Archive for October, 2008

October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Don’t eat too much candy, be safe, and don’t drink and drive.

I hope everyone has a wonderful, fun, safe Halloween 🙂

Edit: Ok, here’s a pic of me in costume today at work! Yar!

Oh, and my pants were a success! They’re awesome!

October 30, 2008

Halloweenie. Ha, I said “weenie”.

Tomorrow we’re having a costume contest at work. I’m going to be a pirate. Not a sexy pirate though. The plan is to look like I stepped off the set of Pirates of the Carribean. If you’re lucky, I’ll share pictures.

I’ve worn the costume before, for 4 years actually, and have been making minor changes every year. This year, I need to make pants. Seems that in my drunkenness having fun at last year’s party, they disappeared. I never got them back, which is sad. But I found a similar fabric and will sewing a new pair. Without a pattern. Should be scary frustrating a disaster interesting. I might end up just wearing black leggings instead of cool crushed burgundy velvet gaucho-like pants.

Anyway, after making my new pants tonight I’m going to play around with hair and makeup. The excellent news is that modeling has made me more proficient with both, so they should end up pretty kickass. Of course, we’ll see if I want to get up an extra hour in advance to do them in the morning.

So, what’s everyone else dressing up as tomorrow? 🙂

October 29, 2008

ANTM: She Shouldn’t Get to do That! She’s Atheist!!

Last week on America’s Next Top Model (ANTM), one of the girls won the challenge. The reward for winning the challenge was getting to do a holiday-themed shoot for Seventeen magazine.

That really pissed off some of the other contestants. Why? No, silly, not because the girl won and didn’t “deserve” it, but because the winner was Atheist, and since she doesn’t believe in god/religion, she shouldn’t get to do a holiday-themed shoot. They flat out didn’t think it was fair that the Atheist girl was shooting something that was religious-based. As you can imagine, much bitching ensued.

Now, with this week’s episode coming up, I’ve decided it’s something that needs touching on. I’ve also decided that if Tyra didn’t talk to the girls about this, she’s dumb.

If a client is paying a model to do a job, it shouldn’t matter what the model’s beliefs are. She’s doing a job. Period.

Now, before you all get hollerin’ about exceptions, there are always exceptions. There are models who won’t wear fur, who won’t pose nude, who won’t use products tested on animals… the list goes on and on. However, if a model chooses not to do a job based on beliefs, that’s one thing. It’s a completely different thing for others to try to make those decisions for the model, based on their belief that something “unfair” is going on.

Life is unfair. Modeling is even more unfair. Get over it.

Instead of spending the energy bitching about how the winner was modeling for something she didn’t even believe in, those girls should have been figuring out why they didn’t win, and should have been working on improving themselves as models.

But of course, if they did that, ANTM wouldn’t have a show, would they? 😉

October 29, 2008

Ugly

The following opinion was posted on a modeling forum. It’s not quite verbatim, but it’s close.

Is it me, or do all overweight, unattractive models on this site do nude photos for TFP and the attractive models need to get paid.

I’m sorry if I sound mean, cause I’m the nicest guy, but I’ve come across this way to much.

I see a person on this site that is not that great (as a model) and they shoot nudes want want to work with me and I don’t even wan to do it (even for pay sometimes).

Then you get the new models on this site that say they are models even know they are just regular people who are building their portfolios who never did a shoot before that want TFP – but they don’t even know what it is.

The wonderful world of TFP in the modeling industry – got to love it!

And I chose not to address it entirely on the forums, mostly because I don’t want to get temporarily banned from the forums. But I feel it needs addressing, because certainly there are many other people in the modeling and photography realm who feel the same way.

First of all, I used the word “opinion” earlier, and that’s exactly what the above is–this one asshole’s opinion. My opinion is that he’s got a bad attitude, despite being “the nicest guy”, and that sooner or later (likely sooner now that he’s aired this particular opinion) his attitude is going to bite him in the ass. It wouldn’t surprise me if, in a few months, he posts whining about not being able to find models to shoot with.

Second, as a photographer, your job is to shoot what the client wants. If the client wants fat, ugly, pimply-faced naked people, then that’s what you shoot. Likewise, if they want skinny, blonde, big-boobed people, then that’s what you shoot. Your client is paying you to do a job, not to voice your opinion about it. You voice your opinion about it too much, and chances are, they’ll go pay someone who can keep their piehole shut and do their job.

Now, if you’re shooting for yourself, then it’s a different story. Shooting for yourself means that you have the option of saying, “thanks, but I’m not interested in working with you”. Of course, it’s still a good idea to keep your mouth shut about what you think about some of the models who contact you… but if you choose not to, it’s best to post shit like that in a blog, not in a public forum where potential clients (and models who may have been interested in working with you) might come across it.

I’ll note here that the person who posted the above rant has recanted his statement and apologized for it. Of course, umpteen billion people have quoted it already. But at least he apologized for offending anyone.

Anyway, shit like the opinion this guy posted pisses me off. Being a model isn’t always about being pretty. Art isn’t always attractive. Photographs don’t always have to have pretty people in them. There’s always a need, somewhere, for someone who’s less than perfect. And sometimes, as a photographer, you need to get over your personal preferences, shut up, and do your job.

Edit: Ok, so it wasn’t likely bad enough to get me put in time out… but it’s much better writing stuff like this here anyway, juuuust in case.

October 28, 2008

OMGz Where’s Your Website?!

If you came here from MM, you’re likely wondering where my website is, and why I changed my main link on my profile to come here. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about it, so here are the answers.

Where’s the Website?
It’s currently where it’s always been. However, it needs a bit of work, so I will likely be taking it down soon. I need to redesign it, need to add a gallery, and need to relook at all the info that’s there. So chances are, soon this will become my main website, at least for a little while. That’s better than putting up some lame “Coming Soon” or “Under Construction” graphic.

Why the Main Link Change on MM?
Because this is a better source of info for new models, because of the fact that my website sucks right now (and before you get all angry, I can say that, I designed it), and because I felt like it. Weeee!

Update…
Site’s offline. Redesigning it. Eventually…

October 27, 2008

M&G Follow-Up: Sat. Oct. 25

The M&G was a success. For the most part.

Location = Success
Mr. Beef & Pizza is more than happy to work with us on a monthly schedule. I have requested the first Saturday of every month. They are going to let me know, as there is another group that meets that night. As of right now, I’m still waiting to hear from them. But I’m in no huge hurry, as I let the manager know that we won’t be meeting the first Saturday of next month (which is this weekend). If I don’t hear from him soon, I’ll place a call. But I’m pleased that they’re willing to have us back, and that they’re more than willing to work with our group monthly.

And just as I’m about to post this, Mr. Beef & Pizza called me. We’re in, for the last Saturday of every month! Woo!!

Turnout = Meh
The turnout wasn’t too bad. 100% of the photographers who said they’d be there showed. That’s no shock. Three others came who weren’t on the original list (one of whom posted in the thread at the last minute that he’d be there). Overall, there were 14 photographers.

Model turnout, however, left much to be desired. Three of us showed up, out of the 7 who said they’d be there (8 if you count one who dropped out on the 20th). Two of the girls were MMers, who posted up that they wouldn’t be there–one on the 24th, and one early morning on the 25th. One was a non-MMer who let the photographer she was coming with know she was unable to come, and he posted for her. And one girl just didn’t show… despite posting up that she was on her way. Turns out, if you do a bit of research, you’ll find out that she’s fine, and that she didn’t get into trouble along the way (which was my first concern, seeing as she never showed up). Of course, her lack of remorse for not showing and not apologizing to anyone has landed her on at least two flake lists (one being my own). Her loss.

Final Thoughts
I plan on doing it again, of course. However, I’m not sure what to do, still, to get more models to come out. It seems that nothing works with a lot of these people. And I know, I know, we’re dealing with Internet Models here. But hey, [i]I’m[/i] an Internet Model, and I honor my commitments. I would also like more MUAs and stylists to come out. :shrug: One thing is certain though: I would like M&Gs to remain free (as in no ‘entrance fee’ or obligation to buy food), so asking certain parties to pay is something I’m not willing to do. I’ll have to think about it, though I’m open to suggestions as well, so if you have any, feel free to add a comment.

Also, I got 5 shoot offers last night. FIVE.

October 24, 2008

Weekend Plans

Starting this afternoon, I’ve got the following going on:

Shoot with Jim Jurica and Stacy Brogan
I’m working with these two photographers on some commercial stuff. I’m on my way to making my portfolio more commercial, and therefore (hopefully) more marketable to photographers like the 2 I’m working with this afternoon. It’s going to be a long, challenging process, but worth it.

Wedding Stuff
Completely unrelated to modeling, but fun and exciting no less. If things go as planned, we’ll be ordering a dress tomorrow :does happy dance:

M&G at Mr. Beef & Pizza in Mt. Prospect
Saturday night I’m hosting (along with Hal Eskew and Caity B) a M&G for the Chicagoland MM community (though it’s not limited to just MM, that’s where we’re all primarily doing our networking). It starts at 7P, and goes until 10P (or whenever they kick us out). The restaurant is willing to work out a monthly arrangement with us, which is awesome, and we didn’t have to shell out a bunch of cash to reserve their private room. It should be fun, and will hopefully be a success!

Laundry, Cleaning Out the Closet, Dog Park, & Being Lazy
Some or all of the above is what I’ll be doing Sunday. Woo!

October 22, 2008

The MySpace Shot, Portfolio Building, & 50 Shoots

The MySpace Shot & Camera Phones
When joining a modeling site (like Model Mayhem), not everyone has the means to get shots that are professional quality right away. However, there’s a difference between a “myspace angles” mirror shot, and a camera phone shot taken to show what one looks like. I’ll be a nerd and post some examples for you. The top shot is a crappy myspace pic, and the bottom shot is a photo that was taken to show what I look like. Both were taken with my camera phone, about 10 minutes ago. Pardon the glasses:

Yes, I realize they’re not the greatest. That’s the point. Sometimes, that’s all some people have to work with. Note, however, that it’s far easier to see what I look like in the second shot, than in the first (and that I actually went as far as finding a non-distracting background in the second shot as well). When it comes to modeling, MySpace Angles FTL.

A New Model’s Portfolio & Building It
A portfolio is a constant work in progress. A model should constantly be updating her/his portfolio to reflect her/his current look, measurements and genre. That said, a model should also be primarily shooting things they are interested in, yet should keep any limitations (like height/measurements) in mind when shooting. A good source of information is www.newmodels.com. That site is a good starting point for a new model, and can help models keep their goals in sight.

Obviously art models, alt models, and hobbyists (along with other genres that Roger doesn’t talk about on his site, including promo models and glamour models) may have different portfolios and different goals than someone looking to sign with a fashion or commercial agency.

“Aim for 50+ shoots in a variety of styles and with many photographers. Then you’re a real model.”
So doing 50 shoots makes one a real model? No.

First, “real model” is one of the worst things one can say. There’s no such thing because there are just too many definitions of the phrase. Some people think a “real model” is only one who is agency signed. Others equate it with being published in a well-known publication, and there are some who say “if you posed for a photographer, you’re a real model”.

Someone can do 50 shoots and still not understand what it takes to be a good model. Being a model doesn’t just mean sitting in front of a camera 50 times. It means being aware of where every part of your body is—down to fingers and toes—and what those parts are doing, at all times. That means being aware of lighting, and how to angle yourself to best use that lighting. It means being able to pose yourself, with or without instruction. It means mastering your facial expressions and being able to express yourself fully with just your eyes. It means pushing your mind and body past its limits to get The Shot, and not complaining about it, because it’s part of your “job”. It’s knowing your limits, and being realistic about your goals and ambitions.

(And yes, the above paragraph is mostly from an older blog.)

October 20, 2008

Expression

Emoting on a shoot, especially if you’re a new model, can be tough. Often times, a model can end up with a portfolio full of “deer in headlights” shots. Not good. But, with a little work, a model can improve her expressions and produce images that a dramatically different. Acting classes may also help. But, for those DIYers out there, here are some tips for improving your expressions.

To work on your expressions, use a mirror and work on conveying emotions (search the internet for a list if you think that will help you). Try to remember what you did, and what you thought of, to move your face a certain way (much like how you make mental notes of how you got into a pose, when practicing poses in the mirror). You can also find images you like and work to duplicate the expressions in those shots. Again, practice in the mirror, and do so often.

You can also ask a photographer to help guide you towards emotions. For some people, a simple “you’re angry” works. For others, a story works… like “you’ve just walked in on you best friend making out with your boyfriend, and she’s wearing a shirt she borrowed from you!” And don’t be afraid to talk and act natural during a shoot. Sometimes, the candids that result can be the best shots!

One site that’s worth a look at (even if it’s just for a laugh) is www.emotioneric.com.

October 15, 2008

The Home Studio

There are some models who say a photographer who has a home studio is creepy, unprofessional, and is one to be wary of. There are even some who say that a photographer who has an actual studio (as in one separate from his place of residence) is far more legit, safer, and more professional. The reasoning is often, “I don’t want to be alone with a stranger in his house”. What’s even more mindblowing is when people say things like, “a home studio is fine as long as there’s backdrops, lights and other expensive-looking stuff, it can even be in the basement… but just shooting out of the living room with none of that is creepy!”.

And to all that I say: BULLSHIT! Why?
Studio rental can be expensive. Not everyone can afford to rent space to shoot in (especially right now). And why should someone who has the space available in their home/apartment be forced to fork out more dough to rent more space? They shouldn’t. Renting space doesn’t automatically make someone a pro… it makes them someone who can rent space.

Space is space. If there’s room for a backdrop and lights to be set up, there’s room to shoot. Heck, a lot of the time, you don’t need the backdrop and lights to get a beautiful shot–a space lit well with natural light can create amazing images. And sometimes, the lack of space and the uniqueness of it might force the model and photographer to get creative, which can result in some great stuff as well.

When did expensive equipment and a “legit-looking” place start meaning that the person who owns it all is safe and professional? Spending a lot of money on something doesn’t automatically buy that person talent as well, so why would it eliminate their creep factor or make them conduct themselves in a professional manor? It wouldn’t.

And really, how is a basement better than a living room? Seriously. That just makes no fucking sense to me.

Now, some examples.
Before you read on, can you tell me which shots were taken in homes, and which were taken in non-home studios? They’re all studio shots, and they were all taken by photographers whom I would consider some of the most professional I’ve worked with–I’ve worked with all of them at least twice.

     

Think you figured it out? Here are the answers:
The accordion shot was taken in the photographer’s apartment, in what should have been his dining area. Backdrop and lights were set up, and workspace was roughly 6′ x 6′.

The white background shot was taken in the photographer’s basement studio. Backdrop and lights were set up, and workspace was roughly 12′ x 10′.

The cantaloupe shot was taken in the photographer’s apartment. The backdrop was a 24″x24″ square of paper, taped to the wall, and the photographer (and her single light) were all up in my face.

“Power Suit I” was taken in the photographer’s studio, which is located in an industrial park (not in his home). Lights and backdrop were set up, and workspace was quite large. This particular photographer is a commercial photographer who also teaches photography at one of the local design schools.

The 5th shot was taken in the photographer’s home (which doubles as his studio). No lights or backdrop were used, and the working space was slim, roughly 3’x2′ because of the available light.

The final shot was taken in a photographer’s studio, located in a building in a not-so-great area of town. Working space was roughly 12’x8′, and backdrop and lights were set up.

So, home studio versus rented space…
What’s the big deal where someone shoots? Models (especially those building their portfolios) should be more concerned with portfolio quality, professional conduct, and communication skills than where the photographer shoots his/her pictures.

If a model is insecure with being alone with the photographer, even after she’s checked references, she has a couple options. She could make sure it’s ok to bring a MUA (or ask the photographer if he has one he works with often), and book one. She could ask the photographer to meet ahead of time, at a place like Starbucks. Or she could just not shoot with that photographer.

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