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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

8 Things to Look For in People to Collaborate With

Whether you are a model, photographer, clothing designer, make-up artist, or another creative professional who is looking for people to collaborate on a shoot with, there are a few things that you should look for, which will help make your collaboration produce the results that you want.

Considering that collaboration usually does not involve exchanging cash (since everyone is supposed to get something that benefits their portfolio), who you choose to work with is crucial and will ultimately determine if the time you spent on a shoot was actually worth it for you in the end.

Remember, also, that when you are collaborating, EVERYONE involved has to benefit somehow. Collaboration is a team effort, so the whole team needs to get something out of it. This is not a "take, take and take" relationship-it is a "give and take" relationship.

So, here are a few things that should help you find good people to work with and produce the results that you will all benefit from:

1. If you're looking for people online, check out how the person filled out their profile (on Model Mayhem). If their profile shows that they "don't care about anything at all" or is filled with "negative and defensive talk", chances are they will not be good for you to work with.

2. Look at their portfolio. Their portfolio is very important. Is it approximately of equal to slightly better caliber than yours? If the answer is "yes", then they are worth approaching for collaborations. Also, are they good at the style of shots that you are looking for? If the person whose portfolio you're viewing is a very good nude model and you want to shoot lifestyle/commercial images and she does not have those in her portfolio, then it is best to find someone else to work with.

3. After the initial contact, check to see how well they respond to your messages. Are they prompt, or do they take a week to get back to you? Are they direct when it comes to their goals for the collaboration and what they want out of it?

4. Do the person's/people's goals align with yours? This is very important so that there is no "but I thought we were going to shoot to submit to Vogue vs. I just wanted to test the lights" know what I mean?

5. The previous point (#4) brings me to this one...Are your potential collaborative team members realistic in their expectations? It's one thing to have goals, but it's another to have unrealistic fantasies that can be counterproductive and disappointing. Believe me, I'm all for dreaming, but there is a line between a dream and a goal (though they are not mutually exclusive by any means).

6. Is the person saying negative things about other people? The reason why this is important is because I don't think that you should work with someone who puts down others. I mean, if they put down others, what if they do the same to you when you're not around and when you do something that they don't "like"? It's best to avoid negative people like that all together.

7. Do they have drama? If they have too much drama that they are constantly complaining about, then they are not going to be fun to work with.

8. Check references. Find out if the potential members of your creative teams are flakes or not. You are putting a lot of energy into making a good shoot happen, so make sure that other people are on the same page with you when it comes to flaking.

What do you think? Have you used any of the above? Were they helpful to you? What other things do you look for when searching for people to collaborate with?

:-) Aviva

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