it and should have it. There is also this ripple effect, so that it is never just the photographer I am dealing with – each photographer relationship branches out into another connection of clients and crew , etc. There are definitely days when one photographer needs more than another, but I want to make sure if that photographer calls, I can talk to them.  No day is boring and every day is a whole day.  I wake up and hit the ground running .
Is it easy to keep client connections outside of Dallas?
It’s a matter of staying connected and constantly building new clients. But I have to say, the Dallas market is positively thriving and keeps us quite busy! We have so many great clients here . Sometimes I barely have time to raise my head above the city limits ! But I just came back from three shoots in New York City and client visits there. I met the art buyers at Victoria’s Secret and their building is huge and a bit imposing with security, but when I finally got through, the art buyer greeted me wearing Converse High Tops. I love it! 
Thom Jackson ©

Thom Jackson ©

If you are a photographer looking for an agent, my advice is to play the field a bit before you settle down, you know, date around.
What all do you do?  You represent the photographers but what does that entail?

We take it basically from beginning to end.  We are the ultimate crowd pleasers– trying to keep everyone happy, clients and photographers. It’s like planning a fantastic dinner party, you have to serve the right food, invite the right people and then make sure they are all seated next to the right people– except that it is not an occasional event– we do it every single day! 

If you are a photographer looking for an agent, my advice is to play the field a bit before you settle down, you know, date around. Interview several agents before you choose one. You have to like and trust that person because ideally this will be a long term relationship. They are representing you and your work, so understanding your vision and style is paramount.

Claudia Grassl ©

Claudia Grassl ©

Be genuine and have your own voice. There should be a gravitational pull as to why the client would choose your work other than the 5 other portfolios they are looking at .
Do you have any advice for photographers who want to work commercially or editorially?
Great photographers are like great musicians . Music , art and photography all cross over for us at TPD .  If you are a musician you must know how to play your instrument to create what you intend for people to hear.  If you are a photographer you must also know your craft in such a way that your vision shines through . One is hearing and one is seeing . Show me the way . Be genuine and have your own voice. There should be a gravitational pull as to why the client would choose your work other than the 5 other portfolios they are looking at . Your images need to speak for themselves . You are always going to morph a little bit as you live your life, but figure out a base first and evolve from there.
Jeff Stephens ©

Jeff Stephens ©

Catherine Couturier Gallery

Catherine Couturier, raised in Crockett, Texas, got into trouble when she was seven years old. When she came across one of Lewis Hine’s photographs, Girls Spooling, in her social studies textbook, she was moved to tear the page out and take it home. So was born her love for photography.

Couturier went on to study art history at Trinity University in San Antonio, and spent her junior year abroad at Parsons in Paris, France, where she met her husband. The Couturiers eventually moved to Houston, Texas and Catherine started working at the John Cleary Gallery.

After John’s untimely death in 2008, Catherine accepted the torch and rebranded the gallery under her name. It is now the only AIPAD member gallery in Houston and one of only four in the state of Texas.

“John used to say what makes a photograph great are two things, drama and mystery.”

Couturier continues the tradition of showing great photography under Cleary’s influence but adds her additional interests in alternative and modern processes and contemporary art. She says that as collectors are getting younger and technology more advanced, digital photography is more widely accepted as collectible fine art.

Catherine Couturier in her Gallery, Photograph by Amy V. Cooper

Catherine Couturier in her Gallery, Photograph by Amy V. Cooper

“John used to say what makes a photograph great are two things, drama and mystery.” Catherine says, adding that for her, “there has to be something that you don’t see, something special coming from the eye of the artist.”

Some of Catherine’s favorite photographs that she owns are Twilight Swim by Maggie Taylor, one of her favorite photographers, and Broken Plate, Paris by André Kertész.

Who are some of your favorite Texas Photographers?

Libbie J. Masterson. Libbie is such an all around talent. She paints, she photographs, she’s a jewelry designer, she creates outdoor installations (like her recent lotus exhibit for the Asia Society in Hermann Park), and does set design both here and in New York. Libbie is also the curator of the Houston Center for Photography. I’ve known her for years and have always loved her work, so it was a no-brainer for me when she was looking for a new gallery.”

When asked about Texas photography, Couturier wishes there was a better visual identity for the state beyond Big Bend, border towns and cowboys. “I think with more photographers moving here we will get a better photographic representation of what it means to live in Texas.”

 

What is your advice for photographers wanting to catch the attention of galleries in Texas (and beyond)?

If you want your art to be your job, treat it like a job.

“I have two main pieces of advice. Number one: if you want your art to be your job, treat it like a job. Be professional. Be polite. Be on time. Treat your interactions with gallery owners, potential collectors, and fellow artists the same way you would a job interview. Number two: most galleries list their submission guidelines on their websites (we do here.) Follow them, and, just as importantly, peruse their websites to see if your work is a good fit before contacting them. I get so many submissions from painters who haven’t bothered to look at my website at all, which is very obviously all photography. Don’t just spam all the galleries as it wastes everyone’s time and your resources.”

What are your favorite places to see photography in Texas?

“In Houston, there are the three big ones, of course: The Museum of Fine Arts, HCP (Houston Center for Photography), and Fotofest. In Austin, the Harry Ransom Center has a phenomenal collection, including the archives of our artist, Elliott Erwitt, and the first permanent photograph, created in 1826 or 1827 by Niépce.”

Any thoughts on the future of the fine art photography in Texas?

“The fine art photography market is only on the way up in Texas. When I first began selling photographs in 1999, I had to answer a lot of very basic questions that I don’t have to answer as often anymore. The overall level of knowledge and appreciation of photography has grown exponentially.”

Describe the perfect night out in Houston.

“Ooh, the perfect night out in Houston! I made a joke recently that, were I single, my idea of a great first date would be for a guy to pick me up and take me to buy a book before going to dinner. That way, I’d have something to read in case the date was a dud. But really, the perfect night out in Houston for me would be to go walk through the Menil and Rothko Chapel, maybe have a beer at The Hay Merchant, then go to dinner at Kata Robata or Oxheart. Oh! Or go see a play at the Alley Theatre. Or go down a pontoon boat in the bayou and see the Waugh Bridge bats. Or go to a Dynamos game with my husband and son. Or go to a midnight show at River Oaks Theatre. There are just too many great things to do in Houston these days!”

Couturier attends two to six photography fairs every year and finds most of her artists through word of mouth and the occasional submission. She is also an advisor to the Houston Center for Photography. If you get the chance to meet Catherine, don’t miss it, she can tell you a lot about photography and her passion is contagious.

Catherine's son Andre's height marked on the wall at the Catherine Couturier Gallery, Photograph by Amy V. Cooper

Catherine’s son Andre’s height marked on the wall at the Catherine Couturier Gallery, Photograph by Amy V. Cooper

Andre, her son, 7, grew up in the gallery and really enjoys visiting museums and art exhibitions with his mom. No word yet on if he has torn anything out of her many photography books.

Visit the Catherine Couturier Gallery website here: http://www.catherinecouturier.com/.

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Tammy Theis, Founder and Creative Director of Dallas-based Wallflower Management, a talent agency, talks to ILTP about Texas fashion photography, Erin Wasson, and great shoes.

How did Wallflower sprout?
I was a fashion writer and stylist for The Dallas Morning News/Fashion for 21 years. I always had in the back of my mind this wish to do something that had my stamp on it, that was completely my creation—and I always wanted to use the word Wallflower. I left the paper to freelance in 2006 and then met Brenda Gomez who had been a stylist and booked models for Neiman Marcus advertising—we worked together at another agency and had great working chemistry. I kind of hit the wall with what I could do at the other agency so I left. Brenda followed shortly after and we decided to open Wallflower, a boutique agency, similar to small, selective agencies in New York. We opened Wallflower Management July 6, 2009.

I believe in including the staff in lots of creative decisions—I think that’s how you get the best results.

What is the role of a Creative Director at a talent agency?
Well, basically I oversee all the creative aspects of the agency—scouting, model development, photo editing, design decisions, etc., but I am not an autocrat. I believe in including the rest of the staff in lots of creative decisions—I think that’s how you get the best results.

When I was in Los Angeles a couple years ago I saw Erin Wasson walking down the street, pretty much owning the sidewalk on her way out of Fred Segal, how did you discover her and how does Wallflower go about finding new talent?

Erin was this curly headed, gawky 15 year old, skinny as a rail, all legs and arms—but her face was undeniable. The shape of her eyes, lips, nose—perfect.

I was at the newspaper when I first saw Erin. Fashion!Dallas was doing a model search with Kim Dawson Agency, and I asked our receptionist to see the entries that had been mailed in so far. She handed me a box and I dug through and came across these snapshots of Erin in her Irving home—taken by her dad, I found out later. Erin was this curly headed, gawky 15 year old, skinny as a rail, all legs and arms—but her face was undeniable. The shape of her eyes, lips, nose—perfect. Her smile was gorgeous. I remember calling Lisa Dawson and saying, I found our winner—because we were a bit worried with our first search that we wouldn’t find anyone. I remember doing her first shoots—she was so cute and like a sponge.

How much of your time is still spent styling? Do you still get to go to the big fashion shows in NYC, Paris, Milan, etc.?
My styling keeps getting less and less, though I hate that because I feel it’s important to my creativity. I stopped going to the shows when I left the newspaper—the budget for that was pretty much done anyways. I do miss the shows, but not the grind of covering them! Brenda and I are most likely going up this fashion week to see our models on the runways and visit agencies.

Does Wallflower plan to keep growing and representing more of other talent such as make up artists and stylists? Any plans to expand beyond Dallas? (Austin could use the help!)
We have been slowly growing—we want to stay boutique so we can continue to give that one-on-one management and attention. We rep one makeup artist/hair stylist, Shane Monden who is extremely talented and we rep two stylists, Uel White and Graham Cumberbatch (Graham is in Austin and featured in a previous ILTP interview). We chose them because they are very Wallflower. Not sure if/when we might expand to other markets. We do have ideas about our expanding our brand in other ways.

Texas is full of amazing photographers! Dallas has a community of talented photographers, and young shooters pop up every day.

What is your opinion of Texas photography and photographers?
Texas is full of amazing photographers! The Amon Carter Museum commissioned Richard Avedon’s In The American West. Noted Dallas photographer Laura Wilson, who assisted Avedon, is a great photographer in her own right. Keith Carter lives and works in Texas. Dallas has a community of talented photographers, and young shooters pop up every day. I’ve been amazed at the work of Lauren Withrow, who started shooting for Wallflower around the age of 16—but she was no novice—she was directing and seeing things in a very advanced way. Kids amaze me these days. I do wish there were more photo/art galleries or shows that focus on photography.

What are the benefits of working in Texas/Dallas?
Well, the cost and ease of living here makes it viable. Studios are affordable. There are great models, great scenery, though sometimes you have to travel a ways and/or battle the heat. Most importantly, there are clients.

I prefer artistic photographers—I don’t necessarily look for someone who is just technical but whose photos have no soul.

What traits do you think talent agencies and models appreciate most in photographers?
I like photographers who have a style, a point of view. I don’t want to see a group of work that is all over the place. I prefer artistic photographers—I don’t necessarily look for someone who is just technical but whose photos have no soul. I love black & white photography and I still love film. I think as an agency creative director, I give photographers a lot of latitude—I don’t like to dictate what photos I want them to shoot of a model—I want them to shoot their concepts and what inspires them—it invariably results in better photos.

How has the demise of print and the surge in digital publications changed the way you do business? 
Well, I am not sure about the demise of print. It seems like there are more magazines every day—mostly out of Europe but beautifully printed publications—I love visiting Book People in Austin to find lots of my favorite magazines—I’m an addict for sure. There are plenty of on-line pubs too though. It really doesn’t change the way we do business—we of course love being able to send our models’ portfolios by email and handling so much of work efficiently through technology.

What is Wallflower’s take on social media for your business? What platforms do you use?
Well, I’m proud to say Brenda and I were the first agency in Dallas to have a blog (we were with another agency at the time but we started it). We have a blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for Wallflower.

What is Wallflower direct?
That is for models who have other “mother” agencies, meaning they are out of town and we rep them for our clients who have budgets to pay for travel.

I love the latest issue of the Wallflower zine, can you tell us more about that?
Thanks! When we opened I thought a zine would be a great idea for several reasons: it would scratch my itch of always wanting my own magazine (watch out what you wish for!), provide a creative forum for all of our talented photographers/stylists/hair and makeup artists/models as well as provide tear sheets for our models’ portfolios. It’s been well received—as soon as we publish one all of the photographers are emailing about the next one. This last one, the beauty issue, was our biggest yet with over 80 pages.

Favorite place to shoot in Texas?
That’s hard. I loved shooting in Palo Duro Canyon. I used to love shooting in Venus but it’s not as small town as it used to be. I’ve shot in Marfa and that was fun. I do love desolate open spaces, which there are plenty of in Texas. Of course in the summer, a nice air-conditioned studio is awesome—and I love simple studio photography.

Favorite Texas food?
Sonny Bryan’s BBQ in the old location on Inwood Blvd. I love Stoneleigh P burgers too.

Favorite pair of shoes?
My new Acne blue suede ankle boots from V.O.D.

Favorite place to shop for fashion?
V.O.D., TenOver6, Urban Outfitters and lots of other Dallas stores, but I buy a few really great things a season and wear them to death. I am a minimalist and pretty much wear a uniform of black skinny jeans or trousers and T-shirts. I love Acne and R13.

Richard Krall ©
Mariah Tyler talks with photo rep Jennifer Dunn of Sister Brother Mgmt about representing artists, living in Dallas and the importance of collaboration.

In a nutshell, what is Sisterbrother Mgmt.?

Sisterbrother Mgmt. is an agency representing photographers and stylists.

How did sisterbrother come about?
When the economy tanked in 2008, our industry and local market were pretty profoundly impacted and though I worked at a fantastic studio repping a handful of really talented shooters, we felt it too. Our staffers were made freelance and, eventually, I was the last one on the payroll. If I had stuck it out, everything would have been fine – that studio is thriving today. But I couldn’t risk being jobless with two kiddos at home. So Sisterbrother Mgmt. was born overnight.

Why Dallas?
I was born and raised in Dallas. My family is here, my kids call Dallas home. Sentiment aside, Dallas also has a great photo industry. Diverse and lucrative…

What is the creative process in coming up with concepts for shoots?
I love that element of what we do but, honestly, I’m not all that involved with it. I offer inspiration by sharing with my artists imagery that calls out their name to me. I’m sure they fold that into the mix of visuals that seem to be stirring in them all the time. For commercial projects, concepts often originate many steps ahead of our involvement, but it’s always nice when an art director asks for collaboration from the photographer and stylist.

What do y’all look at for inspiration?
There is a fair amount of influence from the “usual suspects” – magazines, blogs, art, music. But it’s so personal, it can come from anywhere, right? Our families, the weather, travel…

Do any of the stylists work with non-Sisterbrother photographers and vice versa?
Most definitely. Inclusion is a really important part of my business ethos. I encourage the stylists and the photographers to work with whomever they feel moved to work with. And I feel pretty strongly about giving credit where credit is due, roster talent or non-roster talent. There’s enough to go around. And creativity is a tricky enough beast without unnecessary limitations on partnerships.

Styled by Brittany Winter & Photographed by Chris Plavidal ©

Who are the people represented by Sisterbrother?
Darren Braun, photographer
Richard Krall, photographer
Chris Plavidal, photographer
Steven Visneau, photographer

Samantha Collie, stylists’ rep.
Mari Hidalgo, stylist
Stephanie Quadri, stylist
Brittany Winter, stylist
Jennifer Bigham, assistant stylist
Olivia June Preuss, assistant stylist
Dana Stalewski, assistant stylist
Shannon Webster, intern

How does someone who is interested become a part of Sisterbrother Mgmt.?
Well, I’m reeeeeally selective. Because I invest so much energy and time in the artists. And because, and I know this can off cheesy, we are a family and while I have the final word, there is a lot of input to consider from the team. For photographers, I hold portfolio reviews quarterly and this is where I find the talent I’m most interested in watching. And for stylists, they tend to evolve from interns, to assistants, to stylists.

Where do you see Sisterbrother in 5 years?
I do have a five-year plan, but I’m not gonna share it right now. :) We’ll be making beautiful images.

Steven Visneau ©

Favorite brunch spots in Dallas?
Brunch is my favorite meal! I like my neighborhood spots, Oddfellows, Hattie’s, Jonathan’s, [in Bishop Arts] in Oak Cliff. And I like Vickery Park and Taverna, too, if I can be convinced to cross the bridge on a weekend.

Top 3 go to spots for photo shoots?
I don’t think there are many repeat locations (other than our own studios). Collectively, in the past two weeks, we’ve shot at the Driskill Hotel and the Dougherty Arts Center in Austin, a vintage car showroom in Terrell, the Winspear Opera House, underwater in a backyard pool, the beach in Tulum, Mexico and many many studios.

Styled by Stephanie Quadri ©

Recent, notable clients?
We always love working with all of the different Neiman Marcus teams. Great art direction, great merchandise, great models. And we did a project last week for The Atlantic Monthly. Ooo, and Corona. Yeah!

TBA+D (Tom Brown) for France Magazine (published quarterly by the French-American Cultural Foundation)

Renee Rhyner & Co has a foundation in commercial photography representation, but their roster has expanded to also include graphic designers, illustrators, filmmakers, and a brilliant team of producers. With offices in Dallas and New York City, Renee Rhyner & Co have been in the artist representation business for over twenty years.

Year company formed?
January 1, 1991

Who are your photographers who are based in Texas and what do they specialize in?
Fredrik Broden is based in Dallas. He shoots portraits, locations and fashion with a conceptual tone. Beth Perkins is a Texan who we book as a local photographer just to get her back home frequently, but she’s also a resident of Rockaway Beach, NY. Beth specializes in environmental portraits, lifestyle and travel photography. Our other photographer’s are in Little Rock, Arkansas and Los Angeles, CA.

Personal Project, Hair and Make-up artist, Patty Rooney, Stylist, Julie Whitmire

How did you get started in this business? Did you have a mentor?
I was working as the Director at Page Parkes Management  in their Dallas office and came to know photographers. At this time I became aware of the fact that photographers also had agents. Representing models was a good background for representing photographers. I was familiar with the type of attention needed to focus on people’s careers and the many different parts of preparing for a photo shoot.  In the early days, we did all of our own production so my relationships with the agencies came in handy when booking models and of course all of the travel planning background that came with that.

editing images is the best part of my job

Choosing photos with models was always one of my favorite things as well as putting together their books. I still love this best about representing artists, editing images is the best part of my job.  I met Fredrik Broden within the first few months of starting  my business. Fredrik was assisting a photographer I started with named Richard Reens. Soon after, Fredrik went out on his own. I’ve been his agent ever since.  I represented a teenage Beth Perkins as a model while with the agency and closely followed her career after she graduated from college and moved to New York to begin working for GQ Magazine.
Beth sent me her very first  photography portfolio . It’s really special to me that I’ve been working with Fredrik and Beth since they started. I’m  also still working with clients that I’ve known from my first year in business. Being able to work with clients that I’ve known for the past 20 years and keep their best interest at heart as well as the artist is a delicate balance. Trying to perfect this balance for the past 21 years has been the best career I could have ever hoped for.

All time favorite photography book?
Moments Preserved: Eight Essays in Photographs and Words.

Are there advantages to being based in Texas vs. the east or west coast?
Yes. Texas is home and I love being here.  I’ve recently opened an office in Manhattan and I travel there once a month so coming back home is a welcome relief to the fast past and expense of New York. I’m also traveling to Los Angeles every 6-8 weeks and LA is also much more of a difficult lifestyle with the traffic and cost of living. It’s nice being about equal distance to both places though.

Beth Perkins Personal Project

Tell us about a shoot that took place in Texas that had some only-in-Texas challenges
Last year I expanded my agency and opened a production division. One of our first assignments was with the A&E Channel. I was contacted by their New York based producer who was looking for a prop stylist for a photo shoot in Texas. Enter the best stylist in town, our Julie Whitmire.  The shoot was for the reality show called American Hoggers and it was shot at a ranch in Brownwood, Texas. Julie spent most summers on her parent’s ranch in Sherman, Texas so this was a dream job for her. They even had wild hogs on the ranch so this didn’t even scare her. Find a wild boar skull and mount it on the hood of a jeep? Not a problem. Dig up a cactus that’s blocking the shot? Easy. It was over 100 degrees every single day of the shoot, but Julie was in heaven.

Can you share some advice for aspiring reps?

Realize that this is a partnership, like a professional marriage

Realize that this is a partnership, like a professional marriage. As much work as you put into repping someone and marketing them, they have to be giving you the tools you need. For example, updating their website, setting aside marketing money for promo pieces and national source books. The artists should have realistic expectations of what their partnership can do and the amount if time it takes to be successful in this business.

Favorite bbq?
Smoke, 901 Ft. Worth Avenue, Dallas, Texas.

Favorite Texas weekend getaway?
The Wildcatter Ranch, Graham, Texas. Don’t miss feeding the longhorns in the morning, they will eat grass right out of your hands!