Archive for May, 2009

May 29, 2009

Clothes for Shoots & Retail Theft

It happens rather often.  A model posts in the forums looking for suggestions regarding where to buy wardrobe for shoots, where to shop, how to find great deals, etc.  And every single time, a few posts in, it happens.  The Bad Advice Fairy pops in.  And inevitably, in this case, she waves her sparkly wand and sing-songs, “Just return the clothes after you wear them.  Keep the tags on.  It’s easy!  I do it all the time!”

Sure, in theory, buying something, wearing it for a shoot (tucking the tags in), and returning it is a great way to get a varied wardrobe without spending a lot of money.  Tons of people do it for special occasions, to try out new items like digital cameras, and for all sorts of things.  And besides, who’s going to know, right?  Wrong. There’s a huge problem with it.  It’s not only dishonest, but in the retail world, it’s considered theft.

How’s it theft if you’re returning the items?
First, there’s the possibility that the salesperson that sold you the item might lose their commission on the sale.  Either that, or the retailer is stuck paying the salesperson a commission on an item they’ll either ultimately take a loss on, or sell twice (thus paying out two commissions on one item).

Sometimes, especially right now, a returned item was purchased at full price, but when returned, has been marked down.  So while the item might be in condition to be resold, the retailer has to mark it down, and takes a loss if it gets sold at the marked down price.  Provided, at that point, that it can even be sold at that point.  The item’s season may have passed, meaning the retailer takes a loss on it and ships the item to a discount retailer (like TJ Maxx or Marshalls).

You might not realize it, but the items returned might be damaged by store standards.  Makeup on the collar, strong smells (like body odor or perfume) indicating an item was worn, and small tears caused by not being careful when putting on or removing a garment are all things many retailers consider damage.  And often times, items with damage are either marked down a percentage, or counted as a total loss and trashed or sent to discount retailers.

Big deal… who cares anyway?
Big Chain Store loses a few bucks because Cheap Model didn’t want to actually buy wardrobe, and returned some stuff after wearing it for an hour at a shoot.  They make enough money anyway, and can handle the measly loss.  Right?

No!  It is a big deal!  Especially when you consider that it’s not just one person doing it, but many many people.  I’d even wager to say that more people are doing it now with the way the economy is right now.

Those retailers that take hits on returned items ultimately raise their prices, passing the cost of the loss onto consumers.  Some of them even change their return policies, making it more of a hassle for those with legitimate returns.  Bottom line is, when retailers start feeling the effects of serial returners, they do what they can to not have to suffer, and that ends up meaning that the honest consumers are the ones who pay for it.  Literally.

Shop Around… But Keep It!
So, next time you’ve got a shoot coming up, don’t consider buying something with the intent of returning it.  First, what if you damage the item?  Then you’re stuck with it, and you might have “borrowed” an item you couldn’t really afford.  Then what?

Instead, shop the sale racks, the discount stores, and the thrift shops, or even borrow from your friends.  There’s also eBay, Craigslist, Etsy, and even the marketplace of modeling forums you can check out too.  And shortly, I’ll be pulling a huge list of online retailers from a resource I have, and posting them to a new page here.

Don’t believe me about returning being considered theft?  Here are some articles for you to read.

On March 1, 2003, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The primary mission of the Federal Emergency Management Agency is to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the Nation from all hazards, including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters, by leading and supporting the Nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation.
May 18, 2009

Calling all Shoppers

I need help finding a super cute maxi dress for the day after the wedding… and I don’t want to spend over $50 if I can. So far, I’ve checked all the obvious places, but haven’t found anything that strikes my fancy.  Well, I’ve found one I like… but I want to see a few more options before I get it. ‘Cause yea, I gotta look cute that day.;)

Especially now that soon-to-be hubby and I have been given the go-ahead to leave after brunch and head to the track! 😀

Now taking suggestions via comments, email, YIM or AIM 🙂

May 15, 2009

New Header

Thought I was due for a change.  Shout out to SF Moe, the photographer who took the ROCKIN’ shot I’m featuring for now 🙂  Wooo!

May 14, 2009

Getting Nothing from TF*

Earlier today a thread was started asking about how to ensure people get images from trade shoots.  In the thread, a photographer said, essentially, that if he isn’t happy with how just one of the shoot team (model, MUA, hair stylist, etc) performed, by looking at the resulting shots, he won’t give images to anyone.  Simply, they’re not up to par in his eyes because one person did a sub-par job, so no one gets anything as a result.

It’s like that one asshole in 5th grade who’d throw a spitball and get recess canceled for the whole class, right?

Anyway, I think he’s wrong.  If, on a trade shoot where the compensation is photos, one person on a team doesn’t do a good job, it becomes the job of the photographer to step up and say, “that hair doesn’t look right under the lights” or “let’s fix the lip color, it’s not photographing well” or “let’s try some other poses, these aren’t flattering”.  That is, the photographer should have noticed something was off before shooting started, or during the shooting itself, and worked with the team to correct it.

And if, for whatever reason, the shots don’t come out, I feel that the photographer should properly compensate the parties who ultimately suffer because one person didn’t do their job.  After all, the team is there working for payment, and for whatever reason, suddenly they’re not getting paid as promised.  I’m not saying the photographer should immediately turn around and cut everyone who kicked ass a check, and I’m also not saying he should release photos he’s unhappy with just to please the masses.  However, offering to reshoot at standard rates would be a nice gesture.  There may be some people who say, “oh don’t worry about it, not every shoot goes well”, but I can honestly say that nearly everyone who gets offered that would likely have a more positive outlook when it comes to that photographer than if they were told, “oh, right, pictures… they were bad because the hairstylist sucked, so I deleted them all and you get nothing.”

What are your thoughts on it?

Mine?  Well, I tell you, I’d be pretty pissed if I were a model who rocked the shoot, and a couple weeks later got a message where the photographer was telling me that he didn’t like the makeup artist’s job, so he decided to scrap the shoot results, and tough cookies that I was there for 8 hours and worked my ass off.

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May 13, 2009

Upcoming Projects

I’m going to hit the ground sprinting when I resume modeling after my too-long hiatus* in August. I’ve had a lot of time to think about things, and plan to work on some projects before I really get back into modeling for the fun of it.

First, I’ll have a lot to do regarding the VOP Show. More than I’m already doing for it. That’s a good thing, as I like being involved in the show 🙂

Next I’m going to work on creating 2 different kinds of posing guides. I know, I know, there’s like eleventybillion of them out there already. But I’m not just going to rehash the same boring, tired poses. I’ve been thinking about these a lot, for quite some time, and I think it would be good to do them.

I’m going to art-direct the sets from start to finish, and the first guide will have some basics for a variety of studio and location options. It’s likely going to be a long shoot (or couple shoots), and I’m pretty sure I know the photographers I’m going to pitch the work to. Essentially, it’ll be a handy guide for new models. I won’t give more details than that, because, well, that would be silly.

The second guide is going to be a more consumer-friendly one, targeting a certain market. Again, not going into too much detail 😉 But I’m pretty sure I know who I’m going to go for for this one, and what it will entail. Hopefully it will be marketable and end up being successful.

So yea, some fun things on the horizon. I’m excited for them 🙂

*My ‘hiatus’ has consisted of a couple shoots, and working on theVOP show some. I am, however, shooting FAR less than I’ve liked, for far too long, and I’m looking forward to the point where things settle down and I can get serious again.

May 13, 2009

Screw drafts…

I’m just too darn busy to write right now.  This wedding planning stuff is kicking my ass… and I feel like I’m not even doing much.

We’re 1 month and 8 days away from the big day, and each day there’s just more to do.

Right now I’ve got to concentrate on getting thank you notes from a shower done, because I have another coming up this weekend.  And then I’ll have twice as many to do.  I keep meaning to do them on lunch at work, but then I don’t take a lunch ’cause I have too much work… Grr.

The plus side of things is that I found someone to make me a birdcage veil.  A MUA from MM, of all things!  She makes little hats, and is going to give this a shot using stuff I’ve bought, and maybe some of her own stash of things too.  It should be pretty neat.  I’m excited!

And Kelli is doing makeup for all of us the day of the wedding, which is pretty bad ass as well.  She’s awesome! 🙂

And on that note, time for bed.

May 6, 2009

I Have a TON of Drafts

Tons of them.  Lots of started thoughts, things that need finishing, but either I haven’t had the time, the motivation, or the mindset to finish them.  And there are some that just need to be deleted.

Some of them need to be finished soon.  Like, yesterday.

I promise you, dear readers, I will get on some of this tonight!

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