An interview with @samgraystyle

How to be a successful mens fashion influencer
sam gray in brown suede jacket and blue trousers

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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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=”;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=”;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=”//”></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!

Download the free Vamp guide and learn how your brand can succeed on the original influencer marketing platform, Instagram.

Download this free Vamp guide and learn how to succeed on the world’s most viral platform.