Posts tagged ‘new photographer’

January 20, 2011

Back To Where It All Began…

Come on out to an old fashioned M&G.  A chance to network with other like-minded folks, all for no charge (unless you decided to order food from the restaurant, and then you’re on your own)!  In the past, these events were a blast… let’s make the first one in well over a year be even better!

RSVP here: http://www.meetup.com/chicagomodelphotographyinsiders/calendar/16113156/

Check out our awesome venue here: http://www.mrbeefpizza.com/

November 24, 2010

Warning: Suspected Sexual Predator Al Carter is Seeking Models

The following is from Renee Blaine, also known as The Original Sin.  She’s a nude and fetish model who, to put it bluntly, really knows her shit.  She’s been modeling professionally for quite some time now, and does a lot of mentoring on various modeling sites.  Renee has stumbled across something very serious, thanks to a new model who asked her about this scumbag.  A known predator is looking for more victims…

Heads up for the mentors AND those in need of mentoring.  I got an email from one of the girls I’ve been mentoring last night, had to wait until I was out of the brig to post.

Al Carter, the infamous Conglomarattii Entertainment scammer, is out there and back in business, calling himself “Brian” now.  I’m happy to share all details I have, you can do a Google search, or you can simply contact the Leon County Sherriff’s Office (LCSO) in Tallahassee, FL for information.

Folks, this guy IS a danger to women.  I’ve personally nearly fallen for his scam- I was lucky that I had a concussion from a fall off a horse that day.  Otherwise I would have gone alone, and been assaulted as others have been.  As it was, I had to threaten to stab him with my shoe before he would step aside and let me pass to leave.  He has been removed from MM repeatedly.

His MO is simple- he offers good money for glamour nude/implied nude or urban glamour work.  You get there, he rushes you to sign the contract before the shoot. MOST don’t read the release.  Inserted in the release is a clause stating that you have been told and agree to all content shot.

He proceeds to rape on camera.  This is verifiable- he showed the tapes to LCSO, called the girls “stupid bitches” and laughed, because he has the release, signed before the shoot, that makes everything legal.  He usually just tosses the girls out with a few threats afterwards, occasionally he gives them bad checks.

He tried to get me to sign a release for him before the shoot.  I refused, he got insulting.  He then tried to get me to shoot “implied” sexual nudes (at a time I did not shoot nude) with him as the “male model”.  When I refused, he started getting loud, my driver banged on the door, and I got out of there.  That was three years and a bit ago.

If he contacts you, contact LCSO.  Let them know he is doing this, and encourage them to stop him.  He mainly focuses on FL/GA/AL models, new to MM, who have email addresses on their profiles, but he has gone further afield in the past- I know one girl was from NC.

First, and most importantly, this is a perfect example of why models must read releases before they sign them and why models should not sign releases prior to shooting.  Please please please don’t sign before you shoot, and read everything you are signing!  Because he has signed releases, it seems it doesn’t matter what he’s doing to the models he manages to lure in, which is scary as hell!

Edit, Jan 3, 2011: A friend of mine brought up a couple very valid points regarding the above paragraph.  Here’s what he said:

1. It is quite common for releases to be signed before a shoot, and in fact many commercial clients and ad agencies insist on it. Lots of MM photographers do also, although they generally have BS reasons for it. If a model reflexively refuses to sign a release pre-shoot, or takes it as a sign of some kind of predator or scam, it could cause her to lose real opportunities.

2. Although I think it’s a worthless procedure and do not recommend it, a lot of photographers have paragraphs in their releases in which the model states that she willingly posed as she did and the shoot was conducted in a professional manner. Those that have these clauses invariably get all emotional about them if asked to take them out, and mostly they are perfectly harmless people who just have gotten some bad advice.

So perhaps I should amend my above statement to read, “Models, always read releases before you sign them, and if you have questions about parts of them, ask.  You can also ask to see the release ahead of time and review it prior to the shoot date, which gives you ample time to ask questions about it as well.  And of course, if you’re not comfortable signing something, don’t sign it, but be aware that this may cause you to miss out on opportunities.”

Second, here is some more information on him, as well as links to stories others have of him:

And finally, here’s the Leon County Sheriff’s Office contact information. I urge you to call if you have any information on this guy, or if you are contacted by him. You should also call if you are in this guy’s area (typically FL, GA and AL) and want more information.

  • Phone: 1.850.922.3300
  • www.lcso.leonfl.org
  • Address: 2825 Municipal Way, Tallahassee, FL 32304-3807

EDIT (12/6/2010): I have been contacted via comment on this blog (which remains in “approve me” suspended animation) by a Howard Cook ESQ, claiming to be Al Carter’s lawyer.  The comment asks me to remove the post, or I’ll be sued for “malicious slander” (exact wording).  I did a little bit of research, with the help of a friend, and discovered that the only Howard Cook ESQ currently practicing law is in North Haledon, NJ.  He does not know anything about Al Carter, and is not representing him.  There is no Howard Cook, or even H. Cook, practicing law in the state of FL.

That said, unless I receive an official letter from Mr. Carter’s real lawyer, at the very least to my inbox at blog@modelracheljay.com, I will not be removing the above information.  I will verify any letter I get with the party who sends it, and will be contacting the LCSO to verify the information as well.  So please feel free to email me at the address above.  Comments from “lawyers” will be ignored… largely because I know that’s not how lawyers do things.  Thanks!

November 3, 2010

Modeling is Easy!

Modeling is hard work.  I love when people think it’s easy (insert eye-roll here).  Many models hear it a lot too. I can come from anyone–photographers, friends, significant others, parents, even new models and photographers–and chances are, every model has heard it at least once.

The problem is, it’s not true. Sure, it might be easy to stand in front of a camera and have your picture taken, and if the person taking the pictures knows what they’re doing, it might end up being an ok picture. But there’s more involved in modeling than just standing there and looking pretty, and that’s what makes modeling not-so-easy.

Properly posing and emoting to convey exactly what the photographer/client wants is hard to do.  And I’m not just talking “get bendy” or “look happy”.  A model can move, sure, but making it look effortless, without obvious discomfort, is hard.  Doing that while keeping your hands and feet in check and posed is also hard, but add in a face to work with, and it’s even harder.  Making sure your expression is dead on and your eyes aren’t dead takes a lot of practice.  Factor in learning how to find your light, and it’s even harder.  Now take all of that, and be able to do it fluidly, on demand, and rapidly… or hold complicated poses for an extended period of time.  There’s a good reason many models are sore after shoots–it’s hard work.

Oh, but wait!  That’s not even taking into account posing in harsh environments (and doing it without complaint and making it look good and effortless), uncomfortable clothing and shoes, and dealing with the effects crazy hair styles and a shitton of makeup have on their hair and skin.

And that’s not even taking into account how long models practice poses, or how many take dance classes, yoga, martial arts and/or acting classes to improve their posing and emotion skills.  Or the fact that many models eventually branch out into makeup artistry, photography, or wardrobe styling.

I would love someone who thinks modeling is easy to try keep up with an experienced professional model (or even an experienced hobbyist like me) on a shoot.

October 19, 2010

New article!

I’ve taken my “Comfort While Shooting” blog and made it an Examiner article.  Check it out: http://www.examiner.com/modeling-in-chicago/comfort-while-shooting

August 5, 2010

Check out my first Examiner article!

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-62802-Chicago-Modeling-Examiner~y2010m8d5-Local-Networking-Groups–Events#

It’s about local modeling and photography networking groups, and how to go about joining one.  It also highlights a few of my favorite local groups on MeetUp.  Check it out, share it with your friends, and then let me know what you think!

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?

Practice moving in general and expressions.  Study your body and watch how it moves, both nude (or in a bra and panties) and clothed, so you can see what happens to your skin as you move, and to the clothes as you move.  Watch what your body does as you move, and as you stop moving.  Sure, it’s not perfect, but it’s far better than not knowing your body and its movements at all.

Same goes for your face.  Sit in front of the mirror and make faces at yourself.  Walk yourself thru emotions (get a list if it helps) and think of situations you might feel those emotions in.  Use personal experiences as a guide.  For example, remember how you felt when your childhood pet died, think of the first time you got flowers from a boyfriend, or what went through your head during your first car accident.  Study how your face moves through each expression, and what happens to it when it stops on each one. Again, it’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing.

A model would also benefit from taking dance, yoga, martial arts, acting classes, or any other kind of class that either teaches you how to move (and be aware of your body) or how to emote.

Using it on shoots…

Take what you’ve learned from studying yourself (and from any experience you have, both from a body-movement aspect and from a personal-experience aspect) and use that when you model.  You flow from pose to pose, expression to expression, and alter what you do based on feedback from the photographer/art director.

It’s not something a new model can do right off the bat, usually (some dancers are almost natural posers).  It takes a lot of practice, a lot of patience, and a lot of time to learn.

If you’re a photographer working with a lot of new models, I usually suggest scrapping the traditional pose book (mostly ’cause most of them blow) and make your own.  Take photos you like the poses in, print them out or tear them out of magazines and catalogs, and put them in a 3-ring binder.  Categorize them if you like–fashion poses, glamour, art nudes, commercial/lifestyle–to make it easier to dig through.  Keep that book on hand at all times, and reference it.  Show the model you’re working with what you want her to do, and verbally make adjustments as you go.  You’ll be more likely to get poses you like (instead of stuffy, fake, senior-portrait poses) and you’ll be happier all around.

Here’s a bunch of modeling-related links (articles, videos, whatever) that you may find helpful. If you have anything you’d like me to add to the list, feel free to drop me a line.  Modeling Articles & Videos

June 16, 2010

Deal-Breakers

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.

Turnoffs In Profiles:

  • Rants about models
  • Flake lists (extra points if each model’s listing has a rant/reason after it)
  • Equipment lists and itemized cost detail
  • Holier-than-thou attitude

Turnoffs In PMs & Prior To Shooting:

  • Insulting people I’ve worked with and/or images in my portfolio
  • “I’d love to work with you… my rates are…”
  • Hitting on me
  • Insisting we shoot something I’ve no desire to shoot, even after I turn it down
  • Insulting me for turning down something, or for offering to discuss my rates if a trade isn’t beneficial
  • Telling me I’d be prettier if I changed my appearance in one way or another
  • Asking me to email them nude photos they “promise no one else will see”
  • Telling me I’m stupid for modeling, because I’ll never go anywhere with it
  • Telling me I have to shoot X with them because I shot it with someone else
  • Attempting to become my manager in one way or another
  • Changing shoot details at the last minute (i.e. “oh by the way, there are going to be 3 other photographers there, cool?”)
  • Insisting I bring an escort
  • Lecturing me when I opt not to bring an escort
  • Insisting that I should be ok with something I’ve no desire to shoot, because we’ve worked together before
  • Providing no guidance as far as what to bring when it comes to wardrobe

Turnoffs During A Shoot:

  • Insulting people I’ve worked with and/or images in my portfolio
  • Hitting on me
  • Insisting we shoot something I’ve no desire to shoot, even after I turn it down
  • Pressuring me to do something I’m not comfortable with
  • Insulting me for turning down something
  • Telling me I’d be prettier if I changed my appearance in one way or another
  • Telling me I’m stupid for modeling, because I’ll never go anywhere with it
  • Telling me I have to shoot X with them because I shot it with someone else
  • Suddenly requiring me to pay for something not previously agreed upon (i.e. chip in for MUA or studio costs)
  • No feedback at all during shooting
  • Asking me to shoot nude photos they “promise no one else will see”
  • Attempting to become my manager in one way or another
  • Lecturing me for not bringing an escort
  • Insisting that I should be ok with something I’ve no desire to shoot, because we’ve worked together before
  • Touch-posing me, and touching me without asking first
  • Complaining about the wardrobe I brought, after providing no guidance as to what to bring

Turnoffs Post-Shoot:

  • Not sending edited images as agreed upon prior to shoot
  • Complaining if I opt not to upload a photo of theirs to MM (or other modeling sites)
  • Attempting to become my manager in one way or another
  • Hitting on me
  • Insisting that now that we’re “comfortable together” we can shoot something I’ve no interest in shooting/am not comfortable shooting
  • Becoming offended and/or insulting me for turning down a shoot/concept/something I’m not comfortable with
  • Telling me I’d be prettier if I changed my appearance in one way or another
  • Asking me to email them nude photos they “promise no one else will see”
  • Telling me I’m stupid for modeling, because I’ll never go anywhere with it
June 10, 2010

fokusfoto (via the art of nude, and other things)

I thought this blog was worth sharing with my readers. It involves a photographer in the Washington DC area who has, for some time now, been scamming models out of money, and quite possibly putting them in danger other ways.

There was recently a post on MM by one model who was stranded in a hotel after being robbed of all her cash, and not paid as promised, leaving her with no money (and no CC, because she doesn’t have one) to pay for the hotel room, and no way to get home to her kids.

Edit: Saw this in the modelmayhem forums tonight, not sure if the thread will stay up or will be locked/hidden so I wanted to post the info here. WARNING…..PLEASE BEWARE OF JIM (FOKUSFOTO@GMAIL.COM) Also know as Jim Hines and Jay Hanes Pretends to work with a female photographer named Jami: female.fotographer@gmail.com Here are some links he may send you with “His Work” http://fokusfoto.photosite.com/Album1/ http://fokus-foto.deviantart.com/ No … Read More

via the art of nude, and other things

ETA: London Andrews, a well known nude/glamour model, has also blogged about this guy.  Read her take here: http://londonandrews.blogspot.com/2010/06/modelsphotographers-beware-of-jim.html

Update: There are photos of him posted here http://modelinsider.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1995

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.

DO

  • Be willing to pay for hair and makeup services to entice models to come to your event.  Pay for top-quality people and use them to help draw people in.
  • Create a schedule for your hair/makeup services and expect them to stick to it.  It will help things run more smoothly, as well as prevent models who’ve been waiting for hours and get cut in front of by someone who just got there from being pissed off.
  • Supply food and drinks to those attending.  Make sure you have a variety of drinks, including lots of water.  Straws are a plus, so models have to worry less about messing up lips.
  • Have 1-2 other people (depending on the size of your event) to help you run things the day of your event.  Make sure you communicate what’s expected of them, in advance.
  • Show up to your event early, and make sure everything that needs to be set up is done or near done when people start arriving.
  • Promote the hell out of your event.  Don’t just start a thread and expect people to know about it.  Email, tag, PM, post bulletins, etc.  Take the time to do the work when it comes to promoting.
  • Communicate with all attending so they understand location rules, timing, who’s to get photos to whom and when, etc.
  • Make sure you have ample space for models to store wardrobe and change, so that there’s less likelihood of something getting mixed up or going missing.  Remember that often, models bring large suitcases and/or multiple bags of wardrobe with them to events like this (especially when wardrobe isn’t provided).
  • Make sure bathrooms are on-site, are in working order, and are stocked with an extra supply of toilet paper, paper towels and hand soap.
  • Consider nametags for photographers and stylists.
  • Keep a list of who’s attending, with links to profiles if possible.  This will help people coordinate amongst themselves if they choose.
  • Decide early on if your event with be a TF* Group Shoot Event or a Workshop.  If the former, make sure all participants are aware of the TF* part and understand that they will need to coordinate getting photos to/from those they’ve worked with.  If the latter, consider hiring desirable models from your area (or reliable traveling models) to entice photographers to pay for your event… and make sure you have a gameplan when it comes to hosting your workshop.

DON’T

  • Combine a M&G event with a Group Shoot.  It’s hard to network if you’re shooting, and it’s hard to shoot if you’re networking.  Try to keep it one or the other if possible.
  • Over-use a location too fast by planning too many events too close together.  Doing so can kill your event quickly, as a lot of people don’t like to shoot in the same easily-recognizable location 50 others have shot in.
  • Allow your events to become cliquey.  It’s great to have a core group that always comes to an event, but a clique can be hugely intimidating for newbs and a major turnoff for others who might not come so regularly.
  • Brush off complaints or suggestions from people who have attended.  Thank them for their feedback and let them know you’ll look into the issue.
  • Plan on making money, or even breaking even, the first few times you plan something.
  • Be afraid to charge both photographers and models a minimal fee to attend, even if it’s just to help offset the costs of stylists.
  • Plan on being able to shoot a lot during the course of the event.  You need to be available for questions, to make sure folks are following the rules, and to make sure things are running smoothly.
  • Allow every single person coming to bring someone who’s not related to the industry.  There are going to be enough people there without boyfriends, parents, or other random people causing distractions.
  • Allow random people to come in and out of the location if they’re not involved with the shoot.  If you wish there to be some time for being social, end the event at a specific time and set aside specific time after for socializing, notifying your attendees accordingly.
May 10, 2010

New Site: The Featured Artist

New site that’s going to focus on featuring artists of all kinds, including models, photographers, MUAs and designers.  Think you have what it takes?  Submit your story!

www.thefeaturedartist.com

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