''Collaboration is one of the foundations of connection - this one's obviously an investment but we can guarantee it's worth the reward.'' - lululemon athletica #FuelHappiness challenge
As a photographer I realized quickly on how important it is to collaborate with different artists, humans and brands. It's how we get our names out there, it's a way to improve our portfolio, but more importantly it's an amazing way to connect with inspiring humans and to discover new adventures.
When I started college, I was told by my teachers that a photographer should never do free work. I then started analyzing the other students in my group who swore by that sentence. Throughout they're whole year they were so paranoid on how ''no I am not doing this for free'' that they totally missed the true value of collaboration. Instead of working with amazing humans from various companies to practice their art without being truly paid, they decided to decline all signs of collaborations quoting that ''I am worth more''.
Sadly they didn't understand the principle of collaborations.
Yes, I do agree with the sentence of a photographer should never work for free. I spent a lot of money on schooling, equipment and I work my a** off to do amazing work. I am worth a lot, however sometimes work doesn't necessarily need to be compensated with money. It can be by exchanges. For example when I collaborated with Si simple, Isabelle (designer) invited me to her loft to pick out a few pieces to thank me for my work. It was so heartwarming. She might not have the budget yet to pay me, but instead she decided to gift me with some of her beautiful work.
It has been about a year that I have officially started my business. It's the beginning and I need to practice and to connect with my future clients. That's why I like to collaborate with designers and brands that are starting their business as well because they are in the same position as me. They do not necessarily have the budget, however they are growing and one day they will. We evolve together and create connections so that one day when we do make it we will have each other's backs.
My collaborators are my friends. They are probably my closest friends to that matter. I love reaching out to them to plan wicked projects to elevate both our brands. It's so important to work together and to elevate each other.
Of course you need to control it. You need to make sure that the client or brand itself collides with your artistic eye. When we do collabs, everyone is working together to create a project. If you are not as excited, or you don't feel like the project represents you, then simply say no. It's okay to decline on certain projects, it means you know who you are, and what you want to become.
Before I answer to a project I always take time to think about it.
''Would I put the final images in my portfolio?'' If the answer is yes then Hell yes!
If not, that means it is not your artistic style and that's okay.
It's all about balancing collaborations and contracts. It's tricky at first but as the time goes you start to feel more comfortable.
Ever since I started working on awesome creatives, I have seen a huge boost in my contracts. People are hiring me for their creative projects and it's because my name has started to get out there. With a lot of work, and collaborations with amazing humans, I am seeing myself succeed as a photographer. I have learned a lot, and I still have a lot more to learn but I am getting somewhere!
So to all those artists out there, my biggest tip would be to get out and to connect with other artists and inspiring humans to create amazing collaborations. The more you connect, the more love you will receive and you will notice you brand grow financially. It's hard at first and it will take years of connecting but like most people say: Hard work pays off!