And the final post of NZFW 2013 has arrived! The last thing I attended of New Zealand Fashion Weekend was the Remix Seminar. Held for all those interested in a career in editorial photography, styling, and hair/makeup, the variety of people that the seminar brought together was almost just as interesting as the event itself. I mostly attended for Tina Moore, the editor of Remix Magazine, who’s life I noted ‘is not as glamourous as it may seem’. This was noted for a good reason of course – a job that seems incredibly enjoyable wouldn’t be as satisfying if it didn’t involve hard work. Photographer Monty Adams, stylist Sonia Greenslade, hair stylist Brad Lepper and a senior MAC make-up artist ran the evening alongside Tina Moore.
So for those interested, here are a few tips I learnt during the evening!
1. Plan your work.
For all those who want to go into photography or styling, when creating a portfolio (or personally marketing your work in other ways), make sure to organize, budget and plan your photo shoots. You must put all the elements of a shoot together. Don’t rely on spontaneity when it comes to a shoot, though it will take its play if you’re planned. Moodboards are a great way to develop concepts, and themes for editorial shooting. They help you to stick to a theme, but mean you are open to having fun with styling on the day too. Have options with styling, and back-up too, but make sure it flows.
2. Know where you want to go.
This means pick a target magazine. Basically, when you send your work to editors, don’t Cc anyone. They will not appreciate knowing that the same work is being considered for every other magazine, nor will they appreciate when you address them as the editor of the wrong magazine (as Tina Moore said has happened multiple times). Know what the magazine is about, and know what the editor wants. Remember it’s about the subject, the people and the audience. The tip here, is also to have done the work prior to emailing the editors. Don’t email an editor and ask them if they’re interested in seeing your work. They’re busy, they get 100 of the same emails everyday. Send them work you’ve already done, and of all, be passionate about it. Although it can be difficult, be concise, but show passion.
3. Build PR relationships.
The key is to assist people. How? Approach someone, hound them. Email, ring – do whatever you can, and don’t be afraid to be persistent, because these are the people who get the opportunity. Through assisting people, you will learn what to do, and what not to do, but also what you personally like and don’t like, based on working techniques or work itself. It’s all about getting experience, while also managing to do your own thing and provide your own flare. On an editorial set, be focused and know what you’re doing. Don’t be fluffing around or flustered with no direction. If it benefits you, then assist even if unpaid. Assist until you no longer need to.
As for creating strong PR relationships, remember to show respect for everyone who helps you, even the clothing store you borrow the clothes for a shoot from. At the end of the day, they are the ones who allow you to do your job. This means returning clothes in mint condition.
4. Love what you do.
If you’re not loving what you’re doing, and aren’t 110% present in what you’re doing, then it won’t fall into place. So always love what you do, and trust your work. If you don’t have confidence in it, no one else will.
And if any of you, like me, are interested in fashion editing, Tina Moore started as a general manager, and later, took over the role of editor of Remix. Although it’s not necessary to go to journalism school, interning and work experience is important. If you’re from Auckland, you’ll want to know the Remix staff often look for a communications degree at AUT or Unitec. And of all, write your way to the top!