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.

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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.

THE TIMELESS WORLD

THE TIMELESS WORLD

Beauty Submission THE TIMELESS WORLD – captured by fashion photographer OLGA VALESKA for Flawless Magazine.

THE TIMELESS WORLD OF OLGA VALESKA

By Carlotta Buosi 

You are a very eclectic artist, how do you manage to combine all your skills in one product?

 Since I was little, I’ve been practicing a lot of different art forms: painting, drawing, sculpture writing. But the world I’m trying to express is always the same, as eclectic as it is itself. That is why everything always assembles very naturally, without effort. I must say that photography helps me a lot too. Indeed, as part of my artistic activity as a   photographer I   do everything, hair and make-up, painting and drawing, creating costumes, sets, sculptures; but I also play roles, since I am my own model. With my approach to staging and self-portrait photography really is a total art for me.

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What is your artistic background?

 As I said, I’ve always bathed in a particular universe and   I have always tried to express myself through art.  As a child I had problems with autism and am sometimes a bit secretive and solitary. My world was my refuge, and art was the form I used to create it. Although, I am at present particularly interested in using the medium of photography, I have never had dreams of becoming a photographer. In fact until two years ago I had never even handled a camera! I have lived in a fairly traditional environment, without   cars, TV, computer or phones. I was very connected with nature and with my dreams, but at one point I wanted to make my dreams more concrete. As photography is an art that reflects reality, transcribing a dream with pictures somehow makes it real. People can say, “This really existed”

The link between dreams and reality then becomes more tenuous and that is the whole point for me.

But again the photograph is not the biggest thing; I still consider it a “creative image ” no matter the medium used to produce it.

Your images are entirely created by yourself, is there a phase of the creative process you prefer?

 It depends on the day, and my mood is very changeable! When I feel like being quiet I create costumes, small objects, painting and drawings. When I feel more energy, I begin to construct large complex scenes, which often require long hours of preparation and great moves, or I start shoots that that are endless.

Shooting is such a special moment for me! Making a self-portrait gives me the impression of being transported as if in a dream.  Making a self-portrait, is like playing a role on stage, but with the freedom of not caring, as there are no spectators. This, in my opinion, can make you feel free and accomplished.

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Does your inspiration come from a person when you create an image?

 Inspiration often comes from a person.  For my self-portraits, inspiration doesn’t come from me as an individual: the goal is not to portray myself in the photograph, or evaluate myself. When I look at my self-portraits I do not see myself. I see moods, concepts, dreams and possibly other characters. That is what defines me, not my body. My body and face are tools that allow me to live my thoughts and inner characters.

Of course, these characters look like me more or less and all reflect an aspect of what I am inside, but I try not to focus on my external look. For me is not the physique but everything that transcends it, all that is beyond.

Where do you get the inspiration for the clothing and style of photos?

 I do not make my costumes specifically for my photo shoots. I like to wear them regularly. I’ve always loved fashion, although I prefer to create my own way rather than follow the current trends. In any case, my inspirations are many and extremely changeable and I actually have a little trouble defining my style, which can range from classic to whimsical. I think I am strongly influenced by the traditional Slavic style, which reminds me of my childhood. I also love all that is baroque, folk, colourful, sparkling, flowery or ornate.   Like a sort of visual madness, which   borders with the wonderful.

Is there is an historical period you like to refer in particular?

 I am passionate about history and the past in general and I think it shows a lot in my work. I’m a fairly old-fashioned, attached to traditions, folklore and memories.  I’ve never felt in tune with today’s society and the modern world. I often feel like they are from another century! Yet my photos do not refer to a particular time

as my world is timeless, it’s an imaginary bubble.

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Your images often remind me of fairy tales, is there the intention to tell a story with them?

My pictures sometimes have a very narrative side but I think that achieving a story is not necessarily the goal. My images are like fragments, unexplained appearances, and brief glimpses of an entire inner world.

These are not actual stories with a beginning or an end because nothing is clearly revealed in the image itself. Even if these images may have a specific meaning, I prefer them to be open to interpretation and remain ambiguous. Everything I do is so personal and reflects who I am; I sometimes have a hard time showing more. Actually I never imagined or even particularly desired for my photos to be seen by so many. Even now

I try not to think about it because it scares me a little bit!

 Many of your images remind me of Pre-raphaelites’ paintings of women. What do you think of this artistic movement?

I love this movement, but I am not directly inspired by it especially as my influences are so diverse. This said, I am very confused and for several reasons: the search for a certain aesthetic beauty of a hand, with the use of colour and detail, a taste for the shimmering hues, natural scenery and flower.

On the other hand, I look at literary references, historical, and especially Christian, and they’re   fascination and love for nature, tradition, the divine, the past, myths and legends.

Finally, I think that what is reflected in the characters of the Pre-Raphaelite painting in my own characters is this mystical and passionate soul, a kind of fervour   and the relentless pursuit of absolute ideal and transcendence.

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What has so far been the most exciting project you’ve taken part in?

 All were different, but all reflected something I would have loved to be. There is no one project more exciting than another. I don’t think I have ever really had proper projects as there has never been advanced planning.

I have always followed my inspiration day by day and whenever I wanted to do something I did it straight away. It has always been very instinctive, almost unconscious. The desire to create, for me, needs to be irresistible. Everything must seem obvious, as natural as lightening, uncontrollable and inexplicable.

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What are your plans for the future? How would you upgrade your own art?

 I do not know myself! My inspiration is extremely unpredictable and I’m never sure what tomorrow holds for me. What is certain is that I am never short of ideas! I have a little frantic side and I feel like any challenge is possible.

I get excited about so many things! Until now a lot has surprised and amazed me and I find life so full of resources, mystery, and amazing puzzles.   I find these words of photographer Bill Brandt very accurate: “This is part of the work of photographer to see more intensely than most people. He must have and keep in him something of the receptiveness of the child who looks at the world for the first time or of the traveller who enters a strange country. “

Tom Ford’s 14 Commandment on How to Make It in Fashion

Flawless magazine submissions

1. “Never sell a controlling interest in your name. Ever. A few million dollars now will seem like a lot to you. But one day, when you’re the success that you know you can be, you’ll regret this. Unfortunately, there are far too many examples of this very sad tale.”

2. “If you’re designing your own label, then know yourself. When you become well-known as a designer, you give the world your taste. You sell your taste — it’s no longer yours. You can only do this once. The DNA of your brand will become all your likes and dislikes. Once you hit the right chord, you’ll then be typecast and often pegged into a certain slot. No matter what I do, I’m always pegged as the sexy designer who loves black. Miuccia [Prada] is the intelligent designer. Yves [Saint Laurent] was the delicate, suffering designer. And so on. So my point is, know what you want to say.”

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3. “Know your ideal client — the dream person you design for, your fantasy muse, so to speak. This will give your collection a point of view and a focus. Then know your real client, because he or she may be completely different than what you aspire to. Or your may not want to know them because in some cases when you meet your real clients they may actually scare the hell out of you. But on occasion, you will meet one that even exceeds your highest expectations and you’ll be so proud.”

4. “Decide for you if fashion is an art or an artistic business. This will affect how you set up your company. Some designers are true artists. Alexander McQueen, for me, was an absolute artist. Some are commercial designers who consider what they do artistic but not necessarily art. I would put myself into that category. Filmmaking for me was something that I attempted to do for art’s sake.”

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5. “Choose your team carefully. So much of your success is due to the people who you surround yourself with. Your friends, your family, and the people that you work with — they all play an important role in inspiring you and supporting you and giving you stability. These are the people in your life who will be honest with you.”
6. “If your brand is to have a strong identity, it must come from you and not from a committee. If you’re ever in talks with a potential investor of financial backer and they bring in their wife’s blouse to show you for inspiration, run. If a potential investor has a wife or daughter who just loves fashion and can’t wait to come in and talk to you about the collection, run. If your president or CEO thinks they know the difference between a dark burgundy and an aubergine, fire them. Don’t ever let yourself be swayed in terms of what you design by the outside. I don’t mean that you shouldn’t listen to the advice and thoughts of others because you should, but in the end it’s you, and you alone, who must decide what path to forge.”

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7. “Have a five-year plan, a 10-year plan, even a 20-year plan. And possibly an exit strategy. You can always change that, but start with a vision. Where do you want to be, how big do you want to be, what context are you planning on designing in? I’ve personally always liked the idea of global domination. I never understood anyone who thought, “You know, I’m going to work really, really hard and I’m gonna be second best!”

8. “Think globally. And spend as much time outside the United States as possible. I’m an American and I’m very proud of being an American, but everything in the world today is global, and America can tend to be very inward-looking. I’m not sure I would have been as successful as a designer had I not left America. I had to leave my own culture in order to find my own design aesthetic.”

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9. “Remember that our customers do not need our clothes. They don’t need another pair of shoes or a new jacket. We have to create that need by creating desire. I have at times in my life had a real problem with this, with the materialism and consumerism that is fashion. Part of me wants to rebel against this and move to the desert and live in a simple adobe hut and become a monk. The other part of me wants to enjoy the beauty of the way that a piece of silk velvet catches the light and takes color. Finally, I realized we live in a material world. We’re material creatures. We are sensorial, we feel, and we touch. We’re fortunate to live in the Western world where we do have luxury. And fashion is part of experiencing that material time that we have on earth. It really does add beauty and quality to our lives.”

10. “Try to remain positive. I struggle with this one too. When our job is to constantly scrutinize things for what’s wrong with them and to correct them and to remake them into our vision, it’s easy to see the glass as half-empty. Think about it: All day long we say, “No, no, no—it’s wrong!” It kind of a negative process. Our brain becomes critical. We have to always try to see the glass as half-full.”

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11. “Believe in what you do. If you don’t believe in it, no one will. If you love something while you’re designing it and you’re excited, you can actually endow that psychical piece — whether it’s a handbag or a shoe or a dress — with that feeling. So when a consumer is flicking through a rack of clothes, they’ll stop. It will actually transmit your excitement to them.”

12. “Find a great business partner and don’t let them go. This is absolutely key. You’ll need someone who believes in you completely and respects your judgment and vision. I’m lucky to have this in Domenico De Sole. These relationships do not come easy, they’re marriages, really. I trust Domenico with my life, and I believe he feels the same. We love each other as if we were family.”

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13. “Be thankful to all those who help you on the way up. You won’t get there without them. Cherish them, and don’t forget them.”

14. “Remember that we all have it in our power to simply say, ‘Fuck it, I’m going to bed.’ And somehow, the next morning, everything seems a lot better. This was my father’s secret to staying calm and making it through anything that life threw at him, and it’s given me a lot of strength over the years.”

attends an after party following the  European Premiere of 'Captain Phillips', the Opening Night film of the 57th BFI London Film Festival, at The Bloomsbury Ballroom on October 9, 2013 in London, England.

Flawless Magazine Wilson Model Management

A day in the life of Brandon Wilson director and owner of Wilson Model Management.

Q1: What does a day in the life of Wilson Model Management consists of?

What I like most about managing models is the creative aspect. I feel like a sculptor. I get to travel, find new faces, envision their careers, develop them, place them with agencies all over the world, and oversee their careers, all the while building a relationship and watching them grow. This I do on a day to day basis along with the emails, paperwork, phone calls, and meetings that come along with running any business. All in all, I find it exciting and invigorating.

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Q2: Wilson Model Management was founded in 2010 and revolutionized modelling agency industry in a short space of time by managing the successful careers of different models. Can you tell us about the agency, some of your models you have and currently representing and where you think it’s going in the next seven years?

Wilson is in a unique, but not all together rare, position wherein it acts as the liaison between the model and the booking agency. Wilson is the voice for the model; it is a true “mother agency.” After modelling myself on and off for several years, I came across many obstacles and struggles which taught me many lessons. So when Wilson was started in 2010 I vowed to ensure that those lessons would be implemented in the careers of my models—that they would not make the same mistakes or encounter the same problems that I came across. That they would be protected, and if difficulties did arise, there would be someone knowledgeable enough to combat those issues. That was the case then, and it still is the case now.

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We really do represent some great faces. Corey Baptiste is not only an amazing face—a true classically beautiful guy whose career just keeps going upwards—but he also has the most charming personality that wins over everyone he comes across. It is really no wonder that he has worked for such a wide array of high-end clients. Dae Na is another beauty who has such an amazing spirit and can give you the most versatile and uninhibited performance in front of the camera. He too has such an impressive client base under his belt, and in just a year and a half. There are several other models whose careers are also flourishing like David Hlinka and Russell Giardina; and I could go on and on over the new faces that all have so much potential, however there is just not enough time in the day unfortunately.

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Hopefully, Wilson will continue to grow and be recognized as a great model management company, representing not only a strong mens board but an equally strong womens board as well.

Q3: Wilson Model Management currently represents some of the world’s most successful male models, including Corey Baptiste, Russell Giardina and many more. Who do you think is the next big male model in this industry?

Funny enough Russell was the first model I ever scouted and placed and Corey was the first model that I decided to manage and primarily the reason for the start of Wilson Model Management. For that, I hold those two in particular incredibly close to my heart.

With that being said, I think the next big male model in the industry is hard to say. Sometimes you think a models career is going one way but then it takes a completely different direction or just falls off all together. I have and still do a lot of studying when it comes to the fashion industry and, above all, male fashion and I’ve seen this occur many times which makes it quite difficult sometimes to pinpoint who the next big thing will be.

In any case, and taking the Wilson boys out of the equation for the moment, I’m currently looking at the careers of Benjamin Eidem, Wouter Peelen, and Conrad Bromfield.flawless-magazine-wilson-model-management-david-hlinka-1024x761

Q4:   Wilson Model Management was born in 2010 and in the short space of time has established itself as one of the leading players in the industry of men’s fashion, what are the main reasons for your success?

For one, we believe at Wilson that a model management company is only as strong as its newest face therefore we always strive hard to find a model that not only has the physical characteristics to meet the requirements of such a superficially demanding industry but also the mental capability and willingness to be guided in order to achieve maximum success.

 

Moreover, by working very closely with the respective models’ agencies worldwide, it insures that the models’ careers are being fully managed all around the board with no stones unturned.flawless-magazine-wilson-model-management-evan-vincent-1024x761

Probably most importantly though is the Wilson Family. We like to keep it small, tight, and exclusive. Even though we represent models from all over the world most of them know and are familiar with each other and do get along—believe it or not. By having such a tight nit group of models, it keeps them grounded and on the right track knowing that their fellow Wilson family member is looking out for them.

Q5: The fashion industry itself changes at a rapid pace, how have Wilson Model Management been able to keep up with the constant change?

By keeping the core principles afloat which Wilson was founded on: quality not quantity, a close relationship with the model and their family, a close relationship with the models’ respective agencies worldwide, and keeping the presentation for both the model and the company simple, clean, and classic.flawless-magazine-wilson-model-management-harold-alexis-1024x761

Q6: How have Wilson Model Management changed since it was founded back in 2010?

Wilson’s eye has become quite sharper since 2010 hence becoming more selective. We started with one model and now it has grown to about eighteen. To be honest, there was a time in the earlier portion of Wilson’s birth when we weren’t altogether on board with the looks of every single model that we represented. That has definitely changed since then. Now we are 100% sure of everyone that we represent whether they’re a brand new model running around on castings trying to book a job or one of the more established models on the board booking consistently.

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Q7: Wilson Model Management is very selective when it comes to the type of model you represent, what are some of the main factors you take into consideration when it comes to scouting or representing a new Model?

As with most agencies or model management companies across the globe there are certain age, weight, height, and overall look requirements to be met for representation. Wilson is no different, nevertheless one of Wilson’s prime factors when scouting a new face is their presence which you either have or you don’t. You can build on presence but from my experience you can’t create it. I have come across quite a few potential models that even though they weren’t absolute superstars they had the personality and charisma that it took to succeed. They could just walk into a room and command attention without saying a word. This in itself was enough to at least give them a shot. Of course they still had to be tall, still had to be youthful, and still had to have some sort of a look.

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Q9: Talk us through the process of helping each model with their career as well as helping them reach their fullest potential.  

This is actually a pretty difficult question as every model is different, as every young child is different; and with that each model carries their own individual needs, wants, struggles, and demands. I use the child reference for a purpose. A child, because of their youth, can be naive and unknowing. If left by themselves they could be taken advantage of, used and abandoned. Therefore, a child needs the guidance and support from a knowing elder in order to learn and mature. As the child matures, an elder will slowly let go of the reigns, and what once could be looked at as a dictatorship is now a democratic institution wherein the child and the elder works together for the betterment of child. This principle can be used for a new model. With guidance and support a new model will reach their fullest potential.

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Q10: Every agency has a distinct look they go for that suits most of their clients, what’s the typical Wilson Model Management look?

We at Wilson undoubtedly love the Classic Face, that face that withstands the test of time. You don’t have to squint your eyes, tilt your head to the side, and distort your face in order to get their look. We don’t really go for the weird or quirky kind. Not that there is anything wrong with that look, to each their own; however those models tend to only be good for a few seasons and then they’re basically forgotten. We love the old school classic looks of Marlon Brando, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, and James Dean. We love longevity. Longevity pays the bills.

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Q11: if you could offer an aspiring model one piece of advice, what would it be?

Be patient. Models aren’t, at all, known for this attribute but everything and everyone has their season so just enjoy yourself, be patient, and take it as it comes.

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Q12: How can models reach your agency?

A model you can reach Wilson at submissions@wilsonmodelmgmt.com.

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Q13: Lastly any upcoming projects we should look out for?

Annually, Wilson Model Management holds a photo shoot, with the exception of our first year. It is a way to promote our models, and the Wilson Family on a whole. It is also an amazing way for all the models to hang out, chill, bond, and have some fun—comparable to a family reunion.

We’ll be shooting the Wilson Model Management 2013 shoot sometime this Fall so lookout, it is going to be really remarkable!

 wilsonmodelmgmt.com.

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