Over the course of my modeling adventures I’ve had fabulous experiences. There are photographers that I am absolutely in love with for the vision and skill and there are models that is totally love to work with or work with again. It’s been a great chance to get creative and a great chance to get out there. That being said, I’ve had some rough experiences and met some really, let’s say, high-strung model’s.
This is all meant to shed some light for new models and to, hopefully, get a laugh out of some veteran models. I will not use names mostly because I do not want traffic generated to anyone’s page that surely does not deserve it. Without further adieu, Neeks’ ever growing list of model advice and my person tales of woe.
1. Always have foundation in your color available whether a makeup artist is available or not. I’ve never experienced a MUA not having a foundation in my skin tone but, I’ve heard horror stories. It’s best to just be prepared in the event of anything. In fact, always have a small makeup kit on you that you can use to make multiple looks. Just in case.
2. Always have staple clothing items. Bodysuits, lingerie, tights or thigh highs, extra heels in style that could flatter any outfit. Even if a stylist is there and clothing is provided NEVER assume they’ll get everything right for YOU. I went to a shoot a while ago where the clothing was to be provided and none of the clothes were flattering on their own. I knew it, the photographer knew it and the stylist knew it. Apparently the issue was that I was far more busty than anticipated. So, how did we fix the situation? We used one of the bodysuits I came with, a skirt that the stylist came with and made it work. Those pictures never got returned to me but, we’ll talk about that later.
3. Always have some neato accessories with you. Same as above, you just never know when you’ll need to spice up a look.
4. If you’re shooting TFP (or even if your shooting full contract) get it in writing that you will receive your photos in a reasonable amount of time. Reasonable meaning two weeks to six weeks tops. I cannot tell you how annoying it is to work really hard on a shoot, have a great time and never see the photos. This has happened to me twice and I WISH someone had told me to always get a relative time frame in writing. Photographers are far more likely to stick to a written agreement than a spoken one.
As a photographer as well, I like to think that I can see both sides relatively well. In short, photographer that don’t give back photos are crap.
4. If a photographer is choosing photos for you, it is PROFESSIONAL to tell them that you do not agree with their choice. Tell them, don’t post all over social media. It’s so imparitive that model’s understand this crucial fact: not all photographers will send you the raw files of your photos. When it happens, great. They are blatantly saying that they trust you to do as you please with the photos. However, if they do not give you the raw files, don’t get mad. It takes a ton of time to pick out good ones, edit them and get them to you. If they ask you to pick, even better.
Again, I have been on both sides of this and it’s best just to communicate rather than argue or bad mouth for both parties.
5. If you shoot with other models, please be understanding of the fact that they are modeling for their portfolios as well. This has not happened to me but I’ve heard tales of model’s fighting for camera time. There is no need to be petty on set. If you feel like someone is blocking you from the camera or even getting more camera time, voice your concerns calmly. It could simply be a case of the model not realizing they were doing anything untoward. Everyone gets into the zone on set.
6. There will be people you never want to work with, let alone see again. That’s fine. Out of my entire adventure as a model and as a photographer I’ve only come across one or two people I’d never work with again. I had my moment of extremely petty behavior and got over it. You should too. Professionalism is often what people look at when thinking about booking you for the first time or for the fifth time. That being said, if you don’t want to work with someone again, be professional about that as well.
“Fuck no!” Can easily be turned into “I wish you the best, but no.” See. Easy.
“You’re a syohilis ridden piece of dick cheese festering on a hot day,” can easily turn into. “No thank you.” Trust me, your conscious will thank you.
7. Be flexible. Physically, emotionally, mentally and of course creatively. You have to.be able to roll with the punches sometimes. You have to tweak what your image might have been for the shoot to what actually is possible. Be ready to understand when something goes wrong like the photographer is five minutes late. Be flexible with yourself as well. Again, maybe you’re just having an off day. You just never know what is going to happen the day of, during or the day after a shoot.
8. Know when to walk away. Photographers, representation and businesses come in all shapes and sizes. The one thing you should never compromise on is respect. If someone insults you, belittles you or simple does not respect your time and worth, walk away.
This guy was a complete asshat and I did my best to remain professional and cordial through his insinuations of prostitution and the like. He begged for hours for me to go have a meeting with him and I simply refused based on his inability to have a professional exchange. Walk away.
There are so many more lessons I’ve learned from being in front of the camera and behind the camera. Mostly I’ve learned that people are people. Stuff happens.
If you’ve found this helpful and would like to know more about my personal journey into modeling and photography, let me know! I’m more than happy to share.
Should you want to check me out elsewhere, see the following:
Until next time!