Nadine Dinter is the owner of an agency for media relations, PR consulting, and art administration. With its special focus on photography, Nadine Dinter supports cultural institutions in Germany and beyond, including museums, galleries, foundations, festivals, and private collections. Her Berlin-based agency also works across a variety of sectors in the fields of contemporary art, lifestyle, and art & commerce. This year Nadine Dinter celebrates the 15th anniversary of her agency.
Nadine Dinter, you are the owner of a PR agency for cultural institutions such as galleries and museums, as well as cultural events like photography festivals and photo fairs, beside photographers. What made you decide on this professional activity and – a great slogan: NEVER WITH THE NOSE HIGH, BUT ALWAYS A NOSE AHEAD!, how did it come about?
Founding my agency in 2006 was the result of many decisions, shortcuts and U-turns that I had taken in the years before. After my A-levels, I started out in the field of marketing & languages, then, after taking on my first jobs, I felt that “this couldn’t be it,” and studied PR with an official degree in 2000. Then came New York, studying Art Administration at NYU plus various internships in NYC and then in Berlin, after having returned in 2003. Between 2004 and 2006, I worked at galleries to gain more professional insight into the field. In August 2006, I was ready to create something I could call my own – and I have been running my agency Nadine Dinter PR ever since. Since the beginning, I have tried to earn my laurels by working hard, providing the best service possible, and building up a roster of clients who have international appeal, with whom I can work eye to eye and who are great to work with. When looking back onto successful campaigns and projects I always try to stay humble, and never show off or take things for granted just because I’ve been in the business for so many years. Instead, I welcome each day as a fresh chance to create something special, generate something cool for my clients, and surprise my audience. That’s why I focus on being a “nose ahead,” rather than with a “nose high.”
You are a trained foreign language correspondent. That was certainly helpful for building up and looking after your international clients. Was it a hard way for you to build up an international client base, who are your current clients?
Although most of my clients are located in Germany, I have also built up a client base of photographers and artists in the US, whose exhibitions and books I have promoted several times, including Greg Gorman, David Drebin, and The Hilton Brothers a.k.a. Christopher Makos and Paul Solberg. Plus Roger Ballen, who is New York-born, but Johannesburg-based for many years. So I am working across the Atlantic, so to say. But also for campaigns on behalf of German-speaking artists, the ability to communicate in at least one foreign language is key, and quite common in the art world. Corona times aside, we art people like to move around a lot and meet new people so communication skills are important. As for my clients, I have the pleasure to be working for the Helmut Newton Foundation since 2009, for Galerie Bene Taschen (Cologne) since 2014, and for CHAUSEE 36 since 2019. In addition, I promoted the former St. Moritz Art Masters five times, the European Month of Photography twice, and am currently promoting BERLIN PHOTO WEEK.
One of your clients is the Helmut Newton Foundation in Berlin. What do your tasks look like when you have to look after a new exhibition, a new major project?
My job starts once the exhibition content and concept has been finalized by the director and curator, Dr. Matthias Harder. Then, we meet, define the selection of press images, and produce the press text together. With this essential material I inform the worldwide press, send in images and information for announcements, arrange interviews if possible, then prepare the press conference and/or press preview tours; since the pandemic we had to limit the number of participants. I coordinate the exhibition opening, take care of the press during the press and public events, and provide support with my team so that everything goes smoothly and my client is at ease and can enjoy the evening. Sometimes there are photo calls or VIP previews, where I coordinate and prepare the guest list and handle the accreditation process; I also document the events so that we can share it with HNF followers over its social media channels, and take photos of the invited VIPs for our archives. After the opening, my job is to handle incoming press inquiries, compile the published articles, share some of them over social media, and at the end, provide a digital press review for my client. That’s what I do in a nutshell.
If I am informed correctly, you have been running your agency for almost 15 years now. What have been your best experiences and encounters during this time?
Yes, that’s correct – thanks for noticing! Indeed, my agency will turn 15 this August. Unbelievable how time flies! In general, each experience is good and appreciated – but of course, there have been highlights. Winning the Helmut Newton Foundation as my client has been the greatest joy and honor, I’d say. It’s given me the pleasure to meet so many fantastic and outstanding artists and people from the international artworld, such as June Newton, Greg Gorman, Frank Horvat, George Holz, Mark Arbeit, Sheila Metzner, Jean Pigozzi, Mario Testino, and Carla Sozzani. During my work with Galerie Bene Taschen, working with the fascinating photographer Miron Zownir has been a real highlight; also working with icons such as Larry Fink, Sebastião Salgado, and Arlene Gottfried has been an amazing experience. Working in St. Moritz has been a real treat, including collaborating with brands like Cartier and Montblanc, and all the local galleries such as Gmurzysnka, Karsten Greve, and more. Honestly, there have been many magical moments, like spending time in Arles during the Rencontres d’Arles, or having breakfast with photographer Mary Russell and listening to her stories about Yves Saint Laurent and Gunter Sachs, or opening the exhibition of The Hilton Brothers at the breathtaking Palazzo Cozza Caposavi in Bolsena. And meeting and working with stars like Thomas Kretschmann, Till Brönner, and Katja Flint has really added some spice to my job…to be continued…
What advice would you give to a young, aspiring photographer who cannot yet afford a PR agency?
Stay true to yourself and follow your gut feeling while carefully observing the art market. Go out, meet the right people, ask people from your network to introduce you to people out of your reach. Focus on your work and be authentic. Talk to friends and people who appreciate your work in order to build up your own brand. Make appointments, be on time, and be a better version of yourself. Try to participate in group shows, be polite, treat your network with respect, and it will grow as people learn to appreciate you and your work. The rest will come naturally.