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Debra Weiss Creative Consultant

A Guide to Taking Control of Your Professional Photography Career

The photography market is experiencing rapid and tremendous change. From imaging tools to client budgets to countless photographers entering the profession, your world can seem like a daunting place to be.


With or without representation, you must remain proactive. 


How 2B Your Own Best Rep is a comprehensive segmented course designed by respected industry professionals to inform, inspire, and offer insight into how to navigate your way through the frequently challenging life of a professional photographer today. 

Debra Weiss, Creative Consultant with Andrea Kaye, Executive Integrated Producer, Business Affairs Manager + Talent Consultant  will lead you through this in-depth look at a life in photography.  Special guests TBA will be joining us to share their expertise and perspectives.

Each two-hour session will be held weekly via Zoom at 12PM EST. 


June 4th
Business + Creative Strategies to Build and Maintain a Successful Career :

Areas of discussion will include portfolio and website development, identifying your target market(s), recognizing opportunities, getting around the competition, preventing creative burnout, positioning and more. 

​June 11th

Promoting Yourself Wisely and Effectively :

Topics will include but are not limited to methods of promotion - social media, websites, print promotion vs online, frequency and effective outreach, getting to the people you need to get to.


With Special Guest Kaia Hemming, Director of Art Production, North America, VML

​June 18th
Inside + Outside The Agency:

A look at the production and hiring process from both the agency and direct to client. How are budgets created? How are creative campaigns developed? How do agency creatives and producers source talent? How does the direct to client model differ from the agency? Developing negotiation skills. These subjects and many more will be discussed.

With Special Guest Iain Bagwell, Photographer. Additional guest TBA

​June 25th

The Future - Where Do We Go from Here?  A conversation with guests from the advertising, corporate and art markets. Can a photographer work successfully in all three? What will ad agencies look like? Has the art market changed or is it business as usual? How will AI and other new technologies impact these markets? 

With Special Guests Chris Davies, Publisher, Gallery Director, Art Fair Founder and Producer, Tierney Gearon, Photographic Artist and others TBA

* Speakers are subject to change. Should there be an unexpected cancellation, every effort will be made to confirm another speaker of similar expertise. 


July 2nd

 Q & A  

Due to time constraints during the individual sessions, this two hour Q&A session is an opportunity for all unanswered questions to be addressed.

All sessions will be recorded and available to participants through Wednesday. September 4, 2024.

Feel free to reach out with any questions to


View Terms and Conditions here.​

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Debra Weiss

A former agent for some of the top names in the business, a consultant for the former Black Book and CEO of APA National, Debra now primarily works with photographers one on one. She is called a “creative consultant” but what she really does is coach a photographer’s career as an artist and a business.


A lecturer and moderator, Debra has created several programs designed to educate and entertain including COPYRIGHT: KNOW IT OR BLOW IT, How 2 Get Work From Ad Agencies, How 2B Your Own Best Rep, Everyone’s a Photographer and SHOW & TELL: The Story Behind the Image, a multi course wine pairing dinner.


Debra is also an independent curator and has served as curator for an internationally traveled exhibit of the Best of The International Photography Awards; HARAMBEE! (Come Together) at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles; a collection of images created by Pulitzer Prize and other award  winning photojournalists exhibited in NYC and exhibitions of works by Scott Caan and Sara Terry for The Photo Independent Art Fair as well as curating for several participating photographers in the recently mounted Virtual Photo Independent, now in its second edition.

Andrea Kaye

After having worked as an Integrated Producer/Art Producer/Art Buyer at large New York advertising agencies including BBDO and McCann for over 25 years, Andrea is now a highly sought after Freelance Integrated Producer, Business Affairs Manager and Talent Consultant.

While on the inside of the industry Andrea was a strong voice and advocate for art production, helping transform the role, once known as art buying, into a more proactive, collaborative, and accountable member of the creative team.


Andrea was instrumental in the merger of her department with the Broadcast and Digital Production department, helping to create the agency’s first Integrated Production department.  This union led to many exciting and unsettling changes in both departments and while at McCann became the SVP, Executive Integrated Producer.


Andrea is also a past member of the Art Production Committee of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), the JEC (Joint Ethics Committee) and the Art Buyers Club.


Andrea has produced global shoots which have taken her around the world for clients such as ExxonMobil, MasterCard, Nikon, Verizon and The United States Army.

Kaia Hemming 

Kaia Hemming is currently the Director of Art Production, North America for VML, leading a team of producers.  At VML, Kaia is a co-chair for Lotus, the Asian American & Pacific Islander Employee Resource Group, a “Culture Connector” for the New York office (supporting all ERG and local office activations) and is a 2023 graduate of the inaugural leadership development program “Ascend” for AAPI employees. She also has completed the McKinsey & Company Management Accelerator (part of the Asian Leadership Academy).


She previously worked at JWT, McCann, and Hudson Rouge and has produced award-winning work for clients including MasterCard, Pfizer, Lincoln Motor Company, Verizon, Smirnoff, Royal Caribbean, Rolex, Microsoft, and Johnson & Johnson. 


Kaia regularly participates in conferences and panel discussions, serves as a mentor for Asians in Advertising, judges photography competitions, guest lectures photography students, and reviews portfolios. 


A proud graduate of the University of Minnesota, Kaia studied photography and art history. She also spent time working for photography non-profit organizations in development and marketing before moving into advertising. 


When not in the office or on production, you can find Kaia hanging out with her wife and almost 5-year-old son—cooking, running, and exploring with their three rescue dogs. 

Iain Bagwell

Shortly after graduating college in London where he studied graphic design, Iain began working for one of the few specialist food photographers in London and within four years had worked his way up to senior photographer.


With a yearning to start his own studio, he found a space in London’s Notting Hill area and started his own studio specializing in food and drink photography. Amongst other types of clients Iain managed to carve a niche working directly with grocery store corporate clients creating imagery for marketing campaigns and product packaging.


After several successful years in London, he had the  opportunity to move to the United States. In 2003 he opened his studio in Atlanta and made his way onto the radar of Publix Super Markets. A successful partnership was born, and Iain continues to work with Publix today.


Iain has also developed long-standing partnerships with many other well-known brands including Delta Airlines, Focus brands, Southern Living magazine, Whole Foods Markets among many others.


In 2018 Iain joined forces with his one-time assistant, Victor Protasio and opened the studio that bears both their names.


Located in Atlanta ‘s Castleberry Hill district, this thriving partnership continues to attract new clients, mostly in the world of food and product photography.

Tierney Gearon

Born in Atlanta, GA, Tierney Gearon is an acclaimed Los Angeles based contemporary photographer who has gained both critical and commercial recognition for her powerful and intense colorful photographs. 


Praise for her powerful and haunting images did not come to art through traditional means. Her life goal was always to be a mother. After being a model and commercial photographer for years, her marriage dissolved.


Living in London at the time she then turned her camera on her family. Through those images she acquired on different family trips around the world she was discovered by Charles Saatchi. She was thrust into the spotlight in 2001 when her work was featured as one of the main photographers in the famed “I Am A Camera” exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Her work became an overnight sensation when images of her children came under public scrutiny.


Since her controversial debut, Gearon has been pushing the envelope of contemporary photography. “The Mother Project” and “Daddy, where are you?” both give the viewer an intimate look into Tierney’s relationship with her mentally ill mother, not only capturing the raw intensity but also celebrates her free spirit. In 2009, Gearon pushed her photography to a new zenith, double exposing film inside of the camera to produce groundbreaking chance narratives in her work titled “EXPLOSURE”. Tierney has been exhibited at many prominent galleries and museums including, Gagosian Gallery, Yossi Milo, Ace Gallery, The Parrish Art Museum, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and Phillips de Pury in London.


In December 2012 the New York Times commissioned Gearon to write and direct 13 short films aa well as a 24-page feature in the magazine section of 13 Oscar Award winning woman titled “Hollywood Heroines” In April 2013 a new collection of works, “Shape Color” previewed at Paris Photo Los Angeles. In the fall of 2013 Damiani published the “Alphabet Book”, a book of Gearon’s children’s photography. 


Tierney’s work has garnered world acclaim by critics and collectors alike. An artistic autodidact, her technique embraces the accidental — capturing personal, haunting images. What results are portraits that are familiar yet uncanny, surreal candid life studies documenting her family and friends that provide a look into her own inner workings, desires and fears. A continuous diary of her soul.


 In 2015 Gearon and her four children moved to Malibu.

Chris Davies

Chris Davies is the founder of Fabrik Media, a dynamic and innovative creative hub. Based in Los Angeles, he brings over 20+ years of experience as a publisher, gallery director, and marketing creative director with extensive expertise in the business side of art.


As the publisher of Fabrik Magazine and Fabrik LA Insider, Chris spotlights art, culture, and creativity in LA while directing Fabrik Projects Gallery and producing shows like Photo Independent and Fabrik Art Fair to provide artists with exhibition platforms to support their careers.


Through his initiatives, Chris fuels and nurtures creativity. Whether through curating shows, publishing, or advising on strategy, Chris is dedicated to empowering the arts community. He is an advocate for artists, leveraging his business knowledge and connections to help creators thrive.

"I tried for a year to make it to Debra's How 2b your own best rep event and when I finally did, it surely did not disappoint. Debra's deep knowledge of the industry, network of experienced contacts, and strong opinion based on her history in the photo world made this weekend seminar truly stand out. You'll learn real world practices and insights that they can't possibly teach in school and the ability to have a dialogue with Debra's amazing network of Art Producers and Art Directors was invaluable. I highly recommend this event, and will be back again. Thanks so much Debra for sharing your knowledge with those who will benefit greatly." 

 – Dom Francis,
    Photographer/Owner Giant Giants 

"I’ve attended Deb Weiss’ “How To Be Your Own Best Rep” seminar at Photo Plus three times, and I can easily say that it was the most impactful, practical, and insightful seminar I’ve been to. While Deb is bold and brash, and not afraid to the industry dogma in general, the seminar provided me with very practical and actionable advice about marketing, bidding, creative calls, treatments, and insights into the ad industry in general. I have been lucky enough to work with amazing reps since 2010, but even still, I found this seminar to be extremely valuable. Sometimes it feels like the industry is shrouded in a veil of secrecy, and Deb does her best to help lift it."

– Mathieu Young


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