I want to talk a little bit of business here and really focus on something I have came across alot recently.  Editorial gratis and PR gifts.  

When I see editorials I get really excited, the concepts the details and the overall look of a good editorial just captivates.  From independent magazines like Mr Joel (online and blog), world fashion media news (online and blog) to the mainstays of vogue or harpers there is just something that captures the eye in print.  

This question came up:  "would anyone be willing to share contacts for brand PR with me.  I am going to do some editorials and want to reach out."  

OK first off how do you start. Editorial is not glamorous, its time consuming (at least for me).  I control my shoots, I put together the concept and book the model, I shoot it, edit and submit under my own steam. 

DO I get gratis gifts all the time?  No not really.  Its a changed market and you need to have something to bring to the table, be smart about this. 

If you are spending high on kit and thinking well I deserve some gratis product then something is wrong. Look at it this way. If your main clients are bridal, and your overheads are in the triple digits and you are barely breaking even, you need to look at: 

  • Your marketing
  • Pricing structure
  • portfolio

Why do I say this, simple.  Marketing is what draws people in, spending a fortune each month on new make up really doesn't sit right with me if you then feel you should be given products as a thank you but your not bringing anything to the table. 

Brands want to know how they will receive credit for the items.  You need to be good at marketing:  instagram has become one of the best marketing tools. Showcase your work and identity as a brand and they will come to you. 

Look at the market at large: does your work fit the current trends or target audience you want?  Are you working smart or working hard? A consistent look is always better than trends.  I have a real policy of for every 1 editorial (not arts and crafts) look I create I want to have 4 clean looks in my portfolio.  The brands that I attract come to me because I do more "commercially" oriented images that can be translated.  

Which leads me to pricing, if you are buying high end make up and charging low prices that don't reflect the skills seen in the portfolio, your website is sub par or you are mid range cosmetics hoarding to use then you won't attract the clients or the brands you want.  Think on it, if you are using £150 worth of products and charging £200 (bridal for example) for a service, then you are losing out.  If after your bills are paid, rent, phone, gas etc you are still not able to afford the new mobile or tablet you need for work, asking why are the brands not sending goodies, look at how your approaching the business and start strategically looking at how you are working, less art more business.    

Set the bar for what you want to achieve and don't look at social media or your rivals.  Focus on providing the best service you can.  

Put into the world what you want to receive back.  Speculate some time, resources and money: 

  • book an agency model. 
  • Book a good photographer
  • Find a stylist

All of this will be a bonus.  Getting the details right will take you from beer to champagne and make people pay attention.  

Put your business head on and think less about the art and more about what your goals are both artistically and financially,  You can be commercial and artistic.  

Remember editorials bring credits, tear sheets and OK not necessarily money for the shoot but it translates to other aspects of the business and increases your market value.  If you took 2 shoots a month that were not speculative or fast turn around (editorial style) and sat as a team and researched a few magazines, submitted and waited it out (two weeks from submission to response move onto the next one on your list), it will be a long term gain.