If you want to take your practice further and decide to do a photography collaboration with another creative, here are some essential details to take into account.
Do not just send them a DM and expect them to answer. This is how many creatives are doing it nowadays – how would that differentiate you from the rest? Whether you’re a photographer yourself a creative wanting to work with a photographer, these tips are for you.
So what is a collaboration between creatives? A collaboration can involve as many people as you want – a makeup artist, second shooter, stylist, etc. but the concept is the same. You create a series of images that you will essentially be able to use in your portfolio or even send out to publications.
1. Find The Right People To Collaborate With
You probably have people in mind you’d like to work with; the ones you’ve saved onInstagram or just pinned on Pinterest. Or maybe just someone you know personally somehow. Make sure you know what kind of style they have, and if your work and skills are suitable for them.
Once you found interesting creatives just hit them with a well-written message – they might say yes to collaborations!
2. Clarify Your Intent To Collaborate
If you are open to collaborations, let it be known in your social media profiles. Use hashtags to better communicate you are to be found in specific cities or areas you live and travel to.
Don’t hesitate to speak up if you’re looking for models, photographers or make-up artists. People might be the right fit for you even if you’re not aware who they are yet.
3. Have A Portfolio To Show
It might feel difficult to provide a portfolio if you are not able to create a proper photoshoot collaboration before you contact someone. Remember it’s not a race but a marathon.
Invest in putting your time and effort in creating images for your photoshoot – whether you’re the photographer or the make-up artist.
4. Create A Mood Board
So that you can be perfectly clear with what you want to communicate – on top of your portfolio which should already show your visual aesthetics – build a moodboard to truly show them what it is you’re looking to create with them.
You can easily build one in Indesign but if you’re not familiar with Adobe, Canva is great for beginners. You’ll be able to create a moodboard that will show rather than explain what it is you’re after. This way they will see if you’re goals match and if you should be going forward with this collaboration.
5. Discuss About The Compensation – And If There’s Any
There is heavy discussion about collaborating pro bono – but sometimes it’s just necessary. Why not create something with another creative in order to widen the material in your portfolio ?
Of course, if it feels like you are ready to pay a small commission to be able to execute your ideas, that’s even better. But don’t be afraid to state your nonexisting budget – if they’re as excited as you are, it won’t be a problem to them.
6. Meet Them In Person
The best way to get to know who you’re going to be collaborating with is to meet them, and see how you match regards to ideas.
You can further discuss all the necessary details, but more than that, you should be able to clearly see if you’re on the same level with what you’re planning to create. Make always sure how much creative freedom you have within the collaboration, so you won’t be making too quick decisions when creating your final moodboard.
After the first introduction mood board, you can make a final version of it, where you add and / or remove the details that has been changed.
7. Communicate Throughout The Collaboration
As we all know, communication is the key. Discuss beforehand that you’re on the same level, and you can go back and forth with emails and messages to better understand each other.
Also make sure you’re aware of any miscommunication during the shoot. Discuss clearly if you feel satisfied, and be honest – if you feel something is off or you want to redo a look or an image, invest in it and create it again or tweak some things.
This creates an honest surrounding which shows good character from your side – honesty is valued in all work surroundings.
8. Be Yourself
In new surroundings with new people, we might first feel like we need to see what kind of atmosphere are we stepping into. In the beginning it’s usually good to try to sense what kind of goals you have and who is in charge of what.
Once you’ve found your place in the setting, it’s easier to just focus on what you’re there to do. Let your personality shine, people will feel at ease around you and you can build an authentic relationship with the rest of the group.
9. Credit Everyone Who Was Involved In The Collaboration
There has been numerous times I’ve seen huge celebrities posting images on social media, where they have not credited the photographer. This is sadly happening still. If you will face an issue like this, just send the brand / person you’ve collaborated with and clearly correct the mistake. Be understanding, even if it feels hurtful.
Especially if you’re collaborating with someone who is not familiar of the etiquette just yet. Just be sure you’ve covered all the people who were a part of the collaboration.
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