Archive for ‘hobbyist’

July 2, 2010

What do you practice in front of a mirror?

Models say it all that time.  Many photographers do too.  “Practice in front of a mirror.”  But what, exactly, is a model supposed to practice in front of a mirror?

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June 16, 2010


Here are deal-breakers for me when it comes to photographers.  All of the things listed below are either things I’ve seen, or things I’ve dealt with during communications, at a shoot, or after a shoot.  Post-shoot deal-breakers mean I won’t work with the person again, nor recommend them to others.

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June 2, 2010

Do’s & Don’ts of Group Shoots

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts of planning group shoots.  All of this comes from either my experience as an attendee or a planner myself.  I suppose I’ll state right off that bat that some of these might work for others, whereas some might not… it all depends largely on your audience, your event, and who’s planning the event.

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April 21, 2010

Shoot Results: Ice Falls

A couple years ago a local photographer started shooting nudes at the frozen waterfalls at Starved Rock State Park in near-central Illinois.  One of the things that bugged nearly everyone who saw his shots was that the always had the models in boots of some kind.  His argument, when this was mentioned in critiques, was that a barefoot model would stick to the ice.

Enter local photographer Greg Kolack, who agreed with me that that wouldn’t be the case.  So we planned to shoot at the very same frozen falls, with me going barefoot.  I wouldn’t be nude, but we agreed that a black leotard, short tights and a flowy skirt would look great there.  Greg and I also agreed that instead of standing in front of the ice falls, I’d dance as well as interact with them however we saw fit once we got there.  We planned and planned, but for nearly 2 years we couldn’t get our schedules (and the weather) to cooperate.

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March 16, 2010

Why I require a phone number.

I had one shoot when I started modeling (early fall, 2006) where I hadn’t gotten the photographer’s phone number.  I’d asked numerous times, but never got it.  I did make sure to provide my cell number though.

This is the reason I now require a cell phone number in order to book a shoot.

On my way to the shoot, with about an hour of time-padding (allowance for traffic and parking), I ended up stuck on the expressway 1.5 miles before an exit, with no turnaround options (read: concrete barrier in the way).  There was a major accident just before the ramp that would have allowed me to navigate around it, and because of injuries and a spill, all 4 lanes and both shoulders were shut down for over an hour.  Between the newsradio station and the police, those of us sitting were fairly well-informed.

But that didn’t help me reach the photographer to let him know I’d likely be late.  I didn’t have a way to get a hold of him, made worse by the fact that we were meeting on-location in downtown Chicago.  I did have the photographer’s first name, the suburb he lived in (or where his studio was located) and what he called himself on the site we booked through.  So, during the hour I was sitting doing nothing but stressing, I called 411 numerous times getting numbers for anyone with his first name and any photography studio in his area.  I also called my husband and had him Googleing all kinds of things, looking on the modeling site we’d booked, and even going thru my emails for me to see if he could find a number I’d overlooked, or any info that would have helped me get something worthwhile from 411.  I called a bunch of wrong numbers, but got nothing that actually got me in touch with the photographer.

Once the highway opened up, I continued on to the location, showing up about 45 minutes late.  I parked and wandered the location for another hour, asking anyone with a DSLR if they were looking for me.  It was all a no-go, and I paid for my $25 in parking and headed home.  I was disappointed but realized I’d done everything I could.  I figured once I got home, I’d email and explain what had happened, and offer to reschedule provided I could get a phone number.

When I got home, there was an email waiting for me that read “waited 5 min for you and didn’t see you, oh well”.  It was sent about 20 minutes after husband and I had given up the search in my inbox.  Lovely.  I ended up being glad I was 45 minutes late because of an accident on the highway instead of being 6 minutes late because it took a little longer to find parking than I’d anticipated.  Evidently, even after waiting a whole 5 minutes, it hadn’t crossed his mind to call me and see where I was at.

Now I realize that it’s entirely possible that he didn’t have a cell phone, but if that were the case, I feel like he should have let me know that, and we should have figured something else out instead of meeting in a major, crowded place.  Perhaps “let’s meet at my house and drive to the location together” would have been a better idea than, “let’s meet at Buckingham Fountain”.

Either way, lesson learned.  Always, always, get a phone number before scheduling to work with someone.
Even if you don’t think something will happen, plan for it anyway.  Bottom line is, you need to be able to reach the other party in the event that something does happen… even if that something is, “I’m totally lost, help!”.

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February 15, 2010

Comfort While Shooting

A model’s comfort during a shoot is essential to the shoot being a success.  Certainly there are some models who are able to control their face enough to not portray discomfort (often most useful during poses that are awkward and/or painful), but not everyone is capable of doing so.

The bottom line, however, is that during a shoot, the model is responsible for maintining her comfort at a level that is satisfactory to her.  That means, that if a model is uncomfortable in any way during a shoot, she needs effectively communicate that to the photographer using actual words, not body language, expressions, sighs or other not-so-obvious displays.

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January 21, 2010

Coming Up With Shoot Ideas

Coming up with your own ideas for shooting can be quite a challenge, whether you’re a photographer or a model (or anyone else for that matter).  Some of the answers to the questions below will largely depend on the photographer’s style and capabilities.  They may also depend on the model’s capabilities and willingness to do certain styles.  It’s important to keep that in mind once you have an idea and are looking for someone to shoot with, but also if you’ve got someone to work with and are now figuring out what to shoot.  It’s also important to make sure the location will suit the style of images you’re looking for.  Also, make sure you discuss any ideas you have with the rest of your team (photographer, model, stylists) prior to the shoot.   Communication is definitely key!

Where to start?  Here’s how I do things.

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December 28, 2009

Photographers: Preparing for Your First Shoot

Due to popular demand, here’s my blog for photographers, on preparing for your first model shoot. Models, I’ve got one for you too… that one’s here.  Now, these are just suggestions and shouldn’t be taken as the end-all-be-all regarding doing a shoot.  Certainly not all of the suggestions I have will work for everyone, or apply to all situations.  But they’re all definitely worth making note of.

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December 10, 2009

Bringing an Escort: The Opinion of an Experienced Hobbyist Model

So Monday and Tuesday I blogged about escorts at photoshoots, and looked at the common arguments that both the pro-escort group and the anti-escort group typically rely on.  In case you missed those entries, they can be found here:

Now, I suppose all of my responses to those arguments are, indeed, my thoughts on each and every one of those arguments.  However, I never really explicitly said which way I waver when it comes to escorts.  So, here you go 😉

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December 8, 2009

Bringing an Escort: Anti-Escort Arguments

As a continuation of yesterday’s pro-escort post, where I looked at common pro-escort arguments, today I’ll touch on some common anti-escort arguments.  To make it easier, I’ve continued my numbering scheme from yesterday’s post.

Anti-Escort Arguments
This set of arguments is often used by those who don’t allow escorts.  It’s also often used by those who don’t feel escorts are necessary themselves.  I’ve broken them down and addressed each one individually, continuing the numbering system from above.

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