This question comes up a lot, and while it’s not a simple answer, there’s definitely a few recommendations I would make if this applies to you…
The short answer is network, find your people, create passionately from your unique view point, test, submit, and get your work seen until you are then being commissioned….let’s break that down:
1. You need to consider what your portfolio and website say about you and the kind of work you are known for currently. If you don’t have any editorial shoots, it’s time to test (this is when you create shoots where no one is getting paid but it builds your book). Test as much as possible and get really good at reviewing your work and work out where there’s room for improvement.
2. Network with other creatives who have similar goals to you, who also want to do editorial work. Connect with hair stylists, stylists, set designers, art directors and photographers using platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram. If you’re assisting currently, speak to the hairstylists assistant on set or the photographers assistant at the end of the shoot and see if they are interested in collaborating together. Keep a sketch book of ideas on you at all times so you can visually explain your ideas and what inspires you.
3. Push yourself creatively, set a brief for you and your team. Create as if you were shooting for vogue, or Dazed who whoever you want to work with. Make a book that would make those people take notice of you. Approach each shoot like it’s the real thing, create a call sheet, and be professional, this ensures other people (especially models want to work with you again). To get professional models you want to reach out to the ‘New Faces’ devisions and email a booker/agent who represents new faces. As the name suggests, ‘New Faces’ are the newer models with less experience, who will also be looking to test a lot. When contacting model agencies, create a deck that shows your team, who they are, what they’ve worked on and your work you’ve created between you.
4. Promote your work. Social media is free, it’s time to get people’s attention. Show your thought process, behind the scenes of your face charts, drawings, show how creative and passionate you are. Utilize social media to get you and your work in front of the right people. When you get the images back, share them everywhere, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and be sure to tag your team!
5. Submit your work. Once you and the team(s) you work with have started to build up a nice book of test images it’s time to start submitting (sending your work to editorials to see if they want to publish it in up coming issues). Larger editorials mostly work on a commission only basis, but there are so many editorials, both online and print, that are always looking for submissions. Start with smaller publications, especially those online and submit your work. If you’re rejected, try again. Ask them if they have any themes coming up in their next issue so you can create accordingly. Before you pitch to any editorial, online or print, be sure to research the aesthetic of that publication, and show visually in your pitch that you understand their creative vision and what they are about.
As your work continues to improve, and you get more experience working with bigger teams, so will the calibre of editorial you shoot for. Whenever you feel empty creatively, testing is always the best place to go back to. Testing is such a big part of building a book that gets you booked, even now I still test from time to time when I want to be creative and try new ideas. Everything we talked about today is covered in a lot more depth over in my signature MUA Course Level Up. If you’re looking for more support, and a step by step road map to working as a successful makeup artist, Level Up has you covered!
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