Posts tagged ‘communication’

November 8, 2010

Booking A Model

For whatever reason, some photographers are non-committal when it comes to booking, or think a minimal amount of info sent to a model suddenly means they’ve booked said model.  For models, this is frustrating (especially when the same photographers are seen in the forums complaining about no-show models or not being able to find any models in their area).  Here are some tips and things to avoid doing when booking a model.

“Let’s shoot” doesn’t constitute booking.
Models need, at the very least, a location, date, time and a basic idea of what they’re shooting.  Even better if you can provide information regarding a styling team (HS and MUA), your contact information (phone and email), and more specifics regarding shoot style and wardrobe required for it.  You don’t need to give all that info up front, and can even collaborate on it and discuss it all with individuals as you set stuff up.  But the more into a model has, the better.

Inviting a model to an event doesn’t mean you’ve booked her for that event.
Especially when there are going to be other photographers in attendance.  If you are interested in working with a model at an event, communicate this with her so she knows to set aside time for you.  Giving her details as to what you want to shoot (especially if it’s an open event) is helpful too (see above).

Discussing an upcoming shoot or event with a model on a forum doesn’t mean you’ve booked her for the shoot/event.
Even if the date, time and location are discussed in the forum, many models need a confirmation, contact details, and a few other bits of info to be sent privately (via PM or email).  Discussing something in a forum isn’t really the best way to book a model, and many models won’t consider themselves booked for the shoot/event without a PM to show the photographer was serious about working together.

“Bring whatever you want” isn’t a good idea when discussing wardrobe.
In fact, it generally leads to frustration for models.  Not only do we stress over what to bring, nut undoubtedly the photographer says “too bad you don’t have [something else]… I had a great idea involving [that item]” and it’s a piece of clothing or an accessory the model has sitting at home in her closet.  Had the photographer been open with his ideas in the first place, the model could have coordinated what she was bringing, and there’d be know “too bad” BS.

Dropping communication is lame.
This applies to everyone, really, because it’s not just a photographer issue.  But ceasing communication at any point during the planning process is a no no.  Believe me, I get that things get forgotten and stuff, however, if you’re super interested in shooting with someone, “forgetting” him or her isn’t going to score you any points.  If, for whatever reason, your circumstances change or you’re not interested in what they have to offer (like rates), say so. We’re human, we understand, and in many cases, we might even be willing to negotiate if money is an issue.  So don’t drop communication because you think our rates are too high, the concept discussion isn’t going the way you wanted, or whatever.  See if you can resolve the issues first!

Confirm, confirm, confirm!
Once you’set a date, idea, location, time, and everything else, confirm it all with the model in one, easy to read message (lists are good).  It doesn’t have to be long, but confirm everything to make sure you’re both still on the same page.  It’ll save a variety of headaches later on.


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.

If her shoes are pinching her feet, and she needs to take a break and sit for a minute, she can’t rely on the photographer to tell that from her body language.  She needs to say, “photographer, these shoes are killing my feet and I need to sit down for a sec.  Can we maybe bring in a chair I can pose on, or try some poses on the ground?”

If the model’s really thirsty, and will faint if she doesn’t have a drink of water soon, she needs to say, “photographer, I’m parched and really starting to feel it.  Why don’t we take this time to change the lights around for our second look while I get a drink and change?”  She can’t expect the photographer to know how thirsty she is, or that she may faint because of it.

If the photographer’s over-complementary directing style is making the model uncomfortable, she needs to say, “photographer, I appreciate your feedback, but the constant, over-enthusiastic complements are making me a bit uncomfortable.  Would you mind toning it down a bit?  I’d appreciate it.”  Some photographers think that models like being complemented, and in reality, some women are simply weirded out by frequent complements.

If, for whatever reason, the photographer doesn’t listen to the model and she continues to be uncomfortable, it’s up to her to say, “photographer, I’m not happy with how this is going, and I’m afraid it’s going to start showing in pictures, rendering them useless for both of us.  Either this has to change, or I’m going to have to pack up and leave.”  If the photographer doesn’t allow the model to sit, take a drink, or otherwise feel comfortable, then the model needs to hike up her britches and say, “You know what, this isn’t working for me anymore, and I need to leave” and then, leave.

Models, when shooting, you need to communicate with the photographer during the shoot, but especially if you’re not feeling well or uncomfortable at any point in time.  If you don’t, it’s your own fault for letting the situation continue past the point where you’re uncomfortable, and it will ultimately be your fault for useless images, blisters, passing out because of low blood sugar, or whatever else may happen.  Keep that in mind when shooting.

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