Featured,  Modelling

Why Collaborate; Top secrets on effective collaboration for models

Don't work hard
Work smart

Of course amateur model can become a shooting star within a short period of time and of course with less expenses. All you have to do is know the tactics involved in the industry and one of the most cost effective way is to go into collaboration with people of interest. This has proven to be of great essence and importance.

Collaboration is an extremely valuable learning experience and a wonderful way to meet creative people.

As it helps solve problems, brings people and organization together and open up new channels for communication.

Collaboration simply means a group of people who came together and contribute their expertise in kind for the benefits of shared objective or project. It’s a photographer working with a designer to create a cover page or a model working with a makeup artist.

If you are just starting out, collaboration can help lay the foundation of your portfolio and can help you land your first paid job.

How do you collab?

You need good content to attract good collaborators

As a model, high quality photography is an essential part of delivering a high-quality experience to your audience. In simple term, you will get few paid shots from a professional modeling photographer to establish your career and social media pages, this can appeal to photographers who will see value in the work you are are doing – enough so that they wanted to collaborate.

State your intent

Put yourself out there – include, “DM me for collaborations” or “Let’s collab” in your bio. Use hashtags like #walksandbeauty, #beautymodels #Abujamodel, #portraits #editotial e.t.c that will show up when photographers are searching for subjects.

Also you can reach out to the people who want to collaborate. Combine the job title of who you want to work with and their location e.g #photographerabuja #modelphotography #lagosmakeupartist, Bookmark a few interesting profiles, the more the better. You’d be surprised how many interesting and talented people you can discover just by looking at the right hashtags.

Be proactive – approach people

Reach out to people whose work you admire – don’t just wait for them to come to you! Want to do a shoot on vacation? Do research beforehand.

Approach people that are within your range, with a similar level of experience and a style that fits with yours. If you have 300 followers on social media and your portfolio is still developing there’s very little chance that a well-known influencer with 300K (or even 30K) followers will consider your request to collaborate. Gradually as your profile grows you’ll be able to approach influencers and industry professionals. Remember collaborations need to be mutually beneficial for all involved. Try looking for smaller brands that don’t have a huge following yet, often they will be interested in collaborations as they need quality content for their social media.

If the person you want to work with has an email address in their profile—use it. DMs from strangers are often left unread for weeks. Plus, in an email you can properly describe your project, attach a mood board and links to your work. If a DM is the only means of contact make sure to leave a comment under one of their pictures, something along the lines of “Hi, I love your work and would love to collab! Check your DMs please”. This greatly increases your chances of getting a quick response.

Be smart about how you make the ask

You’re selling your brand and everything you have to offer from the moment you reach out, so say more than, “Do you want to collaborate with me?”

Mention what drew you to the photographer’s work – their composition, editing, or conceptual style, or talk about the kind of work you would want to do with them. State What can you offer to the other person that they could benefit from? It can be anything from an idea for the shoot to having sorted out the outfits, locations, makeup, props, or perhaps you can get the work published. Figure out what you can offer and lead with that, get straight to business and mention what you have to offer in your first message.  Everyone is in it to be creative, so be ready to bring ideas to the table and ask questions about the kind of content people are looking to create.

Be picky about who you work with

Because a collaboration is “free,” it’s tempting to say yes to everyone, or you might feel rude saying no. But ultimately, it’s your time on the line and sometimes money too – hello clothing rentals, transportation to and from shoot sites, etc. You’ll be more efficient with your resources by being a little picky.

Agree on the details

Agree on all the details BEFORE the shoot to minimise potential conflicts. Will the model get raw files or only edited photos? Who will select images for retouching? How many pictures will be retouched? Don’t just assume these things and then go demand something after the shoot. If something isn’t clear just ask to double check and get things in writing. ⠀

Give credit

Always give credit to everyone involved. This seems like an obvious one to me but you’ve no idea how many people share pictures in their portfolio or on social media which are taken from a collaborative shoot without giving any credit to people involved. That’s just bad manners, let’s leave it at that.

Conclusively, learn to put a high value on professionalism – top turn-offs include photo captions that are in bad taste, or any DM that makes you feel uncomfortable (be safe!). Even if that all clears, if you don’t see work you’re excited about on the photographer’s Instagram, or if their goals are different from yours – like you want smiling lifestyle content, but they want to shoot moody conceptual art – then it’s not a good fit for either of you. Aim to create mutually beneficial experiences.

So, what’s a collab? I hope this post helped clarify it, and that these tips serve you well in your creative, collaborative journey! Follow me @https://instagram.com/walksandbeauty for more how-tos and style inspiration.

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