A day in the life of Talia White

Tell us a day in the life of Talia White?

My days aren’t quite as easy as they use to be, I have a 1 year old daughter so my day starts sorting her out before anything else. I check Instagram and my emails, get all my equipment together and then depending on where I am shooting I will either make my way to my studio or location.  The day will be spent shooting for a number of different companies and brands, whether that is campaign or e-commerce.  As soon as I am done I make my way home and start editing the pictures from the shoot. This would be a typical shoot day, however, sometimes I have admin and editing days where I tie up any loose ends and finalise paperwork.

Growing up did you know you wanted to be a photographer, if so who were you influenced by?

When I was growing up I wanted to be an artist and I suppose this is what I am now in my own right, but it wasn’t a career in photography that I imagined. It was when I started a college course in Art and Design that I was required to study a unit in photography and I found it really enjoyable. However it took me two years to discover my true passion. I would photograph landscape, food, portraits and still life, but the feeling of excitement came when I took a photo of my niece in a creative fashion shoot and it was here I knew I wanted to make a career out shooting fashion photography.  Early in my career I admired David LaChapelle’s use of colour, set design and how extravagant his work is and I think perhaps this has influenced my work at times and how I use colour in my photographs.

How did you start your photography business?

Straight out of college I worked in a family portrait studio to develop confidence, as well becoming more familiar with lighting and editing techniques, and dealing with clients.  It also enabled me to build a portfolio of work as I was able to use the studio when the shop was closed. In 2015 I arranged a test shoot with a model who was the face of an up and coming brand, I asked her to bring some clothing from the brand and when the company saw the pictures they loved my work and booked me from then on as their photographer. After shooting with this company I was able to leave my day job because I was getting enough work as a freelance photographer and building up a reputation via Instagram and Facebook.

What interesting projects have you worked on recently or about to work on?

Recently, I had the opportunity to photograph Toff from Made in Chelsea just before she went on to win ‘I’m a Celebrity’ for With Love Lilly a lingerie company which was amazing. I do have a really exciting trip coming up in Mykonos, I can’t say too much about it just yet but I would say it is my most exciting project yet to date.

Provide us some illustrations of how your work have transformed over the years?


2009                                                      2018


How did you to develop your Own Unique Style of Photography?

I suppose it developed over a period of time, my style has changed from when I started out. To begin my style was very vintage and ethereal but it didn’t get me any work. It was at this point where I realised I had to look at what brands were shooting to figure out what was current and on-trend so I switched up my style. I also find a lot of my style comes into my work during editing.

How do you create a Fashion or Beauty Shoot?

It will all start with a brief, usually sent over by the company.  This will include the themes, make-up, posing styles, models and inspiration pictures. From this we design a set to fit the brief (if needed) and everything else just falls into place.

What are 10 Things clients look for when hiring a Photographer in your opinion?

Reputation, professional, personality, quick turnaround of images, passionate about the work you are producing, loyalty, organised, making the whole experience as seamless as possible and adaptable.

How did you grow Your Photography Business with Instagram?

By shooting with brands and models with large followings, constantly networking with different models and makeup artists on the social media platform.

What are some of the Risks Every Photographer Needs to Take to Be Successful?

Even if you are absolutely terrified do it, I’m quite a nervous person, my nerves always get the better of me but whatever the task/job, I say yes because I’d never get anywhere if I didn’t. I recently had to do Demos at The Photography Show for Interfit UK, which back when I started I could have only dreamed of. I was totally nervous but knew it was something I needed to do.

I know it’s cliché but NOTHING comes from your comfort zone, your comfort zone is your failure zone, so take risks. Do something every day that scares you, contact the clients you dream of shooting for.

Who are some of your 10 Must-Follow Photographers on Instagram       ?

I could probably list 100, but here are some amazing talented and supportive photographers I enjoy seeing on my insta feed. I think there are more than 10 here.















What are some advice on how to Get Your Photos Published?

Find magazines that are accepting submissions, check out the up and coming themes, get a great team together and produce something Insane.

How do you Find Models for Your Photo Shoot?

I usually find them via Instagram or I contact agencies.


Any advice for up and coming Photographers?

First of all just test, test, and test. Test with friends, family members and models that are building a portfolio to find your style.

Secondly, my favourite saying is ‘talent will get your far but ambition will get you further’.  There will be knockbacks, it happens to us all, however, if you want something bad enough and you eat, sleep and breathe it, work day and night for it. You’ll reach all your goals.

10 Risks Every Designer Needs to Take to be Successful

10 Risks Every Designer Needs to Take to be Successful


By Beth Diamond (@bethisqueen)


It takes true grit to succeed in an industry as cut throat as Fashion. Success does not happen overnight and it certainly won’t all be glitter and gold, but with risk comes reward. For those willing to take a chance, taking necessary risks might be the key to success. What risk should you consider? Here are 10 risks every designer needs to take:


BE GOOD. This might sound obvious, but when the competition is fierce, the fierce get competitive. Being good doesn’t mean your designs are pretty, it means you’ve done your research, you have the education or experience necessary to start in a competitive business and you’ve prepared yourself for an upward climb. You may have planned to go at it on your own but one of the best ways to test your knowledge and skill is with an internship or apprenticeship. Learn all you can and absorb as much knowledge from those with more experience.


DRIVE. What separates the wildly successful from everyone else? Drive! Those at the top never gave up. You will face difficulties that may make you want to throw in the towel, but your dream will never be realized if you do. You will have to work long hours, make sacrifices and stay incredibly focused. Sometimes this means saying no to plans and fun gatherings with friends and family. Stay focused on your goal, those who love and support you will understand.


BE UNIQUE. Following trends is easy; setting them takes a brave soul willing to step outside comfort zones. If you want to stand out from the hoards of other brands start thinking outside the box. Following a fickle trend might seem like a good idea to garner capital, but doing the same thing as everyone else means you fade into the background.  If you want people to take notice and keep coming back for more, do something different. Use your artistic and creative skills to offer the world something new.


INVEST. Don’t have a lot of money? Most people don’t when starting a new business. That’s why investors exist. It’s a scary thought to give up some control of a dream you’ve worked so hard to build, but the resources investors can provide can be pivotal to building an empire. PR maven, Adrienne Mazzone of TransMedia Group says, “Avoid a long-term partnership, and make the investor a buy out should you start to make money, so there are no permanent attachments.”


MARKETING/PR. Unless you’re already famous or have millions of Instagram followers you probably won’t know how to get your amazing designs out there for the world to see. Hiring a Marketing/PR firm might sound expensive but it’s a worthwhile investment. You design, let someone else worry about getting your product out there.


COLLABORATION. Find other creative souls and ask to collaborate. It can be anyone. Find a jewelry or accessories designer and set up a photo-shoot. Submit those photos to magazines or plaster them all over social media. Have a favorite band? Design something amazing for them to wear on stage. Offer your designs to local charity events and put on a stunning fashion show. Getting your name out into the community creates great exposure as well as establishes a potential client base.


INSPIRATION. Be vulnerable. Inspiration is everywhere; one must only open their eyes. Using your own life experiences as inspirations behind your product might be a scary thought, but being vulnerable and sharing your story can make people feel like they have something to relate to. When others relate, they are paying attention. Showing the world who you truly are and putting meaning behind every piece will make what you have to offer truly one of a kind.


REALISM. Understand what you’re doing and be absolutely realistic about it. Never give up your dreams and goals but always be aware of the reality of your situation. Fashion is a competitive business and you are unlikely to become the next Marc Jacobs or Calvin Klein. Even if you never reach superstar status you can still be crazy successful. Also, understand that for a while anyway, you will need to cope with the idea of giving up a steady paycheck. Quitting your job and focusing on your dream of designing is a huge deal, but one that must happen if you ever want to see that dream flourish.


WHERE TO SELL.  Opening up your own boutique at the very beginning of your career might be unrealistic. There are plenty of other options available to those not able to have their own brick and mortar. Consider hiring an expert to create an app or website, most people shop online anyway. There are also many e-commerce stores where selling is made easy. Etsy and eBay are two obvious choices but websites like notjustalabel.com and ustrendy.com exist to help emerging designers establish themselves.


BE PRESENT. Blogs, Social media, LinkedIn, and charity events are all important tools to stay active in the community and will ultimately help grow your business. Actively engaging online will help draw people into your creative world and make them feel more connected to what you are building. Keeping people updated on exciting happening like new products and launch dates will keep them wanting more.















10 Things Clients Look for when Hiring a Photographer

10 Things Clients Look for when Hiring a Photographer


You have a camera and you’ve been gaining experience in the field and now it’s time to drop the hobby charade and get down to brass tacks.  You want to be financially appreciated for the great photography you’re capable of and there’s no time like the present. But in a world where everyone and their neighbor is a photographer, standing out in the sea of entry-level DSLRs is a daunting task. However, people do it every day with confidence and gusto.  There is not a reason fathomable as to why you shouldn’t be able to do the same!  Of course, there are some things worth noting, as the professional world is a beast waiting to be conquered -and conquer you will!


Here is what your future clients are looking for…


1     A Respectable Website


Attracting clients is very possible via social media, but an Instagram or Facebook page doesn’t quite cut it. Instagram is a great photography outlet, however, the people expecting to pay good money for quality images aren’t looking to see the personal input on your work so much as they are trying to see an organized flow of credibility and consistency. Clients want a catalogue of images to inspire them to shoot with you. Give them what they want.  No matter the site provider, (Wix, Squarespace, WordPress etc.)  your site must be attractive and flow like a large river into clean, fresh tributaries.  In other words, there should be no inconvenience nor distractions when people want to explore your photography.  Keep your site neat and simple.  Imagine yourself entering someone else’s website.  You want the photographs to be the main attraction with few distractions, like outrageous fonts or wide arrays of colors elsewhere.  It should be simple, organized, and to the point.

 2   A Consistent Theme

Find a theme that you enjoy and stick with it! The photography world begs for new ideas, experience, and techniques all the time, but volatility in the professional photography world when hiring a photographer is a red flag. When a prospective couple sees that you have taken some lovely shots of past couples in a grassy field with warm tones and lights, they don’t want to see your experimentation in Russian Minimalist fashion photography right next to them do they? Not really. Clients want to feel confident in their general expectations as to what their shots will come out like. So, make like grandma and keep it cookie-cutter because we are a species of habit and no one wants to feel like their photos might come from left field.

3 Good Communication Is Key


Make sure to check your emails, DMs, and even voicemail (if you’re into that) for messages and inquiries about your service!  If someone is trying to get in touch with you to get photos taken, they’re probably asking elsewhere too. Be snappy and prompt.  Losing business to a lack of replies is pitiful and should be avoided at all costs. When you do reply, make sure to give options. A lot of times, people aren’t exactly certain on what they want, which leads directly into the next point.

4  Visual Guidance


A lot of clients will have an idea of what they’re looking for, but they won’t know the depth of the field like you do.  (Pun totally intended.)Understand that, conceptually, they don’t see what you see. Often a client’s frame of reference is from the photos hanging on the walls at their friend’s place or your website. So, when you discuss concepts, location, and clothing for your prospective clients, paint the picture for them!  Have an array of mood boards ready for them to browse with the different shoot locations, postures, clothing etc. that might appeal to them. Zone in on what they want and sculpt the shoot with them. Bring your prospective clients into your world so they will have much more confidence in your ability to satisfy their needs.  Pinterest is a great place to create a mood board or even a Google drive of images will work just fine.

5  Direction


Whether you’re working with professional models or the minivan-Nancy down the block, your clients want direction.  Make them know that you’re attentive to their posture.  Before each position change, act it out before-hand and make sure that they have a good idea of what’s going on.  Be patient with your clients.  They are putting their trust in your hands to make their photos look as natural as they feel awkward.  Even if their positioning is all kosher, make sure to give frequent reassurance to ease their anxiety of being in front of a camera. It’s all good, you just need to make sure that the clients know that!

6   Activities


Shooting can get monotonous and sometimes every shot will feel redundant, so mix it up. For instance, if you’re out in a field with flowers, ask your client to pick a flower.  Ask them what it smells like.  Tell them a joke to ease the mood and if they think its funny, snap away!  If you’re in an urban environment, have them take sunglasses off and on and snap the in between shots. What time is it? Do they wear a watch? Snap! Snap! Snap! Keep it interesting and simple and make each moment count!


7   Location Familiarity


Hobby photography starts with, “This place looks cool let’s explore …”  but as a professional, that won’t fly.  Make sure you have a decent knowledge of your locations.  Is it important to know where the sun hits best in different locations and which shadows cast where and when? You bet!  Is it worth the trouble when it not only gives you better shots but an edge on your competition? Absolutely.  Know where you’ll be shooting, know which poses are shot where. Map it out. There will always be room for spontaneity-the perfect candid shots, but standing there, with a blank stare on your face, to figure out the next part of the shoot never looks good.

8   Post Production Updates


After the shoot, when all the pleasantries are exchanged, give your clients a time frame of edit completion. Your clients will feel better about the shoot and will not have to worry about the time between shoot day and when they receive their photos. Make the time frame wide enough to accommodate for edit delays, because they do happen. Or, if you give them a short time frame and be prepared to email your clients to ask them for more time.

9    Better Professional Relationship!

We live in a society of services and consumer goods. It is very easy to slip into the habit of making each new client a part of the same ritual. People pick up on that, so get to know who you’re shooting.  What are they like? Where have they been? What music do they like?  Getting to know your clients makes it a relationship beyond mere finances and you never know what could come from a good referral!

10  Be yourself


When all is said and done, just be yourself. There is no persona or expectations you need to have of yourself, and the clients aren’t going to feel comfortable when they get the feeling you’re putting on a show. Just relax and let each shoot become a new experience with new people.

Submitted by Brandon Gorrie

IG: @Whoshot.gorrie





quality and quantity

Quality & Quantity

It is  not the quantity of work put out by a creative that will make the phone ring, but rather the quality.  Less is more !  i want to take   that even further. sometimes simplicity and putting out less stuff is actually better in the long run than mixing the crap with the good.  I know a lot of creatives make the mistake of  putting out great stuff with the crap. This can have the result of devaluing the great stuff and becomes  counter productive.

quality and quantity

I recently organised and directed a shoot.I came up with a concept, that took 6-7 weeks of planning. The reason i highlight this fact, is because a lot of newcomers,schedule shoots 2-3 times a week, while shooting clients work also.  I can relate to this because I think in the beginning you want to do as much as possible until you develop a certain style. it’s more about the art rather than the end product or the process rather than product.


There’s this misconception that if you don’t post photos everyday it means that you don’t have clients and you’re not successful. How do you handle this dilemma?

I’d like to answer that with the following. time is the currency of  every creatives’ life; to maximize benefit, we want the most quality for the least amount of time. If you can get quality things from life in short order, do so. That’s much more valuable in the grand scheme of things than spending your life accumulating crappy things.

There are many successful photographers who really turn this theory on its head. Kirsty Mitchell Photography is a great example. Her shoots take months of planning but everyone still wants to see her work and there is much demand for her..

There are even some fashion photographers who are not yet at the top of their game and post 1 or 2 shoots a month or even every couple of months and still get booked solid because of the high quality of their work. Joanna Kustra is an example of this.

Many creatives try to get as many shoots in as possible, this can eventually lead to disinterest. Perhaps you might begin to lose enthusiasm for what you used to love.  But once you cut  back  the amount you shoot and plan thoroughly to the T , it can be  more energizing and refreshing going out and shooting. Being able to express  yourself more and put passion into what you’re  producing. This is what separates the success of the Famous vs The Hobbyists .  The hobbyist shoots as often as he or she likes where as, the more famous creative knows their work is being judged  by the public. Therefore,  there’s an emphasis to put more effort into  the process of the shoot and have a well  planned concept  rather than shoot tons of editorials only to end up with a vanilla type of shoot.


Let’s look at it from a different angle in terms of Quality Vs Quantity.

Would you be happiest having only one perfect meal per month or one average meal whenever you were hungry.? You need a degree of quantity to experience quality.

Chuck Close says it perfectly.


“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”

Chuck Close

quality and quantity

I think what chuck meant by this there has to be a balance between quality and quantity. In my honest opinion I think balance is key. To keep posting content regularly enough to remain visible, but to sum up what  Chuck  is trying to get across , really try to make every shot or project count. So that your skills and experience are really being enhanced. That way, you will attract a better audience who really appreciate what you do. whilst it is nice to have lots of followers and fans for recognition, it is actually better to have fewer followers who will engage and connect with your work more and look forward to seeing it. They are the ones who will really help promote you. I believe this is how many other talented artists started who now have a successful brand.  By speaking to people who really connected with them.


Like Ira Glass Previously stated in his tastes video, you can watch it here


There are pros and cons of shooting randomly, but mostly for beginners. If you are guilty of doing way too many shoots,  you’d  find many lacking in quality when  you look back at them.. but the experience and knowledge you’ve gained are invaluable as you would have tried so many different things… But you’d find that what you were missing out on are important techniques and  attention to details.  I would have to end this post with  saying definitely quality content is better , as I’ve learned the hard way.  As my mentor taught me let your work speak for itself. what better way to do that than a quality portfolio.

Fashion bureaucracy

Fashion bureaucracy

Fashion bureaucracy: why it’s all about who you know and why that’s a GOOD thing (instead of something to whine about)

Developing relationships is crucial no matter what industry you’re in. Having a trusting relationship is a necessity whether it is with your clients, stylists, makeup artists or agencies. If you have friends within your network, well, then that’s the greatest job security you’ll ever have; and if you’re self employed, like most creatives, then having a strong social circle of friends is all the more important – who knows when you’ll need a referral to a certain client? Being in a community of people, with connections, is essential and it’s that exact community that will allow you to network and build long-term relationships. This long-term relationship works in favour for both persons, for example, if your friend knows someone who needs a photographer or stylist, they can recommend you as opposed to googling random photographers or contacting agencies – we all know that can be a pain. Even if you have an agent doing this, a personal referral works in your favour (which I will discuss later in detail) and they are more likely to work with you again, especially if you were easy to work with the first time around.


Fashion bureaucracy Sui He Photographed by Chen Man

Every once in a while I meet a creative that complains about the industry being about who you know and on one level part of me thinks, “thank God it’s all about who you know”. Let’s face it: there’s always going to be someone whose work is better than yours, who can outwork you, networks better,has bigger budgets than you, has access to locations and people you can only dream of working with and has more connections than you. But despite this, networking in the fashion industry isn’t competitive at all. When I met one of my mentors, who by the way is a photographer, I wanted to figure out just how many more creatives I could suggest to him, ones that I knew would add value to his portfolio and vice versa. Adding value was what got one of my mentors to be represented by one of the top agencies, even though doors have been shut in his face over and over, you can find a way to do the same and get your foot in the door. And those people who are protective over their contacts? Well, I call that the scarce mentality. Chances are you’ll meet people that you otherwise never would have met but through that one, simple introduction from a friend. You might end working on a really awesome project as a result of this; and of course, this is beneficial because if they’re grateful they’ll reciprocate and that, my friend, is what I call a gold mine network.


Find the RIGHT kind of people to connect with at events, parties, fashion shows etc. There are some people who write a blog, have a huge following on social media, go to events and network but don’t put an emphasis on building human to human relationships – if you ask me, that’s a failed strategy no matter what industry you’re in. You may have read my previous article which questioned how important social media is in the modern photographic industry. I discussed how the goal is to build real relationships online like you would offline. As an editor I’m learning to take my own advice. I should probably follow more of our contributors online and use twitter more actively. But as I was saying, the point is to create real connections with real people, not robotically accumulate likes and followers. Tweet people when they tweet you or if you find a certain artist’s work interesting, tweet them – let them know! The point is not to show up and be that guy who might as well be saying, “book me, book me; use me for your project!” Let’s take an example – pretend I’m a fashion photographer wanting to network. I would look up the owners of my local salons, local designers on LinkedIn, and then I’d try to attend an event they’d be at or host a seminar. The next step is to befriend a couple of people and find ways I could add value to their business. You don’t need to shove yourself in front of them, just say a few words on how you think you could help their business. Now say the salon, which I previously made a connection with, needed a photographer, not only would they contact me for ease of access but so as not to violate or disturb the business relationship that has already been established. I hope you get this kind of mindset. While most other creatives are focused on getting thing their name known, you on the other hand should focus on how you can get clients to show up at your doorstep. To put it simply, attract clients and soon after, your name will be known.


I know there are creatives out there that think “but I’m a great artist, I should be booked for my talent and experience!” On the one hand, that’s why we created Flawless Magazine; we want to make sure choices are based purely on talent rather than who you are or who you know. But the fashion industry doesn’t always work that way. Nonetheless, I’ll tell you how to have an advantage over everyone else. If you add values, like I’ve previously mentioned, you can help others to succeed and in turn, they might mention your name enough times that before you know it, your name is starting to get out there! Don’t stop yourself from helping others succeed for selfish, personal gain: if they’re grateful, they will refer clients back to you. The same also applies if you’re the kind of person that stabs people in the back – word will get around and repel potential clients.


Fashion bureaucracy Photographed by Elizaveta Porodina

I read about Missy Woodford in the H&M magazine summer 2014, page 71, from an article titled “How to Land a Fashion Job” which read: “Missy Woodford is a casting director working with major brands such as Chanel. At 21, she landed a job as a stylist’s assistant through a friend. That led to working with important editors and stylists, such as American Harper’s Bazaar’s Brana Wolf, and Jane How. Another friend of Missy’s jumped right in. “I really had to learn on my feet, but I loved putting together the perfect line up of girls for the designers.” More than ten years later, Missy convinces Chanel to use a girl Called Cara Delevingne for their cruise show in London. “Poppy Delevingne was Chanel ambassador, and I thought it would be amazing to have both sisters in the show – they were so excited that Cara was in the Chanel show! A year later, Cara was the face of Chanel, and the rest in fashion is history.” Missy and Cara are just two examples of success made through contacts and networking. Study other people in your field, study those who came before you.
What’s not publicized about a lot of people in fashion is how they got to where they are. Really read up on the people who inspired you, and learn their journey. Find out about them, and find out how they got from point A to point B. It can be really inspiring.

flawless magazine submission

Fashion bureaucracy Jvdas Berra Photographer

Let’s say I meet Kristian Schuller or Steven Meisel at a shoot, I’m not going to try and talk about photography like a thousand other photographers have before me, but instead, use a more personal approach that touches on their interest outside photography. I might ask, “Hey how’s your kid, how’s everything going with…” I’d focus on befriending them without getting too personal, and often that might provoke them into sharing some insight into their techniques especially if they don’t see you as a threat; so as you can see, simply having a chat can lead to gaining some knowledge from their skilled mind. Not only do you get to work with them but they might also recommend you to clients, bookings you probably would never have gotten in the first place. What you want to do is take people like this off the high pedestal and relate to them on a human level. A good example of what not to say is, “Hey you teach seminars on photography, I should teach that too because I’m really good at photography!” To sum up, just ask questions about the people you want to network with and don’t forcibly sell yourself; people like talking about their passion and it’s a great way to develop a bond with them. Because people having a normal conversation in the industry makes you stand out from the last 50 people they’ve met that have tried to sell their work.

flawless fashion submission

Fashion bureaucracy Jessica Stam Photographed by Michaelangelo di Battista

Now put this information into action! Make a list with the names of people you want to work with and the people you want build a relationship with that will potentially put you in front of that photographer you want to work with – these ideally would be top designers, photographers, editors, agencies etc. If you set aside 20 minutes to do this it will literally save you years of wasted time and effort. Most people just randomly network with people that are not even related to their field of interest. Follow up with connections and make them feel important. Keep in touch every once a while to keep them in your circle. You might look into getting a CRM program to manage your connections, as well as being organized you can avoid the awkward ‘who is this person’ situation. I recommend checking out http://www.intros.to/ when building your network.

The funny thing is that Flawless Magazine was founded by two guys who met at a fashion event and decided to follow up afterwards. If we didn’t make that contact after the show, I’m sure I wouldn’t be writing this post right now. There wouldn’t have been a magazine to begin with. That being said, if you have any suggestions for more articles like this, then please email:editor@flawless-magazine.net.

How important is social media is in the modern photographic industry

How   important is social media is in the modern photographic industry?

Lara Jade posted the interesting question.  

Does having a social media profile enhance your reputation in your field, or most importantly – does it effect a clients’ decision when booking?

One argument is that, Social media by its very nature feeds the desire for instant gratification, and so is probably not the best forum for accurate feed back on the progress of your work as a creative.

Without the right offline influence and interaction which attracts the right people or client to book you to shoot their campaign or look book, a fan base of 50,000 followers is irrelevant. There are many photographers who give the illusion of being influential because they may have 200,000 followers on their social media page. In reality they may not be known within the industry at all. The impact of social media in this instance enables someone to create an aura of high status. I personally feel that your creative work needs to balance with what ever level you are at.

Having interviewed some of the most influential and upcoming people within the fashion industry over the last 7 months, it has become apparent that those high profile photographers or stylists who shoot big brands are actually indifferent to the amount of followers they have. Many may not even have a social media page. Sølve Sundsbø for instance is one of these. His social media page was created by his fans as a tribute to his work.



Photo by: Sølve Sundsbø

If shooting commercial work like fashion or advertising for instance, the client may not care too much about social media, but concentrate more on your portfolio, reputation and your particular work ethic.  If you are easy to work with and your creative work stands up, then a minimum of networking, branding and an entrepreneurial spirit, will ensure repeat bookings. A website which show cases your work is usually more important to a client than your social media profile.

Although social media can be helpful getting your work noticed, it does take time away from other things which are more valuable as a creative. Constant improvement and learning for instance, being two of the most important. Other things such as emailing advertising agencies, clients, networking, setting up a shoots with people who are more likely to book you are probably more beneficial to monetizing your work.

Let’s look at this from another angle. Fashion designers may use social media as an outlet that connects fans/customers to their website until word of mouth becomes the basis for obtaining customers. Then, referrals to their website take precedence over social media. Recently I read an interesting article called 1000 true fans.  (I will put a link and a video below for you guys to go have a look at.)The basic message was, focus on attaining 1,000 true fans, with whom you actually interact and or who leave regular comments on your social media page.                                                                                                 

Let’s say a new fashion brand got 1,000 people to buy their clothes for the year and on average each person spends 100 that translates into 100,000 in sales, as opposed to having 50,000 followers but none are buying.  To take things up a notch, let say those 1000 customers increase buying by 3 instead that leads sales of 300.000.

Now here’s how to apply the 1000 true fans to fashion, if I’m a fashion photographer, stylist or makeup artist. (With or without an agent) and I am presenting my work on social media. If I focus on building a relationship with just a few clients ,even as little as  only 7 clients to work with me in a year. If I work with each of those clients on two or more regular projects per year, then, I have really used social media to my advantage. It’s about how you use social media, not the amount of followers you accumulate, remember Jesus only had 12 followers, okay that was a joke but it’s the truth.


Photo Credit- Bruno-Dayan

Let’s imagine it as an Advertising Art Director. Every day there is a bombardment of Portfolios’ and emails from agents. The job requires a specific style of photography. The choice may come down to timing and luck, depending if a mail or portfolio has been viewed.  This is when social media profile can again be useful. It gives an immediate insight into personality, and approach to work. This may work to set one person aside from everyone else, particularly if that style of work is similar to what is needed. It always comes back to your reputation as a creative. Not just about how good you are or talented you are, but also how you are to work with.

I have interviewed guys who are really talented and at the top of their game, and I am always struck by how affable they are. Nothing at all like any preconceived expectation of an over inflated ego. This indicates to me personally that part of their success is attributed to their personality and how easy they are to work with. People remember how you make them feel as supposed to how professional your work is.  If you’re easy to work with and your work is amazing that automatically gives you an unfair advantage over everyone else.

If we look at keeping up with new trends, then social media is essential. Not only does it help build your audience, and clientele. It plays a role in learning what is grabbing peoples’ attention. Comprehending the marketing world is fundamental to successfully running a photography business. Lack of knowledge on how to attract and hold peoples attention can lose you media followers.  On one hand your photography talent is an enormous factor in how well your business will succeed. However, if you don’t present yourself well or neglect your audience, you will not get very far at all.  A website is attractive and absolutely important, but it lacks the personal touch that is also extremely necessary.

Social media also allows you to build a brand, and is a great way to keep in touch with your followers, especially if you’re doing seminars or training. It also is a way to keep in touch with clients you might not necessarily meet.  If they have noticed friends tagged in your photographs, they can easily find and contact you. If you don’t have a particularly big budget, and you want to work with an eclectic range of people, then social media can be very effective.  As previously discussed, a lot depends on the kind of photographer you are trying to be. Clearly there are many photographers, who do not rely on the internet and whose success is attributed to the effort they put into their creative work. Peru and Solve Sundsbo are just two of these.

If you like this post please share and leave a comment, the next blog post would be it’s all about who you know and that’s a good thing.

Some tips for interacting with clients.

  • Read and comments on friend’s blog to show you care and you support their objectives
  • When others share information that’s relevant to your business, industry share it on Facebook and twitter
  • Follow others on twitter and re-tweet contents relevant to your industry
  • If a community member has a relevant Facebook page become a fan and engage with them
  • Promote other relevant content that others member share on Facebook, twitter, flicker and on any other sites. Rate the content, comment on it etc and even share it on your page
  • Consider featuring a key influencer whether on your blog etc

Mel Jade

Fashion Editorial Submission Mel Jade – captured by London fashion photographer Dawn Marie Jones (Stoyanov & Jones Photography) for Flawless Magazine. Styling courtesy of fashion stylist Ricky James Flynn. Mel Jade. Clothing from Asos.

Mel Jade


With thanks To Meursault, London

Singing has been Mel Jade‘s number one love from a very early age.
“I actually can’t remember a time when I wasn’t singing.” She says, “When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, at first, I answered Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’, but when I realised that becoming a fictional cartoon character wasn’t really a viable career option, I set my sights on singing instead.”
Mel Jade
At the age of 14, Mel Jade recorded her first demos and began performing blues covers at local cafes. By the age of 16, Mel Jade was a top 10 finalist with an original song at the MusicOz Independent Music awards. After she graduated high school Mel Jade was also songwriting for other artists. She finally stepped onto the international music scene with her track ‘Aliens’ which was remixed and released by the Pretty Boys of Saint Tropez in Europe. The remix hit the charts after top DJ Armin Van Buuren picked it up and played it on his radio segment in Holland.
After the release of ‘Alive’, Mel Jade toured the UK, performing at Universities, Pride Festivals, fashion runways during London Fashion Week and live on radio.

Though she’s dripping with candy, Mel Jade also has something very raw and real about her. She is both recklessly fun and thoughtfully poetic, girl-next-door and glamourous, naughty and sweet, untouchable and approachable.
“I bought a huge bag of glitter off eBay, so I’m pretty much prepared for anything now.”
Though she's dripping with candy, Mel Jade also has something very raw and real about her. She is both recklessly fun and thoughtfully poetic, girl-next-door and glamourous, naughty and sweet, untouchable and approachable. "I bought a huge bag of glitter off eBay, so I'm pretty much prepared for anything now."