Archive for ‘new models’

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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December 7, 2009

Bringing an Escort: Pro-Escort Arguments

Ahh yes, the dreaded “E” word: Escort.

In the Internet Modeling World, an escort is an extra person who comes with to a shoot, for the model’s safety.  It’s a subject that comes up often, is always a very heated debate topic, and will never change.  I’d like to touch on a few of the common escort arguments, from the perspective of a seasoned hobbyist model.  To make it shorter, I’m going to break it into 2 sections: pro-escort and anti-escort.  Today I’ll start with the pro arguments, and tomorrow I’ll post the anti ones.  Thursday I’ll give you my personal opinion when it comes to escorts on my shoots 😉

Before I start, there are very few instances where an escort might be required.  A handicapped model, for example, who needs an assistant there to aide with health issues (such as the quadriplegic model Alex N from Michigan, who has someone there to help her at all times).  Someone under the age of 18 might be required to have a parent or legal guardian there at all times.  But really, other than that, there aren’t many reasons an escort must be present.  I don’t consider hair stylists, makeup artists, or other related parties “escorts” as (provided they actually know what they’re doing) they actually add to a shoot.

Pro-Escort Arguments
This set of arguments is often used by those who allow escorts or wish to bring them themselves, either individually or combined in various ways.  I’ve broken them down and addressed each one individually.

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November 16, 2009

Models: Preparing for your first shoot

Models often ask for tips before their first shoot… things like, “what do I do beforehand?” and “how do I behave?”.  So here’s some pre-first-shoot advice for new models.

Before the shoot:
Discuss everything with the photographer in advance, including your limits (if any), and how many shots you’ll be getting back, how you’ll receive them, and when you can expect them.  Figure out wardrobe, location, and time in advance as well.  Work out if there will be a MUA on set, who is in charge of setting up the MUA, and the MUA’s payment.

Make sure you get a phone number you can reach the photographer at the day of the shoot in case, for example, you get lost on the way there.  An email address is helpful as well, in case the site you’re using to communicate with goes down.  There is no reason you should be afraid to give someone your phone number or email address, or, for that matter, talk to them on the phone in advance.

The day before:
Confirm with the photographer.  Send a quick note that says something to the effect of, “Hi Photographer, I’m just confirming our [style] shoot on [date] at [time].  I’ll be bringing [wardrobe items] and will come [ready for shooting/ready for makeup].  Again, my cell number is [123.456.7890].  Looking forward to working with you!”  It might also be helpful to confirm the location address and directions if you’re not sure of where you’re going.

I typically get stuff together for my shoots the night before.  It means less frantic running around in the morning (and lessens the chance of me forgetting something).  I usually make a list of what I want to bring well in advance, and pack my suitcase the night before.  I also make sure to print out directions in advance (though I do now have a GPS, I still make sure to write the address down), get the photographer’s number into my phone, and print out any shot/pose ideas I have to bring along.

I also like to relax the night before a shoot, in addition to doing some preparation for the shoot itself.  For me, this usually involves a short shower in which I exfoliate, shave, and wash my face, followed by a long, hot soak in the tub, often with a face mask on, a small glass of wine, and a good book.  Once I’m done there, I usually head to bed to make sure I get a good night’s sleep… which is important.  A good nights’ sleep means not looking tired on the shoot, but also having the energy to shoot all day.

Showing up:
Show up when the photographer asks you to, or slightly early (10-15 min max).  Generally, it’s best to leave about 30 min extra when driving to a location in case you get lost, have to find parking, or have a delay (such as getting tied up with a car accident) on the road.

I find it helpful to drop the photographer a quick phone call when I leave to let him know I’m on my way and approximately how long it should take, and I recommend others do it as well.  That way, they know you’re on your way and to expect you (also when to expect you).  It also gives you a chance to make sure you’re going the right way and to ask about parking.

How to act:
Don’t act like a diva, a whiny brat, or a cold-hearted bitch.  You don’t need to speak when spoken to… speak when you like (but know when to shut up LOL).  Have a conversation with the photographer.  It’s perfectly fine to joke, laugh, or otherwise have fun, but remember to stay professional.  Steer away from discussing or joking about hot-button topics like sex, religion and politics.  Be polite and courteous, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have any.  My general rule is, if I wouldn’t act a certain way at work, I wouldn’t act that way on a photographer’s set (though this often changes as I develop friendships with certain photographers, haha!).

Keep your energy up:
I find it helpful to bring a small snack and drink with me, double if it’s going to be a long shoot.  Not all photographers provide food and drinks, and it’s helpful to have something on hand should you find yourself parched.  Passing out from hunger or dehydration is a bad thing.

If, for whatever reason, you feel like you need to take a break, ask to do so.  Being tired, faint, hungry, bored, uncomfortable, or anything but into the shoot will show on the resulting shots, and they likely won’t be usable.  So if you need to sit down, stretch, get out of the lights, take a drink, warm up, whatever, ask the photographer.

More advice:
I’ve got a whole bunch of blogs written with new models in mind, including 2 lists of things to bring to shoots (Bring It & Bring It ver 2.0).  Check here or here for tagged blogs.

August 24, 2009

Owing Past Photographers

The question was raised in the forums as to whether-or-not folks you owe anything to the folks you worked with when you started modeling.  It was phrased in a way that suggested that since these people may have taken a chance on me, I should return the favor down the road and  “pay it back” by working with them again, even if it might be a step backwards.  Here are my thoughts on the subject:

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August 21, 2009

Today’s Public Service Annoucement

Models, if you’re struggling with posing and expressions, and can’t get through a shoot without “freezing up” because you’re so nervous, then chances are you shouldn’t be asking to get paid.  It might also be wise to

Typically*, photographers pay models that have something to offer them (when they’re hiring models for things like private projects and portfolio building–when it’s a client that pays, this may be a different story).  Chances are, if they hire a model who’s nervous and constantly gets stuck posing/emoting, and ultimately has one look and a handful of stiff poses, they’re going to feel a bit short-changed at the end of the day.

Just some food for thought.

*Note: I did say typically.  Some photographers do hire based on things like looks and measurements before they hire based on experience.  But many feel that a model needs to have something worth paying for in order to be, well, paid.

June 28, 2009

“Why Aren’t I Getting Paid?!”

Ten Reasons You’re Not Getting Paid

1. A lot of it has to do with your location. If your town is a small blip off the interstate in the middle of cornfields, chances are, it’s not a great market for regular, decent paying work.

2. If you live in the middle of a cornfield, it certainly isn’t very economical for you to travel to and from the nearest major market to go to castings, go-sees, or whatever else on a regular (possibly even last-minute) basis.  Provided, that is, that your major market is one that has modeling agencies and/or clients looking to hire models.

3.  Bigger cities often have events going on. Certainly if any photographers in a major city are going to hire someone, chances are, they’re going to look nearby first.

4. What kind of work are you looking for? Your portfolio needs to reflect the kind of work you’re looking to get.  Certainly photographers aren’t going to pay a model to stand in their studio, smile, and look pretty when they can find a bunch to do it trade.

5. Get a thicker skin. Someone suggesting you be a housepainter isn’t rude.  If you think that’s rude, find another “full time job”, because modeling is much more harsh than that (especially if you make the move to a larger market).

6. Go to college and get an education. Modeling is a career that typically doesn’t last forever.  An education is something you will always be able to fall back on.  At the very least, take some courses on business, marketing, and personal finance, as they will be very valuable in both the modeling business, and the housepainting one.

7. It’s “accepting” not “excepting”. Presenting yourself professionally will help you get treated like one, which might improve your chances of getting paid shoots.

8. Number 6 also applies to the escort BS. You don’t need an escort on a shoot.  Especially if you’re modeling full time–certainly then the shoots you’re going to have full hair, makeup, wardrobe, and possibly even art directors on set…  but if you’re shooting with regular folks off MM or other modeling sites, doing your research on them first may help.  These articles are good to read: Safety & Due Diligence by SLE Photography and What is Due Diligence in a Model/Photographer Environment? by Curt Burgess

9. Stop using the word “edgy”. It’s meaningless.  Seriously.

10. Figure out what makes you worth paying. Once you’ve done that, market the hell out of yourself.  Here’s a hint: it’s not your height, your hair, how much you rock on the runway, or how much you love modeling… because there’s always going to be someone taller, with the same hair, who can rock the runway better, who loves modeling more.

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.

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February 27, 2009

Profile Writing 101

As someone who’s volunteered to approve profiles for one of the modeling sites, I’ve seen a lot of stuff when it comes to profiles.  So I’ve come up with a few basic tips on how to best write your profile, as a model.

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February 23, 2009

Starting Out & Patience

Having been modeling now for almost 3 years, I see a lot of new photographers, models and MUAs join a site like MM and get discouraged right away.  Some of them even want to leave after a few days, not even giving it a week.

Now, sure, it’s pretty easy to get discouraged. Joining a site like MM, OMP, or any of the various other modeling comunities online doesn’t mean the work will suddenly start rolling in.  And if it does, it likely won’t be paid work.

The work won’t just start rolling in, because networking sites require a lot of work.  I’m on 4 or 5 modeling sites, and the ones I get work from?  The ones I spend more time on.

You have to get your name out there, and show people that you exist.

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