Let me tell you why I started the Elytiz project: a hub dedicated to professional models and photographers.
First, let’s talk about modeling.
Why? Simply because I know more about modeling than photography, being having been a model myself for the last 8 years.
Modeling is a definitely an interesting job in many aspects.
As a matter of fact, it generates criticism but also the same degree of fascination.
It makes some people dream and is associated with tons of clichés like:
- “Models have an easy life.”
- “You just need to be well born to become a model. Models have no brain.”
Because models mainly work with their looks, it leads to a great deal of confusion, and the air needs to be cleared out.
The truth is that if you look at modeling from the outside, it’s full of mystery and untold stories. By the way, the blog is also meant to tackle this point.
Well, I’m here to tell you about the story of Elytiz.
It all started when I got into modeling. I was a bit of an accident I would say, but I’m saving that for another article.
Long story short, I’m a commercial model and actress. Over the last 8 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work and travel across Europe, the USA, and Asia.
Although I managed to build a decent network in Paris, every time I’d be back home it’d be like I had to start from scratch.
Building a network and traveling
By building a decent network, I’m meaning being regularly called to castings by my agencies, tagged on casting posts, receiving regular messages and inquiries from qualified photographers and cool brands. It doesn’t mean I necessarily made tons of money out of modeling, but it definitely showed results from dedication and hard work.
Well, if I left a few months to live in another country, not only would I have to start from scratch at my new location, I’d also have to “reactivate” all my network and activity once being back to Paris.
Being someone who loves traveling, that would be the very first thing in the industry to annoy me.
It raised the following question:
Why is it so complicated to have to build a new network everytime you switch country?
Let’s set apart the fact that first of all, you have to learn about the culture and general practices of the new country you live in. Funnily enough, I realized how much beauty standards and sense of aesthetics can differ from one place to another one.
However, I found out that no matter which country I lived in, the process of finding photographers to collaborate with is relatively the same one everywhere.
Finding portfolios you like
You go on whichever platform is available and spend hours looking for portfolios I like. Once this is done, you send out requests all around. Sometimes you get no answer, sometimes you are being asked to pay for the shoot and sometimes you find a good candidate for a collaboration. It can feel discouraging at times and unfortunately it really depends on where you are, thus, finding people you’d like to collaborate with can be tricky or time-consuming.
Managing incoming requests
And it goes both ways: when you are a model, you are regularly solicited and have to reject requests or send your rates. That’s neither convenient nor pleasant. Personally, I hate doing that. There are some photographers that have very sweet approaches and kindly ask for collaborations. The problem is that if I feel their work doesn’t match my portfolio, a collaboration wouldn’t be the best use of my time (besides the fact that I may be meeting someone passionate and interesting). I can’t afford spending my time on activities that don’t grow my portfolio and career. Plus, I cannot risk having pictures that are not in line with my personal branding. But it can be tricky to “reject a collaboration” and again, I just hate doing that. I wish I could do that less often.
Then, once you found someone to collaborate with, you have to schedule the photoshoot. It may take a couple weeks or even months before you manage to find a timeslot that works for both of you.
The brave ones will even go and look for an artistic team like a makeup artist, a designer, and a hairstylist themselves… Then the concept of the shoot needs to be defined, the location selected and so on…
Getting the images from the shoot and sharing them
But the work does not end once the photoshoot is over. After that, you need to be patient and hope to get the images at some point. Ideally not 6 months later (or never), when your hair will have grown, your skin tone will have changed and the pictures are not up to date for your agencies and clients.
Then you have to choose the best images to put in your portfolio and share them with agencies and on your social networks.
To me, even that part of the job is painful. I personally struggle with choosing the right images to market myself and get more jobs.
Work more effectively with agencies
I’m also frustrated by the fact that I have to wait while my agencies do all the job hunting. I’m tired of telling them I’ll send them new pictures shortly, and end up sending nothing because I never received my pictures or because they are already too old.
I’d like to be able to work more proactively with my agencies by, for instance, doing some of the hunting myself.
It should all get easier
Each and every one of the steps I’ve mentioned takes time and can create frustration. They sometimes lead to confusion, miscommunications, and loss of time.
So a lot of work needs to be done in order to finally enjoy yourself shooting and creating with new people.
So much to see your portfolio grow…!
I’d say that modeling is 90% of the time going through boring tasks with 10% of pure awesomeness and enjoyment.
But don’t get me wrong, I find the 10% totally worth it! I wouldn’t have stayed in the industry otherwise.
However, I believe that the cursor could be moved towards a better balance between the boring tasks vs. the fun of being a model. I believe that more time should be spent on creativity and performance than on the necessary but unpleasant work.
While I explored many potential platforms and mobile apps, I couldn’t find one that would save me enough time in the process and that would be truly dedicated to professional models and photographers.
So I have decided to create an app.
The app of my dream. The one app that would make my life easier as a model.
Yet, the point is not for me to design an app for myself!
I want to create an app that will be useful to other people too.
I want to co-create that app with other professionals from the fashion industry. With people who experienced the same challenges as me, with people who experienced even bigger challenges.
To build a project focused on the actual needs of models and photographers.
I want to hear about photographer’s and model’s daily problems.
I want to help them grow their portfolio and career with what I have learned over the past years.
Because it’s fun.
Because I love passionate people.
Because I love to see people dream and grow.
Because I think that we can make the industry better.
Because I love the human connections that you can experience in this industry.
Hence, I’m looking at gathering a community of people, who want to design the app of their dream together with me.
With small or big contributions: time, ideas, opinions, social media support, etc. No contribution is too small!
It’s as simple as that.
I need models and photographers to tell me what they like and dislike. I want them to tell me how I can make their life easier.
So let’s get in touch if you want to be part of it, there are tons of ways of doing so!
Get in touch by writing us at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on Instagram 🙂
Founder and CEO of Elytiz