This one wasn’t on my “Reader’s Choice” list for some reason, but I’ve been sitting on this draft for awhile. This week, on one of the modeling forums, this topic has been quite a popular one, so I’ve opted to finish up the draft and go with it, to round out this week’s entries. Enjoy.
So, you’ve sent someone you’re interested in working with a message. For whatever reason, you’ve monitored whether or not the message has been read, and you see that it has. Despite this, the model hasn’t replied to you. Not a peep from her.
First of all, why are you sitting and monitoring whether or not the messages you’ve sent have been read?! Seems like such a waste of time, and I’ve never understood why people do that. Send the message, and move on. Certainly, you have better things to do with your time than wait for “unread” to change “read”, right? I’d hope so!
Why might a model simply not respond, instead of taking a few seconds to just say “no”?
There are tons of reasons a model might not respond. Some of the most common ones are…
- She forgot. As silly as it sounds, it happens. She may have opened your message on her phone, and realized her reply was going to be longer than was worth trying to type on her phone, and intended to answer you on the computer later. And of course, since once you’ve read the message, it’s no longer “new”, it dropped off her radar. It happens to all of us, at one point or another.
- The message offers her something she clearly states she’s not interested in doing. Nude, fetish and erotic work would be the most common here. Many models don’t reply to messages for work they note they are not interested in doing, because they’ve already expressed their lack of interest.
- It wasn’t clear in the initial message that the sender actually wants to shoot with her. A message that states “you have beautiful work” doesn’t mean “I want to work with you”.
- The message was SPAMing rates.
- The message insulted her portfolio or the people she’s worked with. I shouldn’t have to say it, but many models get messages that start out with insulting anecdotes about their portfolios or the photographers they’ve worked with, and some of us don’t appreciate it. Why insult someone you want to work with? Silliness.
- The grammar and spelling in the initial message is so poor, she foresees it being a pain in the ass to communicate with you, and opts to just not bother.
- The copy-pasta went wrong and the bottled message was accidentally addressed to someone other than the model. If you can’t bother to make sure you’re addressing your message to the right person, well… yea.
And sadly, another common reason (and perhaps the most common one for more experienced models) models don’t respond to offers they’re not interested in accepting? People who can’t take “no” for an answer, and get pushy or butthurt because of it.
Yup. Thank your colleagues who, after being told “thank you, but I’m not interested” or “I’m not doing TF* right now, but my rates are…” get passive-aggressive, insulting, and downright mean. I know many models who have experienced this, and I have myself on numerous occasions. I’ve been told I’m a shitty model not worth paying, a bitch who didn’t know what she was missing, and other random things I don’t care to look up. Some gems though, and totally uncalled for when the response given is professional.
There are also the few who, despite being told “thanks but I’m not interested” continue to push the model, asking if changing X, Y or Z would make a difference, or insisting on hearing why they’re not interested. This kind of behavior is a huge turn off, because if someone is that pushy just to shoot, it makes one wonder what the shoot itself will be like… and more often than not, it causes the recipient to say “not worth it” and move on.
Let’s put it in perspective…
When you get flyers for, say, a landscaper, shoved in your front door, and you’re not interested in hiring that landscaper, do you call them and say “hey, thanks for the lawn mowing offer, but I’ve already got a reliable landscaper, so I’m not interested in hiring you”? No. You just recycle the flyer and move on.
When you get an email from B&H letting you know that they have a zoom lens on sale for $3000 from $3100, do you respond to the email letting them know that the measly $100 discount isn’t going to get you to buy the lens, because you know of a place that’s got the same lens at a $400 discount and just offered you free shipping? No, you just delete the email and move on.
When a model goes to a casting call for a gig, does she sit by her phone waiting for them to call her so they can tell her “thanks for coming by, but you’re a 5’7″ brunette and we casted for a 5’9″ redhead, so, sorry, but you’re not right for this one”? No. Them not calling is them saying “your look isn’t what we were looking for, but thanks”.
Is there anything you can do?
If you are super interested in booking the model, you can try the follow up. Wait a week or so and then send a message that says, “just wanted to update you on my availability” or “I need to book this shoot by [date] so if you’re interested please let me know”. Don’t be a dick about it, just be polite and professional. It’s quite possible that she intended to reply and forgot, or that her reply didn’t go through because of a glitch in the messaging system (it happens).
While you’re waiting to hear back, don’t dwell on the message and definitely don’t stop messaging other models. And if you find someone to book the gig (if you were looking to book a specific one) while waiting to hear back, then it’s a good thing. Far better, at least, than sitting around waiting for one model to get back to you 😉
The drawback to following up?
The drawback to the follow up is that, sometimes, the fact that the message was read and not replied to means, truly, that they’re not interested. It might irritate the model a bit to get a follow up. But that’s a risk you are going to have to take if you decide to go with the follow up message. Of course, if the model goes superbitch on you for sending a follow up message, then consider it a bullet dodged 😉
Raise your chances of models responding positively.
Look at the portfolios and read the profiles of the models you’re messaging. Does the work they express interest in shooting (and that’s in their portfolio) jive with what you’re looking to shoot? Good. Do they say “not interested in shooting…” and then list what you’d like to shoot? If so, avoid messaging them. Also, make sure their last login date is recent (say, within the past 2 weeks to a month) before you click “send message”. It’s very unlikely you’ll hear back from someone who hasn’t logged into the site in over a year.
When you send your initial message, start off by sending a message that outlines what you’re looking to shoot, when you’d like to shoot, and what the compensation will be. That’s the important information a model needs to know in order to begin considering your offer. There’s no need to go on and on about the model’s beauty and all that–we get that you like our look and that’s why you contacted us. There’s also no need to insult the work that’s in the model’s portfolio, tell her a certain photograph is unflattering, or speak poorly of those she’s worked with in the past.
And lastly, don’t be a jackass if someone doesn’t respond the way you feel you deserve. This includes being sent rates, being turned down, and not getting a response at all. Don’t take any of that personally, because it’s not personal, and simply move on to find someone willing to accept what you’re offering. Be professional, and be patient if you have to.
The bottom line?
No answer means, “thanks, but I’m not interested”. Your best bet? Move on.