Minnesota Mentality

Minnesota Mentality

LaLita the model NOT taken in Minnesota

If we go back 23 years to when I started on my path to becoming a “Legit” professional photographer, we must go back to Minnesota and the “Minnesota Mentality”. This is my home state and where it all started. At the time I started model photography, it was all still pretty new. Digital photography had just started taking off and modeling and the genres were still new. MN, although democratic by vote, is very conservative on 90% other things (I’ve never drove in a state that has so many ‘Pro-Choice’ and ‘God is watching’ billboards as MN). My photography didn’t get legs until I moved to Colorado. Once in Colorado, living and working, I was able to get a true understanding of photography, professionalism and the mentality behind it all. Enter; Minnesota Mentality.

I’ve recently moved back to MN and slowly started back shooting. My problem? After being spoiled in Colorado and California, I’m not having much luck finding models here. Granted I’m not really looking like I did in Cali and CO, but the few that I’ve reached out to, not really interested. There’s one model I want to shoot (Absolute African Beauty) that is playing games.  That being said, a business partner of mine, against my direct wishes, posted in a MN group that I was looking for models for GMM and VIRILE Mags. The resulting commentary is exactly as I expected; closed minded Minnesota put downs. There was one photographer (I assume he was based off his comments?) who jumped in and said GMM and VIRILE were “porn” magazines and they weren’t very professional. When I questioned him, he proceeded to tell me that “Minnesota was a much better market than California and offers better starts” to which my associate went in on how everyone moves from California to MN to get discovered.

MN Photog blabber

He proceeded to say that models have a better chance of making it big in MN, than California because as we all know, even traveling models use MN as a fly over state. Ultimately, he stated his true reasons; it was difficult for him to find models because he is an unknown commodity and no one wants to shoot with him as he had nothing to offer. Instead of saying that, he wanted to jump into the posting and “White Knight” it in an effort to get models to see him and feel safe with him. He never asked any questions, just looked to interject his knowledge which was very limited in my findings.

Most people in Minnesota still find glamour styles “porn” and don’t want to associate. What I am finding is what I feared; I’m actually finding more models in Chicago, than Minnesota. I really want Minnesota to be good, but too many small minded, small market Minnesota Mentality people out there trying to be the hero, vs learn the industry they feel is rejecting them.

I will admit that I was frustrated in coming back here. Frustrated because the mentality hasn’t really changed from what I can see, but I quickly let that frustrations go. I make a five hour drive to Chicago about once a month to shoot quality models that understand the objective. No complaints from me as of yet!

Photo is of LaLita who is NOT a Minnesota model 😉

LaLita the model

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