Mollie Jannasch

Agency MJ: Five Years Anniversary

Photo by Kyle Dreier

Photo by Kyle Dreier

December 2013 marked Agency MJ's five-year anniversary. To honor this milestone, we asked Mollie Jannasch, Owner and Agent, a few questions about the history of the Agency:

When did you know you wanted to become an agent and what led to that decision?

Working at NYC Artist Agencies, Art + Commerce and Nice.  These amazing experiences helped me to identify that I had an interest in the business side of the photography industry.

How many artists were on your roster when you started out?

I started with three photographers and grew the business to include East and West Coast representation within the first year.

The best thing I did starting out was consult with industry professionals who have been in the trenches longer.  I reached out to Amanda Sosa Stone and Suzanne Sease, who co-wrote the book 'The Photographers Survival Guide.'

As a team, we worked on everything from setting business and marketing goals to scouting new talent.  I could not have done this without their initial guidance and direction.

What's your day-to-day like?

It is a mix each week. Everything from project conference calls, scheduling and booking assignments, and marketing events and portfolio shows.

What are some of the milestones you've reached in your first five years?

Shooting with some of the best agencies and talent in the industry - from booking Chelsea Handler to Fruit of the Loom to Publix Supermarkets, I am thrilled with all the opportunities and ways in which we have developed over the past five years!

We have had so many small and large triumphs along the way, we are so grateful for our talented roster.

I also want to thank my family and friends. Their support and inspiration has helped us blossom!

Focus on Photography: Portfolio Reviews

Agency MJ reached out to a few Art Directors and Art Buyers and this month we're highlighting some of the responses to questions we posed about portfolio reviews. One of our first responses came from Jason Skinner, VP Director of Design at The Buntin Group. Here are his thoughts about what he looks for.



"We get so many portfolios via daily email. When I take the time to click through, and if the image interests me, and I make it to the photographers website, and if I bookmark, they become part of the process if a client has a need and I need to make a recommendation.

If the image and site are above and beyond, I'll reach out to the photographer and let them know that the image resonated with me. A conversation often continues over a period of time. I start to feel a relationship with the photographer. This has an impact on my final decision to reach out when a client need arises.

I think it's human nature to want to work with people you consider a friend or have a relationship with. So, when a rep or photographer comes into the office and takes the time to present work, I generally remember them. But because we have so many points of contact, it's good to get the occasional email that just says hey, look what I've been up to.

The portfolio of the photographer has to come first, but I will certainly go out of my way to work with a rep/photographer that has taken the initiative to build a relationship. Good people doing good work… makes for a good day."