Working With High-Profile Clients

I am asked about working with celebrities and other high-profile clients just about every day in my emails. I want to clarify my personal process for doing this type of work and give some tips on heading in this direction. The majority of my work with these clients in todays market is in the creation of content for marketing and publicity (Social Media Manager).


How did you get into this type of work?

First, I worked on the craft of photography honing my skills to become a confident and skilled visual artist. Second, I marketed myself to the clientele I wanted to work for. Third, I cater to my clients needs. Fourth, I take my clients privacy serious and never share anything about them, in fact it is standard procedure to sign a NDA with clients.


It takes time but time alone is not of any value. It is the person who uses his/her time efficiently by setting goals and achieving them on a daily basis that gets the life they dream of. You will need a strong work ethic, confident skillset, and time to build an amazing network to be successful in any industry. In the end, just don't lose sight of what makes YOU unique!


“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” - Oscar Wilde


Top tips for those interested in this field.

(1) Don't even try to fake it until you make it here! Celebrities are just glamorous business people with no time for bullshit. If you are not at this level don't even attempt to act as if you are.


(2) Buy professional gear and take classes on social media management.


I shoot with Profoto lighting exclusively and have for years. They have amazing gear that exceeds professionals needs. In fact, I have never had one fail in all the years I have shot with them. I bought (3) B1 lights when they came out and they were amazing. I have since opted to go with B10's and A10's for my travel setups. Nikon, Canon, Sony, Hasselblad, Fuji...are all good but go full frame/medium format and get two of them. Lenses, you only need a few but make them good ones! 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.4 are great for portraits but for more bank for the buck 24-70mm 2.8 & 70-200mm 2.8 are versatile and cover 99% of most jobs.


(3) Remember who you are working with. Celebrities and high profile individuals are busy people who are on the go from sun up to sun down.


(4) Be a vigilant business owner. Your business is your baby. Feed it, love it, and never take it for granite! Never let anyone including clients take advantage of it. Walk away and move on, do not waste your time on people that waste your time. It's a rabbit hole, stay away.


“The only shortcut I have found to life is to sharpen my teeth on the bones of the wise.” - Vic Stah Milien


(5) STUDY successful people. No matter if you use books or audio books read the stories of the people who have lived before you. Study their ups and downs and take in their wisdom. This is the ONLY shortcut you will find in life and it's a damn good one. See my personal reading list here.


In closing I want to remind you that this is going to be extremely difficult because most people are not wired to be highly driven. Nobody is driven to do what they don't want to do (clean your house, mow the yard) but even when it comes to the things you want in life you have to really want it. You have to feel like you cannot exist without it and every waking hour is spent working towards it. You have to be hungry, really hungry!


“An empty stomach, an empty wallet and a broken heart can teach you the best lessons of life.” ~ Robin Williams


I am naturally driven. I have been self- employed almost every day of my adult life. It left me very poor for many years and the thought of living in a van down by the river was still not enough to force me into day labor for a traditional life. I would rather die in a van working towards my dreams than mow yards every Saturday at my red brick house in the suburbs. You might be able to get away with a suburb life while working on your dreams but that would never work for me personally. I need to be hungry to achieve big goals. Comfort creates lazy people imho.


I work all day and night. I get up early and here at 2am I am writing this post. It is constant and I have had to deal with medical exhaustion for years due to my extreme desire to continue forward in my work each day. I hate sleep, it feels like I am wasting time even though I have been made aware by loved ones sleep is part of work. It's the part that fuels the productivity levels required to be a top performer. Get your rest, I will try to as well.


Since having kids I have chosen them every time over work and it has made this type of work 10x harder than before, but being a husband and a father were my first dreams and I will never take those for granite. Today I teach them the tools of the trade so they can work with me and that idea makes me very happy. When I can do what I love with who I love I am in Heaven on Earth. Let's not forget I am married to the most beautiful person God ever created, yeah, that helps a lot! Having someone who supports who you are no matter how crazy it seams to others is a blessing for sure.


I wish you the best and let me know if I can be of any help. - Vic Stah Milien