A Co:lab snapshot – Starting out as a creator and how Co:lab can help

Written by Colab

The industry today

It’s no secret – the photography industry is tough to break into. There’s so much amazing talent out there, where do you even start?

Ren Pidgeon (one of the creators of Co:lab) knows this all too well. After studying photography and (almost) finishing high school, his dream was to become a fashion photographer. He did find a job in fashion… just not in photography, in a clothing store. It took him over 5 years before finally finding his way behind the camera.

And he’s not alone – 95% of students who study photography never become photographers. Given the collaborative nature of most photography and the need to rely on other people to progress your career, every young photographer faces an uphill battle. Brands won’t hire inexperienced photographers and even modelling agency’s freshest faces are hard to get access to.

While Instagram opened up direct access to creatives in a way that was unprecedented, for young talent without a profile an unsolicited message will likely go unseen unless the recipient follows you back.

Aspiring models face similar struggles. Unless you happen to fit the current beauty standards and get scouted, you’re forced down the difficult road of finding photographers on your level ready to help build your folio. Most people will give up before they start and with so many models on the same path in a saturated industry it’s nearly impossible to get noticed.

Customers want inclusivity, so why is the modelling industry so exclusive?

All young creatives reach a point where they know their potential, but without the help of other creatives on the same level it’s a long frustrating battle to get to where you belong. Too much amazing talent goes unseen and that’s where Co:lab comes in.


So how can Co:lab help?

Co:lab is an app designed specifically for talent within the photography industry. The app was born out of a desire to help creatives and brands on similar levels connect in a way that mutually benefits everyone.

For the first time, you can search for a variety of talent in any city, all in the one place. It’s a networking tool and an industry tool. Through swipe cards, you have access to a network of other creatives at your fingertips. If a traveling photographer needs an assistant in another city, or perhaps an inexperienced hair and makeup artist wants to find photographers and models to create new work, Co:lab can help.

This levels the playing field for new talent and creates opportunities for everyone. It allows talent to break into the industry quicker by collaborating with the right talent to build their folio of work and boost their skill level instead of struggling to get noticed.

Models don’t need an exclusive agency to call themselves a model, with Co:lab you can sign up as a model and instantly start connecting with industry professionals. You might fit the exact look and brief a brand or photographer is looking for.

And if you’re a brand you understand the ever increasing demands of creating content, Brands no longer shoot just 4 campaigns a year, content needs to be created regularly to fill fast moving instagram feeds. Co:lab gives your brand access to talent across the globe to allow you to create content on a regular basis.

Co:lab’s main features.

3 key features of Co:lab let people work and connect from anywhere in the world:

The Connect Screen allows you to connect directly with brands and industry talent across a wide range of professions. Using the filter tool you can refine your search by location, which is super helpful if you’re travelling or you know you’ll be travelling soon. You can also filter by profession, which includes, photographer, model (male, female, other), stylist, makeup artist, hair stylist, producer, retoucher, videographer, designer, art director, influencer and copywriter. So there’s plenty of opportunities to connect, no matter the project or job.

Through the connect screen you’ll also find Open Castings. Open castings can be created by anyone, and allow the creator to target specific professions allowing them to find talent for their next project or job. It might be a photographer looking for a model, or vice versa, or perhaps a project needs a hair and makeup artist. As more people apply to your open casting, the available pool of talent to add to your project grows.

And the Project Section of Co:lab acts as your call-sheet. Here you can find information about the project or job, the time and location it’s taking place, the project conversations, reference images for the project and a list of tasks assigned to each Co:lab.

So that’s a snapshot of Co:lab.

To get a more technical look at the app, visit our Co:lab support page.

Make it with Co:lab. An app for the creators.

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