Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 69788 [post_author] => 47229 [post_date] => 2016-08-24 15:48:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-08-24 19:48:50 [post_content] => As a budding professional photographer, you should know by now that the key to attracting future potential clients is to have a well-rounded and eye-catching portfolio. To create a stunning portfolio eventually you’ll need to reach out to your industry peers and seek their help. Collaborating with others in the same field of creative work as you can be rewarding, but sometimes overwhelming. In this article I am going to go over how to reach out to other industry professionals and the expectations on working with a collaborative team. Knowing Where You StandIt’s easy as an aspiring photographer to want to jump in right away and start shooting with top models and other professionals, but hold on cowboy, before you start emailing modeling agencies looking to test their models there’s something you should know: You have to possess the work to back up your desires. I’ve seen far too many budding photographers get discouraged when they reach out to agencies only to be rejected for test shooting. You need to already be an established photographer before an agency will let you shoot their models for test shoots.[caption id="attachment_69874" align="aligncenter" width="597"] BTS shot of Jess Guidry in Dallas, Texas[/caption] Don’t disparage when I say words like "established" or "experienced." Being experienced and the amount of time you have been shooting are not necessarily mutually inclusive. I’ve met some photographers who only have a few months of shooting under their belt that have amazing work and then I’ve met some photographers who have been shooting upwards of 20+ years and their work is still quite lacking. If you know your photography needs a little bit more work or you’re just learning, then trying to book a professional model for a trade shoot is probably not going to work out.
If you don't know if you're coming off as creepy to a model or not, chances are you're probably a total creeper. Trade Vs. PaidThere is a common misconception that just because a model has done trade work in the past that she’ll trade with any photographer. I have personally seen photographers become genuinely insulted when a model says no to trade work or tries to give the photographer his/her rates. Models are not work mules, and the more professional they are the less they’ll be as eager to work with aspiring photographers. They know their worth, just as we all should. They’re only going to collaborate with someone that they know will be worth the time and energy expended. All trade work should be mutually beneficial for both parties. If not, then the party with the most to gain from the shoot might be either turned down for that trade work or asked to pay the other party’s rate, which is not only fair, but should be expected. [caption id="attachment_69871" align="aligncenter" width="2048"] Lizzie Gunst by: Rebecca Britt Photography[/caption]So, when you approach a model with an offer for a collaborative project and she declines with a “No, thank you. I’m not interested at this time.” The worst thing you could possibly do to not only your career, but also your personal growth as a photographer is to get offended. You should never assume what another person’s motivations are for declining an offer. Perhaps they’re completely booked, maybe they’re taking a break from modeling and are concentrating on other aspects of their lives, or they can see that perhaps your skill set needs a little bit more fine tuning.
You should never assume what another person’s motivations are for declining an offer. When I first started shooting in my local community there was one particular model that I was itching to shoot, Sara (George) Longoria. She had experience on "America’s Next Top Model" and was one of the more professional models in the area. When I first approached her I was very politely turned down. I took the rejection with as much grace as possible and worked on honing my skills instead with other more inexperienced models. A few years later after I had built a style and brand for myself I approached her again and she accepted my offer. Now, she is a great friend, professional ally, and my go-to model for my experimental personal projects.[caption id="attachment_69844" align="aligncenter" width="1500"] Sara Longoria by: Rebecca Britt Photography[/caption]Don't be THAT Guy I know that this has been said multiple times in a multitude of different ways, but guys... don't be creepy when approaching a model. If you go straight to a model asking for inappropriate snapshots or ask if she does nudes right off the bat, expect to be either ignored or brushed off in less-polite ways by the model. If you don't know if you're coming off as creepy to a model or not, chances are you're probably a total creeper. The worst is when you are insistent on getting a model to work with you and can't take no for an answer. A model should have the right to say "No" without being questioned on why or guilt tripped into working with you. Learn to take rejection with grace, because you'll be facing a ton of rejection throughout your career.I don't know how many times I have to say this, but models are people that are not there solely for photographers' whims and fancies. They are not property and you don't own them or their services. Sure, they can be muses to your work, but you should never assume that a model will only model just for you. It would be a disservice to their careers. So don't be "that guy" or become saddled with the title of "GWC" or "Guy With Camera." Working with MUAs (makeup artists) and Hair Stylists To really start producing high-quality personal projects, eventually you’ll need to bring in other people to your collaborative art team. The most obvious choice would be bringing in a makeup artist and hair stylist. Sometimes they’re one and the same, and other times they’re separate. It’s like photography and videography; there are some people that tackle both and some (like myself) that only offer photography. It’s the same concept. I cannot stress how important it is to utilize professional makeup artists into your portfolio work. If you rely on the model or subject to take care of their own makeup it could very easily lead to a conflicting look for your project and extra added time to post-production which you want to avoid at all costs. [caption id="attachment_69866" align="aligncenter" width="1601"] Deshea Exclusive by: Heather Deshea Harrison[/caption]Now, the question that gets kicked around a lot on social media is: Should MUAs/Hairstylists do portfolio/collaborative work for free? The answer is very simple: Never. As photographers and models we are contributing our time, our skill set and creativity to a shoot. MUAs (and hairstylists) offer the same, as well, but they in comparison use consumable product. That makeup kit that they’re lugging around costs money and sometimes some serious dough. Have you ever walked into Sephora and tried shopping there? If not, I suggest you do, especially if you’re a male photographer and don’t have a very good understanding of how much makeup costs. I can walk out of a Sephora and have spent over $200 easily on three products of makeup. Now you may be wondering what’s the difference between our photo equipment and their makeup kit. While we do spend quite a bit on equipment, for the most part it isn’t consumable. MUAs are constantly having to replacing items in their kit and that can lead to quite an investment. A lens will last us years, a lipstick will only last a few weeks for them.
As photographers we're so quick to jump on the "F*ck You, Pay Me" train, but when another industry professional asks us to pay for a portfolio project, it's asinine. Do you see the hypocrisy? Most professional MUAs tend to have kit fees for collaborative work. Kit fees are discounted rates for their services that are set aside for working collaboratively with other people in the industry. The fees will vary depending on the experience of the MUA and the quality of makeup in their kit. If the MUA is using products from a local drugstore, expect that kit fee to be considerably less than someone whose kit has high-end brands like Urban Decay, Dior, Stila, and Chanel. One of the things that I hear in my local community that irritates me to no end is that a MUA will be approached for free work in exchange for the finished photos and that MUA will inform the photographer of their kit fee only to be mocked or scoffed at. If you do this… stop now. You as the photographer are approaching them for a discounted rate and if you’re expecting free work then automatically you’re disrespecting that artist. Drop the entitlement. As photographers we're so quick to jump on the "F*ck You, Pay Me" train, but when another industry professional asks us to pay for a portfolio project, it's asinine. Do you see the hypocrisy?[caption id="attachment_69879" align="aligncenter" width="818"] Nicole Ausband-Ting with Ferocity Makeup[/caption]If you do agree on their kit fee, please pay it in advance and in full before the shoot. Just like their clients and your clients have to pay a retainer the same should be said for their collaborative work as well. I should also mention that if you do pay a kit fee you still need to be open to their ideas and opinions on the project. It is called a collaborative project for a reason. If you approach a makeup artist with a very specific look or idea and are not open to input or changes then expect to pay the MUAs full rate. The only exception to this rule is when a MUA is donating her time to a good cause, which should never be confused for your personal, portfolio building, project. Obviously if a MUA is offering their services for free then that's their prerogative, but never assume or feel entitled that they should. Final ThoughtsTo wrap this up, the main point I wanted to raise awareness of is expectations. We all can have different expectations on how things should work when collaborating with other industry professionals at the beginning, but if you take the time to understand mutual worth and respect in the industry the more approachable you become as a photographer. You should always aim to be as approachable as possible to people you feel are worthy of your skill level and even to those you don’t. You never know how that person might develop over time and kindness goes a long way.
The main point I wanted to raise awareness of is expectations. I find that as an industry, we tend to grow our art styles and experience together. If you approach models and other industry artists as equally important pieces of your projects and with respect, you’ll quickly learn that it will be returned. Learning to work with others in your field of work can not only help you build a well-rounded portfolio, but your reputation, as well. Your reputation is your biggest attribute and nurturing relationships within your industry will only positively affect it.[Feature Image: Rebecca Thiemke shot by: Rebecca Britt Photography] [post_title] => Tips for Building Your Portfolio: Best Practices for Approaching Models and Other Industry Professionals [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => approaching-models-and-other-industry-professionals-to-build-your-portfolio [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-01-31 12:40:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-01-31 17:40:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://resourcemagonline.com/?p=69788 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 1 [filter] => raw ) => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 64041 [post_author] => 47229 [post_date] => 2016-03-03 15:33:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-03-03 20:33:54 [post_content] => Taking the leap to become a beauty photographer can be intimidating; so much goes into just one shot that it can be a little difficult to wrap your mind around it all. Thankfully, Julia Kuzmenko McKim, one of the most highly-regarded beauty photographers in the industry, has brought an comprehensive video and written guide into shooting beauty photography that will take your images from ordinary to exceptional. I was able to get a copy to view and share my first impressions of the guide.Before I dive into the video content, I do want to go over the written part of the guide. The PDF is a whopping 104 pages of beautifully laid out content that can be viewed not on just your desktop, but with any tablets that support the PDF format. I viewed the guide on both my full size iPad and my iPad mini, and both looked great. I really recommend to read the guide before you watch the video content. The video content is meant to view sporadically throughout the guide, and if you skip the PDF and go straight for just the video content you’ll be missing out on a great amount of information within this tutorial.Now on to the "meat" of this review and my thoughts on the content of this tutorial. The entire tutorial packs in so much information that it would be very difficult for me to go over everything, but here are the things that stuck with me the most:Starting off with the basics, Julia goes over fundamentals like what dynamic range is, using different light modifiers to enhance an image and even using them to help correct a model’s skin texture. What I found particularly useful was when Julia teaches how to reverse engineer other photographers' photographs to figure out how to shoot the image in question. She walks you through the process of reading light by identifying light modifiers in the model’s catchlights, reading depth of field, rim and fill lighting and even shadows caused by the photographer’s main light. This is definitely useful if you use other people’s work as inspiration for your own.She also explains throughout the tutorial what equipment you should consider using to get the desired look that you want out of a shoot, including the pros and cons of using prime lenses versus zoom lenses. Another thing that I believe many amateur photographers tend to overlook is building a proper team to help you with your shoot. She explains how to build such a team for both test shooting and collaborative portfolio work. A great quote she says is “Your team is always only as strong as your weakest team member.” She shows you what to look for in a stellar team and how to attract other industry professionals and the models that you will be shooting. She also gives some great tips on using platforms such as Pinterest to help share your creative vision with your team to make sure everyone is on the same page.The lighting portion of the tutorial is jam-packed with lighting setups from your traditional beauty looks, to some more creative lighting with gels and mixed lighting with reflective fabrics and accessories. The tutorial also covers how to shoot jewelry campaigns and how to mix colored lighting effectively. Julia takes her time to explain all of the setups and even points out common mistakes that you might make during shooting. Using both easy to read diagrams and voice over instructions along with example photos it’s very easy to follow along with the lighting portions of the tutorial. The diagrams and example photos are also included in the written guide. She reassures the viewer that practice makes perfect which I know helps me from feeling overwhelmed with such an abundance of information.I do want to add that this tutorial does not include anything retouching or post-processing related, but if you follow the advice given within the tutorial your post processing will go a ton smoother and faster than someone who may be trying to wing the shoot on just general knowledge. Retouching Academy of course has other tutorials based on just post-processing your images which can be found on their website.I only have one nit-pick for the tutorial and even though it's such a minor thing I figured I would go ahead and mention it: Throughout the tutorial you see Julia's co-writer Aleksey Dovgulya in several shots speaking to the camera giving instruction. His voice has been replaced with Julia's voice over which is fine, and I am assuming that it's the same information that Aleksey is giving, but the curiosity of wanting to know what he's saying can be a little distracting, even if it's in his native tongue of Russian. Again, this is such a minor nit-pick that it really shouldn't affect whether or not to consider the tutorial.I will say that after reading the guide fully and watching the content I can now see how many mistakes I was making while attempting to try out beauty photography. Not just with my lighting or my execution of the shoot, but with my overall approach to beauty photography in general. I can now identify the mistakes I made and hopefully with practice and a good collaborative team to back me up I can start to eliminate them and start producing breathtaking imagery. I highly recommend this tutorial to anyone who is interested not just in beauty photography, but even general portrait photography as the techniques and skills taught within are viable for both mediums.The Go Pro: Studio Beauty tutorial is jam packed with powerful advice, insightful instruction and exhilarating inspiration for both novice photographers and seasoned professionals who want to elevate their beauty photography to a whole new creative direction. You can purchase the tutorial on Julia's website for an introductory rate of just $169 for the week of its release. After that it will go back to its normal price of $199 which is still half of what other high-end photography tutorials cost. It’s definitely worth the investment if you want to take your photography to the next level.Buy the tutorial here. 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