World Trade Center, West Concourse, by architect Santiago Calatrava. © Connie Zhou
Michael Ash is a photographer’s agent and consultant with many years in the industry. He’s repped some amazing talent, and continues to do so with his current roster. Among them is Connie Zhou, recent winner of an International Photography Award, 1st place in Architecture in the Industrial category, for her widely-loved Google Data Centers project. (See some of the images in Connie’s earlier Q&A with us.)
We had a quick chat with Michael about the importance of photographers shooting personal work. Successful architectural photographers seek out works by architects whom they admire, often shooting a building on spec for their portfolio and in the hope that presenting their images to the architect may endear them and get them hired. Architects often reference magazines when looking for photographers and being published editorially can be an important aspect of an architectural photographer’s business.
P&A: You rep Connie Zhou, a respected photographer of architecture. How important is it to your job of promoting a photographer that they spend time on personal work?
MA: This is one of the most important things any photographer should do. It keeps their portfolio fresh and gives me the opportunity to continue to promote them to the ad agencies and magazines.
P&A: Which magazines do you market Connie to?
MA: All of them. Her vision is very unique and you never know where an opportunity will come from.
P&A: Connie recently photographed World Trade Center’s West Concourse, designed by Santiago Calatrava. How did that come about?
MA: She just wanted to photograph the new structure. She probably just sweet-talked her way in. She got great images.
P&A: You are in the business of getting commercial and editorial work for Connie. With something like the World Trade Center images, how do you incorporate that work into promotions?
MA: By including the images in emails and presentations I do in person. The more she evolves the more I can go back to people that love her vision. The responses from the creatives out there are unanimous: