What is model photography to you?

As you know, I’ve recently started back teaching a bi monthly workshop called Colorado SuperShoots. Colorado Supershoots is my way of still staying active in the modeling world, a world I’ve “retired” from. I’m still VERY much active in it, so no worries, the stuff I teach won’t be outdated, but the reason I’ve gotten out, is the very reason I don’t think people are getting into it for the right reasons.

Model photography is a business!

I don’t have anything against people who do TFCD shoots, or even photogs who pay models. I have a problem with it all, when it’s EXPECTED! When a model EXPECTS a free shoot, or the photog to pay. This begs the question “What is model photography to you?”

For me, it’s a business! It’s how I feed my family. It’s how I make mortgage payments, buy this and that for my girls. It’s not fun and games. Gone are my days of shooting just to see naked models or shooting a new setup or so on. It’s a business.

A few years back, a good friend and mentor of mines issued me a challenge. He said “I dare you to not pick up your camera and shoot a model, unless you get paid for it” I took him up on his offer. I went from doing about 12 shoots a week, to zero, ziltch, nada, none. Sitting there looking at my phone, waiting for it to ring. About three months into it, he called me and said “This will prove if you’re as good as you think you are. If you’re good, people will pay, if not, you’ll go back to shooting free shoots.” Being true to my word, I didn’t accept a free shoot, but I did in fact, book a few paying ones! Soon after that, I was able to buy an upgraded camera (Went from a Canon EOS Digi Rebel 300d to 20D) and buy strobes and accessories.

I was amazed at the level of professionalism involved once money was brought into the equitation. Models actually started showing up….early most times. And there was a new found appreciation of my work, both on models point of view, as well as my own. To keep the edge going, I started sending and getting publications to major magazines and ezines and kept the momentum going.

For me, Model photography is a business. It’s something that involves all the steps of a business, the good and the bad. I’ve had a few photographers as well as models tell me that they’ve “heard” I was a bad guy. After getting info from them on who said what, I was able to quickly put to rest, the rumors and bull poop. But I let them and other models/photogs know, I’m a business man. I don’t shoot photos for the fun of it. Every time I click the shutter, I need to have or will make money from it. What does this mean? This means if I shoot a model on a tfcd purpose, I’m sorry, but I can’t delete the photos because mommy or daddy found out about it. For the most part, I will remove images if I put them up, but so few images mean enough for me to say no. Now if a model is rude, crass or gossips about me, yes, I will leave them up. But unless they’re in my portfolio and I have plans, I’ll just remove them.

My question to you is simple, what is model photography to you? Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I don’t listen to, nor do I care about gossip about me and other people. The majority of people who are gossiping hens, are those who won’t be around in five years. I’ve been here for five years squared and going stronger every day. Do you really think I care what a “model” says about me? chances are good she won’t be around in the next eight to 15 months.


Leave a Reply