Preparing for Job Offers & Dream Job
Well, there is this element of the chase thiss picture here which is actually entitled chase is very much like that matthew and I had a period of think it was last year or the year before the end of the year before where we spend about six months just kind of pitching ms daniella as a brand as a website and I think it was shortly after I redesigned my website so we're putting ourselves out there matthew was getting more into this role of being a kind of I guess the business slash marketing person is part of our partnership, so he was I was getting him on the phone kind of bringing agencies ringing all those different potential clients mostly agencies that might be interested in my work on dh it was it's very, very useful tohave thes periods of time where you're and market yourself I don't not saying I'm not I'm not saying that it's something you shouldn't do, but ironically enough when we stopped doing that, we just kind of found that we weren't getting right in that very many replies ...
during this burst of marketing, so when we stopped and just kind of took a rest from it, we found that a few weeks later works like to come in after we'd stop chasing it, which was very odd because it was almost like when you chase people, you kind of put them put them off a little bit, not necessarily putting them off you for life, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to get work from it because usually what happens when someone wants you to do a job for them? They look for you and they want you have to put yourself in a place where you're going to be noticed, but if you're kind of looking desperate on groveling around and emailing people all the time, you don't always get a good turnover of, um responses to it um also like I was saying earlier about the meetings with the art dealer in the art agency there's a sense that because you're putting yourself in front of them, they think they're in the place to critique your work rather than accept you for who you might just be and so there is that tendency for them to do that because your approaching then where is if they were in a situation where they're going our approach you then there wouldn't be any question about your style they would say, yeah, you're the one for the job because the client wants you so there is this problematic thiss contradiction about chasing work and not getting it turning around and it comes to you and I'm not saying that it's an easy one teo to counter because you have to put yourself out to a point where you are being seen but then you have to kind of almost, like, a bit unattainable, you know, like you're not quite that easy to get, you have to almost want them. Tio wantyou more by not putting yourself out there too easily. And this might come from doing your fine artwork. For example, I'm just trying to give a physical example of how you might be doing this. You might put your fine are out there on find out. The good thing about fine art is its this it's, this industry where you have artist kind doing what they want, you know, what kind of being on the road a little there are little pedestal, no matter what the word world the world thinks of that work so that's. Interesting, because then commercial clients were becoming a long and see this work that such and such doors and thinks, okay, that would be interesting for our a job that we've got coming up. But then on the flip side of fine art is that your work might just end up being so isa terek so niche that no one thinks it's relevant to commercial world, which I have come up. Come up against time and time again with my work like meetings I've had about agencies, and they can't see how my work is relevant to the commercial world, even though I can see it, but they can't, because I didn't at the time have enough commercial working my portfolio to prove to them that what I do can be applied to the real world. So fine art has this's like a double edged sword it's something that you can use to show off your style. There is also something that could put people off because it's too quirky or it's not relevant to this apparently more simplistic world of commercial imagery, the world of commercial work is like a moving carousel. You need to get yourself up to speed to get on it, it won't stop for you, you need to have momentum already, and I've tried toe pick the right words to describe this analogy because it really does feel like in order to get they attract. In order to attract these clients that you want, especially in fashion and commercial spheres, you have to run alongside them. You can't just kind of wait for it to stop and say, okay, you're letting me on giving me a chance because I don't want to stop, they don't want to kind of take the risk of taking on a photographer who has no commercial work in their books that no one has recommended to them because it's a risk for them and they don't want to let their clients down all of its decline if it's actual climate him themselves they haven't seen examples so they don't want to risk letting their audience down their potential customers down so it's tricky you have to look a ziff you're already doing what you want to do and this is this catch twenty two how do you do that? Ultimately you want to be able to just go out and create the work you want to get hired to do, um which which just isn't easy. You have to find a way in which to accommodate those desires that you have picked. I was talking about the pitch and make amazing the pictures that you want to put into that pitch you have to go and make those pictures or something that resembles what you want to be doing for people. So when I was getting a bit frustrated in the past with how my self portraiture was relating to the commercial world, well, it was largely because most of my work was self portraiture, and if I wanted to do commercial work, I had to actually show some examples off things that were closer to the nature of that and not just loads of pictures of myself, which which was fine because that's what that's what my heart was in it the time and I was following my heart and from me fortunately lots opportunities came from that, but I was I guess I was frustrated with wanting to really get to migrate into commercial work quicker than I wass and it wasn't easy with the self portraiture because people liked it and food and art over it, but they just were a bit like stumped as to how to make use of me for their own commercial me, you know, so like I say about style when we talk about style it's about what people trying to get from us, how our work is commodified for them it's not just about us doing what we like and people thinking all that's great come and do a job for me it's about how does it serve my brand on my purpose? Because we're all doing business at the end of the day or at least everyone outside of your artistry is doing business so in that same line there I want to move on to talking about working for free. This is something I definitely wanted to address somewhere in my workshop when it comes to this whole argument of whether one should work for free, sometimes I'm tempted to write very blunt statements like don't work for free but then I feel like when I actually think about that statement I'm put off writing it because it isn't a black and white statement it depends on the definition of free and the definition of work you know, not everything is for free sometimes you don't get rewarded in money, but you get rewarded in something else that serves your career workers well, what does work mean? Because if someone's asking you to do something, you might consider that more work than if you go and do something yourself as a form of collaboration that is technically work but it's something you're doing ofyour own kind of your own instinct, so all my self portraiture you could consider, you know, work, but it's stuff that I produced that I did in a way where I didn't feel like I was doing a profession or a job I was doing, you know, making images I just love to create can be so it can be exploitation from a client with a budget. So when I feel like saying, don't work for free it's because of all those situations where you where there is a client that is basically trying to exploit a photographer who should be paid in a given situation, so I've written their client with a budget so a great example of an example I've written about before is in my early days, my self portraiture and I was still in that kind of light tv period, where I wasn't quite knowing where I was going with my work, whether it's professional in serious or whatever, and I was putting my cloning, which is out there, and I got approached by a shopping center that wanted to use one of my pictures as part of a christmas campaign on the side of bosses on both shelters on dh they in their initial email, they said, we photographers credit, usually people happy with on dh, kind of remembering that I was young and, you know, like I say, not much experience, I thought, this sounds exciting, but hang on a minute. They're not offering me any money, is that right? So I asked my friend and he said, you know this, these clients probably got, like, three thousand pounds trying pocket for themselves, basically by using your work for free on the basis that you want some exposure, naturally, as a young and passionate photographer. So I basically said no to the client and said, look, I'm a professional, I like, you're not five hundred pounds, I'll sell. Obviously, I gave just a figure that was a lot lower than they probably had but I just said okay I'll call it as a compromise and they said no we're going to look down look down another avenue for for this particular thing so I knew that they probably found someone else who did it for free so for me that was exploitation a good example of it because this client obviously has a marketing exercise I want to do that year for christmas and they were choosing a photographer that they would want get the three images from for free and I don't think it was right and they also can be exportation by magazine wanting to publishing for free but it depends on the dynamic this again it comes down to who wants what certain time so I got I got an email a couple weeks ago from a magazine on middle east who spent about two or three paragraphs telling me how great this magazine is how big how important they are then they said cummings a picture on the cover we don't have a budget to pay you so I kind of thought it was a bit contradictory you know you tell me how great you are how many great advertisement and advertises you've got in your magazine I want have a look at it and they've got these advertisements from all kinds of companies so clearly there to me it was a profit making business that wanted to use my work for free, and I didn't feel like it was right because because of the particular way in which they emphasized how important they were in that country, so I said no to I said, way said no, and that, you know, we expect payment for the usage of my pictures. But then in other situations, they might be that you don't mind a magazine using your pictures for free. Because it's a form of exposure, you might be a magazine that's more independent. You don't consider to have a big budget, even though there is usually always a budget involved to some degree in that case, it seems very cotton dried that they should pay me something because they do clearly have but, you know, functioning marketing department in other cases, though, for example, you might be having an exhibition on dh when it comes to advertising, like I'll go back to the traditional ways of advertising you the way you would pay to have an advert. If you have a product and you want to sell it, you pay to have another in a magazine. So in the same way, if you're getting featured in the magazine it's like a form of free advert so you also have to think of the potential of that so you're having an exhibition and you decide I need to advertise my exhibition on dh you could pay to put an advert in a magazine I mean or you could say to the magazine look, do a feature on me and mention my exhibition on return you're getting this you know, material to publish in your magazine so in that case it's the photographer who needs a publicity for their exhibition so it's almost like it depends on the situation you can't just say never publish your work for free because there might be a situation where you're actually essentially getting free advertising for something that you really wanna advertise especially at a particular time like if you're having a show that certain on certain date it's so it does depend on the dynamic and ultimately is case by case on it might not always be that you feel one hundred percent happy all of the time. But it's the pace of just doing what you feel is right whether you really wanna be in a particular magazine um and when it comes to clients like the shopping centre approaching you that's ultimately down to you but just remember that whenever you do something for free in a situation like that, you're essentially you're affecting the whole industry because someone else could've been paid for that job that you've done for free and that's why it's important to think of this even if you are hobbyist our amateur? Because those people have images online that people do haunt out and asked to use on dh? If you don't ask a payment, then they're essentially being able to use you for free, and it does overtime on mass undermine the value of the photography industry. So it's just something to keep in mind as to when two went to ask for something as compensation. I have learned a lot by being on the other side of the coin in hiring other people, so through the last few years, I've bean hiring other people and not for for all styling makeup here on dh um, I have people who email me wanting to assist, for example, on dh, and then when I see them in action, then I want to I think of a certain person later on, I might think, oh, yeah, I want to hire that person again because they've already proved to me that they could do such and such that they're reliable, and they've done that to me on on a voluntary basis because they've come along volunteered to assist me, so sometimes it is necessary to to kind of demonstrate what you could do. And this comes down to essentially doing unpaid work, but in return you'll get the opportunity to showcase yourself to get paid work later wrong I just wantto uh mention how some of my earlier opportunities were great tools and sometimes it is hard to distinguish exploitation so for example, I talked about the christmas shopping center thing but there's also opportunities I've already mentioned like being approached by microsoft to come and do the talk of the prophet to summit thousand eight uh this was an opportunity where they paid for my expenses they paid for matthew was well to come with me and to be flown over and to lie to me to do this talk on dh they know put me open looked after everything there was no fee that came with it so you could technically call it on paid work because I'm spending my time talking for a company but what that led to that opportunity will opportunity led to was invaluable because I was I mean I enjoy the experience first of all be going to america for the first time office it was a big deal but then to be put in front of this kind of sea of faceless photography contacts that some of which I didn't even realize were in the audience until later one of my career uh when I first skype for creative live you know, I taught me a few minutes to realize that the head of talent, georgia anarchist had seen me in profile to some of those years ago. He was in the audience watching me there, and that was a pleasant surprise. But it's come round years later also sponsors I've had in the past few years have been derived from that exposure I got from doing that. Andi also just led to great experience for me as well, and and gave me that confidence boost and consolidating who I was and where I'm going. So how do I distinguish that from the christmas shopping center? Things no easy rules. No, you know, easy rules about it. You have to look at it and think is his company? Or is this person treating me at least respectfully? What can I get out of it? Where might lead to? And I am I being kind of at least compensated for my time in a way that, you know, look, I'm not going to be completely out of pocket from this opportunity rewards and always in cash, especially for a team that is growing together. It's going back to people who were starting out, you were starting out in fashion photography on do you on dh I was saying how I prefer, usually to pay people. Even just a little bit of money for their time, because then it kind of means that they're not hanging on their out of pocket, at least covers our expenses, a bit of money for that time, and when they've done hair styling for me on small collaboration shoots are modeling, that means that I can just get on with my images and not worry too much that people are waiting on my I'm waiting every second to get the images, but if you are collaborating together or paying small amounts of money, or what have you this, I think this idea of mutual collaborations is really useful for when you are just learning about all the people in developing your team when a job offer comes in, so the keywords brief and budget, the brief nobody mentioned is the description of the job. Basically, that client is asking you to do so it's it could be any amount of information small, short or long, you want as much information as you want about that the budget as well. So the keywords you gonna ask when when you get, and somebody who is offering you some kind of compensation for a proper job rather than a free opportunity, you want to ask someone for their budget? So if you weren't sure whether someone's actually offering you any money for something, they're offering you I'm asking you to do you want to just ask him what's your budget? That is a way of polite way of saying how much you gonna pay not just for me but also for everything you might need for me to complete this job all the team in the materials and the brief on the budget of relative to each other so if you'd given the massive budget that's great but what do you have to do for that budget? What do they expect you to do? Always be suspicious when no brief is given because one will appear later down the line this's what important? Honestly, I still sometimes get back on d naive little thrill when someone says no, we don't really have much of a brief we want what we want your creativity but then I have to check myself and sing actually no I want to breathe because you are gonna want later to you're going to probably complain later about something I've done in a way that you didn't expect so sometimes clients aren't very good with their words and articulating and describing and visualizing and it's your job as a photographer too sometimes pull that from them if they're not giving you a proper brief what do they want? You know what? What kind of models that they want, how they want it to look, what kind of clothes that they want them to be wearing the budget needs a careful breakdown for their benefit in yours, so you also need to think about how the you're going to spend the budget. This comes down to the pitching is well, but I was talking about the other day describing how you gonna make everything happen come to expect that generally expectations and bigger than the budgets that's just like this running joke in in arts and entertainment industry so that's something you've gotta bear in mind. Don't be afraid to ask for more money in proposing a particular concept, our location, etcetera offer options he ultimately the producer, like I say, clients don't always have big enough imaginations toe to know exactly how something can be executed, and you want to make sure that you're giving them options to be able to play with and doesn't matter, they say no, you're offering it's on the table, it shows that you're alert and you're thinking about how to make their brief come to life. You want to be able to call upon people on dh tools that you've used before another value to doing self funded shoots the tear sheets. So exercise, imagining your dream job offer so there's a little bit, I want to get through before the end of this segment. I just wanna make sure I cover it all but this season exercise where I basically want people at home to imagine to follow along with this and to think about, imagine your dream job offer it's great exercise for putting to practice a lot of things I'm talking about. Imagine you wake up tomorrow to find an e mail in your inbox the e mail is for your dream job. What would the brief be? What were there budget b? Who would it be for? What would it entail? And how would you feel all of his questions? You're imagining, actually getting that email? So in the real world, when you get the email like the typical situation, that job needs to be organized asap. Timescales tight client expects you to produce everything. Where would you start? Who would you call upon to style to assist which models are agencies? Can you trust what locations do know off? So when your, when this email comes in for something that you might dream of doing, you have to make it come into reality literally, in hours and days and months, and so hours and days and weeks, you have to actually put us into practicality so a lot of the time you need to be able to call upon things you've already used or you already know off, so I want to just to read out some dream job office I've had from my students here. I asked him to think of their dream job on I want to basically just read too some of them on dh just there's a little bit of intrigue and also give some of my thoughts on them. So I seem to think about the dream job if they had this email in their inbox. So how this from dallas? My dream job offer would be to be approached by a company preparing to launch a small collection of new fragrances. The job would require me to work with the brand's art director and pull together an amazing creative team. So, like I'm saying about pulling together an amazing creative team, you want to ideally already know members ofthe that amazing crave team that you want to pull together, so the preparation for that dream job is something that is already under way with everything you do now. Sam breach. You have been selected to come up with a series of story driven, creative portray it's for our client lord, who plans to hang six images his family heirlooms in the hallway of her recently purchased castle residents in the wilds of island the commission is initially for a series of six are pieces of the total budget of six hundred a thousand dollars on six months until completion, lord will trust your full creative control and vision over the direction serious takes so as well as for entertainment purposes. I included this one because I I just wondered definitely asked the lord what he wants you to do with that six hundred thousand dollars and also get a brief from him as well. But thank you for that and also from haley it's, hard to pinpoint when my dream job would be there's a vibrancy and life to photography that appeals to me and it's addictive photography drives me creative like nothing else can currently I'm attempting to start up a fashion magazine in my hometown, which is what I want most in a career I aspired to run my own fashion magazine, along with good writers and the strong emphasis on fashion photography, I feel like this would mesh well with my main interests writing, photography, fashion and graphic design and reason I put that one is I thought was interesting how you're focusing in on skills, but you're already kind of thinking off and harnessing and how they might be used in you're korean, how they're being used already, and I thought that was really interesting building the dream team for your dream job start now, just like you've seen our team play yesterday and stuff we've done together through through our time together that is a dream team for our dream dog that are actually doing. When I get home to the uk, we're doing pretty much a dream job with leonid and that's, the preparation we put into that has paid off so that pitch I was talking about the way in which he put in his pdf it's, hypothetical pdf of all your work and how you're all your current work is relevant to how you're working toward a dream job. Now these are the images that you're gonna be putting together to the clients that come to you. Are you ready to show them something about what you, something of what you're about, something of where you want to be? I want to read out now some things I've written myself, how did they get that? That kind of tendency, we have to wonder how other people get certain jobs. Everyone has their own unique cocktail of opportunities, everything, a degree, our number of facebook followers, a friend, a model agency, a job itself is a tool to the next thing and from each one, the next, some thread stopping other spinning forward and upwards, all shaping and making that unique web that we call life. Behind every business, every potential client sponsor agency there are human beings just like the wizard behind the curtain some you'll connect with some not someone love your work of not sees a connection when you see it which can lead to one thing, then another and then maybe one day your dream job except it will no longer be a dream because by then you can drop that word it's not a dream anymore it's a reality it's an email in your inbox and you're already on the phone booking the location that you know will work perfectly for it now I want to move on this analogy because I was mentioned there the wizard behind the curtain I want to give this analogy unfitness in before the end of this segment the wizard of oz matthew and I want to walk a couple of weeks ago we came upon this analogy when the middle of this rainy cold walk our usual daily routine on we thought of the wizard of oz this great analogy for yourjourney dorothy is you I'm on the journey on the yellow brick road the scarecrow, the tin man online I your styling team so basically the people you call upon the people that you're building this report with this reputation with each other, this trust with each other and they're on the journey with you toto is your stint, of course the ruby slippers or your camera? That was matthew's input on that one. So that's basically your magic till this wass okay, I will. I will credit matthew too. And building out this analogy mostly wicked, which is represents rejection bad experience. The things that makes us maker's seal is they want to turn back on not progress on our journey. God, which is encouragement. Good experience ultimately what drives us? What? What gives us that? Praise and encouragement motivation all this is your dream job. So also is where you're headed on when you get there. The wizard behind this curtain is realizing that people behind every big or dream job a human after all. Now I've got some more techs from this so ultimately you want the journey the journey is important the journey is fundamental to how you behave when you get to the dream job when you get to ours you don't want a helicopter to oz that's what people want, they want a fast track a lot the time they want to just fly there they want to get to the top but without the journey and the team that is no experience on there is no story it's, this is a journey there's, no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs there's no elevator because without the ladder what is at the top doesn't exist success is a top wrong ofyour own ladder so your journey is actually makes the whole meaning of your success to wish for the success is is futile because there's nothing up there there's nothing below you there's nothing that makes it worthwhile to be at that level because it's someone else's dream it's not your drink your dream was what you build when you're going through your own growth the journey this a picture of one of my very first pitch that created with a car the journey is your life that's your life that journey is endless it keeps going and you keep building and evolving and that isn't to be embraced its not just something that comes to get out the way in terms of getting to that mythical dream job in the way in which we dream about that I am concept so what I'm doing now is an evolution of what I've built over all of that time I couldn't be doing the things I do now without the experience I couldn't be doing shooting in the way that I shoot now without the experience I've had of the self portraiture in the early fashion the early fashion photos that I was putting together and collaborating with this idea of success success being straight line is the myth this is what success looks like it's just ruling squiggle that basically is a form off making steaks going backwards and forwards going in different directions, being miss, channeled and it's all a journey of discovery that helps us shape who we are so that same squiggle becomes the evolution. You don't want to be a meteoric rise. You want to be a slow organic growth because that's, how you figure out what you want to be that's, how you also take the happiness books as well as a success box. The dream job is something that is this mythical thing, because the job that is ready for you is not a dream anymore. It's a job that you're ready for and like I say, you're already sorting out on the phone to organize a team on the location and everything else will view the ingredients you need for what is essentially and if you were looking back years and forward, it would be a dream job and you're there, and it doesn't no longer feel like a myth, success, success in whose eyes what you want to do. This is what you think you want to do defining success as well as achieving it is a lifelong journey, it's not about just knowing I want to be such and such, and I'm going to succeed because you find that your goals actually change and become a dad. Did whilst trying to achieve them. That's something I found interesting on difficult in that, you know, sometimes I think I wanna be a fashion photographer, but I find I don't so much want to be just that I want to be this more like this. So that's the squiggle on that is thie that is a self discovery that ghost without journey as you're going literally like dorothy on the l a brick road towards the final destination on how you behave when you get there is ultimately about having a team and that experience by your side some of my most rewarding moments, money being valued, art business of things that come together for me in a way that's very pleasurable it's not about one versus the other are doing photography just for our sake. Just with money. I love to find creative ways to actually engage with people and have my abilities valued for people. Commissioning me to do things or buying my work gives me a great buzz. It means that they rewarding what I do with the money they've learnt from what they do in their life money is that currency of appreciation in that sense. Longevity I was talking earlier about the crave portraiture book and how that to me was really a great milestone because of how it was a continuation off the self portrait show that I did, and then that I was on a road to something that was coming next and next control to create a fantasy matthew and I do in the fashion show experience and making something that we dreamed off come alive because no one else was doing it on. We wanted to do make it happen for ourselves on we've got a lot of fun out there and still do and continue to do on a bigger level trust being trusted to create the art commission for the kind face the kind mayfair restaurant, the kind face I produced for that being trusted to have someone by my art on display in their in their home, being trusted with the position positions of status in fine art and fashion and commercial work, and having people that believe in me prestige as well, that comes as a result of having someone hang my work in their restaurant on that appreciation for me, that from me that comes from opportunities like that that's, something we all lie like when it comes to having our visual artistry out there in the real world. On making opportunities for others, having landed on this creative workshop has been great because we've given him an opportunity he paid him to do and take part in an opportunity that benefits both himself and also team ondas part of that we grow together towards opportunities further things that we and lean it could do together and make happen, or the people that come in are shoe experience. That's, to be honest, I'm starting to love the social aspect justus muchas a photography because it's just such a great energy to be around people like minded people have creative and who love just making photography in this particular lens of fashion, but just being together and sharing ideas and just being in a place that is has that commonality. I love that I love that more and more, and I'm finding that basically photography boat is my life because it is my social life as well as my kind of private, own artistic catharsis. So overall, my lessons follow the strange pall of what you really love the passion, but also equally value, experience and learning be inspired by more than one source internalized them, responded, enjoy that release like I was saying time and time again, there'll be time to do it yourself and times to depend on others. Find things that you want to do yourself, like your strengths are making their whatever it is, whether it's fashion or fine art and then also there are times when you want other people to come and do this, starting to the hair salon. Does set design help make your vision come to life and don't let your past told you back let the future draw you forward so all my last slide your photographer any time is always a map to where you're going next. I'm really proud of the work that I create and that I've created I present to you during this workshop, but for me, it's just a map to where I'm going next it's, just simply, if someone like a sketch of what's to come is so much more I want to do. I'm so excited about going to new levels with my work and I love the journey and the more I realized it is a journey that more I could embrace that it's in being imperfectly human, that perfect art is created. Evolution is endless, so enjoy the journey. Wait.