Feb 1 2018

Blogger Tips – Collab Questions & Reshoots

Hey Cuties Today’s post is another one for bloggers (or anyone curious) where I share some tips, tricks and a few things I’ve learned along the way. Going to keep this post kind of short and to the point for you … well no promises lol!
SO a few weeks ago I shared some of my favorite and not so favorite collabs from 2017 and it sparked alot of questions from you, bloggers and non bloggers alike, so I thought I would take a second to address those and speak on a topic that’s super important to me – reshooting content!
SPECIFICALLY let’s cover:
How to avoid reshoots
What my process is like for sponsored content
Mistakes that I have made in the past
When to suck it up it & reshoot the dang thing
ANDDDDDD when to walk away #byeeee
BEHIND THE PHOTO – COVERGIRL: I was really excited this year to get my FIRST cover girl campaign. Being a Cover Girl has always been a dream of mine (lol do I sound dumb? WHATEVER LET A GIRL DREAM GUYS) so I was super pumped. For my peacock mascara ad I turned myself into an actual peacock through color & texture to make the product come to life. Well being a beauty brand, they didn’t love that I took fashion twist and did not approve my content. Luckily I had taken some close up product shots to clearly show the mascara (it’s a very holographic bottle making it super hard to photograph from afar) that the brand loved! As a compromise I agreed to post it as a carousel/swipe through post and they we’re on board. This was a great way to get the brand what they wanted without compromising my aestheticI also tossed then some extra story promotion as a gesture of good faith… which I always end up doing when I love how the content turned out // See top of the post for my initial content and see above for the carousel post feature.(shop the look) 
Before we get started, here are some things you should know:
A big way I make money as a blogger is through creating sponsored or commissioned content by a specific brand. If  you are not familiar with this practice, I am essentially hired on behalf of a brand or organization to share / review / promote a product, good, service, initiative or sale. As I’ve mentioned before, I say no to a great deal of these partnerships and only take on the ones that are the best fit.
You should also know that I solely manage all of my collaborations alone at the moment and that in so many of these cases I might be hired to do an ad for a specific brand (let’s say Target for instance) but I may never talk to come in contact with someone from that brand (Target) … at all. Instead the whole deal is brokered by a PR company or blogging agency, which can be a good and bad thing depending on who you’re working with. OKAY now that you know the basics, lets talk a bit more about how these deals are structured and MORE IMPORTANTLY what happens when things go wrong…. yikes.
So in almost all cases (90%) I am asked to deliver content drafts before actually posting them live on my channels – this gives a brand a chance to review my work and ensure it is what they wanted from the collaboration. In a lot of cases the brand shares a specific direction that they would like to see reflected in the content including post requirements, themes, moods, objectives, hashtags, messaging and even example content in some cases. I work with some brands that are pickier than others (specifically food and beauty) and they might have more guidelines to abide by than your average fashion collaboration. Whenever I can, I like to share a clear direction of what the post will look like before I start shooting and the brand see’s it. I often create mood boards, share inspirational images and even construct sample captions all to prepare them for my content – this is all done to prevent a reshoot.
BEHIND THE PHOTO – MASS MUTUAL / NYC MARATHON: I faced a delay in shipment when working on a project for mass mutual. My look was pre approved by the brand, but the product didn’t arrive in time. Since the post wasn’t about what I was wearing, I took the initiative to take shots in a different outfit I picked up that weekend. Although the brand appreciated the thought, they ultimately had me reshoot when the product finally did arrive. This was a gamble on my end, but I thought it  would be better to deliver something on time than to have missed the deadline entirely because of the late package. In the end, I really liked the reshot content (pictured) and was able to use the other denied photos for a different project down the road, so it worked out. // shop these looks:


Despite how aligned we are going into a collaboration, there are some cases when for whatever reason my content isn’t well received and this can cause some issues in the partnership.
But like WHY don’t they approve it? Well this could be for a number of reasons
1 – although we thought we were on the same page, either the brand did not understand my intentions or I was unclear on the direction of the campaign
2 – a issue arose during the content creation period requiring me to change things up on the spot. This could be anything from a change in weather to a shipment that did not arrive on time (like in the example above).
3 – for whatever reason our expectations weren’t aligned, they were expecting one thing and I delivered something else that didn’t meet their needs, this sometimes happens when the brand clearly doesn’t know me as a creator and are maybe expecting an edgy dark photo when I give them pure rainbow splash!
4 – someone made a mistake, either I misread/overlooked a requirement or it was never communicated to me, but something got lost in translation.
5 – the brand changed their mind after a visual opened their eyes to unforeseen issues. here something else happened, something we couldn’t see coming and didn’t discuss before. In this case the problem made its way into the content unknowing that the brand was not happy about (this could be where I wear a color that they did not want to see in the ad but did not previously warn me about, or where they are unhappy about the time of day it was shot for whatever reason & anywhere else in-between)
 6 – I underperform with blurry photos or looks that aren’t up to par, this one has yet to happen here.

BEHIND THE PHOTO – MINNIE STYLE: This post was originally rejected by Minnie Style because of the use of a Mickey Hand that they felt to be a Mickey-ism and not true to Minnie. After Hoping on the phone and having a conversation about my intent behind the photo, we were able to prove it and use it as is for my halloween takeover. Shortly after this I started to implement my Content Creation Cheat Sheet below. shop the look below:


I know, I know that sounds like a lot of things that could potentially go wrong, so how do you juggle a brands expectations with your own content creation – especially when in some cases (think of the Target example) you might never talk to the specific brand … here’s how!
So here are my rules to live by in order to create approvable content in hopes of avoid reshoot
1:read through the contract & deliverables right away, but brainstorm for 48 hours (when possible) before deciding if a collaboration is correct for you – if you can’t think of clever and consistent content to create in the first 30 min, the collaboration is probably not a good fit. But even if you do think of something quickly, your first idea might not be your best so be sure to let it develop over time.
2: LOOK FOR INSPO – once you have some initial ideas, go looking for more. I find inspiration on Pinterest and in pop art. I also draw a lot of Inso from editorial campaigns that I can give a color me twist, and just by playing with unique color schemes. I always have a running list in my head, only phone, on the notepad next to my bed of cool content ideas so I also like to cross reference those to see if there is any overlap.
3: TALK IT OVER – once you have landed on your idea, propose it to your point of contact. This might be best done on the phone to avoid unnecessary time outlining in an email. Also feel free to use your partner as a collaborator, after all they know what the brand wants more than anyone and would probably be flattered that you’re interested in brainstorming with them.
4: SLEEP ON IT – After you feel you have the right direction as reviewed with the brand, take a night to sleep on it, dream on it and see if you still love it. In all cases you should have a back up option (or two) in mind snd it never hurts to get these concepts approved in step 3. As a reminder, 90% of the time I have to get my actual content reviewed and approved before sharing, but I do not need to get the concepts reviewed before creating content. I just like to do things this way because it instils confidence in my brand partners and helps them feel included in the processed. I’ve also been told multiple times that this is one of the main reasons I get so many repeat brand partnerships and offers, because they liked how I work.
5: DRAFT IT OUT – Map out a mood board, detailed outline, inspiration photos and anything else you might need for the post. This might include location ideas,  sample caption, proposed clothing/makeup & more. I also like to run this by the brand for a second and visual check, so no one is surprised when they see the content we create. This is all especially important in stop motion videos because reshooting a video is a lot more work, time, energy and money than redoing a photo.
6: CREATE – Get out there and create your content! Make sure you give yourself plenty fo back up content incase something is wrong with your intended photo, location or look.
OKAY so now you’ve created some KILLER content and submitted it to the brand – but what if you post doesn’t make the cut?
Hearing that your content is unapproved as a creator is the worst feeling, I honestly take it really personal especially when I feel like I went above and beyond in a photo. Often times if I end up having to reshoot, I never end up losing to second shot as much as the first just because I’m so emotional about being unapproved. Despite how it hurts, it happens so here are your options
If a brand comes back with a big veto, here’s what you do
1: Ask why & find out what happened
2: Make sure they’re refining the content properly – send through high rex assets soothes can confirm they’re clear, and make sure your work is edited to perfection
3: Propose a work around – Ask, can we update the caption and keep the photo? Would a second round of edits work in Lue of a reshoot work? Does the brand/client just need a little more information describing the direction?
4: Determine where things went wrong – Looking back at “submissions and reviews” identify where the issue is. Did you just fail to follow instructions properly? Was it a misunderstanding? Did they just expect something different? Did you have to revert to a back up plan quickly? All of these are things you should know before moving forward.
5: Provide an additional option – if all of the other options are exhausted but you still really don’t want to provide a reshoot, you might be able to solve a problem with an additional piece of content. For instance, If the client had their heart set on a sunny shoot but the weather rained you out for days, could add an indoor shot or shot of the skyline in a swipe through carousel post on instagram? If they felt the perfume bottle was out of focus could you offer a close up flat lay that you add to twitter / facebook / stories and the brands personal use? All of these are quick compromises that might help you salvage your originally rejected content and find some middle ground.
6: Hop on a cal – sometimes emails just don’t cut it. Maybe that’s the reason you’re having issues communicating. Ask for a quick phone call and you might be able to work it out
BEHIND THE PHOTO: UNIQUE VINTAGE – The above snap is from a Unique Vintage collab that almost fell through because of an email misunderstanding. I was able to hop on the cal with the director and we quickly worked everything out. I also offered them a free piece of content as a show of good faith with really helped repair the relationship. shop the look here
If all of the above have still failed, and now you find yourself in need of a reshoot that sucks, I’m sorry, As I mentioned reshoots are my least favorite things because of the work I put into each piece of content, and because it makes me feel really undervalued. Although I ALWAYS take it personally, you have to try not to. The brand isn’t rejecting you, there rejecting your work and usually for some good reason.
When you’re ready to reshoot go back through your content creation cheat sheet and be twice as detail oriented. Review all aspects with not one, but two members of the partnership team to make sure there is constant alignment. As for help, additional funds, extended timeline, new product and whatever else you may need to get this done. Don’t afraid of hearing NO that’s a lot better than being removed from the project entirely.
If you find yourself at a stand still, you can always walk away. I have on three occasions in my blog career: Fossil, Limerita & Recently Polaroid. You can read about Limerta & Fossil here but I will say for the record that Limerita did reach out to make things right after the post. I never heard anything from Fossil nor do I expect to. Poloriod is s different animal, I’ll save that story for a post talking to brands about how not to work with influencers … yikes.
I’ve shot more reshoots that I would care to a admit and they always sting a bit. One content piece I really liked but you’ve never seen because It was rejected is this video for Oreo. In this case they were upset with how many Oreos I used because it went over their serving size as stated on the box and thought it would become a legal issue. I was really upset at the time because I was heading out of the country and had tower overtime to get the reshoot handled just because I used a few too many cookies, but as time goes on I understand why they have certain rules and restrictions they need strictly enforced.

Nevertheless, check out the published video that we re reshot here:

And the previously unpublished Oreo Video Here:
Reshoots aren’t fun, but they happen. The best advice I can give yours to handle it with grace and learn from it. If you can not take it personally, you’re a better blogger than me but I’m so invested in my content it always breaks my heart to reshoot it.

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  1. SaraLily says:

    This was GREAT – thank you for being so open and transparent! It definitely opened my eyes to how some of this works (I only get a couple collaborations a year, nothing as regular as you! You’re a BOSS!) and I definitely learned a lot!!

  2. Aww that must be an awful feeling to have rejected content, especially when yours is so good! Luckily I haven’t come across any problems so far but thanks for the tips just in case 🙂

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