So You Want to Be a Black Star Photographer?

We are frequently approached by photographers interested in receiving assignments through Black Star. “What is your selection process?” they want to know.

There is no formal system for selecting Black Star photographers — and there is no formal pecking order among our approximately 350 photographers, either. Our selection process is more art than science, and always has been.

How do our relationships with photographers begin? Typically, in one of four ways:

  • Searching the Web for possible photographers in an assignment location;
  • Asking one of our clients for a recommendation;
  • Asking one of our photographers for a recommendation;
  • Reviewing photographer queries from our Web site.

Although we welcome e-mail through, we do not wish to receive phone or snail-mail solicitations. They’re a waste of your time and — in the case of portfolios sent through the mail — your money.

When considering recommendations and queries, we look at three primary factors in making a decision:

  • Talent. This is the most important criterion. It generally pops out from the photographer’s portfolio.
  • Breadth of work. Black Star photographers take on a broad range of assignments for many different companies and publications — encompassing editorial, corporate, architecture, still life, and more. If we see this kind of variety in your portfolio, you are more likely to be a fit for us.
  • Location. It helps to be in the right place at the right time. We often seek new photographers when we have an assignment in a specific location where we are currently without a photographer.

There is no such thing as “rejection” by Black Star — only acceptance. We always leave the door open, so that as our needs change, we may have the opportunity to work together in the future.

Should we develop an association with you, it is important to understand that you might not receive assignments immediately. Work is assigned as we receive it, and freelance photography can be a feast-or-famine business. Black Star has no formal pecking order when assigning work; it is generally based on availability. We develop comfort levels with photographers over time, as we see their talent and problem-solving abilities in action.

Trust must be earned, by both the agency and photographer. Once that bond is forged, a relationship with Black Star can be a long-term foundation for success.

Interested? E-mail us here.

[tags]Ben Chapnick, Black Star, photography agencies, photography advice[/tags]

35 Responses to “So You Want to Be a Black Star Photographer?”

  1. Im based in Amsterdam, Holland and very interested in assignments.

    Thank You

  2. I'm based in Ireland and I specialized in B&W portraits since 1990. I be interested in any assignments you may have.

    Many Thanks,

  3. I'm in you US Navy and currently deployed. I'm interested in assignments.

    Thank you

  4. I'm in the US Army and currently stationed in Saudi Arabia and would be more then welcomed to try and assignment.

    Thank you

  5. Hi,

    I have just sent a message under "Contact" heading with details.

    I am a seasoned pro. of many years, currently residing in Mumbai, India. Visiting Hong Kong June end. Planning to visit the rural regions of south-west China as well.

  6. ok i am based on lake maggiore verbania north italy
    interesing events and locations ready for assignement thanks i really appreciate ths site and yours job the way you are doing it compliments!

  7. Well, lets see if works..!

    Surinder Singh (+91-9971008151)
    Advertising & Fashion Photographer
    Landscape & Travel Photographer
    Singh Style Studio
    New Delhi - 110085, India.

  8. We are a group of 6 photographers based in Asia (mostly Cambodia and Thailand) and would be available for spot work and also we have a large stock of photos from the area between all of us.

  9. Thanks for repyly...potfolio is coming...

  10. Hi thanks for the opportunity to show you my portfolio of work.
    I am a commercial photographer with twenty plus years of experience
    in both above and below line advertising and retail photography.
    I use high end digital ( Lightphase on a mamiya 645 ) and film covering all formats from 35mm to 4x5 with of course DSLR canon equipment as well.
    Thank you

  11. i´m based in Northwest of Spain. Santiago de Compostela.

  12. thanks paco ! take note of you for further collaboration...keep in touch...Robert

  13. I'm based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and I specialized in food and lifestyle photography both on location and in studio. I would be interested in any assignments you may have.

    Many Thanks,
    Isabel Subtil

  14. Hi Blackstar I am based in Sydney Australia where we have some of the worlds greatest and varied locations . I specialise in advertising editorial and corporate photography for a large number of clients working in most formats digital (and film if required.). Been interesting reading your blogs.
    Let me know if I can help
    Have a great day.


  15. Hi,
    my name is Angelo Cucca,
    I'm based in Sardinya island, Italy,and I specialized in photojournalism, reportage and travel.
    I'm interested in assignments.
    Thank you,
    Angelo Cucca.

  16. Hi,
    my name is Elgin Miles,
    I'm based in Fresno, California,and I specialized in photojournalism, reportage and news,Sports.
    I'm interested in assignments.
    Thank you,
    Elgin Miles.

  17. I am a multilingual freelance photographer based in Amsterdam, and available to cover whole Europe.
    Commercially I specialise in HDR VR and Panoramic Architecture/Interior Photography; as well as Lifestyle, Imaging, Events and Documentary.
    I just emailed you my CV and link to portfolio, and I'm very interested in assignments.

    Thank you

  18. Hi,

    I am a photographer based in Pakisan and work for a photo agency here. It would be a pleasure to work for black Star.

  19. I am a freelance photographer interested in working for Black Star.
    Please review my website and see if I can contribute to your organization.

    Thank you,


  20. I am a freelance photographer/multimedia journalist in Tampa Bay, Florida and I would like to contribute to Black Star.

  21. As an advertising photographer here in Sonoma Co. Calif. most of my work revolves around people and the life they bring to their work. Please review my work. Assignments are welcomed.


  22. I am a retired press photographer base in Malaysia and do freelancing now.
    Your advice is most welcome.

  23. You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it smart.

  24. I am a freelance photographer interested in working for Black Star. I have experience in documentary, editorial, portrait, event, and music photography. Review my website at your convenience and let me know if you are interested.

    Thank You
    Karen Curley

  25. I am freelance photographer based in Ostrava in Czech Republic and I would like to work for Black Star. Please review my website.
    Thank you.V.

  26. Hi Blackstar. I'm based in Scotland and have experience in documentary, music, wildlife and portrait photography. I am currently building up a portfolio of work and any assignments in Scotland/England would be welcolmed.

    Best wishes

    Chris Fenton

  27. I'm interested in submitting my website for consideration as a supplier of Industrial / Corporate assignment photography. And learning more about your price negotiation, and photographer communications arrangements etc. I am based in Melbourne, Australia and have 30+ years experience as an Industrial / Corporate assignment photographer in the region.

    Your site rings very true to my experience. So your consideration and comments would be appreciated.

    Chris Parks
    Effective Working Image

  28. Hi, Firstly I would like to say what a great site you are running. I think it raises some important issues
    and helps us all out!
    I have been a commercial/ fine art photographer for 22 years and would love you to look at my work with rise to
    working with you in the future.


    Phil Conrad

  29. Hello, I would like to say that this is a nice space to share the passion of photography, I am a graphic designer who loves photography and want to become better everyday, thats why I am opening myself to the organisation, and want to learn with the bests, please take the time to review my work, I wold apreciate that, I am in Venezuela, South America, and let me know of anything to participate! It would be a pleasre.

    Christian Nartatez

  30. im a still-life photographer i would like to sign up on your team located in northern virginia portfolio available, regards joseph maher

  31. I live in Brooklyn, New York. A lot of Gun Crime, and crime in general. I live in a high crime black
    neighborhood. I would like to work for Black Star.
    Contact me if you have any assignments in Brooklyn,
    New York City.
    My E-mail is [email protected]
    or call me direct on my cell phone at-347-968-1057

    Thank you,

    Vernon McKreith
    contact me for viewing of Portfolio.

  32. i would like to become a blackstar photographer

  33. Check out my Blog and website

  34. I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
    I love the outdoors and all that live in it, even the people. Send me out and I will bring back a view of this world that will make your heart overflow with love.
    Thank you, Matthew

  35. I appreciate your idea of selecting selecting Black Star photographers.The postings are very unique and also outstanding with the new creativity and knowledge and with the new different ideas and concepts. Really I am waiting for some more new posts from you. Just keep up your higher efficiency.

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