Stella Kramer is giving a great summery of some of the speeches hold at the pdn conference this past week! Read and enjoy

also there is a great Note writen by Allegra Wilde

“Yeah, But I Have To Make Money….”

Portfolio Reviews, Marketing Consultation + Visual Strategies for Photographers, Agents, and the rest of the Professional Photography Community

(And other ways to ignore the reason you became a professional photographer)

When you are in the business of selling something subjective like photography, there is no standard formula which will tell you who is going to connect with what you do, any more than it is possible to predict who is likely to fall in love with you.

Following what’s hot right now; doing what you have been seeing out there already – imitating the same content, styles, or processes as everybody else is going to be futile in the end.

If you make and show images with the intention of speaking the language of potential clients (and that is what most people do)…you will just end up looking like most people. You will wind up moving away from yourself.

“Yeah but I have to make money”.

And you may, for a while. However, your career will ultimately suffer.

And so will your heart.

The answer: Make work that is made entirely of… You.

Your life, and your passions.

The things that no one else can appropriate.

If you do that, (and get past your fears about whether it will work), you will have less, or even no competition. And that is always safer and more profitable than being part of the crowd.

The strongest part of you, is the honest you, and that remains true regardless of the economy, technology, or the weather report.

The connection between a photographer and a person who is in a position to hire them and collaborate with them, begins with chemistry. And chemistry begins with honesty.

But that is not the whole story.

You will never have a career being the best-kept secret in photography.

The formula for success? It starts here:

Show yourself in your images, and stand by them no matter what. Show your work to people who can hire you. All of them. EVERYWHERE. Mass market and send your photographs far and wide.

Those who see your pictures and are moved by them will understand you. Will want to be around you. Work with you.

Isn’t that your ultimate goal? Isn’t that why you chose this career in the first place?

Allegra Wilde


Tell me a little about yourself. How did you get your start as a Stylist?

I have always been into Fashion but being from a very strict family background, I had to focus on doing more “down to earth” studies.

I therefore studied Business administration with a specialization in Marketing. It was a very good course because it allowed me to learn how a business work and how to market it. This was very handy for the Family business as we had 2 Boutique of ready to wear in Paris. Those skills allowed me to help maximize profitability for the family business, which was great. Managing one of the boutiques I got really close to clients, and started to advises them on garments to wear for specific event which made me realize how much I love fashion!

Did you have any formal training or are you a self taught Stylist?

I am a self-though stylist and I have been styling for almost 2 years now.

Do you think going to school for styling is important to excel in the business later on?

I personally think that style is a matter of taste therefore I do not really believe it can be thaught.You either have taste and a good eye for it or you don’t but I will agree that taking courses can help sharpen your existing skill.
As I said earlier this is my personal opinion and experience as a stylist but everybody is different so there might be people who learn how to become a stylist.

Did you always want to be a stylist or did stumble into it? Did you begin working with a company? When did your freelance career begin?

Well I left the family business because I was given the opportunity to go and work for TNS a multinational market research company. The position I was hire for was based in London. I worked for this company as a Communication Executive in the marketing department for 4 years.

Then the economical climat went really bad so I was made redundant for economical reasons. I then had to do a lot of temporary jobs until I found out I was pregnant which was a wonderful news.

I therefore too some time off to look after my little angel ☺. After a while I started thinking about my life and what I really made me happy. That is when I realized that I did not want to go back to an office job because it was not fulfilling me. I needed more. I therefore decided to go back to my first love which was fashion, as a fashion stylist and since then I never went back. I am now a freelance stylist working on commissioned project for various magazines, designers and photographers.

Who or what inspired you to become a stylist?

I have always had a strong interest in Fashion but never really could point out what exactly I liked until I found myself helping a friend organizing a found raiser fashion show. That is where I kind of had my first real experience as a stylist and I loved it. That is where I realized that is it! I am a Fashion Stylist.

What are your biggest challenges?

I think the biggest challenge for a stylist is to find the perfect team. By that I mean the team that will be able to help you interpreat the client’s brief in the best way you can. Then the hardest bit, you need a team that is in total harmony and feed from each other’s idea. Once you find that you already to rumble.

What advice do you have for photographers for working successful with a stylist?
My advice to photographer would be to interact a lot worth the stylist and if possible work on moodboard and concept together so that you will have a better understanding of each other’s work. It will then make it easier to define a clear theme and to start sourcing garments.

Will you be involved in a show at London Fashion Week?
This year I will be attending the London Fashion week as a blogger, which will allow me to mingle with fellow fashion lovers. I have a lot of shows to attend so it is definitely going to be an intensive week for me.

How do you work? What is your process?

I personally first of all like to have a meeting with the photographer to have an idea of the kind of images he or she is trying to create. I then I give feedback on the ideas and try to feed them with more concept when possible. We then select together the res of the team and choose the model.

What other projects are you working on?

I have been offered the opportunity of being a contributor stylist on Momentum Le Magazine, which is an online magazine. It should be a very interesting project. I am also planning on shooting some commission shoots as I have bookings up to end of December at the moment. It is going to be intensive work but it is worth it when you get to see the completed work.

Do you have any website(s) you would like me to link to from this interview?

The success in commercial photography is not an impossible mission it is achievable task! The main question a lot of young photographers ask is – How to get started????

What are the steps to take?? I asked all of these this questions Photography Consultant and author of the book: “How to Succeed in Commercial Photography”, Selina Maitreya:

Tell me a little about your self. How did you get started as a consultant?

Selina Maitreya got hooked on photography when she saw the works of Weegee, Diane Arbus and Annie Leibovitz’s early work for the Rolling Stone Magazine. After taking a photography class and with the encouragement of her teacher, she started a two-year program at the New England School of Photography. She absolutely loved it!

While trying to save money for her next semester, she ran into a photographer, who asked her to be his agent. Starting out with a very small contact list. Selina realized quickly that it would take a lot of determination to start her career in the business of photography. Taking this new challenge seriously she gave it everything. Like she always says in her teaching: “Don’t settle for 100% give 120% or more! – Give every job your full attention and focus!”

Selina’s eager, vision and her thrive to succeed made her not just the first consultant in the photography industry; it made her also a brilliant live coach.

Only 2 years later she went back to NESOP not as a student but to teach her first business lecture! She helped build the Boston Graphic Artist Guild and educated artists in the new copyright law from 1978. In her career she has helped photographers in every discipline from portraiture to advertising. I Personally believe that Selina’s success has its basics in her kind and understanding personality and her devotion and passion towards the field of photography as well as to every aspect in her life.

Her lasted project a free video series on Positive attitude shows exactly how Selina approaches live and changeling tasks: The View From Here Video Challenge

What were your biggest challenges you had to over come? Especially since you started not just your own business, but a business that has been unheard of until then.

As the biggest challenges to overcome Selina names the following problems:
– letting people know that I was there.
– Being 21 and having no money to invest
– having enough information

Looking back on starting her carrier, Selina admits feely that she was scared to death. A feeling a lot of Artist can associate with.

This connection between Selina and Artists helps her to understand the fears, problems and worries a lot of Photographers have when she is working with them as a consultant.

In Maitreya’s own word’s: “Today’s world is not for the faint-hearted or for those who throw themselves into a business with little preparation or planning, and it is certainly no place for those who choose to approach their task with a negative ”I can’t win anyway” attitude.”


Like one of her favorite quotes from Goethe’s couplets: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. – Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

The View From Here Video Challenge

and her latest lecture: Survive? Think Thrive!

What are your favorite aspects about your work?

1. The People!!! I love the people I have worked with in the past and my current clients.
2. The joy to work in the field of photography, she absolutely loves photography and is active in since the age of 14 teen.
3. Trying and seeing new things all the time
4. Her love of teaching

How do you work with your clients? What are the typical steps?

The main goal of Selinas work as a consultant is to – Help photographers to find their vision!

In order to find this vision in each of her clients, she has developed a work process, that is a combination of her working one on one with them and giving them exercises and homework.

Her first step is to set up a 20 to 30 min appointment. This first conversation is free of charge and helps Selina and her client figure out if they should work together. They then decide what needs to be done . She will advise her new client to look at other photographers or artists work and collect pictures that are appealing to them in order to find their own vision. The next step will be a meeting where she and the photographer will analyze what needs to be done to achieve a full body of work and edit the existing work to their approach.

A main Problem Selina sees a lot of Photographers makes is to go to market without a full product! –

Is doing work for free beneficial?

Selina warns photographers NOT to give work away . Even when the budget is low she suggests to ask either for covering the expenses of the shoot or a large copyright notice and photo credit. Although it seems to be a good way to accumulate portfolio pieces Selina advises to be conscious about it. Her advice is to NOT do it .

If you choose to however, once for a client only if the assignment will provide you a handsome tear sheet. Her concern is that if you work all the time for free you will be stuck there and you devalue yourself and the business as a whole.

What are the biggest mistakes Photographers make?

The biggest mistakes Selina has watched photographers making is not to understand what the buyers want. Understanding your clients is crucial for every business, but especially important for a creative business. Mis-understandings between clients and photographers will let to bad work experiences and not accomplishing your client’s needs. It also will not get you work clients want vision your vision and if it’s not in your body of work you are not giving them from the outset what they need and you wont get the work. Selina points out that photographers these days are not just making visions happen they, they are hired for their vision. Therefore it might be a good idea to verbalize your idea in a meeting with a client, if they don’t like your approach don’t be discouraged you might submit it as a second option, when possible.

The other big mistake Selina is pointing out concerns the business side. For a lot of photographers Marketing is just a website and not an active commitment. Photographers generally do not set enough time aside to do marketing. They also do not give their marketing strategies enough time to manifest. Selina says it will take an average off 3 to 4 years for your efforts to provide a flow of assignments that will sustain you.

Her series of MP3 recordings gives some amazing exercises and tips how to work towards this goal of developing a successful business: The View From Here

For more info check out Selinas’s webpage at

Selina’s Books Visit:

How to Succeed in Commercial Photography:
Insights from a Leading Consultant The new book, How To Succeed In Commercial Photography: Insights from a Leading Consultant (that’s a mouthful) is out … so let’s discuss.

Author/Consultant Selina Maitreya has filled the pages of this essay-driven volume with a lifetime of creative/
business insight and experience.

The book is divided into a half dozen vital topics: Vision, Value, Team, Tools, Persistence and Faith and designed to be easily read from cover to cover or from any page that fate points you to (it’s just that good). Each section contains 5-6 enlightening essays from Selina, with support from buyers, photographers, agents and other professionals. The book is about the spiritual and the practical aspects of developing and maintaining a thriving photo business, in addition to a flourishing self.

Portfolios That Sell Selina has been guiding photographers for over 28 years. She is Portfolio Princess/Founder of Port Authority and the author of Portfolios That Sell. Selina Maitreya of Port Authority exposes photographers to smart, effective ways of developing portfolios that work. After building hundreds of portfolios and leading thousands of seminar hours on the subject, Selina Maitreya built her own book on the subject of portfolios – Portfolios That Sell. This useful and enlightening piece is the next best thing to putting Port Authority to work for you. This is the flight manual for portfolios that take off and go. A step-by-step walk-through on building the much better book.

Why Fashion – Photographers are constantly discussing what is fashion and what is glamor. You also hear these question a great number of time: Is every model on drugs or on a horrible diet? What is the big mystery about Fashion?

I found in the new York times the following article: Admit it. You Love it. It Matters

For a fashion photographer, fashion comes down to selling the product. THE CLOTHES or the MAKEUP or what ever it is that the client is selling.

Spring Summer Collections at New York Fashion Week:

Ports 1961 Sprig Summer Collection

Guli Sprig Summer Collection

Fashion School Daily, School of Fashion Blog at Academy of Art University » Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2011

Jungah Lee, MFA in Fashion Design:
Jungah used the faded colors of antique books as inspiration for the hand dyeing and painting of her latex and silk fabrics. (source Media release of the Art institute)

Cara Chiappetta, MFA in Fashion Design:
Cara uses rubber, silk, mesh, wool and nylon influenced garment details, manipulations and bonding techniques. Bridget Fonda’s character Nina in the film “The Point of No Return” became her muse. (source Media release of the Art institute)

Louie Liewellyn, MFA in Men’s Wear Design and Xiang Zhang, MFA in Knitwear Design:
Louie used the theme of a disagreement between hard and soft men’s wear silhouette. He used one of his favorite paintings , Incision by Jay Defeo, for color inspiration and selected fabrics to evoke a feeling of strength and desire. Xiang designed the knitwear for the collection. Each piece took approximatly 50 hours to finish. (source Media release of the Art institute)

Print Collaboration:
A group of Technical Design, Fashion Design and Textile Design students.
Lindsey Gong, Jackie Nguyen, Anasa Greaves, Han Yoon, Emma Erickson, Ruby Guerra, Gabrielle Cols, Yi-Hui Wen, Amanda Carrillo, Chanchai Tanapornwattana, Jennifer Chen, Sarah Appiah, Jennifer Filo, Adriane Lauren Hueso and Leah Rossi (source Media release of the Art institute)

April Howard, MFA in Fashion Design:
April was inspired by the work of found objects sculptor Kathy Kelly, the decaying concrete and plastic of an urban wasteland, and Cormac Mc Carthy’s novel “The Road. (source Media release of the Art institute)

Camilla Olson, MFA in Fashion Design:
Inspired by the movie “Blade Runner” and samurai arts, Camilla’s collection represents women as rebels breaking the restriction of their historically constrained roles. The soft silk under-dresses represent a woman’s inner nature and outer ‘cage’ is her strength and armor. (source Media release of the Art institute)

Maria Korovilas, MFA in Fashion Design:

The starting point of Maria’s inspiration was the Jenny Lewis song “You Are What You Love” from which she pulled visual and conceptual references for her moody collection. The hand beading took over 600 hours to complete. (source Media release of the Art institute)

Fashion’s Night Out 2010 – The Show

Yes it is again the time!! Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is just a few days away!
Like every year it is the top event to observe the latest lifestyle and fashion trends. This Year the event will take place for the first time at a new location – The Lincoln Center.
For everybody who is not going the Academy off art has a webcast from the Lincoln Center!!!!!


Tell me a little about yourself. How did you get your started as a Designer? Did you have any formal training or are you a self taught?

My interest in making things really started when I was little boy. I always wanted to
create something out of materials that “weren’t supposed to go together”, and I always wanted to make ugly things beautiful. Needless to say I was the kid with the rock polisher. ☺ This grew into me wanting to learn how to sew, and my grandmother was there to help. She showed me some of the basics, and I also took some classes at a local Michael’s craft store. So, no formal training, but little did I know those classes were the beginning of it all. My launch into being a designer came with my first line that was shown at a spring runway event in Greenville in 2007. I made the clothes from a ton of vintage pieces that I had deconstructed and remade the way I wanted them, but the collection was not the most cohesive. However, this show did get me enough exposure to start receiving clients for styling.

Do you think going to Design school would be important to excel in the business later on?

I do think it is very important to have formal training. You just don’t learn some of the basics and some of the techniques by yourself that can be taught in the classroom. Also, I still to this day do not know how to use a pattern. Instead, I have to drape all of my looks. This not only makes my job harder, but also limits my style. Did you always want to be a Designer or did stumble into it? Did you begin working with a company? When did your freelance career begin? A3: I did not always want to be a designer, and to be honest I still do not ultimately want to be one. I stumbled into the art and love it, and I am also very passionate about it. However, I see myself in more of the styling field than any other. There is just something about creating a moment for someone that makes my world all the more bright! Also, I love the feeling of coordinating pieces rather than stressing about constructing them. I did not begin with a company, but instead I actually created my own styling firm. I have styled several radio personalities for award events, and multiple clients for philanthropy events and just everyday wardrobe. Now, I really want to move even farther, but I guess we will have to see what the next step in my business it.

Who or what inspired you to become a designer?

I can’t say that anyone inspired me to become a designer. I truly believe to succeed you need to hack your own path through the industry and not follow anyone else’s lead. However, what inspires me as a designer is always vintage clothing, and antiques. My saying is and always will be “Vintage is Life.”

What are your biggest challenges?

Financial help. It is always best to try and get support, or sponsors for events. I’ve learned the hard way that you can make good money from events, but you can also lose exponentially more.


There are always people out there that are either going to be jealous or try to steal your ideas. I have had many situations where both have been a problem, but you just have to move past it. If someone steals an idea of yours then you simply have to execute it better! You have to promote your original idea more, and you have to get it to the masses FIRST!

How do you work? What is your process?

I actually start with the music. I usually find a song that I connect with creatively and emotionally then use all other sources of inspiration to build on the idea that I have initially felt. From there I sketch, drape, cut and build the look.

For styling it’s a bit different. With photo shoots the process is similar, but instead of constructing the garment there is more research and time put into finding the best looks for the story. However, with clients it is really all about getting to know the person. You really need to know the personality before you can ever match it with a style.

What other projects are you working on?

I am working on several projects for this fall. I am currently working on starting a chapter of Campus Style for USC, which is a blog about the actual style that is in Columbia rather than your typical Greek Village nonsense. Some of my clothing line will be featured in the January issue of Mozelle Mozelle, and I preparing some garments to walk in their first ever fashion event.

I am also working on several shoots concepts including a video shoot that will be shown with launch of this fall.

Do you have any website(s) you would like me to link to from this interview?

Tell me a little about yourself. How did you get your start as a Makeup Artist? Did you have any formal training or are you a self taught makeup artist?

I had a concoction of formal training that contributes to my work. I’ve completed a 1600 hour cosmetology course which is primarily hairstyling, but also included makeup and manicure training. I’ve had numerous art courses like drawing, graphic arts and watercolor painting. I’ve also attended a number of makeup industry seminars taught by the industry’s leading artists and brands. I began by assisting professional makeup artists on their shoots. After that I reached out to local photographers offering to work with them in trade for images that we could both use in our portfolios. Most of these photographers have become good friends and clients and much of my work comes from them or networking with other team members on these shoots.

Photography Bruce Smith
Wardrobe Styling Linda Lu aka Linda Varol
Hair Ashley Lynn Hall
Makeup Sharon Hawkey
Model Nadege with Michelle Pommier Agency

Did you always want to be a makeup artist or did stumble into it? Did you begin working with a major cosmetic company? When did your freelance makeup career begin?I had the adventure of coming of age in the 1980’s, a time when conservative makeup looks were out the door and anything and everything was fair game. Every day was an experiment in line, color, value and proportion. I fell in love with makeup and its ability to transform the features of a face. So I attended cosmetology school in pursuit of a career in makeup. At the time there were no schools just for makeup and if one wanted to work in the field one needed a cosmetology license.

After graduating cosmetology I worked in NY as a hairstylist but found little opportunity to work with makeup. I decided to see if I could find some side work modeling in NYC. I choose to leave hairstyling for an opportunity to be a fulltime showroom model at a fashion house in NYC and wound up being there for the next 3 years. After this experience I’d gained a great deal of information about the fashion industry and was representing fashion lines at the major seasonal markets around the US working as a model and sales team member selling couture designs. These cumulative experiences in the fashion industry have all played a role in my building the business that I have now as a Makeup Artist.

Photography by Cesar Cuevas
Bald Cap and makeup on model right Sharon Hawkey
Bald Cap and makeup on model left Leigh Benson
Model left Jill Evyn, Otto Models Los Angeles
Model Right Jessica Cook , Elite Miami

What are your favorite and most exiting aspects about your work?

Every new face is exciting, every transformation created with makeup thrills me. I love to plan a look, execute it and photograph the results. While makeup is temporary the photographs last forever and it’s very pleasing to come away from a long day of creative work knowing  it’s not “art for art’s sake” but instead there’s a photograph that will last forever.

When it comes to lines what would I find in your makeup kit? MAC, Makeup Forever, Cinema Secrets, RCMA, Nars, Laura Mercier, Smashbox, Ben Nye, Graftobian, Lorac and the list goes on and on

What areas of media do you frequently work in?

Primarily, I work in print photography, but I have done video and film as well.
What are your dream goals, who would you like to work with?

Dream goals hmm…it would be nice to have my work become internationally known so that I might be invited to work in some far away and exotic locals. I love world flavor, experiencing different cultures and translating those impressions to my work. As far as artists who have influenced me the late Kevyn Aucoin is someone I study and I also follow Pat McGraths work.

What do you think about the trend of airbrush makeup? What are the pro and cons in your opinion?

I think airbrush makeup does a tremendous job at creating a long lasting, yet light looking coverage for the skin. I personally am not a fan of doing the eyes, lips and cheeks with it though as for me it’s just not as intuitive as traditional makeup. It’s all a matter of the tools you’re used to and most comfortable with. I have seen airbrush artists who do wonderful eye treatments but I personally find it more difficult to work this way. The airbrush is excellent for some looks while others maybe better created with traditional medium. For me it depends on how tight the working space is, and how detailed the desired look is.

Pros- Can give very natural looking and long lasting coverage.

Cons- Can be cumbersome and equipment can fail.

What advice would you give new photographers when it comes to working with a makeup artist? Explain clearly what the shoots objectives are, who the client is and what they expect their finished images to look like. Communicate with visual aids to suggest the style/direction of what you are trying to achieve. Thumbnail sketches of key shots can be helpful for overall planning, and sharing found images that give inspiration to your own ideas is a great way to communicate with a makeup artist.

Photography by Star Foreman
Hair Kristin Cicala
Makeup Sharon Hawkey
Model Alexis Merizalde, Elite Los Angeles

What is the most exciting or challenging opportunity you have had as a freelance artist?Challenging was filming a music video in a windstorm, the wind was so fierce that the talent would begin to cry the moment they stepped off the trailer into the windy environment. Their eyes streamed tears the entire time we were filming and it was impossible to keep the makeup unaffected. I never found a solution for the problem, I just did the best I could to dab their eyes and makeup dry between takes. Too bad it wasn’t a sad song, then it might have worked. Solution for filming in a windstorm….check your local weather forecast.
To see more of Sharon’s work or connect with her go to: