I recently wrote a blog post on observations what I think makes a great model, or what skills / attributes a model should have. I thought I would write part two based on a observations working with a few models over the past month that did a great job. Here you go.
- Keep your profile & model portfolio up to date. There is nothing more disappointing than requesting a specific look, seeing that a model has that look in their portfolio and then coming in with a different look. This is especially important with hair length & weight / fitness,
- Tell the photographer in advance if you're having a bad skin day. That information needs to be passed along to the MUA. It effects the time in makeup and potential lighting required,
- Check the photographer's portfolio and be picky about asking a photographer to work with you. A bit of explaining here - I am currently shooting a specific style. That is fashion / editorial inspired model photography. I therefore photograph models with that look and skill set. However, I get lots of inquiries from people that want me to hire them, but their portfolio has nothing similar to what I shoot. Or, their skill level doesn't match what I need. I end up feeling like a dick telling them they are not right or I don't plan to schedule them,
- Processing images takes time. It can take weeks especially if there is a backlog. A model should NEVER expect to get a selection set or final product back in a day or two. Believe me, most photographers want to turn their shoots around in a week, but it's not possible. Most photographers do everything themselves so it's fair to expect 30-45 days. This is ESPECIALLY true if the photographer is not getting paid,
- Just because a photographer says he wants to work with you or expresses an interest does NOT mean he / she IS going to work with you. The stars, planets, schedules, looks don't always align. Remember, it's a 2-way street on this one.
- PLEASE don't talk yourself down. Your personality and attitude are almost as important as your look / skills. It's all part of your brand. I worked with a model a week ago who was top notch, but kept saying she looked bad or was unhappy with her look. Well guess what, I started to believe it, and because of this the chemistry just didn't jell. Won't work with her again.
- Again, this is a 2-way street issue, but don't bring attitude or drama. It ends up being reflected in the photos.
- Practice, practice, practice posing. I've said this before - I can direct you, but unless you are a new model and we are both aware of this fact I expect you to be able to pose. A photographer should be able to give you directions, be he/she shouldn't have to tell you how to pose after each shutter release,
- Be fun and talk to me. I LOVE talking to people and I try to be as down to earth as possible. But I really don't want to be the only one holding a conversation. You know, "how did you get into photography?", "why do you shoot with Nikon?", "how long have you been married?", "what's your cat's name?...." - small talk is nice,
- Don't rag on other photographers, MUA or models during the shoot. Yes, I'm human - I gripe every once in a while and I love gossip now and again. But, please don't talk badly about someone else in the industry. If you've had a bad experience with someone then you can just say something like "I don't like his style or the way we worked together, so I won't recommend him/her....". If you complain about a person behind their back then I have to believe you are going to do the same thing about me to someone else,
- I've said it before and I'll say it again - communicate actively. If you don't communicate with me once we have started to talk about a shoot or have lined something up I have to believe you are no longer interested. I will then need to get someone else. Seriously, with text, phone, social media you should be able to follow-up quickly.
- This business is about exposure, so I like to post photos on various social media. If I photograph a model I will ALWAYS tag you unless you tell me not to (at minimum I will put your name in the comments). All I ask is that you do the same thing for me. If you use one of my photographs that I've taken please tag me. I hear this all the time from photographers, stylist & MUA that they don't get proper tagging. There is nothing worse than seeing your image posted and there is absolutely no credit given. Remember, I don't watermark my images so this is especially important.
- If you want a selfie during a shoot, let me take it for you. Seriously, hand me your phone and I'll use it to photograph you. I want ALL your photographs to look good during a shoot.
You noticed I didn't say anything about looking pretty or being fabulous. Those things are a given. Remember, your look, skills, & fitness are part of your brand and are minimum standards to get into the game. All the other stuff is as important.
Remember, I DO NOT consider myself "all that" when it comes to model photography so please take my comments as from my experience only, but I bet if you talk to 10 photographers they would agree with most of my comments.
Ultimately, it's a team effort. Let’s work together!