Communicating with Brands
(dramatic acoustic music)
So brands reach out to me through email. And that's really important to have that website that establishes your portfolio, you as a person. So having your website really feel like it's not just an anonymous photographer but like you as an individual, that is your site. You really have to personalize it, much like the, like YouTube these days, like it's really personality based. And you wanna make sure, like, your website is communicated. Obviously your visual story of your images but also you as a human. So when someone lands on it, it's not anonymous. They get a feel for you. They get a feel for your work. And that is gonna be your best professional contact. Like all the brands and agencies that have budgets to, you know, help you go out there and create, it's gonna be them dropping you an email. Once in a while, like I will do a cold outreach or a cold call to a brand that I really love, that I wanna collaborate with. And that's definitely a space where yo...
u're gonna have to be comfortable with way more no's than yes's but it is a good way to spend, you know, it can be a good way to spend some of your time. Like, and again, like most often it just doesn't connect because, and that's okay, cause once in a while it does and that makes it worth it. But what it is is people at agencies and brands, you know, they wanna have as much creative decisions and control as you do as a photographer. They want to feel like they made something, they made decisions. You know, they don't wanna feel like they're just people passing out money and funding to image makers. They're part of the creative process as well. So that's why when you get contacted and reach out to the company, that is gonna be the most fruitful time to translate that into hired work. But you never know, like you really don't, like a brand could be looking at your images and you dropping them email sparks a conversation. And that happened to me with the, this is 2021. I just finished building my second home, I sold my first home. (man laughing) I'm not a multiple homeowner. And I dropped this furniture company room and board and I love their products and their catalogs are amazing. And I needed to furniture a new home. And I just, I found the marketing director's email and I dropped her an email. I was like, "Hey, I love your stuff. You know, I would love to see if there's room for us to work together on furnishing my new house and we can take photographs of it. It can be a mini photo studio." And she's like, "oh my gosh, I am so glad you emailed me. I've been watching your house build. I would love to work with you." And I was like, how serendipitous? Like that's when it can make sense. And it is worthwhile to reach out. Yeah. I mean, the way I've been able to like, you know, keep my niche and show brands that I'm capable more is that separation between my Instagram account which I'm like posting very personal work. But the hope in doing that is that people, agencies, brands, they will see that and say like, oh, I love that feeling. He's capable of capturing and telling that type of story. We should hire him. But then also using my website as a place to show a much broader and holistic work of all the images I love creating and I'm capable of creating, but you still have to remember the images that you're sharing, whatever platform they are, social, website, those images that you're sharing, you have to realize that that is you have to post the type of images that you wanna get hired for because that is what they are seeing. That is the, you know, the content that you're making. That's what you're capable of. So it's just important to keep that in mind. Yeah. Like, I mean, who I decide to work with commercially and especially if it's a brand that's gonna like flow through my feed and I'm gonna be, you know, exposing, you know, their product to like my, through my social channels and also creating content for their channels, for their usage. Like you have to like morally believe in it, right? And that's like gonna be like the most authentic and the most real images that you're gonna make. Like if it's something that you think is wrong and you don't believe in, like your heart when you're taking the photographs, like you're gonna know that. So the biggest job I've ever turned down, I can be very Frank about this. I'm fine sharing it, which it was hard to say no to but it was the right decision. So a cigarette company approached me and they had a new vape, vaping product coming out and they offered me a hundred thousand dollars to post two images to my social channel. And that's probably the hardest job I've ever turned down because it would've been very easy and quick to do. And I think just the world would've moved on. You know, I think there would've been some negative backlash. Ultimately it was the right thing to turn down because that's not something I wanna be promoting. Even though that product I have no doubt has helped a lot of people like move on from smoking into something better. It's been a good step for people. That's just not something that I needed to promote personally. That one was tough to say no to. That was a lot of money.
A thousand dollars. Yeah.
Yeah. That was a lot of money. (man laughing)