Carol Michels

Interview with Carol Michels

“The most common money-related mistake artists make is a reluctance to invest in their own careers.” Carol Michels

I’ve been asked this question too many times:  “Will you represent me?”  Or, “Do I need an agent to represent me?” I’m getting asked this a lot, probably because I actually care about the success of an artist when I see that they have potential.  My short answer is the following:  Find someone who can market your great stuff. There are a lot of mediocre artists that make a good income from their work no pun intended. A good agent can get you deals that you never would have gotten on your own. Think of you wanting to shoot a campaign for Dior, Channel or any of the big brands. Your agent is like the intermediary person who works to finalise the deal. You can’t just randomly walk into a luxury brand shop and show them your portfolio; the chances are the gatekeepers are hard to get a hold off.   The agent earns his/her commission by being able to reach them. If you’re not interested in being represented by an agent I recommend you take Gary Vaynerchuk’s advice, just be prepared to do the creative and business work by yourself. Striking a balance is key, should you focus all your energy on being more creative or just find someone to run your business? I’ll let you answer that question yourself. Here’s a video on YouTube Titled

“How to get an advantage as a creative.”

Far too many creative’s are too romantic and obsessed with creating beautiful work, it’s intriguing, refreshing and brings joy to our heart when we see other people’s appreciation for our work.  But here’s the wake up call, the phone needs to ring and you must find ways to earn a living. If this is just a side project by all means feel free to carry on as if it’s a hobby. But if you’re planning on making a living its business not a hobby. It breaks my heart when I see talented people tell me that no one wanted to give them a chance.  There’s a big elephant in the room that no one wants to address.  For the past 12 months I’ve noticed a trend that too many creative’s including myself, we lack entrepreneurship mindset and ways to monetise our passion. We would rather focus our attention on the process of creating work as supposed to finding a balance between creating and turning that work into an income.

 

“The most common money-related mistake artists make is a reluctance to invest in their own careers.” Carol Michels   I’ve been asked this question too many times:  “Will you represent me?”  Or, “Do I need an agent to represent me?” I’m getting asked this a lot, probably because I actually care about the success of an artist when I see that they have potential.  My short answer is the following:  Find someone who can market your great stuff. There are a lot of mediocre artists that make a good income from their work no pun intended. A good agent can get you deals that you never would have gotten on your own. Think of you wanting to shoot a campaign for Dior, Channel or any of the big brands. Your agent is like the intermediary person who works to finalise the deal. You can’t just randomly walk into a luxury brand shop and show them your portfolio; the chances are the gatekeepers are hard to get a hold off.   The agent earns his/her commission by being able to reach them. If you’re not interested in being represented by an agent I recommend you take Gary Vaynerchuk’s advice, just be prepared to do the creative and business work by yourself. Striking a balance is key, should you focus all your energy on being more creative or just find someone to run your business? I’ll let you answer that question yourself. Here’s a video on YouTube Titled  “How to get an advantage as a creative.” [embedyt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdbIAqIGb0o[/embedyt]      Far too many creative’s are too romantic and obsessed with creating beautiful work, it’s intriguing, refreshing and brings joy to our heart when we see other people’s appreciation for our work.  But here’s the wake up call, the phone needs to ring and you must find ways to earn a living. If this is just a side project by all means feel free to carry on as if it’s a hobby. But if you’re planning on making a living its business not a hobby. It breaks my heart when I see talented people tell me that no one wanted to give them a chance.  There’s a big elephant in the room that no one wants to address.  For the past 12 months I’ve noticed a trend that too many creative’s including myself, we lack entrepreneurship mindset and ways to monetise our passion. We would rather focus our attention on the process of creating work as supposed to finding a balance between creating and turning that work into an income.  Andrej Pejic  andreja pejic    The decade of starving artist should be over by now or at least I would hope that is the case. I visited an art gallery the other day, after exchanging conversation and visiting the exhibition. I was informed by one of the gallery managers that there’s a surge of people going to Art College. In a decade where Apple are the pioneers of popularizing the use of mobile apps. There seems to be more demand for graphic designers and design related work. In this day and age there’s absolutely no reason why an artist shouldn't be making a living or be willing to give away 30 to 50% on representation!  1) It’s not 1970’s anymore, we have something called, the Internet allowing us to reach people and places we might may not have before.  There are message boards where people can discuss ideas on any topic. People can find others that have a similar interest in whatever they are interested in.    2) Good artwork actually sells itself. There are plenty of sites that allow artists to sell their work such as www.etsy.com and Society6.   .  3) NO ONE, and I repeat NO ONE will be more knowing of one’s art or have as much faith in his/her work as the artist him/herself.    Back to the topic, I want to focus this article on how we artists can make a living from our   work. It really irritates me, when people don’t take artists seriously or have a preconceived notion that artists should get a second job to support their dream.    I’m not trying to be overly romantic and suggest that every artist should quit their job and hope to God they get a pay cheque just because they’re an artist. I get that 93% of people might not make it in this industry and that’s completely fine. I think the traditional view of how artists make a living is redundant and a new business model needs to be developed so we can see talented creative’s contribute more beautiful work to the world.    At one time those in the art world were so reluctant to share what they knew as perhaps they didn’t fully understand that no one steals your technique and really duplicates it or your wisdom, or your intelligence and the more you give the more you receive in all those areas.  3      Again I’d like to coin the phrase by calling it what it is “scarce mentality”. It’s much more fulfilling to have an abundant mindset rather than compete with each other. We as artists are our own worst enemy we have the mindset that someone will steal our technique, client or wisdom. Any successful artists I’ve met who have been around a long time in this industry have always been encouraging of other artists to succeed at what they do.    From this day on forward, I’m going to dedicate myself to finally figure out ways I can help at least 30% of creative people out there to make a living on monthly basis for their talent. Forget about waiting for a magazine editor to book you for a gig, or waiting for clients to book you for a campaign or licensing your images. What I really want to focus on is how YouTube made it possible for entertainers to make a living from entertaining online or how you can earn a living from ad word by running a blog that’s very successful.  web_joyride_3feature      I think we as creative’s need to work together on solving this issue, it’s 2014 and I sincerely believe there’s no reason for the creative market to be the way it is. You make a living by selling, so if you’re reading this and think we can solve this issue. I’d personally like you to email editor@flawless-magazine.net with suggestions or a business model that’s used somewhere else one related to our field of interest or ideas that hasn’t been experimented with. My philosophy in life is let’s all win together rather than compete. If we all win together and make it our job to figure out, how to make an income from our passion. It means we can bless the world with more creativity and inspire others to follow their inner calling.    For those of you who lack marketing skills or business skills get yourself an agent right this moment  or find a business student or marketing student if you believe you have what it takes. Then focus 70% of your time on how you can make a living from your passion and then spend 30% on improving your skills as an artist.    If you are going to go down the agent route here’s what you need to know. Here’s how it usually works with agents:  A good agent will be accountable to help you get commissioned work, put the sale together, and deal with the contracts (in some cases), and do the follow up, ensure payments are made on time, trust me, you don’t want to spend a year chasing payments yourself it’s frustrating especially if you’re depending on that payment to get you by for that month, and sometimes help with marketing your name and art.    DSC8594pfeature copy      How payment works with agents:  Some agents keep anywhere from 25% – 50% (depending on your deal with them. I’ve even heard of some charge 80% commission depending on how big the agent is).   However, to get a sale or commissioned work, it could take the agent up to 100-200 hours of prospecting and phone calling and footwork and that’s why it’s good to have an agent. Unless you want to spend 100 hours doing the prospecting, this will often take time from your creative work, and deplete you of your creative energy.    My recommendation to any artist looking for an agent: First put in the time and market yourself as an artist. If you are not willing to represent yourself, you must question whether you are truly ready to make money from your art. If not, that’s OK, but you must set your expectation accordingly. It’s the classic catch-22. Marketing and promotion takes a LOT of time. It is time away from creating that which you are marketing. Yet, if we don’t budget any time for marketing we end up a mere hobby artist with a house full of unclaimed masterpieces. Finding the time to do both is extremely challenging. Plodding ahead will someday have its payoff.      I have written articles on the following topics, which you might find useful.  How important is social media is in the modern photographic industry?   How to succeed in the fashion industry and how to be a better photographer.  “As an artist, you’re only as good as your taste”`  How to Grow Your Photography Empire Using Social Media.   Nowadays anyone can become an artist. What separates the success of the famous from that of the hobbyists?  Get better educated on selling yourself.  I recommend you check out one person in particular on YouTube for those of you who are dead serious about making a living from this industry in order to give you the mindset of how to monetize your passion  check out Gary Vaynerchuk ‘s YouTube channel for more. Read good blogs and websites for artists, like www.creativelive.com, I highly recommend that you check out themoney & life classes section and don’t be afraid to spend money on social media marketing or pay someone to market your business for you, which is actually a lot cheaper than paying an agent or manager. I’ve practically spent all my personal income and savings to keep Flawless Magazine going, from hosting fees, to paying interns , graphic designers, web designers and a team of others people that keep the magazine going. The list goes on. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself or your dream. What you put in you would get out especially if you believe in yourself and work.  Megan_6_lowres    I really believe there needs to be a revolution on art monetization and monetization in the creative industry especially. I think art colleges’ needs to start teaching art students some business skills or at least partner business or marketing students with art students. In my honest opinion that’s one of the ways we can solve this problem together.    I want you all to be successful! Or if you want to make suggestions on how artists can make a living from their work. Please, let me know what you think of this topic. Drop me an email at editor@flawless-magazine.

The decade of starving artist should be over by now or at least I would hope that is the case. I visited an art gallery the other day, after exchanging conversation and visiting the exhibition. I was informed by one of the gallery managers that there’s a surge of people going to Art College. In a decade where Apple are the pioneers of popularizing the use of mobile apps. There seems to be more demand for graphic designers and design related work. In this day and age there’s absolutely no reason why an artist shouldn’t be making a living or be willing to give away 30 to 50% on representation!

1) It’s not 1970’s anymore, we have something called, the Internet allowing us to reach people and places we might may not have before.  There are message boards where people can discuss ideas on any topic. People can find others that have a similar interest in whatever they are interested in.

2) Good artwork actually sells itself. There are plenty of sites that allow artists to sell their work such as www.etsy.com and Society6.

 .

3) NO ONE, and I repeat NO ONE will be more knowing of one’s art or have as much faith in his/her work as the artist him/herself.

Back to the topic, I want to focus this article on how we artists can make a living from our   work. It really irritates me, when people don’t take artists seriously or have a preconceived notion that artists should get a second job to support their dream.

I’m not trying to be overly romantic and suggest that every artist should quit their job and hope to God they get a pay cheque just because they’re an artist. I get that 93% of people might not make it in this industry and that’s completely fine. I think the traditional view of how artists make a living is redundant and a new business model needs to be developed so we can see talented creative’s contribute more beautiful work to the world.

At one time those in the art world were so reluctant to share what they knew as perhaps they didn’t fully understand that no one steals your technique and really duplicates it or your wisdom, or your intelligence and the more you give the more you receive in all those areas.

 

Again I’d like to coin the phrase by calling it what it is “scarce mentality”. It’s much more fulfilling to have an abundant mindset rather than compete with each other. We as artists are our own worst enemy we have the mindset that someone will steal our technique, client or wisdom. Any successful artists I’ve met who have been around a long time in this industry have always been encouraging of other artists to succeed at what they do.

From this day on forward, I’m going to dedicate myself to finally figure out ways I can help at least 30% of creative people out there to make a living on monthly basis for their talent. Forget about waiting for a magazine editor to book you for a gig, or waiting for clients to book you for a campaign or licensing your images. What I really want to focus on is how YouTube made it possible for entertainers to make a living from entertaining online or how you can earn a living from ad word by running a blog that’s very successful.

I think we as creative’s need to work together on solving this issue, it’s 2014 and I sincerely believe there’s no reason for the creative market to be the way it is. You make a living by selling, so if you’re reading this and think we can solve this issue. I’d personally like you to email editor@flawless-magazine.net with suggestions or a business model that’s used somewhere else one related to our field of interest or ideas that hasn’t been experimented with. My philosophy in life is let’s all win together rather than compete. If we all win together and make it our job to figure out, how to make an income from our passion. It means we can bless the world with more creativity and inspire others to follow their inner calling.

For those of you who lack marketing skills or business skills get yourself an agent right this moment  or find a business student or marketing student if you believe you have what it takes. Then focus 70% of your time on how you can make a living from your passion and then spend 30% on improving your skills as an artist.

If you are going to go down the agent route here’s what you need to know. Here’s how it usually works with agents:  A good agent will be accountable to help you get commissioned work, put the sale together, and deal with the contracts (in some cases), and do the follow up, ensure payments are made on time, trust me, you don’t want to spend a year chasing payments yourself it’s frustrating especially if you’re depending on that payment to get you by for that month, and sometimes help with marketing your name and art.

How payment works with agents:  Some agents keep anywhere from 25% – 50% (depending on your deal with them. I’ve even heard of some charge 80% commission depending on how big the agent is).   However, to get a sale or commissioned work, it could take the agent up to 100-200 hours of prospecting and phone calling and footwork and that’s why it’s good to have an agent. Unless you want to spend 100 hours doing the prospecting, this will often take time from your creative work, and deplete you of your creative energy.

My recommendation to any artist looking for an agent: First put in the time and market yourself as an artist. If you are not willing to represent yourself, you must question whether you are truly ready to make money from your art. If not, that’s OK, but you must set your expectation accordingly. It’s the classic catch-22. Marketing and promotion takes a LOT of time. It is time away from creating that which you are marketing. Yet, if we don’t budget any time for marketing we end up a mere hobby artist with a house full of unclaimed masterpieces. Finding the time to do both is extremely challenging. Plodding ahead will someday have its payoff.

  I have written articles on the following topics, which you might find useful.

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

 How to succeed in the fashion industry and how to be a better photographer.

“As an artist, you’re only as good as your taste”`

How to Grow Your Photography Empire Using Social Media.

 Nowadays anyone can become an artist. What separates the success of the famous from that of the hobbyists?

Get better educated on selling yourself.  I recommend you check out one person in particular on YouTube for those of you who are dead serious about making a living from this industry in order to give you the mindset of how to monetize your passion  check out Gary Vaynerchuk ‘s YouTube channel for more. Read good blogs and websites for artists, like www.creativelive.com, I highly recommend that you check out themoney & life classes section and don’t be afraid to spend money on social media marketing or pay someone to market your business for you, which is actually a lot cheaper than paying an agent or manager. I’ve practically spent all my personal income and savings to keep Flawless Magazine going, from hosting fees, to paying interns , graphic designers, web designers and a team of others people that keep the magazine going. The list goes on. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself or your dream. What you put in you would get out especially if you believe in yourself and work.

 

I really believe there needs to be a revolution on art monetization and monetization in the creative industry especially. I think art colleges’ needs to start teaching art students some business skills or at least partner business or marketing students with art students. In my honest opinion that’s one of the ways we can solve this problem together.

I want you all to be successful! Or if you want to make suggestions on how artists can make a living from their work. Please, let me know what you think of this topic. Drop me an email at editor@flawless-magazine.

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.

sui-he-photographed-by-chen-man

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.

gloria-glow-we-are-so-droe

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.

photography-kristian-schuller

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.

photographed-by-elizaveta-porodina

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.

Fusion Fashion City North Hotel on June 14th 2014. Drogheda, Ireland

Fusion Fashion will take place at the City North Hotel on June 14th 2014. The show is a fundraiser for Drogheda women’s Refuge and all proceeds will go to that organisation. The show is also about showcasing some of the amazing local and national talent in Ireland. We are really proud to be able to work with all those who are taking part in this show.

People who are giving up their time and energy free of charge, coming together to raise funds for what promises to be a fantastic show.

The show begins at 6pm and will finish at 9pm. There will be an opportunity to browse our stalls for those who come early… we will have several stalls in the foyer, where you can sample work from all of our designers, Butterfly refuge shop, shoes bags and much more.. Come early for the full experience… viewing will take place from 5pm.

Fusion Fashion will also be televised for Irish Television, by Presenter Geraldine o Callahan from the apprentice, who will be there on the day. With appearances from our guest model, Ms Ireland, and designs, by Ten year old winner of African Designer Ireland 2014, as well as entertainment from guest performers and a plethora of wonderful designers from diverse cultural backgrounds. Designers from Brazil, Africa, Poland, Ireland, and Egypt will all bring the catwalk alive with a vibrant array of colourful fabric, and designs. These include House of Maiya, Fashion by Rene, and her graduates, Air bony creations, Lola Designs, Renialice S.E.A…. Kathleen

Amazonas’s, Claire Fontayne, Butterfly Women’s Refuge Shop, Diane Mukushi all coming together to make this a night not to be missed… We are also excited to have hotpress award winners Rocstrong, and Dj Konrad SZ and a host of other local talent, which includes RCCG Seat of Mercy Choir, to make sure this night is one to remember.

With violence against women and children on the increase, not just in Ireland, but on a global scale, it has never been more important to come out and show your support for this cause. Help us to make a difference, because making a difference is always fashionable….Come along and support this event, it just won’t be the same without you…..

Tickets for the event are just 10 euro for adults and 5 for children and are available at Butterfly Shop in Stockwell Street, Fashion by Rene Bettystown, City North Hotel, and you can pm us on our face book page, if you need more details…

fashion-fusion fusion-fashion-show

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.

flawless-magazine-solve-sundsbo-1

 

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.

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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

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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.
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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."
STINE MO

STINE MO

In Issue 14, we chatted to Danish blogger Stine Mo about the success of her fashion blog ‘Stine Mo’ as well as the challenges she faces.

(by Carlotta Buosi)

STINE MO

Tell me something about yourself. When did you become a blogger ?

My name is Stine, I am twenty one and I live in Copenhagen, Denmark. I am a fashion blogger. I became a blogger when I joined the blogging community that I currently with. We are an exclusive little group, and are well known to influential people and the press, as we have a good brand. So, we just get invited to all their events. Being in a big group of talented bloggers is a good way to get noticed. I am lucky that I am among twenty or thirty bloggers here in Denmark who always get invited to the same events. Even though it’s a bit weird getting invited to these things, I think its fun too. It is also a great opportunity to collaborate with brands, and is a very unique experience to meet people who are quite influential. I really appreciate that and know there are a lot of young bloggers who would love to have that opportunity.

Is it true that at present, it is quite a common phenomenon for Scandinavian Bloggers to make a successful career just from blogging?

I personally don’t earn enough money from my blog to sustain a living from it. I know quite a few bloggers in Denmark who could do so successfully if they chose to, it’s a small country with few well known bloggers, so those who have madea name, make a lot of money. it’s a similar situation in Norway and Sweden.

What do you consider the best opportunity you have had as a direct result of your blog?

I would say, meeting my friend Sarah from Framboise Fashion. That was a few years ago, when my blog had a relatively small audience. I was invited to an important event for a Danish magazine, and there were a lot of influential people there; editors, models, and stylists. I was with another blogger friend of mine and we were feeling very awkward, then we noticed a girl who was much like us but more social. She sat beside us and we got talking. A few days later I met up with her and we hung out a few times after that. She is now one of my best friends, and has helped me so much with my blog, as she is an amazing photographer. I am so thankful that I met her, as she is an amazing person. I don’t think that would have happened if I hadn’t had a blog.

Do you collaborate with other bloggers? Do you see yourself blogging for a long time or is it something which has an expiry date?

I only ever collaborate with friends, and haven’t ever considered doing it with anyone who isn’t. I don’t really see the point of having another blogger doing things on my blog. I cant really say how long I will be blogging for but I will continue to do so as long as I am interested and don’t feel obliged to do it. I would see myself continuing for a few more years, unless I get busy with other projects. I do hope that I will be doing it for a long time though as its really fun and it opens a lot of doors, especially if you live in a small country like Denmark.

EMILY SOTO

[ISSUE 14] An Interview with Emily Soto

By Carlotta Buosi

EMILY SOTO DOING WHAT COMES NATURALLY.

Based in Southern California, Emily Soto is already making an impression as an international fashion, celebrity and lifestyle photographer.   Her work can be seen on the covers of countless magazines all over the world. Having received a ‘best of photography’ award from Sigma, and with a multi country tour under her belt, it is safe to say that Emily Soto’s whimsical, dream- like style of photography coupled with her passion to do what ‘just comes naturally’ is already earning her a reputation with fashion editors, top model agencies and her tens of thousands of followers on Facebook.    

How would you describe your first and last project and how do you perceive your photography to have evolved?

Of course I have learned so much since my first project, my first shoot was more about   learning lighting and how to work with models.  I have much more experience now and know what I am looking for.  I am always challenging myself and trying out new techniques so my photography has evolved and continues to do so.

Emily Soto

What are the things that inspire you and how much are you influenced by the environment around   you when shooting?

I love everything involving fashion, window shopping, and the city of Paris, Fashion TV, magazines and much more. I find Fashion a wonderful   source of inspiration and   constantly get new ideas just by going onto fashion websites or walking around the streets of New York City.  A shoot can of course be greatly influenced by environment, but I have learned how to create beautiful shoots with the simplest of environments.

What is your ultimate goal when shooting: do you aim to communicate something particular with your images?

I love the romantic style, beauty with a slight feel of a painted image.

EMILY SOTO

Which are your favorite pieces of equipment? Which is the thing you simply cannot work without?

The Canon 5d Mark III

Anton Budenko

Anton Bundenko, is a collage artist, illustrator and photographer from Russia, who has in a very short time become an international name. This could be attributed not only to his incredible talent, but also to his use of social media, which he claims opened doors that may otherwise have remained shut. Anton uses mixed media to express his perception of the world around him. His collage work in particular is, according to him,’ representative of an overload of information and the huge amount of universal rubbish which is not visible in our every day, but which is there.’ This depth of meaning is not immediately visible in his fashion collages, but Bundenko considers fashion as being the source which gives him the space to use this particular medium.

Perhaps it is his willingness and ability to absorb the world and embody it in his visual art, illustrations and projects that enables him to so clearly transform these thoughts into his work. ‘ A reflection of present day reality and subjective understanding of the present day world’. Or, perhaps it is his belief that his work as a shot firer in the mountains of Russia, providing him with a strong foundation that’ enabled him to experience the many layers of society.’ It may simply, just be a result of his un- ending, ever evolving talent, that has led him into a collaboration with Zara, an Italian Label, and starting his own collection.

Most probably however, it is all of these things, combined with his commitment not to limit himself as an artist. Striving always for sincerity in his work, Bundenko shows a willingness to use experimental types of printing and combinations such as serigraphy, acid printing and de coupage. This has not only gained him recognition with magazines, fashion brands or other artists but has also brought him to the attention of the Ostingallery in Antwerp. Having recently moved to Moscow, to pursue his art career full time, and with his desire to travel more while continuing to expand and evolve even more as an artist. It would seem that this is an exciting time for Anton Bundenko, and for those of us who wait in anticipation to see what he will do next.

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Interview With Jason Healy A Fashion Photographer

Interview With Jason Healy  A Fashion Photographer – captured by fashion photographer Jason Healy for Flawless Magazine. Styling courtesy of fashion stylist Roxanne Parker. Hair styling by Pavel Solis and make-up by Makeup artist Lesley Ann Wynne. Model LiAnn

Interview With Jason Healy  A Fashion Photographer 

By Carlotta Buosi

photography: Jason Healy styling: Roxanne Parker hair: Pavel Solis makeup: Lesley Ann Wynne modelling :LiAnn

 

  1. Describe to us one day in the life of Jason Healy

 Everyday is different. I could be doing anything from shooting an editorial, model test, sorting through previous shoots, meeting potential clients, researching a location for a shoot, retouching, looking for new faces to work with, looking for inspiration, admin and researching. It’s never ending really but I love that.

Which ones are your major sources of inspiration for your work?

 Anywhere I guess – mostly I’m inspired by the world around us. There is beauty everywhere. I love to just walk or get lost in nature. I can be inspired by purely technical work but mainly work that makes you feel something. It’s usually paintings, books, poems, music/songs, mythology, culture or just nature itself – something that makes you create your own imagery by sparking your imagination. Talking with others can be very inspiring too. I’ve had pretty vivid dreams since I was a kid. Still haven’t managed to capture them yet.

Interview With Jason Healy  A Fashion Photographer

 Do you find Ireland as an inspiring environment for a photographer in general and fashion photographer in particular?

I am very inspired by Ireland, its landscape, mythological roots and the energy. For such a small Country there’s a lot to explore. For fashion – I guess it depends on what you are shooting – Autumn/Winter collections always work well here!

 Which would be the first three things you think about when you start shooting?

I would be thinking about how the model looks and how she looks within the environment we are shooting in. I would be thinking about creating a mood or atmosphere. Mmm…Did I put the memory card into the camera? Oh I would be probably be thinking about coffee too.

You have been working for various designers among whom Umit Kutluk, do you enjoy interacting with designers?

Absolutely – I love working with designers. A good part of my job as a fashion photographer is to help sell designers work so it important that the client is happy with results. I enjoyed working with all the designers I have worked with but in particular Polina Yakobson has such positive energy it’s infectious – Polina is a new young Russian Designer who represented Ireland in the ITS awards this year which was judged by Vogue Italia’s fashion editor & Diesel’s creative director.

When you work for a particular designer, do you feel influenced by their aesthetic and they way they’d want you to portray their work?

With all clients, designers included, there’s always going to be a brainstorm session. I will usually work with a stylist and together we will look at the clothes – the shapes, materials, similarities to other brands etc. Every designer already has a story sewn into their garments so we would try to tease that out and not force a story just because we like the location or the idea – it must look natural and believable and all gel together nicely – particularly if it’s an advertorial as opposed to a lookbook.

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 How would you define your photographic style?

Evolving? Developing? I think too much emphasis on style can be more of an ego thing trying to stand out of a crowd and not just shooting what you see, think or feel – so I don’t worry about it that much. I do like to create shoots with atmosphere, feeling and energy.

 Do you usually choose the models by yourself? Do you have any physical aesthetic preferences in the girls and boys you shoot?

If possible yes I will choose the model or it will be a joint decision with the stylist, designer or magazine.

Good cheek bones, deep eyes, tall, healthy body, well maintained hair & nails and skin. Looking healthy, nourished and vital is really important. I like if a model has a unique or different look about them too. Good at moving naturally and the ability to emote/act – There’s a lot more to modeling than just physical appearances.

8. What is of taking portraits that you enjoy the most? Would you define portraiture as a form of fashion photography or do you consider it to be something separate and different from fashion in its features?

Portraiture is a great excuse to banter. Shh don’t tell anyone…

I would say that there are elements of portraiture within fashion photography but portraiture is about the person and fashion photography is about style.

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 9. What would be your major goal for the future? Where do you see yourself in a ten years time?

I’m a very new photographer so I’m still finding my feet. My goals are simple – keep shooting, be consistent, treat others with respect and be happy. 10 years? Who knows, but shooting for good publications and producing some strong, original work that I can be proud of would be a good start.

 Is there anywhere in the world you are fascinated about and you’d like to become a location for a shoot?

There’s still plenty places in Ireland I want to shoot. Outside of Ireland I’m fascinated by Asia and would love to shoot there. It’s quite big I’ve been told J

 What would be your idea shooting? If you could choose every single detail of it, what would it be like?

One that goes smooth, and goes somewhat according to plan. I say somewhat because most shoots generally don’t – in particular the ones that I have been most pleased with the results. Happy accidents are great so even though I do prepare, I leave a good bit of it to chance to just play and have fun with, and see what happens.

Neurotic over-planning works for some photographers but I find for me it doesn’t leave room for magic.

 12. Which were the biggest love and pain you’ve felt in your life and how have they influenced your work?

Have never really thought about that?! I won’t go into details because we will run out of pages! But, yeah, they have influenced my work in unexpected ways and will probably continue to do so in some way or another.

Interview With Jason Healy  A Fashion Photographer

FLAWLESS-MAGAZINE-KATE-ZAMBRANO

A consistently wide-eyed wanderer, Kate Zambrano explores the human condition though visual stimulation.  Often coupling the standard idealization of beauty with a deep, haunting melancholy. She uses monochromatic and subtle colours in her paintings to create a genuine and simplified journey into individuality.  Kate works with different mediums and techniques as well as incorporating texture and drips to create an unsettling concept of what is attractive.  

Her work evokes emotions, ideas, and opinions from the viewer, forcing self-exploration and internal dialogue.  She starts most paintings with the eyes, the fingerprint of the soul, inviting the viewer to reflect on him or herself.

Kate how did your artistic adventure begin?

I decided two and a half years ago to shift my career from modeling to become a full time artist.  Since then, I have worked endless hours at it.

Tell us about career options you considered growing up.  And if you’re naturally creative tell us who your influences were.

I have had a lot random jobs.  I never felt completely satisfied with any.  I knew I loved creative fields, and so one day I just gave up everything else and started pursuing what I truly love:

Is your art and painting influenced by favorite artists or pop culture, where you get your inspiration and how important it is to you?

Inspiration isn’t an easy thing to define.  I get inspired daily in the most random of places.  Fashion, movies, music, and other artists.  When I am not working on a piece, I am always thinking of what I want to tackle next.

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 Knowing what makes you   exceptional as an artist to your market is a good asset. Talk about your individuality, your originality to your art and how you stay true to your painting.

I think any true artist wants to put a stamp of their own originality on their piece and their work as a whole.  I guess it goes back to the inspiration question above.  What might move and shake me might not do it for one of my peers.  Even though there are millions of artists in the world, no two people will take the exact same thing away from every piece of art, every song, every movie.  That’s the most beautiful thing, though.  Individuality just happens naturally with each person’s own opinion and, therefore, marks it as their own when manifested into that person’s creation.

Talk about your inspirational goal and what you’re doing to get there and any project/show you have been involved in.

A really great thing about art is that I am constantly changing my direction – be it technique, composition, material.  Recently, I have been very drawn to more figurative works.  Incorporating hands and limbs in interesting poses.   I think the common denominator I like to have in my work is some element of discomfort.  I have five gallery shows coming up before the end of 2013, so luckily I have been able to keep practicing for different audiences.

KATE ZAMBRANO

On your blog you mentioned you’re often approached to work on commissions for your clients.  This is an avenue about which you were admittedly hesitant, later realizing however, and the fresh new approach each person brings to your work.  Out of the thousands of artists they could have chosen they chose you. What sort of legacy would you like to leave behind and what do you want potential clients to know about your art?

I didn’t think I would like doing commissions, but as it turns out, I really do.  I get to speak to wonderful people from all over the world and have a glimpse into their vision, while they get to see my interpretation of their vision. I don’t really like speaking too in-depth about my paintings/drawings.  I prefer a more visual connection.  I don’t want to lead anyone to a conclusion.  I think it should be more of a self-discovery.  I just want any potential clients to trust their instincts when they look upon my work.  If they like it, and it resonates with them, then I am thrilled.  If not, that’s ok too.

Can you explain to us why most of your paintings start with the eyes?

For me, it sets the tone of the painting.  I typically like to have an atmosphere within a gaze in my work.   That, unspoken connection between viewer and audience.  You can tell a lot about a person’s mood by their eyes.  Think of any time you’ve accidentally bumped into someone at a coffee shop, cut someone off in traffic, or opened the door for someone laden with bags.  You can judge their attitude or gratitude within just that look.

Tell us about the experience of getting your first painting into a gallery; did you have a mentor or a group of people that helped you through that process?

I built up a collection of work to show on my website.  I did the networking thing.  I met with other artists and gallery owners, and somehow it just happened.  It was a struggle.  But that always makes me work harder.

KATE ZAMBRANO

When you sell one of your paintings, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?

Excitement, for sure!  That someone wants to hang a piece of my artwork on their walls to show other people means the world to me.  I like to maintain a friendly relationship with all of my clients (if possible).  I love receiving emails of the painting/illustration hanging up, framed and pretty, on the wall of someone I might never have had a chance to encounter any other way.

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It is every artists dream to have a famous painting that the world recognizes them by, where do you see your brand 10-15 years from now?

That’s tricky, isn’t it?  Art is always evolving without and within us.  Constantly changing.  The only hope I have is to still have an intense love for creating.  Whether I am doing portraits, figures, or even if I’ve moved on to strictly paint cows…I just want to do art.

What advice would you give to aspiring painters and artists?

Don’t give up.  It might seem slow going, but it’s worth it.  Each moment of practice, hour of spend waiting or moment of self-doubt. Use it to fuel you.