How to approach an influencer for a photo shoot?


In this episode of the Fashion Photography Podcast we meet

Having photos with influencer in your portfolio is certainly a something nice to have nowadays.
How to approach them for a shoot?
What are the steps to make a long lasting and happy relationship with the influencers?
Here are some ideas to help you ease up the process!

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Photo by
Stylist : @stefanovastanimira
MUA and Hair: @marinamladenova
Model @Mila H @ @IvetFahion

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Hello, photography lovers, and welcome to Episode 286 of The Fashion Photography Podcast.
Today is Friday and I’m here to help you with some little tips and tricks.
My name is Virginia I’m a fashion advertising photographer and also the host of this show.

Last time, we talked about the differences between photographing an influencer and a model.

And some of you fortunately, are reminding me on Instagram that we’ve never talked about the topic of how exactly to get to shoot an actual influencer?
And we all know that it’s not mandatory to have photos of influencers in your portfolio.
But like we said, in the last Friday podcast, the influencers are the 21st century celebrities.

So you probably want to have some photos like that in your portfolio.

And that’s why today, we’ve prepared for you some short, but proven ideas to make this process easier for you.

Today, we’re going to give you some tips, in case you’re a pro, in case you already have some relationships,
but you’re not where you want to be at, and if you are a complete beginner.

  • The first one will come in action if you already have a relationship with the magazine.
    For example, our friends from Lucy’s magazine, they’re accepting fashion editorials and beauty editorials as well, as you’ve heard me saying lots of talents,
    but you can also approach them or another magazine that you have a good relationship with, and pitch an idea to shoot a particular or several influencers.
    You have to make sure that the person you’re suggesting and the media that you are negotiating with you are a good fit for each other.

    Influencers will very rarely refuse to shoot for a magazine.
    And especially the magazine is up their alley, though probably going to be really, really happy and also flattered!
    In other words, it’s a win win situation.
  • But in case you’re still figuring things out, and you want to have an awesome looking portfolio to show to the magazines,
    but you’re not quite there, you probably have a favorite modeling agency, or maybe even two, right?
    And actually, this is awesome!
    Because many modeling agencies nowadays are also representing influencers.
    So if you already know the Booker’s that you’re working with very, very well and you feel confident and also comfortable to ask them for this, definitely go for it,
    you can be very chill about it and just mentioned that:
    you’re up for a test and if someone from their influencer board needs some new images, you’d be glad to take them, because it’s also going to be very good for you.

    But you can also offer a particular idea and see how the Booker is going to feel about it.

    In addition to that: there’s some gorgeous models with a very high volume of followers and photo shoot with them will be a pleasure,
    because they already know how to pose and what to do.

    I’m saying this because sometimes you just need to start small.
    If you have no influencers in your portfolio at all, just remember that you need to start somewhere.
    And even if you make small steps, the more important part is that you moving forward.
  • And also if you’re in the beginning of your journey as a photographer
    and you don’t have many relationships with modeling agencies or magazines, but you’ve got some clear goals and really great ideas, we’ve got another idea for you!

    With all the social media there today, it’s easier than ever to approach everyone directly.

    However, there is a little trick, if you want the influencer that you are approaching to say yes to your offer. 
    You have to be very specific, specific with the idea, the inspiration, the references, the number of images that you can provide.
    And of course, with that timeframe!

    So for example, you can tell them:
    Of course -that you’re a big fan. (And by the way, make sure that this is the truth).
    And that you’ve got really inspired by them because of this particular thing – _________.
    Tell them also that you have a project in mind that they might find interesting and and you’d like to share in person more details about it.
    Also, don’t forget to tell them that you are available next week.
    And it’s going to be great to pick a time and date available for both of you.
    Don’t forget to of course offer them to take a look at your work.

    And you can proceed with the rest of the points that I mentioned above – on the day of the meeting.

    Frankly, I have approached influencers like this before.
    And it really worked in my case, but I was genuinely honest with the girl and I was really big fan of her aesthetics.
    And I wanted to create a project just for her because she was sort of my muse.

  • And probably this is the perfect time to talk a little bit about the money side, because I’m sure that some of you have questions about it.
    And you know that I’m a big advocate that this is a profession and we deserve to be well paid for the work that we create.
    But in a case like this, I personally wouldn’t charge a person because I’m the one offering to them the photo shoot, and it’s in my interest mostly.
    And because they’re my muse, I’m just going to treat them like one.

  • Also, you don’t have to create like a whole Bank of images and provide them all.
    In my case, for example, we were just talking about 3 final images.
    And if you think pricing must be discussed, I will support you, it was just my choice in a particular case.

  • But if you think that this is an important part for you to talk about it in advance, because you don’t want them to feel like they’re trapped, or they are lied to.
    The whole idea behind working with influencers is that it’s a really easy transition to start working with other influencers, other people well known in the industry and also particular brands.
    So in my opinion, this can be a long road. And if three images are going to save me 10 steps, I’m just going to give up the three images and enjoy the whole 10 steps ahead.
    But you have to find the balance, you have to enjoy the process, you have to be happy that you’re taking the shortcut, and you have to create something very beautiful,
    because these are real people, they’re not coins, and you cannot just exchange some of them for some progress in your work, you have to really appreciate them because they’re doing something great for you.
    And you should do the same and provide them with some great content. 

  • Make sure that they want to share with everyone that you you did such an amazing job because of your job not because you gave them something for free.

    You know that I’m super honest with you here and I want to give you the best possible advice.
    So I also have to tell you that probably if you talk about money with them, it’s very likely that they will turn the photo shoot down.

  • However, there is another way to get some influencers in your portfolio.
    And it’s of course, if you already know some influencers, even if you haven’t photographed them before, now is the moment to approach them.
    Just don’t be shy and ask them whether they need a bit of new material for social media.
    And again, just tell them the truth, explain that is going to be great for both you and also for them that you’re going to give the best that you can to make this process enjoyable.
    Because the more transparent you are, the better your relationship is going to be for the future.

  • And as I’d like to say, we’re building relationships, not just to succeed with our profession, but because life is all about connections, and you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, maybe you’re going to need a friend and this person exactly is going to be the one that you need. Or maybe they’re going to need you.

    So those are some very simple ways to approach influencers. And if you have any other ideas, I would love to hear them or maybe even read about them!
    For example, in our Facebook group called The Fashion Photography Podcast, where you can also post the influencers photos you’ve already made or share with us who’s your dream influencer, that you would like to have in your portfolio.

    As I mentioned above, if you don’t have any relationships in this area, just start small, go to a smaller influencer and build your relationship together.

    And because I mentioned our Facebook group, I would like to say that a great way to approach influencers is exactly through Facebook groups and communities.
    There are a bunch of groups for influencers where they gathered to talk to each other and solve problems together.
    So maybe that would be the perfect place to double down that you are looking for someone to work with.
    And once you start, it’s going to be very, very easy to get the rumor going.
    And sooner or later, everyone will know how amazing your work is and every influencer and the brand will want to work with you.

    If you find this podcast helpful, please consider a little donation through the button on our website
    Of course, we’ve got some perks for you because you know that we love giving back.

    If there is something that you’re struggling with, or you have a question that you would like to hear the answer of – again, go to,
    where you’re going to find this episode a transcript just for you.
    And you’ll also be able to see it all the ways that you can approach us because your question might be the next Friday topic!
    Thank you so much for being with us today.

    And don’t forget to come back again on Wednesday, when we’ll be here with a brand new guest!

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