2165 Jackson Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
“Our world is a big place, we do our best to turn
our little corner of it into a comfy home.”
Heather Elder Represents is certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation’s leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women.
Let Us Introduce Ourselves
Meet the voices on the other end of the phone.
A VISION THROUGH TRANSFORMATION
I was ten when I first laid eyes on my father's Polaroid camera. It wasn't until years later that I would realize how innovative the company was for which he worked. All I knew at the time was that he let me play with the camera and that the film was expensive — so I would savor each moment spent to plan each shot with intention. And then later to watch each story develop in a matter of minutes was a treasured experience, a gift.
I was also that kid who had moved and reinvented herself at least eight times — always leaving behind familiar places and budding friendships. My Polaroids now serving as diary, a visual reminder of the memories I had made.
Like most kids who moved a lot, I discovered I had to work harder to fit in; my mom on the sidelines, my cheerleader, always there to encourage me to meet each new challenge head-on. Through her guidance, I learned what it took to never take the easy way out and that the best way to solve a problem was face to face, especially so if the situations were trying.
So in high school, I took some risks, I put myself out there, I made new friends. And through these friendships, I began to understand that the relationships worth sticking-with took effort — that relationships are about balancing the give-and-take with a willingness to be open to change and to grow. And as a result of this work, I continue today to cherish many of those friendships. #ThanksMom
Later in college, I worked part-time as a waitress, and I began to understand that there was an art to customer service — of what my customers wanted, how they wanted it, and that I was happy to provide it. Later still as an advertising account executive, I learned more about the nuances of service and the importance of listening – and of succinctly translating — a client's various concerns. In both these high-stress environments, I loved the feeling of teamwork, that not only was a good attitude essential but I loved the sense of camaraderie and of how I felt when everyone was giving their best — and I loved that it was my job to keep it that way - to be efficient, accurate, responsive, and transparent.
Through it all, photography was with me. Perhaps in part due to a nomadic childhood and reinvention, this is why becoming a photographers' rep fit so well. This profession allows me to work with those who understand the gift that it is to craft moments, to tell stories visually; and who do it for a living.
Starting as an agent and a new mom, I was grateful to start developing relationships outside of my family with the broader groups of the community of which I felt lucky to belong. For it was from these people where I drew my strength and confidence when it came to taking professional risks, to grow.
This putting myself out there, taking some risks and knowing that any slight shift in direction didn't sway me, I was in familiar territory and it propelled me to move forward, always kicking the tires of the present, yet envisioning a future-state perhaps not yet in existence, and charting a course for how to make ambitions metamorphose into reality.
Maybe this is why I always have puzzles around— not only are they a form of relaxation for my team and my family, but upon their completion, it is a reminder of why each choice, each moment, each situation has significance – that I see each little piece as a small challenge rather than an impossibility.
Now, as an agent of 20+ years, I am happy to say that I continue to draw on my beliefs that difficulties are always opportunities, rather than setbacks. That I still strive to lead by example and stay true to my values and principles in everything I do — and that I always expect the same from those that I work with as I do for myself.
Ultimately what still excites me today is the opportunity to continue to be of service to clients in an ever-changing industry. But also as someone who believes that there is nothing more important in our industry than sharing knowledge, I am continuously looking for ways to help foster community, ways in which I can be of service to help move the photography and video industry and the individuals within it, ahead.
You've heard the adage, "If it were fun, they wouldn't call it work!" I learned a long time ago that you need to love what you do, especially if you are going to be in the same business for as long as I have. It is possible to find happiness and fulfillment in your career, and the photographers with whom I work, remind me of that every day.
The Fun Stuff
We are children of art professors, upholsterers, photographers, sculptors, and chocolatiers. Living with tinkerers, hipsters, go-getters, and makers solidified what we've all come to know: creativity is in our blood.
From wrestling singlets, ballet shoes, and football jerseys to boy scout regalia, US Air Force issued, and waitress attire, most of us found ourselves in uniforms — some more often than others. But, at Heather Elder Represents, there is no dress code.
With a smattering of different kinds of animals, from cats, bees, Bearded dragons, forest animals to trained Blue Jays, we call them family. As an overwhelmingly dog-friendly crew with 18 dogs, one has been bark-mitzvah'd, one is named after a ballpark, another is missing her spleen, and, of those adopted, most have chosen not to find out who their birth parents are.
Our desire, both as individual artists and collectively, is to effect change. We believe in supporting one another, from taking a stance on cultural issues, feeding the community, supporting up-and-coming photographers, protecting the environment, and helping the advertising industry to move forward.
Awards & Recognition
We are so proud of the well-earned recognition our talented artists have received over the years.