Shooting for Fashion Bloggers
KATIE (QUESTION): With these fashion blog shoots, are they paying you? If so, how do the bloggers make money? Is it from people wanting to advertise on their blog?
PHILLIP VAN NOSTRAND (ANSWER):
No, I’m not getting paid. It’s all for the connections for me from the exposure on their blogs. My name in front of 170,000 followers on Instagram. They’ve opened doors for me that were 100 percent impossible without having worked with the bloggers, like getting into fashion shows (which are usually invite only for bloggers and brand people).
They are also introducing me to higher level people. I got to shoot one girl for Warby Parker! With that shoot, I edited some of my own pics and sent them directly to Warby Parker with an offer to shoot for them (nothing came out of it, but hey)
To answer your other questions, the bloggers are getting paid by brands themselves, like Levis, etc, who are paying a small fee to have their clothes featured on the blogger’s Instagram pages and Facebook pages, etc. I heard about one guy who was paid $1500 just to Instagram some jeans! There are a lot of articles out there talking about bloggers getting paid. Not many reveal how much they earn, and it varies widely depending on amount of followers, engagement (how many likes/comments per post), region, and look. I know a few bloggers that earn a full time living off of it, though.
At every level of photography, from the first year to those doing it for 40 years, photographers are either shooting for money or to further their career (and ideally both). If you read commercial photography blogs, you will see high end photographers saying all the time that they are shooting their own personal projects (doors, street fashion, social justice issues, etc) and that THOSE projects are the ones that get them hired by big brands ($$$) who recognize a distinct style or voice. So make sure you shoot what you love, find your editing/shooting style, and ask yourself all the time: “What is this for?” If it’s not serving your bigger photography goal or paying your rent, then what are you taking the picture for? (This also means you need to know what your bigger photography goal is)