We’re new, so let me explain: why I’m doing it, what is it and how it works.
For the tl;dr crowd, the news is that as well as continuing with my own photography, I’m now booking other photographers under the Boudist name. You can check out the sort of work we do and get in touch for a quote.
Here’s the long story…
I’m coming up on ten years of full-time professional photography. My business has grown every year and my work is evolving too. I’m in the fortunate position of often fielding more work offers than I’m capable of shooting myself. But that workload was starting to burn me out, and I was at risk of disappointing clients by being distracted or unavailable. After a decade of just saying YES to everything that comes my way, it’s time to start saying NO.
But not just a blunt “no.” Rather a, “I can’t photograph that for you, but I’ve got someone else brilliant who can.”
In my many years in the industry, I’ve cultivated a very strong network of other professional photographers. Many are people I know socially, or from working alongside on shoots. I’ve also always got my eyes out for fresh talent - whether it’s people working at a similar level to me, or young guns who may not be making much of a living out of photography right now, but who I can see have the skills and drive that can be turned into good work and money for the right client.
From referrals to bookings
For years I’ve informally passed on jobs to other photographers when I was already booked, or if it was an assignment that didn’t suit me. Often these were good jobs with great clients. Clients I wanted to keep working with and look after.
So about 18 months ago I changed the way I dealt with these referrals. Rather than just tell a client I wasn’t available and send them links to other photographers, I’d seek out another photographer who I thought would suit the brief, confirm their availability, negotiate a fee, prepare a quote and pitch that to the client. I supply the job and handle all the quoting and invoicing and then I take a commission.
My relationship with the photographers isn’t like a traditional agent. Photographers don’t have to work exclusively via me - they continue to run their own businesses as usual. But we do have an agreement that if I introduce a client to a photographer, any ongoing bookings are made through Boudist. I rate loyalty highly with those I work with.
With no marketing at all, in twelve months I subcontracted over $100,000 worth of work to other photographers. Money aside, I like this system. I enjoy passing on work to great photographers I know. I enjoy helping clients by matching them with a photographer who creates great work for them. I like fostering long term loyalty with both photographers and clients. And I like being able to pick and choose the assignments I shoot, while still earning some income on the ones I refer.
Rather than keep this matchmaking service informal, I decided to turn this into a proper business and differentiate it from my own work as a photographer. I spent some time trying to figure out the best approach. Do I create a new brand from scratch? Or do I co-opt my own Boudist name and use that?
Boudist began its life back in 2003 as my personal blog. Before Facebook - before the iPhone, even before MySpace - I started a site to share my first forays into photography. Boudist developed a bit of a following in the noughts. I’d share pictures from all the gigs and parties I’d been going to and people responded well. Before photography was my profession, Boudist was a place for me to publish my work, to experiment, learn, get feedback and grow.
After photography became my full time job (circa 2007), and as other publishing tools like Facebook and Instagram made sharing photos easier, Boudist lost its mojo. I continued to share photos there, but for a while it’s felt more like an obligation for old time’s sake rather than a joy. I get more feedback and eyeballs when I post on Instagram or Facebook as that’s where the audience is - not looking at blogs anymore (RIP blogs).
Boudist it is
The Boudist name has some goodwill out there. The boudist.com url has a good Google ranking. And while you’re not necessarily booking me - you’re always booking a photographer who I know and trust to do an exceptional job.
So the blog is dead (although it remains archived by the National Library of Australia, no less) but Boudist is reborn as a new entity larger than myself.
What we’re about
Boudist is not a place to book a cheap photographer and take a punt on whether they’ll actually turn up and do a good job. All Boudist photographers pride themselves on shooting excellent work and understanding a client's desires for a shoot and helping them achieve their goals. We love a client brief. We're quick and reliable. We have the best gear. We respond to emails and calls promptly. We communicate and present well. We're positive and professional. These are basic things but they're also why clients keep coming back.
Who we’re for
We’re best positioned to work with clients who need regular and varied types of professional photography. Our existing roster of clients is mainly PR firms and organisations like the MCA, Sydney Opera House and Carriageworks. We can shoot with a view to get media placement, for online and social media content, PR, marketing or advertising. If you’re not sure whether we’d be right for you, get in touch and ask.
Working with photographers
Some of the team are profiled here but there’s many more photographers I call on - mainly in Sydney but in most capital cities too. I don’t want the roster to get too broad - if i’m going to book a photographer I want to know and trust them well. And I want to reward photographers with regular work - which I can’t do if there’s too many people to please.
What about your own photography?
First and foremost I’m a photographer - not a booking agent. If running this enterprise interfered with that I’d bring in extra help or wind it down. I continue to showcase my own work at danielboud.com and @daniel.boud and am represented by Sarah Ewing Agency. I’m still Chief Photographer at Time Out Sydney. Boudist is about creating the space to shoot the projects I’m most passionate about.
Boudist is dead. Long live Boudist.