“Approaching Talent”

I would like to give you tips on how to approach talent, but before I do that allow me share with you a little background info about myself. My name is Lorenzo Pickett. I am a New Jersey based artist and photographer. I started my photography career approximately 5 years ago. I've been published in renowned photographer and author Scott Kelly's “Light IT” Magazine and more recently “Photoshop User Magazine” as the feature photographer. I am extremely excited about the publications big shout out to Mike Mackenzie and his creative team for making that happen. Back to the subject, on a quest to advance my art portfolio I wanted to take better photographs of my art work. I went to the camera store to purchase a digital camera.  A rep there asked to assist me, when I told him what I was looking for he proceeded to say "Why don't you just invest in a DSLR" At the time I didn't even know what the hell a DSLR was, that demonstrates how oblivious I was to photography, all I knew was art. He pointed me to the DSLR's, it was there I picked up my first DSLR Canon camera and I fell in love, my world literally changed at that very moment. .

How do you get your models?

My way of approaching talent is pretty simple. I first greet myself, hey listen My name is Lorenzo Pickett, I am an artist and photographer, based etc….. I do a combination of things but my focus is creative portraiture, beauty is the basis of my work. I will then proceed to show my work, not taking up too much of their time I quickly flip through my portfolio. As I am flipping through my work I pay attention to their reaction. Based off their reaction you can tell if the individual is interested or not. Majority of the time I get really good reactions, but that can vary. I come across a lot of talent that say "I always wanted to model" but on the contrary I get "I don't know if I can do it, I am really shy" Actively practicing this you will learn how to approach things accordingly. Also you want to give them something they can leave with (lasting impression, business card, even a polite smile will do in some cases. I tend to end things by saying "Here is my business card,  my work can be found at Lorenzopphotography.com. I hope you like what you've seen and I look forward to working with you in the near future"

You must make kick ass work  

Referencing what Chase Jarvis stated in an interview with Oren Klaff Author of
"Pitch Anything” which by the way was a phenomenal interview, be sure to check it out here  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXavS_IY42A#t=137

He stated "You must make kick ass work" Reason be when you make kick ass work it flat out speaks for itself, people will be compelled and drawn to work with you. I know this to be true because, I come across so many emails, contacts, and on social media networks where people say “I saw your work and fell in love, I cannot wait to work with you” Here are a few examples!! 

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Getting back to the point, people will be drawn to work with you. So making kick ass work will kick ass for you in the long run when it comes getting talent. No one is going to work with a photographer if they are not sold on their work.  One female I approached to do a shoot, I showed her my portfolio and a particular photo stood out to her, she said quote “If you can make me look like that, I will shoot with you" It was a done deal, the hard part was done! If you have trouble approaching people, play it safe by saying something along the lines of. "You have a particular look that suits my style of photography" As you show examples of your work, casually ask "Would you be interested in doing some modeling, I would love to work with you" It's as simple as that. Also don't just simply give up so easily on people, some talent you may have to work hard at getting. Some people may play hard to get, some people are shy, some people are iffy and some people flat out are busy. Don't be afraid to follow up, and to check in periodically. If it makes you happy to know, It took me a little over a year and a half to work with this particular model. Talk about patience, never the less it was well worth the wait.  

In conclusion

Speaking up has lead me to work with some great individuals. Three of the talents I approached and worked with got published!!!! The art of meeting a complete stranger and creating beautiful work with them is an amazing experience. Trust me, initially this was a bit challenging for me because I am a bit shy myself but you will see, the more you begin to actively practice this it will gradually become a breeze. Remember first impressions are everything you want to make that connection, if you can effectively do that while applying the tips your chances of working with that talent will be very likely!!!!! 

1. Don't be scared to speak up: If you see someone you want to work with move on it don't let an opportunity get away from you, you never know where things my lead. The silent are left to be silent!!!!!
2. Be polite: I shouldn't have to speak too much on this, being polite will take you a long way!!!
3. Be honest/straight forward: Remember you are not only trying to attract possible candidates, but you are also building a reputation and relationship with the talent based off of trust. If people feel they can trust you chances are they will work with you.
4. Be prepared/be concise: Have what you want to say at the tip go your tongue, speak your peace and move along. Keep in mind less is more, people don't like to be inconvenienced!!!
5. Have a portfolio readily: Grab their attention by showing your work as you're conversing with the talent. It's a great way to stir up a conversation, (I typically use my phone as my portable portfolio)
6. Have business cards: Having business cards shows professionalism, and it is much quicker than writing your information down on a piece of paper. (A website is always a plus)  convenience is key!