A column dedicated to answering tough questions revolving around living a creative life.
Q. I’m kind of an introvert, but I want to meet other creatives, where do I start?
A. Online is just as useful as in person. Start looking online for local meetups using facebook or Meetup.com and find a community with similar interests. Talk online and once your comfortable, head to a meet!
Q. How do you know what you’re worth?
A. This varies per person but a good rule of thumb is simply figuring out how much you want to make per month, divide that by the number of shoots you would like booked and that would be a good starting point for how to price your sessions.
Q. I’ve been saving up for a while to splurge on equipment, what should I get?
A. Do you already have solid equipment or has it died? If you are just looking to spend money then invest in good glass. Rather than buying a $200 lens and a $5000 body try getting a higher quality lens before switching to a new camera body right off the bat.
Q. How can I grow my social media presence authentically and get more eyes on my content?
A. You might think that Instagram is the only way to reach your final destination when in reality it’s just one portion of the pie. Try experimenting with other platforms and spend some time researching how their algorithms work. Pinterest, for example, is teeming with organic growth and we’ve been able to build up a 100,000 view per month audience with nothing but sharing our content and having good searchable tags and descriptions on our posts.
Q. How can I score more photo gigs?
A. Easy, ask more people. I’m kidding I won’t be that vague, work on creating good sponsored posts and create video content for your ads. Focus on your audience and find our how to target them, on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and beyond!
Q. When should I start looking for clients?
A. When you have so many people asking you to shoot you’re having a hard time booking it into your schedule. It means you have the talent and shouldn’t be doing TFP all the time. Start thinking about if you want to do this full time and if so, find out your rates and get your website up. Get professional!
Q. Is being an influencer a career? Can I actually make money?
A. Yes, the industry is growing faster than ever and the best time to start is now. Being business savvy and knowing how much your worth can be the difference between your working part-time as an influencer or making it a full-time career. Build an authentic audience, reach out to brands, start modestly and increase your prices until everyone says no (then you’ve gone too far).
Q. Should I start with editorials or runway as a model?
A. Do you enjoy strutting in front of people and love media and press around you? Are you willing to shoot thousands of photos with only one being a winner? Both can be a payoff but you need to think about what suits you the best, don’t pick something that will stress you out to the max. You need to love what you do!
Q. How do you not care about what other people think?
A. We’ve been told our lives not to do certain things and stay within the lines because of other people's opinions. I don’t care about what other people think because, I know they don’t matter, they are not going to get me to that next level, they are just trying to hold me back. Listen to yourself and do what you want to do because you want to do it. If we cared about what other people thought, the magazine wouldn’t exist and we would be in a cubicle being miserable. Do you, not them.
Q. How do I find the best agency for me?
A. Ask around! Be sure to find out what models go to what agencies and ask them if they are getting good jobs through the agency. Some models won’t be as open to telling you if an agency is good but ask around anyways and you’ll get responses from actual people who are in the industry. There are many resources online with people reporting on good and bad agencies, find them and research.