How to collaborate globally
When you’re living outside a fashion capital, it’s easy to feel like your location prevents you from collaborating effectively. Check out our advice below according to different disciplines so you can find teammates and create work no matter where you are.
- Divide your role between concept and execution. Network within your discipline to help you build trust with peers who share your skills. If you’re unable to attend a job last-minute, you'll have someone to contact who might be willing to stand in and complete the look you’ve designed. During the shoot, Skype your team and answer any questions they might have about the progress of your look.
Coming up with an idea and putting it into action can be shared between two peers. Last year, a Mastered hair stylist wasn’t able to create her look on set because she had another job to attend. A different stylist stepped in to complete it so the shoot could continue.
- Art direct from anywhere. Use your moodboards as a communication tool that stand-in for your creative voice. If your team understands the vision and their roles on set, you don’t always need to be physically present to oversee the project. Give direction during the shoot by contacting your team on a video call. Ask them to send through shots from the photographer’s monitor during the day so you can see how things are progressing.
- Use pre-production meetings. Without this, it’s easy for the team to lose focus on what still needs to be organised, especially if your teammates are coming from different locations. About one week before your project, host a meeting with your team to organise any last-minute tasks. Use this time to clarify deadlines, kit, timeframes, roles and expectations so that once your team is on set, they know exactly where to start.
Brands and stylists
- Ship product to a stylist internationally. For brand owners, this allows you to have your items featured in shoots anywhere in the world. For stylists, it allows you to access unique product that might not be available locally. Brands and stylists, use the directory to find each other by filtering different locations. Reach out via email to start organising your collaboration.
Remember to create a written agreement that explains the terms of loan so that someone is accountable for damages, lost items or delays. Make sure you define who’s responsible for shipping and postage costs. Clarify a timeframe that states when the product is out for loan and when it’s expected to return.
More ways to collaborate
- Use technology to stay present. If you can’t attend an important team meeting in-person, use Skype, Google Hangouts or Whatsapp to join instead. Nominate someone on your team to dial you in so you can listen, contribute and stay updated on what’s happening. Not being physically available is no excuse.
- Be OK with sharing your role on set. Buddying up like this can benefit the final outcome because you’re sharing the workload and using your different strengths to push your ideas further. For example, if there are two photographers available for a team, one of them might have videography skills to produce a film while the other can shoot still images.
If someone’s approached you, it’s no reason to turn them away simply because there’s already someone on the team filling their role. Think creatively about the structure of your team to benefit the final outcome.
If you’ve approached an existing team, suggest your interest in buddying up with the person on that team in your discipline so you can get involved.