For whatever reason, some photographers are non-committal when it comes to booking, or think a minimal amount of info sent to a model suddenly means they’ve booked said model. For models, this is frustrating (especially when the same photographers are seen in the forums complaining about no-show models or not being able to find any models in their area). Here are some tips and things to avoid doing when booking a model.
“Let’s shoot” doesn’t constitute booking.
Models need, at the very least, a location, date, time and a basic idea of what they’re shooting. Even better if you can provide information regarding a styling team (HS and MUA), your contact information (phone and email), and more specifics regarding shoot style and wardrobe required for it. You don’t need to give all that info up front, and can even collaborate on it and discuss it all with individuals as you set stuff up. But the more into a model has, the better.
Inviting a model to an event doesn’t mean you’ve booked her for that event.
Especially when there are going to be other photographers in attendance. If you are interested in working with a model at an event, communicate this with her so she knows to set aside time for you. Giving her details as to what you want to shoot (especially if it’s an open event) is helpful too (see above).
Discussing an upcoming shoot or event with a model on a forum doesn’t mean you’ve booked her for the shoot/event.
Even if the date, time and location are discussed in the forum, many models need a confirmation, contact details, and a few other bits of info to be sent privately (via PM or email). Discussing something in a forum isn’t really the best way to book a model, and many models won’t consider themselves booked for the shoot/event without a PM to show the photographer was serious about working together.
“Bring whatever you want” isn’t a good idea when discussing wardrobe.
In fact, it generally leads to frustration for models. Not only do we stress over what to bring, nut undoubtedly the photographer says “too bad you don’t have [something else]… I had a great idea involving [that item]” and it’s a piece of clothing or an accessory the model has sitting at home in her closet. Had the photographer been open with his ideas in the first place, the model could have coordinated what she was bringing, and there’d be know “too bad” BS.
Dropping communication is lame.
This applies to everyone, really, because it’s not just a photographer issue. But ceasing communication at any point during the planning process is a no no. Believe me, I get that things get forgotten and stuff, however, if you’re super interested in shooting with someone, “forgetting” him or her isn’t going to score you any points. If, for whatever reason, your circumstances change or you’re not interested in what they have to offer (like rates), say so. We’re human, we understand, and in many cases, we might even be willing to negotiate if money is an issue. So don’t drop communication because you think our rates are too high, the concept discussion isn’t going the way you wanted, or whatever. See if you can resolve the issues first!
Confirm, confirm, confirm!
Once you’set a date, idea, location, time, and everything else, confirm it all with the model in one, easy to read message (lists are good). It doesn’t have to be long, but confirm everything to make sure you’re both still on the same page. It’ll save a variety of headaches later on.