Tuesday, June 03, 2008

New Directions (Not Quite What It Sounds Like)

Last week, I participated in a three-day, on-location fashion photography workshop with Bruce Smith, followed by a day-long fashion-specific Photoshop class.


I learned A LOT. Not so much about shooting and styling (I already know about that), but the business, and what I need to know/do to succeed. As you may know, I'm self-taught, which means I don't have anyone telling me what to do, or what I should do. I've sort of been wandering aimlessly with no direction, just shooting my little heart out, hoping someone will like me enough to publish or hire me.

The good news is, I have what it takes, at least, according to Smith. At first, I thought he was blowing smoke up my ass, but it became apparent that he wasn't, thank goodness. Apparently, I have vision, and I have talent, I just need to harness it in a way that gets my name out there. Completely fair.

For me, for my interests, I need three books: beauty, commercial fashion, and editorial fashion. Commercial vs. editorial is essentially a switch of emphasis on the clothing to a feel the clothing inspires. I can still do avant-garde, but I need to show I can do more accessible stuff too. This doesn't mean I'm abandoning the crazy stuff! If I had my way, my shots would always have a little drama, or some quirk to them.

So, first, I need to build my books. I need to show a range in each book, so maybe 6-8 different shoots and 25 photos total, whichever comes first. So, I have lots and lots of shooting ahead of me.

Next, I need to make comp cards. I knew that, but I never went for it because I had no need for them. I'll make a comp card for each book and send them to anyone who might have any interest in hiring me (as in, editorial comp cards go to magazines and designers, beauty cards go to salons, MUAs, magazines, etc.)

Once my portfolios are in order, I get to approach people, including modeling agencies. If they like me, they might hire me to test their models. If not...

So, basically, now I have to shoot as much as I can. I have one simple commercial shoot coming up, one editorial fashion, and one beauty shoot, all before I leave SF. I'm not sure if I'll shoot in DC, but I'll try to work something out. After that, things might get slow since I have to work in my other job, but I'm off to a good start, methinks.


Anonymous paul burd said...

It's kind of late notice, but you may be interested in attending a discussion on Thursday night entitled, WORDS & PICTURES: Digital Photography Opportunities in Journalism. You can find more info here.

8:24 PM  
Blogger DC Discombobulated said...

When you are in DC.. can we chat in person some time about working with models? I have been a long-time fan of yours from when you lived in this area and i would appreciate some general advice.

I will pay for the coffee...

5:25 PM  

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