Ten Steps to Success Part 1
Ten steps to success and I said this is pretty much the steps that I've learned from the past I would say five years so it hasn't been that long but I would say last five years I really understand I've actually learned so much since january by just opening my eyes and educating myself now I'm not the best at lighting I will say I have weaknesses in retouching I've witnesses and lighting and that's because I never assisted so I only know specific things from what you know I taught myself so I start research and I start looking at magazines how did they do that? How do they I'm going on youtube? How did patrick to miss julia like that? I'm obsessive my boyfriend license to me bed and he's like he had a bad I'm like no, I'm just looking at another video and it's great because I'm just like learning to educate my myself I understand how it works, what I should be doing and I spend money on renting kits and renting light in and just testing it out, getting a model in front and being like ho...
w does it's what I know that doesn't work for what I do and never stop educating yourself is a photographer because as soon as you stop you stop being inspired, you get stuck in that right if this is all I know and you never want to push yourself so I think the main thing and I wanted to start with this is find yourself a good support system, so why? Why is it that you need to find yourself that support system in the beginning of your career? Now fourteen year old me, I had the support system of first my parents, my people around me, my creative friends that was supportive and didn't mind being dipped in a fish tank in laying out in the snow so that that was my support team, so it could be your friends initially and they still are, you know, I rely on my friends a lot to give me that support and how it's the hair makeup styling people used around yourself with don't surround yourself with people that are negative don't want to push don't want to grow. I started with people that wanted to grow and had the passion and wanted to grow to a point where I wanted to get teo they wanted to get to that they would invest their own money into things because they knew there was no budget so support from the greek the beginning, as I said, you have to have that support if you're starting to work with hair and makeup tests people meet people don't let them on big job initially, they have to earn your trust to get there, but when they do grow with them and reputation is everything when I'm talking about a bit later on, but always stick to those teams help them be honest with them, so photographers and craters because we're not all are the green eyed monster's in this industry. I have friends with so many photographers, yeah, there's a few bad ones out there that you know, they always feel competitive towards you, but what I like is that every photographer I know that I get on with has given me advice has opened my eyes to something else, or if I've met them like for a coffee it's like, wow, like even spied me to get out, that you may be feeling really down and uninspired, and you go chat with a photographer there feeling the same way on what you realize is everyone in this industry has downfalls in I know I've had my fair share, I've been turned down from editorial shoots up and told him to green two new for things when I know I'm capable of doing the job. I've been told that you come back in five years when you're older, I've been turned down props because I'm female and I can't. You know, for an assistant I'm not strong enough to do all these things so you do you get those fullbacks and you shoot a beautiful story and it gets dropped and you feel really down but that's the point when you have that support system around you to pick you up and take the level kick you up the ass and go get on with it because I know my mom does that a lot it's very honest with me should be should be watching right now is her birthday yes. So happy birthday, mom, but I always followed her and she's having trouble in new york and she's like you know, you just gotta do it you know? You just gotta stop we'll tell them tell them you're doing that and I'm like her die so it's just nice to have that person around you and I know my friend you'll see felix later on and all of those support system that I have that when I have trouble was in this country because I'm from england and I only have like my boyfriend hey, I don't have no family it's just nice to have that and also to be open feedback so those people that are honest with you and the best people they may sound harsh when they say it and I used to be so sad when someone told me that my work sucks or that the lighting was bad or the photo shot was too much, but what I've learned is you can always improve on the next shoot, you're only as good as your last job always remember that there's also the online communities. So a support system for me in the beginning was deviant, arty photos, the environment, the photos and I won my first ever contest and won a canvas of my work at fifteen, and I was so excited because it was that validation of my work's good enough. It was me with a butterfly on my hand that was really badly photoshopped, but I was so excited that my mom's stuck it on her wall and she's still got it today. But it's also like google communities, have some great photography communities out their photo dot net five hundred picks. Get yourself that kind of support from pierre's, not just like creative, the support from peers that kind of lift you up when you feel I'm really crap for, you know, not feeling great in the industry will also be open to collaboration. Like I said, mike, my work could not exist without the people I have in my pictures without the model agency contact without the stylist for hair and makeup, I appreciate them so much on set for what they do, they work really hard. And you have to have that if you want to be a fashion photographer, it can't just beat you in the model, it has to be a support system you have around you see that every angle on that shoot has the area of talent and expertise, so the creative collaborators who are they? So on the left, you'll see this is the core team that I would say everyone knows what kind of people you have to have on set. So it's, the model's hair stylists, makeup artist, the wardrobe stylist and also the assistance because we can't always do move the lighting ourselves. Sometimes we need someone to run in aaron while we're on set, I've learned to have really good assistance on set. They work for free if it's a sheet where I'm not being paid as soon as I'm being paid, I pay them something it's all about honesty with the people I work with, its well and then creative collaborative extended. I always went with retouching now, but I'm very close contact with them, and often sometimes our work on the images after to still give it my tone is their art director, so if you run a job you haven't art director, it could be that you're working on editorial, you have a, you know, creative director and editor on your back you have to understand what these people do and their roles on the team you have the set designers who produce those beautiful sets these are the hardest people to track down they're like unicorns in this industry I have not managed to find a great set designer this points I'm always trying to live in my old apartment get some favors and like paint backdrops and but it always works out but that's like the next level for me like getting the budgets the chutes that kind of bring that side in it's also that produces that kind of help you want set time yu and yu know yu you're shooting too longer help you produce and get the studio and the models you can even have a casting director who's basically somebody that helps you get the model will cast based on the subject a lot of big editorials and commercial people do this so models how many off you actually worked with models here? So I it's really interesting because people with definition of what a model is always different in every industry and for me a model is the most important wrong if your model doesn't look good is not interested the shoots just not going to come together is easily make or break if you get that model that's got no eye contact to see no not slept they've not eaten like if you don't feedem model they've become very you you really be surprised how many models come walking through my door in the light, rifling through my cupboards like, do you have any to have any crest on so but always make sure I have like chris johnson breakfast, I buy them lunch because instantly they pick up and they like, happy again so experienced first I've no experience, so obviously I loved working with girls that have experience, but if there's a new face that I'm in love with that I've seen on same models dot com he's going to be the next status model, I want to work with them because I know that they could be working the prada show next year or they could be on the face of w magazine and I want that in my book to say I've worked with that model because that takes my status up and the fashion industry is all about that all about connections well about that kind of background thing, but agency represented models always the best to work with again, you're building your connection with the agency and eventually you're gonna be able to work with them for like future work. So when you're casting your subject, these are the things that kind of go through my head and that's it what's the shoe type is that beauty is the editorial a beauty model may not be very fashion editorial looking they're not quirky, that kind of a very symmetrical face they've got a great skin after you'll see him on those like facial like nail campaigns, they're more commercial them or riel so that the people that are selling in the products kind of relate to that a lot more. So I've had to learn that because at first I was using all these like quirky russian girls for beauty and it just doesn't work because you're not selling to the demographic of that you're selling to a very small area it's also the shoot seems so whether it's like the lighting you use think about how that affects their features. What are their best features? Is that their hair is that their eyes I usually go for girls have very like emotional like it's not emotional eyes it's kind of like that we kind of bright eyes that you can focus on things I always like to focus on the eyes whether I like them how I focus that's my first point of focus and it also could be like you doing sixties so you want a model that can move you want a model that can look good when you get an angle like that like most of sixties avedon shots and not like, you know, no shot going up on you also want to know what the clothes they're going to be is the model really short it's the model really tall and you need to get you something that fits her too often. You based that on? I need to do a fitting with the silence before I do that. I needed to come over to my studio well, wherever you've shooting and just test you out also the budget, obviously, but he always helps with this, but is it a test? Or is it an editorial? So for testing with agency, if you are a new photographer and you ask an agency to test, they're going to expect to see something in your portfolio before they give you models because they want to see that that test is going to benefit them. We're talking about this a little bit further on more in debt because I know people always have questions about testing. This has only been something I've been doing over the past five years. Before that, I had no clue, I thought, you know, I had to pay for models all the time and, you know, I kind of lost with that I'm kind of excited to kind of give you that inside as well. It's also the preference because my preference may not be my client's preference. It could be they don't like the same things as me, but I'm always pushing for something that's within my style and also that additional, because, again, you don't need a model. Sometimes you just need somebody that perhaps condense, perhaps has that personality because they're in actress and are not afraid to move in front of the camera. So if you don't have the opportunity to work with the model, think about these things where it's your friends, whether it's people that a daring like my friend in the fish tank don't just do things for you because they want to help you as well. So these are some quick instagram snap, so I just wanted to kind of show you why I chose these models for the scenario. So in the middle, you've got these two girls dressed in sixties, so when you look into sixty clothing you've got to think of how would someone in the sixties dress and what kind of person would I look at? Master the photography? Who did they cast? Why, what with the facial features you know, I'm always looking for that? Is it the head I won't killed? And I'm always trying to have that dialogue with hair and makeup to kind of figure that out as well? Is it like this top right hand corner? Is it bohemian? So I want someone that has that long hair that can flow that could possibly be brayden I also want that like eh? Three a look, is it like this girl at the bottom but galaxy as she has that beautiful thick hair does that beautiful skin that could be shine and we did like a feathered lights their skin would glow? Or is it like this, eh, three alike on the left here like that beautiful like closer portrait? Look it's always important, and I didn't know I shot models that should have been shot in the themes I have done, but I don't put it in my portfolio because I only show the successful parts of it well, so these two girls I wanted to talk about testing with these because technically a test is a shoot you do with a model that's beneficial to both. But in the beginning, it's probably more beneficial to the agency and that is in the sensitive they don't want a lot of hair and makeup they pretty much like black and white shot so saturated color, often a girl turn into some photographers were just kip bag of a vest talking some jeans and I'll sit in the studio with natural light and what that's doing is that's becoming something that's in the model's portfolio that a new face khun start to build and the clients will see that from simple images and want to book them for the next thing so to build a contact with the model agency it's all about at the beginning what you could do for them because the later on you can kind of test with them and even take a model into your own ideas what kind of work with them on the simple silas well so actually these tea was taken on the side of an editorial both were different editorial with both were very different to what I was shooting they were both in color so I just took them at the side of the end one light really simple this wanted to hold her hair back and the agency loves that again it's doing a favor for them so if you need a favor in the future they'll help you out so again, why did I cast these models? So this one was joan of arc this former sixty gatsby sorry so you could see like the high forehead carry off a wig now if you work with her silas do wigs, they'll know instantly you'll get him a model that doesn't have a face that could pull it off and they're like no, we're not doing weeks because they know it will look bad in that thing this girl had the thick hair thick brows chevy motive eyes I knew she would work for joan of arc this girl for beauty story did recently for hong kong tatler and that demographic is just like beautiful rich like agent lady so they wanted to cast this girl and I wanted to go out with her for a while and yeah, we had to go free like a few like casting to see how it would all work out but what I liked about her is she got beautiful skin the research is not going to hate me when it comes to retouching it she works well with direct light which is often what beauty is all about because it's selling a product and she carries off almost every style of makeup so we did like six different makeup looks for this but that's something you've got to think about when you're doing beauty can carry that off what is the eye shape? Maybe get a makeup artist's opinion on that this girl this is ago could anastasia and we shot this for nylon mexico and I shot this in london and she's like six foot something like she was in hell she's like giant that's usually why away just like this but this is an example of how an editorial girl works they usually very tall they walk the cat world catwalks every season for the designers but they can carry off almost every look the best models sometimes not conventionally beautiful unconventionally beautiful because they've got weird things about them tall bodies fire apart eyes those air can't like girls that are like canvasses. You could do absolutely anything with them, they carry off wigs, makeup artists love them because they can do anything on their faces. So this is the kind of girl I usually like working with and to take my work too kind of more of that crazy level it's like doing a lot of styling as well, saying about the sixties, this is the same girl as in this one on the left, but you can see how she works with this, and then you go on and she worked from sixties because she's very diverse, very experienced they re branding her is the new model with blond hair, so they've took all of her image is away and want to rebrand, huh? But what I like to, she has a fantastic energy she's a russian gold it's just like grabbing my cats on set and jumping around and singing and dancing and that's the kind of energy when you have movement, when you see those vogue shots of someone like jumping in the air, not every model could do that. You need a model that understands that when they jump, that facial expression isn't going to be that we'd like half open mouth, half clothes, I it's going to be like she's like perfectly stands but the body's meeting as well so when you're looking for a model's portfolio, look at what they have and look at what they've done before because that's a great indicated to know what they can do so styling that makeup hair and wardrobe so that as I said give talent from every side that gives the expertise so you don't have to worry about that you need a certain amount of control to tell these people what to do to know what you want because you're the leader of the shoot they're going to rely on what you want but they're also open to suggestions so sometimes I have someone on set and I say this is kind of along the lines of what I want I'll share them reference pictures again it has to be within trend so if I'm looking at like backstage on star that common looking at like what don't you do this season? Is it like a muted I is it like you know for the hair is it like a finger way? Because again I have to be in trend because if I'm working for a magazine that's what they're looking for us well so cassidy's based on the skill and experience so when you cast someone for wardrobe, hair and makeup look at their books what are they good at it some people are good at braves some people are good at full head some people get everything but that's very fun few between between makeup again people like to skin some people have preference on doing a smoky eye sometimes they won't want to work on a sheet that doesn't show the best of what they want to do so yeah, my makeup team this is on that shoot I said with the wig with the girl that was quite a toll I'm always on set like coming in and I notice a lot of big photographers do this they don't just sit there and like plate for the model turn up patrick dementia is a perfect example of someone who's very patient parlor reverse e they go into the room you behind the scenes videos they watch the observed they chat with the model beforehand and these are people you have been in the industry for years but they still have that respect to understand it to get the best out of someone you got to make them feel comfortable and you've got a be over your makeup artists and hair size and make suggestions so you're happy with final resort. Another example of one of my workshops in new york misuse you is really great eyebrows and like delicate makeup so she was perfect for this and then on set you need people to understand if you're freezing our in london and ken on the beach and you've got all these people and the models freezing you've gotta have makeup and hair that understand how to deal with a cold model that will bring heat pack so we'll bring an extra coat or a dressing gown, because having that extra stab is like going to beam or you're going to respect them more from having that knowledge and also, if you're working with a client after this, you will expect your hair and makeup to please the client as much as you are as well think about finding your team and I get a lot of emails, the messages on facebook page on everyday basement, he'll come to my workshops, it's always a question, how do I find that magic team that's going to help my work get to the next level? And I would say that's, the hardest thing when you see starting out because you do need something to kind of gain the interest of those that want to work with you so that's, why I help when I did the conceptual photography was just mean the model and myself there was something in my portfolio that could reach out and be like, this is my vision. Would you like to help me get to the next step? So that was purely free model mayhem and also some of my clients were beautiful and some of the makeup that they would bring or they would be interested in makeup. So you don't just have to find people who were super experienced again, it's all about growth and how you work with them. So there's two websites here who is testing now is the uk web site and there's a lot of you that are based in london. It would love this website it's kind of new, but it's has makeup, hair stylist and you I'm kind of reach out and see he's testing an example of their portfolio and you can also submit your own portfolio to model mayhem is always see a world wide web site on what I would say one tip when using model mayhem. Try and meet the person before you work with them because there's always a lot of no shows there's always a lot of people you never know who you're talking to that's one thing I learned in the beginning always meet them over coffee, talk to them over the phone, discuss your ideas with him beforehand and I've still got people I work with. The initially male model may hand well, I went with a book covers on commercial jobs because again, I want to know that I'm appreciative that they worked with me in the beginning when I wasn't so good, I mean, now that they've grown with me. So there's also like think about like cosmetology your beauty school people that are working there are people that graduate they're always looking to build their portfolio and get to the next level the same people that say like matt counters or like those makeup counters that people you know work out but they haven't got a portfolio like they know how to do great makeup which is my sister works in that right now great at makeup but she just doesn't have the portfolio to show so if you are a photographer and you have some experience people that do things like that a perfect because they really willing to get their already passionate about being at their job they just need something to show as a product when I shot there was one image in my portfolio airy girl is like running towards a castle it's cording twice everyone asked me about that dress so my friend out of contact in a theater wardrobe like the departments you get all those period costumes from like gatsby era frito like nineteen twenties free to like you know the early nineteen hundreds through toe like everything pirates and all those crazy other things what was great about that is she was willing to lend for credit I know that a lot of you don't have budgets to go in source things yourself in a lot of silas don't get kind just buy and return because it's too risky that's one way of making a contact with fear to wardrobe and even put a deposit down why you lend the clothes and the same with vintage stores as well if you have some vintage or thrift stores that's one way of even given them credit on your facebook page you twitter account and put in a deposit down to see you bring them back a lot of people will be really happy to do that as well. There's also assistance to bigger talents now you see a lot of people in vogue in owl in like w and all these like great magazines, their assistance, a busy work in with them and they often the big people trust them to do the jobs on the clients on the celebrities but they don't have time to build their portfolio there going to be the people that their next big thing in the industry because they've got that experience with those big people like the big hair makeup and wardrobe stylist that's one way I begin to realize that if you reach out to those people if you just go on, look at the credit if you look it like, say, facebook twitter and it comes up for linked in you see their experience on who they work with that's a really interesting way of getting someone to super talented but who is willing to take that time to work with you there's also obviously recommendations and social media because I've always put something out there when I need someone on social media linked in is a great one because it's instantly connect you and suggests people also twitter facebook page like I've met people who have just found my account and wanna collaborate, and I'll give them a chance well, kind of go from that its recommendations because I've met so many people who they can't do the job for me, but they'll recommend a friend that can they build these lists of people you're working with and constantly tests with them, build with them and grow with them as well? We talked about testing earlier, but I kind of want to go through it again. Typically, what a test is about the simple concept so it's not crazy makeup it's not big eyelashes it's not vegas, it's experimentation and build relationships, but it also brings new ideas and techniques, so don't just test a model testing the light when you do it to the other day I rented a light, I got a model in, I wanted to shoot the model, but really it was all about testing the light. I just wanted to make sure that there was a result from that to kind of put in the portfolio for me tohave to show what it did. And it's also good because if you're working with a client and you want to test that idea beforehand you could get a model in test that light idea and when you turn it on set you ready to go you've got no doubts about it so quick example of some tests so again I love black and white when it comes to test you don't know what it is I always get told off by people in black and white really so it's simple lingerie really simple hera maker but you can see it's still has my signature and that's it the girls I like to work with I don't know fairly put this in my portfolio but it's an accessible thing from my social media or when I want to work with girls I have oh this is tests I've done before so it's one of those like attracting things the agents can see that I contest with their girls well and this is a recent one as well and it's often again trying to get girls and subjects of youse guys even that suit your portfolio that you can then later work and don't just do simple shots you can also do a little bit something different on the side but always try and give the agency a great shot even if you're inside on them and editorial as well and this one so when I first moved to new york in twenty five twenty but I moved to new york to sign away my wanted to try something out I was bored in london I was had a really bad time moving back to my mom's house and I was like, okay needs to new inspiration what can I do to get on a flight said all my money on it I'd go stay with a friend actually it was joey and I'm felix that I first went to visit in new york at the time of felix was there and that's how I got to know them but what was great about that is while I was there I started to make contacts I started to do tests shoots I'd already made those connections in london it was almost like starting again it was that convincing them what can I do? How can I test with your models? So this was a stylist I first approach really simple cloven can you just pull some stuff from the thrift store? I'll come with you, we got a great face. We shot on the rooftop in the shade where the chimneys were like creating shade really wide aperture and I just captured the emotion in the beauty and again it doesn't have to be I think a lot of people get caught up in the fact that you need teo do these high conceptions do its production value and really a beautiful image is just about the emotion it's about that simple styling it's about the engagement it's about like how you look how beautiful that image is to look at and also what I've said to people recently when they've contacted me about this is start doing the simple staff when you've got the confidence and the money to invest in a bigger production shoot that's the time to do it because you don't want to be known for doing the big production stuff early on I tried and failed it that with early clients seventeen with my italian agent I can definitely say that I didn't know what I was doing I shouldn't have done it at that point where it now I feel ready to do that and it's been like six years since then so take your time and start simple and grow with your team so collaborating creative input with all those collaborators who decides if you're doing a test if you were in the editorial that's just you and your submitting the editorial you're the decider how much is too much input and that's a hard one because I feel like when you're working with the team everyone wants input some people are like you just take some shots for me of like the makeup because I don't really want to do a full length like it's not showing what I do that's not a good creative because they should be there to get something front with the whole story, they've got to be there to create something beautiful in itself, not just something for them you've got up people are looking out for the images and not for their own benefit, but she just won't take some questions before that I've been talking forever. It seems I'm taking anything. Listen, teo forever talking love listening to it we do have a quick question. Everybody in the room go ahead and grab a mike and pass it over while that's being passed over l s p online wants to know her says I think if I had all these types of people to do, parts of the work like retouching and creating the set parent makeup tonight lose interest, that whole creative process is the most interesting for may was that a problem for you as you went from self portrait so full team shoots, how do you deal with it? It's a really good question I was when I did self porches and went in to find out it was my baby. I did everything I was so used to handling every part of the shoot that giving it away to someone else and trust in them was a really big issue, but I think as you go on, you start to see the growth in your work and you start to see how amazing it can go from here to here when you work with the team in the correct model in the contacts set design is because they bring that element to a shoot that as production value, it adds creativity. Um, yeah, it takes time to get used to, but in the end, you'll kind of see that it's worth it. Lauren building a team for the first time in looking for hair, makeup and wardrobe what would you say? The three most important questions to ask someone to see if they're going to be a good fit? Yeah, I would first, if you have an idea I would send I first like introduce if I'm contact, I'd say in a way of like an email tea now, if I was contacting them, I would say, you know where you live, I do a quick introduction of what kind of things you've worked on an example of you work, but I lost, so reach out and be like he's my idea are you interesting something along the sides of this? Are you? Because again, sometimes people are working with have like a very specific images where they want their portfolio to go. Like some stylist said to me, that's not really your style of work isn't really where I'm headed with myself because it's too sexy, whereas minds more a thrill and young on and that's one thing they asked him about that, asking him perhaps the preference of models if their stylists, for example, because it's, always different with her make up and styling but I think is a stylist. What are their contacts? Are they able to pull from pr companies that store the designer brands? Have they got good connections with agent said they got good connections with magazines, you know, it's all those little things that they want to know because ultimately is a mutual benefit for everyone, so you just want to be know that they're going to be happy on set. If it's an outdoor shoot, you just want to let them know, by the way, it's an outdoor shoot so they don't turn up in unexpectedly because sometimes even model agents don't tell their models that turning up on set with animals like I had a model that's like being allergic to horses before with, like three horses on set and there's all those little details that, like people don't think about, but yeah, there's a really good question, I'm glad you brought that one on.