Tag: artists representative

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 ©

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!