Rules to a shoot

Everyone has their own rules for a shoot and these rules compliment their business motto. The one thing I’ve found is they are all different and often times the extreme of most others. In keeping tradition of my wannabe model post, I’m going to discuss how in my experience, the wannabe model affects the shoot rules. Before I go any further, I’m not putting down wannabe models at all. In fact, we all start off wanting to be a professional, but much like the term GWC has stuck around, MWB or Model wannabe should too. This series isn’t to put anyone on “blast”, but to help people recognize that they are fitting the stereotype and hopefully change if they so desire.

Times are tight with regards to money so the influx in TF* requests have increased dramatically. Models, Photographers, Wannabe’s of both sides are feeling the crunch of the economy. However, this is what separates the wannabes from the professionals. There are many who believe their good looks alone will get them through life. Yes, it will for a small amount of time (In fact, to make decent money in modeling, the window is 18-23 years of age!). Very few women are gorgeous into their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and on (Alyssa Milano, ┬áJennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Salma Hayek and Iman are exceptions) so they need to capitalize on their looks now in this industry. Instead of using their looks in a positive way that works for BOTH them and the photographer, most models feel entitled to to be photographed because they are beautiful. Some require you pay them to be in front of their beauty.

I live in a state that has no real fashion industry. Now when I say that, I’m not saying there aren’t people who are out there putting in work, what I mean is if we are honest with ourselves, CO will never be a “Fashion Hotspot” or have a working industry when compared to NY, CA, etc. That being said, there is a large portion of models who require pay. From time to time, I will get spam on MM or FB from people asking me to pay them. I respond with “Thanks for the email. However, I’m the most nationally published glamour photographer in CO. I don’t pay anyone unless they have more sponsors and publications than I.” That usually makes them go away and I’m not doing it to be mean, but to say the pecking order is in full effect with me. What pecking order? Simple; he who has more worth, gets paid. Who and what defines worth? Well that’s where it gets tricky.

Worth determined by the industry is he or she who has more of a “name” for themselves: publications, sponsors, notoriety, prestigious clients, etc. In specific markets it can be whatever the person decides. There is no honest and fair way to establish worth which herein lies the problem; if there is no founding guideline, then what does one go by? At the end of the day, worth is decided on how bad one party wants to work with the other party. As a photographer, if the model represents a look you want or need in your book, then you are more open to the model rules. If the model wants the photographers look in her book, she or he will be more open to what the photographer has to say.

For me, my rules are pretty simple: Pay me or have a look that I want in my book.

I am not saying I’m 100% I need to be paid every time I pick up the camera, I am saying every time I pick up the camera I need to 100% of the time do work that will yield me paying jobs. As a result, I’m not able to shoot every pretty face that presents itself to me. Back when I was teaching and leading workshops, I could because I my bigger picture was workshops and the one on ones that were the result. Today, I don’t do workshops so I need to shoot someone that for me, is spectacular in nature. For a free shoot, she will need to be comfortable with some sort of nudity as I am a glamour photographer after all. Lots of people don’t get it. They think I’m odd, weird, creeper, you name it, they think it. Simply put: if I’m going to take my time to shoot you, I need to present the images to other potential clients. I don’t live in a fashion state, so shooting fashion is a gross misrepresentation of what those around me can do and what I can do. I draw inspiration from everywhere and everyone so what I choose to shoot and where is totally up to me. People can either go with it or not.

What are your rules for a shoot?



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