Jorge Perez has made a name for himself producing photo shoots around the world for the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and Naomi Campbell. Embracing the “right-time-right-place” mentality, Perez teamed up with business partner Bobby Heller after a chance meeting to merge their talents under Opus Reps, a highly successful and innovative artist management and production group that includes fashion stylists, photographers and art directors.
We team up with Braun to talk to Jorge Perez about his favorite Built to Perform possession.
How did you first get involved with photography and become an agent?
I was working on an Oscar charity event in LA and I had befriended a photographer that knew Diana Ross. My job was to get celebrities to the event so I kept on leaving messages to the photographer about bringing Diana to the event. The photographer (Randee St. Nicholas) finally called me back and said: “You know you are very persistent… but not pushy. Have you ever thought about being an agent?” And I said, “No.” Then she said, “Well, I think you should be my agent.” And I said, “OK.”
How did you and Bobby Heller meet and how did you develop Opus Photo?
We actually met at Equinox… I was repping one photographer and he had been doing it for years. He became my mentor and then proposed that we join forces. This was eight years ago and we’ve never looked back!
What do you look for, aside from experience, when considering adding a photographer to Opus’ rooster?
I look for a photographer that makes me gasp when I look at the picture. Once that’s out of the way I look for a smart business person, someone that can navigate through art and commerce and is ready to start a symbiotic relationship in which we can all win and achieve our dreams.
How did you get involved with the docu-series Double Exposure for Bravo TV?
I was representing Markus and Indrani for about a year when it hit me that they needed a reality show. We had a shoot coming up with Blackbook and we decided to film it and then cut it into a sizzle reel. I remember walking around NY with Markus on the phone thinking of the name for the show and then it hit me… “Double Exposure.” He then said, “I like it.” And the rest was history. We met with a bunch of producers until finally Juma took them on. Bravo was our number one choice and they loved it. We worked very closely with Andy Cohen and it was probably the best experience my life.
Please tell us a bit about the Agent Seminars that you’re developing and any advice that you have for people trying to break into the industry.
The seminars are going to be amazing and they are still a passion work in progress. My advice for people breaking in the industry is to shoot as much as possible and to keep in mind that the road is never linear. The more that they are shooting and creating with other artists, the more that they will create opportunities for themselves. A lot of photographers think that the way to grow within the industry is to have an agent, and what they need to realize is that first and foremost they must be their own agent at the beginning. There is always room at the top, you just need to keep working and not give up. The only thing that could get in your way is your expectation being out of sync. Remember, “happy where I am and eager for more” is the perfect stance.
Your Built to Perform possession is a prototype hat for Gents,. What makes Reed’s new line distinct and why is it your Built to Perform possession?
Josh has had this dream for a long time. My greatest skill has always been the connector (that’s why I am an agent for a living). Now that we are business partners on this venture, this prototype hat is a reminder to me that all dreams can come true and they all start with an idea and an intention, then the universe will take care of the details.
In one sentence, tell us why you couldn’t live without your Built to Perform possession.
I can’t live without my dreams.