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Interview by Alexandre Orlowski
Julian Meijer opened JULIAN MEIJER AGENCY in Paris in 1986, representing photographers in the fields of fashion, beauty and still life.
In 2014, with creative director Patrick Samot, he launched EAT PHOTOS, a collaborative fair bringing together agents and producers with creative and professional teams in a friendly environment around good food.
MARC DE GROOT X VOGUE NL
Julian, you must be very pleased to be celebrating thirty-three successful years in the industry. What are some of your proudest achievements?
I guess longevity! Over the years our industry changed a lot and we adapted well I suppose.
My NY repping experience for 10 years was very important to make us evolve towards a more flexible way of working, taking risks paid off! I’m also proud of counting some clients today whom I worked with decades ago… and having a loyal staff. Having fun and sometimes taking distance from the industry helped me persevere.
ELSA GUILLET X STYLIST FRANCE
What led you to start a photography representation agency?
In 1985, in New York, I met Hannes Schmid, a Swiss photographer, he and his wife trusted I had the capacities to rep, so I started once back in Paris. At that time it was easier to meet people and doors opened quickly. Success came right away, I did not even know how to bill VAT…
MARIYA PEPELANOVA, NIMIS
How would you describe the shared sensibility among the artists you represent?
Actually all of the artists we represent have different sensibilities and different styles. Having a wide panel helped us not being stocked into one market , it opened many directions.
KOICHIRO DOI X NUMERO TOKYO
Five years ago, you decided to embark on a new venture and launched EAT PHOTOS, a collaborative tradeshow for artists agents. What was the motivation behind it and did you encounter resistance to the idea?
Eat Photos came naturally: first the love of food :), big tables are a good way to meet people… It is not a traditional fair, it is a place where we also have fun, where we try not to have a competition between ourselves trusting that our artists’ talents speak for themselves…
POL BARIL X DIOR MAGAZINE
With my friend, art director Patrick Samot, we felt the same frustration of always having to send PDF’s, looking at pictures on screens only, not having a proper relationship with our clients. The digital world is great but not enough so we thought about bringing people together around photography, films and food…
MARCEL CHRIST, CORONA3
The need to discover special projects, touch paper, see a longer video, sit down to build relationships etc etc… was also shared by our clients, all we had to do was to bring together a group of agents and we started EATPHOTOS !
We decided that all agencies would pay the same costs and share data: surprisingly most of my pairs felt the same frustration and trusted the concept.
Fellowship is the philosophy, no one on a pedestal.
EAT PHOTOS N°8, OCT. 16+17, RSVP
In a few days, the eight edition of EAT PHOTOS will open its doors in Paris. Has the concept evolved since its inception and what can clients expect by attending?
We started the first event with 6 Paris based agencies, now we have about 45 requests from all over the world without any commercial canvassing!
We select different agencies every time, we keep it small, no rule but to surprise ! Clients will discover new talents with books and prints: we ask each participant to avoid showing too many portfolios or films to allow creatives to spend time and focus on a few…
SONIA SIEFF X LA FETICHE
You went to Amsterdam last year, any other cities in the works besides Paris?
Amsterdam was a special event because I’m Dutch, it is my city, that market is growing everyday, we will do a new event there in 2020.
London was in the process but we are waiting to see because of Brexit. NY probably one day!
STEPHANE COUTELLE, END OF THE HEAT WAVE
Producing such an event is no small feat, which is for you the most rewarding aspect?
We hired a great freelance producer for EatPhotos: Olivia Fabart .Without her we would not be able to organize this alone. Reward is to be all together and share experience.
The main task is to find a warm venue, not too traditional but with a kitchen!
ALEX CAYLEY, SASHA
Your funniest memory of EAT PHOTOS?
250 people attending a 140 seated diner during Paris fashion week: a big but fun mess!
THOMAS DE MONACO, Exhibition « The Olfactive Eye »
See you in Paris on October 16+17, The Agents Club is thrilled to be attending! In closing, how would you describe our platform in three words?
We are very pleased to welcome The Agents Club as our guest, a fabulous, helpful, tasteful and modern platform!
IGOR MEIJER, SURF