From Amateur To Pro Photographer: Your First Steps Into Fashion Photography | Nat Niszakov | Skillshare

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From Amateur To Pro Photographer: Your First Steps Into Fashion Photography

teacher avatar Nat Niszakov, Beauty and Fashion photographer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What You'll Be Learning In This Class


    • 3.

      The Final Project


    • 4.

      Creating A Moodboard


    • 5.

      Building Your Creative Team


    • 6.

      Working With Models


    • 7.

      Reaching Out To Brands


    • 8.



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About This Class

Hello everyone! I'm Nat Niszakov and I'm a beauty and fashion photographer working in Milan. I worked for commercial projects in South America, Europe and Israel. I've been published in international magazine such as Solstice Mag and Latest Magazine.

If you are a photographer like me I'm sure you must have a lot of questions. During the first stages of my career, I just couldn't figure out how to take the next big step... I didn't know what the big professionals out there were doing to get where they were.  The editorial and commerciall photography world seemed so secretive and there wasn't much information out there... luckily for you, you won't have to go through all of this!

From amateur to pro photographer: Take your first steps into commercial photography

This class is created in a very actionable way so you know exactly what to do and what steps you should be following to get your firsts paid gigs as a photographer.

You will learn how to create beautiful concepts and ideas and pitch them to brands and modeling agencies, find and build creative teams and understand why they are so important (and will make your life easier!) also, you will create a very strong communication strategy that you can just rinse and repeat as much as you want.

This is a very simple process that will take very far and will make a huge difference in your career.

This class will be perfect for fashion, beauty, product photographers (and more!) that are willing become professionals in the field!

I can't wait to see you inside! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Nat Niszakov

Beauty and Fashion photographer

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: [MUSIC] A lot of times they get asked, what do I do to get magazine-like pictures? My answer always is, you should ask my team. Hi, I'm Nat and I'm a fashion, beauty, and product photographer based in Italy. I work for commercial clients all over the world and I've been published in international magazines. This class is for those photographers who want to go from amateur to I want to hire this photographer. Today I'm here to talk to you about the importance of building a team and the process of reproduction when it comes to both commercial and editorial photography. I'll show you exact process that took me from being the photographer who took pictures of her friends to the one who started working with established brands and magazines. This course is for all the photographers who feel like upgrading their work in fashion, portraiture, beauty, and product photography. If you're like me, you must have a lot of questions like how do I upgrade my work from working to my next door neighbor to a real model or how to brands contact you? Should I be the one contacting brands? How do I start making collaborations? Should I work with makeup on hair artists? What is the role of a stylist? Listen, I would have loved if somebody else has blamed me this, when I started. No, you don't need to be your professional and it doesn't matter if you started last year. As long as you have done some experimentation before you're ready to sign this class. This course will push your time for comfort zone, so you can learn some very crucial skills for your career as a photographer. Our class project will be creating a network of creatives and brands to collaborate in your next shooting. All you need is your phone or computer just to send some messages and to create very basic presentations. I swear, I wish somebody had told me this before. I'm so thrilled to teach you all of this. I can't wait to see your sign. 2. What You'll Be Learning In This Class: I would have loved if somebody else had explained me this when I started. [MUSIC] I'm Nat. I'm a fashion and beauty photographer based in Italy. I was born in Uruguay and studied in Argentina and Israel, and two years ago I moved to Italy. I've worked with lots of fashion and beauty brands in Uruguay, Argentina, Czech Republic, Israel, Italy, and the Netherlands. If there is one thing that I can say about myself is that I know how to start things from scratch. In this class, I will explain what makes an amateur photographer and how we can easily change that. By taking these very simple steps, you will be creating a whole team of creatives, build the relationships with model agencies and models, if you're a fashion and beauty photographer. Also, you will learn how to build relationships with brands, which is key, and eventually leads you to pay work. Most of the times, photographer think that talent is the only thing that is needed when it comes to this profession. While all of this is absolutely true, there's another skill that is equally important, if not even more, and this is public relationships, aka being able to show your work properly, make context work in teams, and spread work as much as possible. I can't stress enough how important it is to work with a team. Just imagine that you're in charge of the pictures and the wardrobe stylist choose to steep for outfits, or you have a food stylist so you don't have to worry about the egg being cooked, or the prop stylist gets older pieces ready for the ship. This basically will help you to simplify your work and concentrate on what you know how to do well. I will not be teaching you the technical side of photography in this course. I will tell you who should you be working with, what are the best allies you can have in a creative team to make it work. I will show you how to build a mood board for a new shooting using just Pinterest on your phone. I will teach you how to search creatives in your area and how to approach them. Then I will give you some tips about teamwork and how to make things very smooth and cool between all the members of your team. Then we're going to contact some model agencies to get some professional models, if you're a fashion or beauty photographer. Finally, we will reach on brands that will align with your moodboard. It is not as hard as it seems. Don't worry. I'm honestly so excited to teach you all of this. I wish somebody had explained this to me when I was just starting, and I really hope is the best shortcut you can find out there. This course is not only for fashion and beauty photographers, these skills that I'm teaching inside this course can be also applied to portrait photography, food photography, and product photography. Every step of the way requires some action. This is what this course is all about from the very beginning. Every experience is unique. So results will always vary. But I'm sure, once you learn this, things are definitely going to change for you. [MUSIC] 3. The Final Project: [MUSIC] Our project for this class has nothing to do with photography, but I will need to use Instagram, Pinterest, and send some some messages and emails. You will see that taking little action can lead you to big changes in a professional career. For this project, you'll be creating a mood board and a shooting that you will love. You will create a network of amazing creatives. You will be working with amazing models, product, yummy food or beverages. You will be starting to build long-lasting relationships with brands that can potentially lead you to paid work. Don't worry, I'll teach you exactly how to send the perfect pitch to get this done. After completing this project, you will feel much stronger and quite fearless. This will completely change everything for you. This project is for the ones that already experimented with photography a little bit and are ready for the next big thing. All you need is your phone, iPad, computer with Canvas, Keynote, or PowerPoint. 4. Creating A Moodboard: [MUSIC] In this lesson, you will be creating a Pinterest mood board, and eventually, we'll be creating a project on Canvas, Keynote or PowerPoint. We're going to make this together. I will be choosing a concept for our shooting, and we will be creating some backup images which are going to help us to get a better picture of the mood of our shooting. Not only this will be super helpful for you and your team, because this mood board is going to make sure that everybody is going in the same creative direction. A mood board will give you a clearer idea of what you have in mind. Not only you will give a much more professional image about the brand and the modeling agencies can better evaluate if this shooting is suitable for them. The Internet is full of resources, but my favorites are Pinterest, Instagram and Behance, they always have the best and most curating material out there. Now, I'm going to show you how to properly create a mood board on Pinterest with just your phone. We're going to go to Pinterest. As we said before, we want to take some inspiration and ideas to create a romantic mood board. What we're going to do is click here where it says Board, and we're going to call it board Skillshare Pinterest Moodboard Romantic, or something like that. What we're going to do is attach whatever image that gives us a clear idea of what we're going to shoot. Since we're shooting a romantic concept, I'm going to go and search whatever comes to my mind first that I associate with romantic. One of the things that I'm thinking about are pastel colors. I will write fashion pastel colors. As you can see, we're having a lot of results for our specific research. You will see that even if we got the right results for our research, not every picture I see gives me the romantic vibe I was looking for. For example, I can see some very pop images like this one that are not quite related to the original idea we have. But for example, I love this photo, it's so romantic, it's so feminine, so I will add this image to the board. I also love this image as well. Is so feminine, girly, romantic, and we can definitely see the pastel colors as well. Since this image fits our concept perfectly, I'll add this as well. One amazing thing about Pinterest is that once you click on an image, Pinterest will suggest similar photos to the one you clicked, which can be absolutely very helpful. As we can see, we can have a lot of good and different options to keep adding to our board. Like this one over here, it is so pretty. Look at the delicate movements. Look at this other image, is so, so feminine and delegate. What I love the most about this image is the texture of this dress. I'll add this one too, and also this other one. I love the shapes and the volume, is very bold but still super delegate. The only thing that I hate about Pinterest is that it's so full of information that you can spend the whole life looking for inspiration, so be cautious about that. We don't need to spend the whole day creating a moodboard. We just need to make sure we have a few very good images so it represents very well whatever we have in mind. Another way to get more images is by going back to our profile, click on our moodboard and click in "More Ideas" over here. Based on the selection of pictures you have, Pinterest is going to suggest the more content. We're good to go, we made it. Once we have our images on Pinterest and downloaded them to the computer, we want to create a PDF file so we can easily organize all our ideas and images to better showcase them to the other creatives. Model agencies, food stylist, [inaudible] stylist, set designers and [inaudible]. If you're using a Mac book, you will have a Keynote. Otherwise, if you're using Windows, you can always use PowerPoint. I always recommend this website called Canva, which is completely free and also has a free app. You will click "Create a Design", and then "Presentation". Then you will upload all the images that you downloaded from Pinterest. Once you have them, you're going to place them and fix them into the workspace as you want. Again, don't spend too much on this, it needs to be clear and easy to understand. That's it. We're not making a graphic masterpiece here. I will select the topography that I think it fits the concept perfectly to write the title of the project. The general idea, keywords, are super important to understand the mood of the project. I'm also adding some images from a previous project that I did to create a good reference for both makeup and hair. One of the things I love about Canva is that you can actually crop images very easily. Once we're done, we can download the document and there you go. We have our PDF ready. In this next lesson, I will teach you exactly what to do within new moodboard. [MUSIC] 5. Building Your Creative Team: You have your idea ready to pitch to your new creative team. I know I'm hearing you, you're on haven't team yet and you have no idea how to put it together. But don't worry, I'm here to help you. I promise it's not that hard. First of all, I will explain what I mean when I say creative team and I'll tell you why you need it if you want to upgrade your portfolio and contexts. A team of creative means, basically, that you will have a trustee group of people, including you, doing whatever they do best. I know that at the beginning, most photographers are a bit of makeup artists, stylists, both stylists, set designers, and much more. While this is totally fine at the beginning, we need to understand that everything gets better when we concentrate on what we know how to do best. We can always worry that many heads. Picture this, you arrive at the studio or location, set your camera and lights while the makeup artist prepares the model, same with the rest of the creatives. Or the foodservice prepares the food that you're going to shoot. After they finish, you realize that you have a ready-to-go model prompts dish done by professionals. Isn't that great? Narrowly, it will save you time and energy, but also you will be creating a valuable network. Because remember, in this field, talent is super important. But putting your work out there is the thing that will help you create a name for yourself. Imagine a picture being posted in three or four social media accounts instead of just yours, believe me, that changes everything. Because most probably the stylist is being followed by brands, models, modeling agencies and the same goes with every creative inside a team. How do I actually create a team? This is why I love Instagram so much. In order to find this creative for your new team, which believe me, it's super-easy. We will open Instagram and type, for example, makeup artist. This way, Instagram will show us a ton of results. Thankfully, for us, Instagram works geographically, so that means that we'll only show people that are near us. Isn't that great? When it comes to the makeup artist and you want to start working with fashion, remember that less is more. Even if the makeup artist is amazing with artistic makeup, we need to make sure that they know how to do very good and clean makeup. A good foundation is definitely a must. Then it's just a matter of finding the right fit for you. The one that you love the most. Most probably this makeup artist will know a hairstylist then the same process goes with a wardrobe stylist that you can usually find just by typing stylist or fashion stylist. Don't worry if you don't just find a stylist right away, those are very hard to find. Especially if you don't live in a big city. But sometimes fashion design students or a friend with an outstanding sense of fashion will be super happy to collaborate in this project as well. When we're looking for a stylist, we will try to look into the work, something similar to what we want to create. This way, we make sure that the stylist is used to working with this mood board. The same goes with problem foods stylist. You just need to type those sorts on Instagram or just a friend who is a chef or is studying to be a chef, would love to style the food that you want to shoot. If you think you're still not there to contact established professionals, you can always talk with friends. Remember, the most important thing is to take some action. It doesn't matter if you're trying to reach out the most famous makeup artists in the industry or your best friend that loves makeup. Now, what should you write when you reach out? It is so simple. You will, first of all, introduce yourself as a photographer then you will explain to him or her that you found their work on Instagram and you just loved it. Also that you realize that you were from the same area and you would love to collaborate with them. You will explain that you actually created a mood board that you would love to share with them. That's it. Out of the US, that's a scary idea. Same goes to all the creatives that you need for your team. Remember to always be friendly, but most of all open. What do we mean by this? You might be the one that reaches out, but it doesn't mean that you will take full control of everything. Be open to your team ideas. You need to understand that they are as important as you are in this project. Teamwork means working as a group and a collaborative open and respectful team will take all of you very fine. 6. Working With Models : [MUSIC] For this part, Instagram will be a key part of the process, as well as Google. Unit a search on Google model agencies plus the name of the city or the closest city in your area. When you find a model agency nearby, you will go to their Instagram and website. On the website, you will see that there is this section called new face or new faces for male and female miles. What does this mean? The new faces are the new models that have been recently accepted in the agency. Most of them are just super young and just starting to professional life as a model. This also means that they will need some new material in order to have a wider portfolio. Believe me, nobody will hire model if they can't see great work they already done. This is where your skills become super-helpful. Most agencies are going to be super happy if you are for free shootings to the new faces. Not only because it helps the model, but it also helps the agency. In most cases, you will need to pay for transportation costs, but you always need to check with the agency. Also, if you're not quite sure if you're ready to contact an agency yet, I'm pretty sure you know some very beautiful people in your area that you would love to shoot. When it comes to product or food photography, you can contact small businesses to make tests, choose for them. For example, I recently found out that in my area, there's a small business making gourmet chips with a very curated packaging. As they are just starting out, I'm sure they would be pleased to have somebody that is shooting free content for them. Same with product photography. You can retard to small businesses that are making some skin care products or perfume or just whatever you decide to shoot. Companies work will always happy because they will have new content and you will have new content for your portfolio as well, as well as your whole team. This will not only help build your portfolio in a professional way. Shooting professional models or real brands will also help you to build a relationship with them, which is a big plus. They're all followed by a lot of brands and ad agencies and if they post some material on their social media and website, this means that you will be creating another free way of showing your work to relevant people in the industry. Of course, this means that if the brands loves to work, you will probably get hired by them. This actually happened to me. You might be wondering how to reach a modeling agency in case you need one. What's right write when you send a message or an e-mail, but don't worry, I got you covered. You always need to introduce yourself first saying that you're a photographer, then you will link your social media and your website if you have one and remember, link in your work is crucial as they will need to see what kind of work do you produce. You will then introduce your team and attach their social media or a website as well. You will say that you have been planning this photoshoot. You will add your moodboard link on Pinterest. Then you will say that you took a look on the website and you would love to make a free tests with one of their new faces. You can directly say that you would love to collaborate with blank new face that you just saw on the website. Or you can just ask the Booker, what does he or she thinks is the best fit for the moodboard? Voila, that's it. Remember, always be nice. Remember you're starting to build a long-term relationships with coworkers, models, and modeling agencies. Be able to talk and if you do a good job, it will take very little time to make yourself a good name. Write your e-mails, even if the fashion agencies are interested in your work and what you can do for them, there is no need to read personal stories and talk about every little detail as you did as a photographer. Bookers are very busy people, so keep your e-mails short and sweet we'll take your file. If you want to work with a specific model and the agency is proposing a different one, be open to that. With time, you will build a much tighter relationship with them and you will have way more freedom to choose whoever you want to work with. If you're attaching a PDF as your moodboard, make sure to keep the file size under two megabytes. Don't worry if you don't know how to do this with your computer, there's plenty of websites that can do that for you. We all hate big files, especially coming from people we don't know. 7. Reaching Out To Brands: [MUSIC] This is when you and your team, especially if you have a stylist, need to do some research. What do I mean by this? You will need to find fashion brands that align and fit with your mood board. You can't create a very romantic and feminine moodboard board contact fashion brands that sell baggy sweet style. It will make no sense. You will need to find brands that are feminine and delicate, and romantic. If you have a stylist on board, he or she will be doing this work. Contacting the clothing brands and making sure that all the pieces arrive on time. Then they will be the ones to send the pieces back to the brand. Also, the stylist will have a clearer idea of which brands can be the best fit for the shooting according to the moodboard. If you don't have a stylist, you and the rest of the team will be deciding on the outfits. Let's see an example here. I have our mood board on the right side of the screen, and on the left side, I randomly open the asos website. As you can see, these items here are not related at all with our original idea. You see there's some color coincidences, but the general style is totally off. On the other hand though, I typed the word boutique on Instagram, and as we said before, Instagram works geographically, so it will show results closer to your location. Make sure they are small boutiques at first, and they will probably [LAUGHTER] need some fresh content to publish all the time. As you can see here, this boutique has very beautiful and similar things to the one that we put on our moodboard. Color, style, textures are so similar. This is when we know we have a very good fit. The email or messages to reach the brands will be very, very similar to the ones we wrote before. Hello, so-and-so. I hope this email reaches you well. I am Nat the fashion and beauty photographer based in, insert the name of the city area you are. You can check my work here, put your Instagram and website link. Me and my team are planning to create a shooting. Moodboard is attached down below, and we found your boutique. First of all, we love everything we saw. We love the feminine vibes, the texture and the colors. This is exactly what we had in mind when we're planning our shooting. Would you be interested in collaborating with us? We will pick up everything from the store if possible, and return it the day after the shooting. Let me know what you think, Nat. [MUSIC] As I said before, remember to keep your emails short and your file small. Always put as many links as possible to show your work and your team's work. It is very important to always have more than two brands when you're shooting with models from agencies. Because otherwise if you do a whole shooting just using one brand, you would be creating some commercial work and you might have some problems with the modeling agency. So, make sure that when you plan the whole outfits, you combine at least two different brands for one photo. [MUSIC] 8. Conclusion: [MUSIC] Yes, you made it. I'm so happy for you. You've got all of this information. We can all get a camera and start shooting, but not everybody knows how to go from newbie to professional. The fact that you want to take this big step makes me super happy. Nowadays, it's super easy to contact people. You just need to send a message. I know it's a little bit scary at the beginning, I've been there myself. But once you do it, it empowers you so much. I know I said this already, but it's super important to be nice and open to your team ideas. We're starting to work as a group and everybody has an opinion. Collaborations like this can lead you to paperwork. It really happened to me and it felt great. I asked a really nice local brand for a couple of pieces for our test shoot and they sent us some really, really cool dresses. We got a shoot with a new face from a big modeling agency, Milan. The brand liked those pictures so much that they ended up hiring me for the next campaign. I'm telling you, it's just a matter of taking very little action to make amazing, amazing things happen. For our final project, I will divide the class into categories; the beginners, and a little bit more advanced. Why am I doing this? Because I really want photographers to take the next step. If you still think that you're not ready to contact brands, you can start creating a moodboard for a shooting that you would love to make. Yes, if you're not feeling quite there yet, don't worry, I will be happily reviewing your moodboard. For the ones that wants to take a little step further, you will create an email for a brand or a creative that you would love to work with and I will take a look to that email. I really hope you could take some valuable information for this course. It has been such a big pleasure for me to provide you with all of this information. I'm 100 percent convinced that if you put this into action, you will truly achieve great things with little time. Thank you. [MUSIC]