Posts tagged ‘photographer’

January 22, 2011

Changes For Someone Else In 2011

Good friend and photographer Laura Ann has rebranded herself for 2011.  As she’s the one who’s image is gracing my header here, and I’ve written about her before, I figured I’d share her new website and Facebook fanpage.

Laura has gone from being “Laura Ann Photography” to being “Fleur de Lis Photography”.

Her new website: http://www.fleurdelisphoto.com/
Fan her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fleur-de-Lis-Photography/182458691787869

Laura not only works with models, but does great family and senior portraits, as well as shoots some incredible wedding work.  It’s been a pleasure both working with her as a model, as well as watching her grow as a photographer.  And she’s one helluva a friend too 🙂

Hey Laura… do you hear that?                                                                              BEEP BEEP!

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January 19, 2011

A Break From The Break

Laura Ann Photography came up to visit me over the weekend, and we did some shooting while she was here.  Of course.  We shot 2 looks at the frozen beach in Highland Park, IL, followed by shooting a little on the train downtown, as well as while we walked to our destination downtown (ok, walked to get a cab to our destination LOL).  The next day, we shot at my apartment, took a break for lunch with Greg Kolack, and then shot some more at a top secret location.  Here’s a couple shots from the beach, as well as one from the set at my place (another of which is featured in my new header).  I imagine more will come eventually… I know Laura’s been pretty busy with editing 🙂

Shoutout to Christin C who did my hair and makeup for the first 2 shots! 🙂

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 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.

 

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

October 13, 2010

Hey, that’s me!

Robert Tolchin, who was one of the very first photographers I worked with back when I started modeling, recently launched a new website at www.chicagoportraitphotographer.com.  He sent me over a link and told me to check it out.  Not only is it a great-looking, clean website, but there are a couple of pictures of me!  I most certainly didn’t expect to see myself both featured twice, and as photo number one! 🙂 Thanks Robert!

Also, Walter Belinski of Studio B Photography also recently launched a redesigned site, where I’m featured in numerous sections.  Walter and I work together a lot, and have a great time doing so.  Walter also works with Studio 2, one of the places that has hosted workshops for my MeetUp Group (Walter’s instructed numerous times as well).  Take a look… see how many different looks I’ve had and how much variety Walter and I have shot 😉 www.studiobphoto.net Thanks to you too, Walter! 🙂

Chicago models, I highly recommend both Walter and Robert.  Both are great photographers to work with!  They definitely know what they’re doing and are genuinely nice guys, easy to work with, and super professional.

August 10, 2010

How To Article: Keeping Track of Your Stuff

Over the weekend the MUA and I were talking about keeping track of stuff on shoots, and stuff going missing.  And yes, I’ve had stuff go missing on shoots (usually group events).  I’ve also had people borrow stuff without asking, and have forgotten stuff after a shoot.  I’ve come up with a pretty good system for keeping track of things.  A combination of labeling everything, making a list, and having a recognizable bag start it off.  To read more, check out my newest Examiner article:

Keeping track of your stuff

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
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