An interview with @samgraystyle

How to be a successful mens fashion influencer
Vamp - samgraystyle

Our friend, the Vamp chat cat, caught up with @samgraystyle to discover the secrets to his Instagram success. As a budding influencer themself, the Vamp chat cat is on a mission to up their Insta game.

To see the original Vamp chat interview check it out via our Instagram highlights @vampbrands.

Describe your style in 3 words

Classic, Clean, Timeless

What camera do you use?

I tend to use a few different ones, as I like to shoot when I’m out and about, and don’t always want to take a DSLR with me. I use my iPhone X, Olympus PEN EPL7 (with the 45mm lens) and a Canon 50D,

What editing app/s do you use?

I often get asked this and I’ve always used the same apps since starting. My favourite is Adobe Lightroom Mobile, as it enables me to edit on the go and means I can use my preset anywhere I am. Depending on the image, I also put the photos through Facetune and Snapseed, to help refine and clean up the overall picture.

When is your optimum posting time? 

This actually changes for me depending on the day. I find that during the week, just after 3pm works best and then at the weekend it’s between 9:30-10am.

On average, how long does it take to create a piece of branded content?

I always try to give as much time as I can to each piece of content. This of course depends on the original brief from the brand. Some people simply ask for a quick iPhone mirror selfie which can take a few minutes, whereas others will be after a more editorial style of content. I always make sure that it has own creative flair and still runs try to my own brand. At the same time I make sure I’ve captured what they’re looking for. The image should capture the product/brand in the best light.

Your top 3 tips on creating a fashion photograph

1. Think about the hero piece of each shot.
Is it the footwear or do you want to focus on a smaller detail such as a watch? This will of course alter the angle and distance you shoot from. You’ll want to make sure you capture everything you need to and frame the outfit/item in the right way, without losing it completely or by being too far away.

2.  Plan your outfits and where you want to shoot them.
I’ve had too many times where I’ve headed out to shoot content with a bag of clothes, and have found myself wondering around aimlessly looking for a location before realising I don’t actually like the clothes I’ve bought with me, and that they don’t actually look good together. Try everything on together before you leave so that you know exactly what you’re wearing with what, and that you pick a location to compliment your outfit.

3. Be true to yourself.
This is something I’ve always tried to stick by as I feel it’s extremely important when you’re trying to stand out from other influencers and build your own ‘brand’. find the style of photography, and edit that works for you and find a fashion style that you personal enjoy wearing as odds are, somebody else will find your profile and love it to!

What advice would you give to a brand to help make their influencer campaign as successful as possible? 

Be organised. Know what your desired outcome of the campaign is, and make sure you brief the influencers on what you want them to create. There’s no use in giving full creative freedom and when you receive the content back, asking them to reshoot it as it isn’t what you envisioned. Also, make sure the product gets sent out on time and that you also pay when you’re meant to. Influencers are often held to tight schedules and timings, so please respect us back by doing the same. Finally, have fun with us! We all love what we do and love it when a brand wants to build a relationship with us in a creative and fun way.

What’s your favourite of all your IG posts? What inspired it? 

It would have to be this post here: 

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border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;”></div> <div style=” background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;”></div></div></div><div style=”padding: 19% 0;”></div><div style=”display:block; height:50px; margin:0 auto 12px; width:50px;”><svg width=”50px” height=”50px” viewBox=”0 0 60 60″ version=”1.1″ xmlns=”https://www.w3.org/2000/svg” xmlns:xlink=”https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink”><g stroke=”none” stroke-width=”1″ fill=”none” fill-rule=”evenodd”><g transform=”translate(-511.000000, -20.000000)” fill=”#000000″><g><path d=”M556.869,30.41 C554.814,30.41 553.148,32.076 553.148,34.131 C553.148,36.186 554.814,37.852 556.869,37.852 C558.924,37.852 560.59,36.186 560.59,34.131 C560.59,32.076 558.924,30.41 556.869,30.41 M541,60.657 C535.114,60.657 530.342,55.887 530.342,50 C530.342,44.114 535.114,39.342 541,39.342 C546.887,39.342 551.658,44.114 551.658,50 C551.658,55.887 546.887,60.657 541,60.657 M541,33.886 C532.1,33.886 524.886,41.1 524.886,50 C524.886,58.899 532.1,66.113 541,66.113 C549.9,66.113 557.115,58.899 557.115,50 C557.115,41.1 549.9,33.886 541,33.886 M565.378,62.101 C565.244,65.022 564.756,66.606 564.346,67.663 C563.803,69.06 563.154,70.057 562.106,71.106 C561.058,72.155 560.06,72.803 558.662,73.347 C557.607,73.757 556.021,74.244 553.102,74.378 C549.944,74.521 548.997,74.552 541,74.552 C533.003,74.552 532.056,74.521 528.898,74.378 C525.979,74.244 524.393,73.757 523.338,73.347 C521.94,72.803 520.942,72.155 519.894,71.106 C518.846,70.057 518.197,69.06 517.654,67.663 C517.244,66.606 516.755,65.022 516.623,62.101 C516.479,58.943 516.448,57.996 516.448,50 C516.448,42.003 516.479,41.056 516.623,37.899 C516.755,34.978 517.244,33.391 517.654,32.338 C518.197,30.938 518.846,29.942 519.894,28.894 C520.942,27.846 521.94,27.196 523.338,26.654 C524.393,26.244 525.979,25.756 528.898,25.623 C532.057,25.479 533.004,25.448 541,25.448 C548.997,25.448 549.943,25.479 553.102,25.623 C556.021,25.756 557.607,26.244 558.662,26.654 C560.06,27.196 561.058,27.846 562.106,28.894 C563.154,29.942 563.803,30.938 564.346,32.338 C564.756,33.391 565.244,34.978 565.378,37.899 C565.522,41.056 565.552,42.003 565.552,50 C565.552,57.996 565.522,58.943 565.378,62.101 M570.82,37.631 C570.674,34.438 570.167,32.258 569.425,30.349 C568.659,28.377 567.633,26.702 565.965,25.035 C564.297,23.368 562.623,22.342 560.652,21.575 C558.743,20.834 556.562,20.326 553.369,20.18 C550.169,20.033 549.148,20 541,20 C532.853,20 531.831,20.033 528.631,20.18 C525.438,20.326 523.257,20.834 521.349,21.575 C519.376,22.342 517.703,23.368 516.035,25.035 C514.368,26.702 513.342,28.377 512.574,30.349 C511.834,32.258 511.326,34.438 511.181,37.631 C511.035,40.831 511,41.851 511,50 C511,58.147 511.035,59.17 511.181,62.369 C511.326,65.562 511.834,67.743 512.574,69.651 C513.342,71.625 514.368,73.296 516.035,74.965 C517.703,76.634 519.376,77.658 521.349,78.425 C523.257,79.167 525.438,79.673 528.631,79.82 C531.831,79.965 532.853,80.001 541,80.001 C549.148,80.001 550.169,79.965 553.369,79.82 C556.562,79.673 558.743,79.167 560.652,78.425 C562.623,77.658 564.297,76.634 565.965,74.965 C567.633,73.296 568.659,71.625 569.425,69.651 C570.167,67.743 570.674,65.562 570.82,62.369 C570.966,59.17 571,58.147 571,50 C571,41.851 570.966,40.831 570.82,37.631″></path></g></g></g></svg></div><div style=”padding-top: 8px;”> <div style=” color:#3897f0; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:550; line-height:18px;”> View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style=”padding: 12.5% 0;”></div> <div style=”display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;”><div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;”></div> <div style=”background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: 8px;”> <div style=” background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;”></div> <div style=” width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg)”></div></div><div style=”margin-left: auto;”> <div style=” width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);”></div> <div style=” background-color: #F4F4F4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);”></div> <div style=” width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);”></div></div></div></a> <p style=” margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;”> <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/p/BYyeOj7FygG/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading” style=” color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;” target=”_blank”>Walking into the rest of the like 👞 Can we all just take a moment to appreciate @adrianstanleyphoto amazing photography! Making me and my @nextofficialman suit look great. Check him out! #nextsuitcamp</a></p> <p style=” color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;”>A post shared by <a href=”https://www.instagram.com/samgraystyle/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading” style=” color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px;” target=”_blank”> SAM GRAY | LONDON BLOGGER</a> (@samgraystyle) on <time style=” font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;” datetime=”2017-09-08T17:35:52+00:00″>Sep 8, 2017 at 10:35am PDT</time></p></div></blockquote> <script async defer src=”//www.instagram.com/embed.js”></script>

It was taken over a year ago when I was still figuring the industry out and where I could see myself fitting into it. It was taken on a day of shooting with a good friend and neither of us had any idea how nice the shot would come out. It was also at a time when I started to work with a number of amazing brands and when I met some of my best friends in the industry, so it always takes me back to a good time and reminds me of starting out.

What are the big dreams for @samgraystyle?

Honestly, I don’t actually know. The industry is constantly evolving and I never got into all of this with an end goal in mind. I always did it for the enjoyment. I’ll continue to do it as long as I still have a drive and passion for creating content. Of course, I would love to be featured in a world-wide campaign someday or to become the face of a designer brand, but who wouldn’t?

What are the biggest challenges of being an influencer?

Self motivation and constantly trying to improve your content. I feel it’s important for anyone, in any field, to make sure they constantly push themselves to achieve their best and make sure they are always developing their skills. Somedays I don’t feel like shooting, or meeting with brands or other influencers. But I know I need to in order to grow my brand and help drive ‘@samgraystyle’ forwards. It’s also important to stay on top of where the industry is moving and what the consumer wants.

What’s the best thing that has come about from @samgraystyle

Honestly, I would have to say the friends I’ve made. It’s crazy to think how an app like Instagram has managed to introduce me to some of the closest people I have in my life right now. It’s also led me to so many ‘pinch-yourself’ moments. Instagram’s given me experiences that I wouldn’t have even dreamed of having before all this started.

Right now I’m: Sat in Starbucks in Covent Garden, having just finished a meeting with a brand.

Listening to: The sound of people outside and the typical London street sounds.

Eating: Nothing right now, but I’m having friends over for mexican tonight.

Drinking: A Venti Caramel Macchiato 

Wearing: My Black Allsaints Leather Jacket, White Tee, Black Skinny Jeans and a pair of Black Chelsea Boots, finished off with my all time favourite watch from Rotary.

Watching: A child pick his nose on the table next to me (true story)

Reading: My answers to these questions, and hoping I’ve not bored everyone to death!

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