I’m back in action! 😉
My first photoshoot is next Wednesday so I’ve been spending a lot of time being creative and updating my art portfolio as well as roadkilling leather jackets for some events I have coming up…
I’m almost fully booked until SEPTEMBER now, but have just three days available for bookings in the beautiful Lake District with one of my best friends and legendary art-nude model Madame Bink. This is the FIRST time we have offered a duo shoot so places are likely to go quickly.
Please follow this link for details and testimonies from other photographers, and here are some pictures of the two of us:
Now, as I have been fighting my way through the ‘inbox rabbit hole’ and two weeks of unanswered emails, I have noticed an interesting pattern which has led to this blog post which has some advice and a spoonful of snark. 😛
Ignoring spam and anything unrelated to modelling, here is a rough percentage of my inbox:
Bookings, enquiries and updates: 70%
Photo comments and messages from fans: 20%
Booking requests from total newbies and non-photographers: 10%
Total newbies are not a bad thing at all- I actually like working with new photographers and enjoy helping begin a portfolio- it’s a challenge for me on every level (posing, styling a variety of looks, answering questions etc), and it’s one I enjoy! I often get messages from photographers telling me that they want to book me when they are better at photography but booking a professional model can help improve your work instantly.
These two shots are by C Young- she was just a student when I posed for her!
It begins with peace of mind; we don’t need direction, will turn up on time and most of us are also good stylists with impressive shooting wardrobes. We know how to work with any angle and lighting and can help you get the very best out of your time. There are few better ways to kick-start a new photography hobby (or fledgling career) than by booking a professional.
a common complaint I hear among new photographers is the catch-22 situation; they must get references from well-known models in order to prove themselves trustworthy, but no model will work with them unless they already have references (which is an understandable request)!
If you are a new photographer with very few (or no) references, this is how to go about working with a model:
1) Book a studio they know and trust. (£)
You get your one-to-one photoshoot in privacy, with a knowledgeable studio owner in case of any equipment malfunction, plenty of lights and backdrops and your model feels secure in her/his environment. (And yes some studios have fantastic outdoor areas for photographers more interested in location work.)
2) Book a duo shoot or work with a team. (£££)
Your model(s) have the benefits of a chaperone, while you will have a greater variety of images working with another model or styling team. At the end of the shoot, you will also have more than one reference.
3) Allow your model to bring a chaperone. (_)
I personally do not work with chaperones- I find them distracting and feel that if I am uncomfortable enough to need/want one, I shouldn’t be shooting with you BUT if your model is happy to shoot with a chaperone, it’s another way to keep him/her comfortable and feeling safe. Also, if you pick the right chaperone you also have a free lighting and wardrobe assistant. 🙂 However, the wrong one can turn a promising shoot into a dire one. In general, a friend or relative of the model is best.
4) Book a place on a studio day or workshop. (£)
Studio days usually offer reduced rates with the benefits of extra equipment, wardrobe and backdrops, giving you excellent value for money and one-on-one time with your model.
Workshops are usually more expensive but also give you tuition, though it will be in a group. Either way, you get experience working with a model who will then be able to give you a reference, though I recommend a studio day as models work with so many groups at once it is often hard to build a rapport with every individual.
I understand that some of these options entail spending a little extra money but your reputation is worth investing in. If you build from a good foundation, it will pay off in the end.
I’ve worked with some wonderful people and I love seeing their work evolve over time. It can be daunting booking somebody who’s been a part of the industry for a long time (not just me- any professional model) but I promise, we are a friendly bunch and will not judge you if you forget to take the lens cap off. 😛
This photo is by Black Lotus and it was one of her first ever model shoots!
Friendly advice over- the snark zone is below…
In this industry, the term GWC means a “Guy With a Camera” (as opposed to a photographer). You do NOT have to be an industry professional to be considered a photographer but you do have to do photography and this means having a portfolio. I don’t mind if it is full of pictures of your nan, your baby, your dog or the local landscape, but please prove to me that you have picked up a camera!
I am not going to sit on my naked backside for any random person willing to pay my rate and I have had too many messages recently from men asking me to help them “start a portfolio”. They never seem to have other models, photographers or studios in their contacts list, always want a full day shoot in a remote location and seem very anxious to discuss things on the phone. Funnily enough, I don’t give out my phone number to everybody that asks for it!
A high court judge will not come over to fix your minor marital dispute; s/he has actual cases to judge.
A firefighter will not pop round to get your stove working; s/he has actual fires to control.
I am not going to come and hang out with you, maybe posing for a snap or two, when I have web content to shoot, fashion shows to do and portfolio shoots to pose for.
There are easier ways to hang out with a hot naked chick than a fictitious interest in taking my picture: book an escort, say please and thankyou and treat her with respect.
And on that note, may I politely request you not make me part of your sexual fantasy? If you do, I’ll make fun of you on this blog and the next one gets their screenshot put here for all to see:
“Hello. I’d like to book you for a photoshoot- my wife also models so could it be a duo shoot?”
“Of course! What would you like to shoot? Do you have a link to your work and your wifes portfolio? I’d love to say hello before we shoot.”
This is followed by a stash of terrifying photos resembling Ann Summers vomiting all over Scunthorpe Swingers Night.
No, mate. No.
The problem is, the GWCs give the newbies a bad name and that’s not fair.
I’m happy to work with new people so long as they are genuine (and most professional models can tell newbies from chancers a mile away)! I wouldn’t be here as a full time professional model if photographers hadn’t given my curvy brown-haired two-photoshoots newbie ass a chance even though I didn’t know what implied-nude meant. I’m grateful to the people who did give me a chance and I’m happy to pay that forward.
Look at my innocent little FACE!!! Photo by Darkest Angel, in 2006!!!
Now, if you have managed to get through this entire blog, grouch, very old photo of me and all, have some more pictures! 😉
There are from a long time ago but I just rediscovered them. Photographer Chris was also new to the hobby but he came with glowing references so of course I hopped on a plane and spent two days in Spain shooting latex! I do rather love my job… 😉
And as his lovely wife also modelled too (but not for Scunthorpe Swingers Night) she made a guest appearance in ‘the medical room’! HOW cool??!
Next blog, I have some very special ‘off duty’ shots to show you. For now, it’s time to get the acrylic paints out again…