There are numerous other photographers taking boring shots...
Please read thru the FAQ's and let me know if you have any questions. These FAQ's are especially for models I never worked with.
New to working with Photographers?
As a model, only work with photographers you trust. There are many people with cameras. Check the photographer's portfolio and get an idea about their work and style. Are these the pictures you want of you? Check references. Contact other models the photographer worked with, check testimonials. Prior to the shoot, discuss the shoot and set limits. Keep in mind that photographers may be able to use any picture of the shoot, so make sure you sign a contract that outlines the use of the photos of the shoot, not just a general waiver. Although the photographer owns the copyright he needs a MRF (Model Release Form) to be able to use the pictures of your shoot. If he doesn't ask you to sign one at your shoot, he doesn't know what he's doing.
It is also very uncommon for photographers to approach models - unless last time you checked you were famous, or he is desperate to find models. Always check the photographer's portfolio. Is this the kind of pictures you want to see yourself in? Check the photographer's bio/facebook page/model mayhem account/website, check with other models he worked with. If you have any doubt - don't shoot with him! Period. And to be clear, I am NOT saying not to shoot with a photographer who contacts you just make sure you are okay with the portfolio. Different photographers have different styles, and there's nothing wrong with that. Just make sure you are cool with it.
As for the camera equipment, having the most expensive camera, doesn't make a guy with a camera a photographer. Often artistic photographers are low budget. You may even run into photographers using Polaroids or $20 cameras - but this should be the exception. Cameras don't make a great image, a photographer does. The best way to find out if a photographer knows what he's doing is, to check his camera settings. If he's using automatic programs (usually the Green frame, portrait, landscape etc settings) and not the M (Manual) or Cx settings, he doesn't know his job. Photographers also never use a pop-up flash! Red flag!
Who will provide the wardrobe?
This depends on the assignment. Usually we will discuss the style of clothes prior to the shoot. For a basic shoot you will bring in a wardrobe selection and we will see what works best before we start shooting, no visible brand logos and prints should be neutral. If you plan on bringing Jeans, make sure they are cool (boyfriend jeans, shorts, ripped,...) - otherwise leave them at home. There's nothing more boring than a pair of plain jeans for a studio shoot. Also make sure fabric of the clothes is not too flat/boring. For conceptual shoots I will decide on the style and we will work together on getting the right outfit for the shoot or I will provide wardrobe. Please keep in mind that your clothes need to work with the theme of the shoot.
For fashion shoots visible names and logos of some brands may be required. Check with me.
What wardrobe should I bring for a Comp Card Shoot?
Comp Cards are all about Life-Style situations. During a comp card shoot we will shoot several looks in the studio and outdoors. The wardrobe shouldn't distract and shouldn't be the focus of the pictures. The pictures will be about you and not your wardrobe. We want people to see you, your eyes and your expression before they see your wardrobe. Further no brand names and logos and no big or small prints, words etc, no distracting patterns, no overly sexy outfits or anything that keeps the focus off your eyes. No sexual, religious or offending logos, pattern, words. Wardrobe needs to be age appropriate.
As far as jewelry goes, nothing that draws attention to your jewelry. If you have to wear jewelry, make sure they are neutral and not shiny, glittery, and leave your diamonds at home. Further no religious or ethnic items, pageant or princess stuff. We will shoot 4 - 7 looks, so bring enough clothes that we don't have to mix during the wardrobe changes, i.e. we don't want to combine the same pants with different tops. The best is you bring in your closet and we decide together what we use for the looks.
The focus for comp cards will be on life-style pictures, and less conceptual shots, no overstyled hair, natural, basic make-up. If you are into sports or any other hobby that requires specific outfits or accessories, bring them in, together with some props you use for these sports (i.e. skateboards, football), also bring in some business style outfits, such as a suit, or dress suit (teens, adults only). Don't forget your shoes for these outfits.bring outfits that you would usually wear on the street, jeans, jeans with holes, dresses, nothing overly exposing, no tops with spaghetti strings or no strings.
As far as Make-Up and Hair goes, keep it natural and be prepared to adjust it a bit during the wardrobe changes. If you need a Make-Up Artist or Hair Stylist, let me know or get somebody taking care of that. But make sure the artist is aware of giving you a natural look.
What wardrobe should I bring for a Head Shot Shoot?
See the comp card shoot section. This information is pretty much the same for head shot shoots, just don't bring too many sets, but bring full sets. Although we are trying to get an impressive headshot, we may want to get a few other pictures out of the shoot. So bring 2 or more sets.
How should I dress for a casting?
Unless the casting requires anything specific (check the casting details), you should wear clothes that show your body lines. Age appropriate. No big fur jackets, distracting patterns, colors, words, big brand names or logos. No jewelry, sunglasses or other accessories. Natural make-up and hair.
I have attended the last casting and now they want me to stop by again?
There are reasons photographers or agents want you to stop by, although they saw you many time before. One of them is - they want to see how motivated you are to get this job. If you tell them, just submit me, you don't show the same motivation as people that stop by. They also want to see if you still look like the last time you stopped by - you didn't change your hair did you?
How about Tattoos and Piercings?
Depends on the assignment. If this is a shoot about you, there is nothing wrong with it. Tattoos and piercings are part of your lifestyle. For editorial, concepts and project work, piercings should be removed if possible, unless they go with the theme. Tattoos may be covered or retouched in post processing.
How about jewelry?
Jewelry distracts from the actual focus of a photograph and should be removed. First thing people should see on a picture is your eyes and your emotions and shouldn't be your blinking jewelry. You want your face, your eyes and your name brand-marked in people's mind and not be remembered as '...the shot of that girl with the cool Tiffany necklace'. If jewelry is part of the theme we will decide together on what to wear. If we are shooting a commercial ad about or involving jewelry, I will provide jewelry. If you usually wear a watch give the skin enough time to recover after removing it. Same for bracelets, armbands, hairbands on wrists, or similar things.
Tan lines are a deal breaker for glamor shots and professional models try to prevent them. I have a few concepts that may work well with your tan lines. So something we can discuss. But if you are serious about modeling don't schedule a shoot right after you return from your Florida trip.
Bras, tight clothes, shoes and sunglasses?
If the shoot requires showing body parts that were covered by clothes, there’s always the risk of marks left on your body, especially on the waist and inner thighs when wearing tight pants. Shoes and socks will leave marks too, so do skinny jeans. That’s the reason why models walk around in bathrobes (see, now you know) and since I don’t expect you to come to the shoot in a bathrobe and pink bunny slippers, you may want to consider wearing wide clothes or comfortable jogging pants. But don’t forget your clothes for the shoot. If the photo shows skin that's usually covered by a bra or bra straps you should consider not wearing a bra at all when coming to the shoot and wear a wide sweater instead since marks will be visible on the skin for hours. Bring some neutral, nude strapless bras to the shoot as well as a selection of other bras with or without straps and bandanas. If you wear a nude bra, make sure straps are not showing. Nude straps that are showing in pictures simply mean, they were trying to hide she is wearing a bra and didn't get it right. If visible bra straps go with the style of the shoot (i.e. punk/urban fashion shoot) wear a black bra and make it a fashion statement. If you wear underwear make sure it fits your size and waistbands or straps don't give you that wasp body effect underneath your dress. Don't wear sunglasses on your way to the shoot if not absolutely necessary. Check the sides of your nose if you want to know why.
Any suggestions for a male model wardrobe for a portfolio shoot
Besides a few pieces of his usual streetwear wardrobe (still in good shape) it would always be great to get a few wardrobe pieces that are latest collections from brands such as TH, Banana Republic, American Eagle or similar, something that doesn't look like the whole town is wearing, something a bit more extravagant. As for the typical naked upper-body look, some pants and an oversized winter jacket would be cool, and maybe a few sets of brand underwear - also a few sets of shoes
How about wardrobe for agency 'digitals' or polaroids
Anything that shows your body will work. In general, female models should bring some leggings, slim jeans, a neutral black or white top or plain white shirt, a leotard or neutral 2 piece swimsuit. Male models, some jeans and/or pants that are not too wide, underwear, a bodyfit t-shirt and black or brown shoes. If you received a sheet with agency requirements and specifications for the 'digitals', bring it in.
Check your Wardrobe
Models that bring their own wardrobe need to make sure clothes are clean, ironed or steamed if necessary and transported in a way that they are nor wrinkled all over the place when you unpack them - unless they are supposed to be wrinkled. They also shouldn't look worn out (unless we are going for this look) and any shop tags should be removed unless you can hide them so they are not shining thru or sticking out. While you are removing the tags, you may also remove any hanger straps and other useless material that has been added to the clothes. If you wear black leggins and have a cat or dog, make sure they don't look like your cat or dog. When changing prior to shooting a new look, check for visible straps including hanger straps and hide them, check your buttons and zipper fly (this one should typically be closed), check for hair and dust on your clothes. Everything visible in a mirror will be visible in the picture and it's timeconsuming to edit these. Remove your hairbands on your wrist.
Glasses or contacts?
Prescription glasses are rarely used for editorial or conceptual work, so if you have the option, wear contacts, otherwise you will need to pose blind for the shoot. If the concept requires some kind of glasses, we will need to work together to find glasses that fit to the concept/era of the shoot. If you want to wear your glasses for non-conceptual shoots, make sure they are anti-reflective.
Will there be dressing rooms on an outdoor location?
Rarely. You are a model! For outdoor shoots you may want to bring something to cover up important parts when changing clothes or you can change in the truck. We may be able to stop by at a close by gas station or restaurant to change, but don't expect this to be the case. Studio shoots will give you enough privacy and there will be nobody hanging around while you change. There will be dressing rooms and bathrooms in the studio.
I don’t have any modeling experience
If you don't have any experience at all but are interested in modeling, you may want to sign up for the Model starter package and coached shoots to gain experience, so the next time you apply for a model job you can at least say you have a bit of experience which may boost your rating and self-esteem to get the job. But in the end if I believe you have the looks and expression for a concept I am working on, all you need is motivation and passion and we will get something done. I promise you, you will leave the shoot with more self confidence and experience that will boost your ego.
Why do you suggest a studio shoot before doing an outdoor or location shoot
With less experienced models and models I never worked with I usually suggest shooting in the studio. It's easier and more beneficial to get used to working with each other in a studio location - finding out how the model works and takes directions or what the photographer expects - than outdoors. Basically preventing noise, possible weather conditions, bystanders and other distractions while getting used to working with each other. Also a good way to 'warm up'. That's why I also typically also start with a studio look in multi look shoots.
Do I need to shave?
If you are a guy, it depends on the theme. If you are a woman doing a commercial or glamor shoot, legs, armpits and bikini zone usually should be smooth. If we are doing a concept, editorial or artistic work, body hair may be an interesting aspect. So if you have armpit hair leave them. Just keep in mind that especially with close-ups you will see hair and there’s only so much you can do in post processing to remove them. For a bikini shoot please take care of hair removal 48 hours ahead of the shoot to give the skin time to recover. If we shoot a vintage bikini theme, people in the 70’s didn’t shave.
For beauty shots or photos that will show your hands and feet, a manicure/pedicure ahead of the shoot is recommended. Nails should look nice. Nail polish should be discussed prior to the shoot and needs to match the outfit and theme. So if possible remove nail and toenail polish prior to the shoot or keep it neutral. Just don’t forget that anything visible, will be visible on the photos. You will hardly find a picture that doesn't show fingers. So, get that manicure!
How about Make Up and Hair?
Ahead of the shoot we will discuss some general styles for hair and make-up. Unless otherwise agreed on, you will be responsible for your hair and make-up, so don't expect a make-up artist on location if this hasn't been discussed. If a shoot requires a make-up artist - and this is typically the case for conceptual work, this is something that needs to be worked out ahead of the time. For these shoots, usually I will arrange a Make-Up Artist/Hair Stylist and will work together with her on hair and make-up ideas. There will be no Make-Up Artists or Hair Stylists when shooting basic studio and TFP shoots unless it's arranged prior to that.
If there's a Make-Up Artist (MUA) or Hairstylist how should I come prepared? How about if there's no MUA or Hair Stylist?
If your shoot has a Make-Up Artist, come with no make-up and products applied to your face. The Make-Up Artist will make you shoot-ready during prep phases before the shoot and in between wardrobe changes . If there's a Hair Stylist at the shoot, come with no products applied to your hair and wash your hair the day before, not the same day.
If your shoot does not have a Make-Up Artist, please bring in some foundation powder, probably a concealer, and a basic make-up kit if possible. Please also bring in some brushes to apply the make-up. You don't want to share brushes with other models. For the hair you may want to bring in some combs and hair tools (straightener, blow dryer, etc) to get you the look we want.
There's a basic make-up kit, hair spray, moisturizer in the studio.
Can you recommend a MUA?
Here is an (incomplete and probably outdated) list of Make-Up Artists/Hair Stylists I worked with or you can find the names in the team credits section of the photos published. I bet there are many other great MUA's and Hair Stylists I never got a chance to work with. Just contact them thru email, social media or their website and find out about their rates or possible TFP gigs.
Barefoot in Snow?
Yes, I will ask you to walk barefoot at freezing temperatures if the shoot requires it. The weather or temperature for outdoor shoots is not always predictable and Chicago weather is extreme. We may have to shoot a summer scene in December, or a scene on asphalt that's heated up by the sun that it literally melts under your shoes.
Standing on cliffs and putting heads in crocodile mouths?
No picture is worth it that somebody gets hurt. I will not expect anything from you that is dangerous or requires stuntmen. Concept and location shoot expectations should be discussed prior to shooting.
Don't forget to bring your shoes.
If you use antiperspirant deodorant, make sure the remains aren't visible under your arms, it's pretty difficult to edit. Best advise, just don't use it right before the shoot, pictures don't smell.
Not sure if I'm Hot...
Unless your goal is to be a centerfold which requires a grade of hotness, expression and personality is what counts that makes a great shot.
I'm not 5'9" or size 0
I don't care, unless I am looking for a high fashion model with these sizes.
Playing the role
Posing in designer or conceptual garments is a bit different from the typical poses you may be used to. As soon as you wear that costume you have to play that role. It may probably be a bit more than acting than modeling. You really need to get into the character of the person you are 'playing' during that shoot. What I am trying to say is, one of your grunge poses may not match a shoot in an Victorian dress and pin-up poses will look stupid too.
How cool is my duckface?
Probably boring after 2 shots. Try to prevent duckfaces or fishmouthes during a shoot. It may look kinda cool in your selfies but doesn't belong in a photoshoot. Get in front of a mirror and work on facial expressions. You can do so much more with your face, trust me.
How do I get to the Studio?
The studio address is 15 S 2nd Street in St Charles, IL - it's in the upper level of the 'uniform store' building in downtown St Charles. There are parking lots at both sides of the building. It will be your responsibility to get there on time. Unless otherwise agreed on, you will be responsible for your own expenses such as gas, train fares. If you take the Metra BNSF line from Chicago Union Station or the Metra Union Pacific line from Chicago Ogilvie Station I may be able to give you a ride from and to the station in Naperville, IL, Route 59 Commuter Station in Naperville, IL or Geneva, IL.
How do I get to the location?
For outdoor shoots we can either meet at the location or take a ride in my truck. You will save money and people won't get lost. If you are heading to the location by your own, make sure you google or map-quest the correct location and the time required and calculate enough time to get there with traffic or weather conditions.
What if I can't make it?
Unforeseen things can happen. But this should be an exception. I play fair and I expect the same from everybody I work with. Shoots need a lot of planning and time from all parties involved and it may also be a financial issue, especially if studio, location and equipment rental is involved. So if you have to cancel or re-schedule I expect at least a 72 hrs notice, unless it's an emergency. Bad hair day, not feeling well is not an emergency. No second chance for no-shows and flakes, unless you have an excuse I didn't hear yet. And I have pretty much heard it all including many grandma's dying the past years.
Absolutely No Flakes!
If I get the impression communication goes only one way prior to a scheduled shoot. You are out. Next. I do have more important things to do than working with flakes and scheduling everything around a shoot that doesn't happen. I also hardly work on conceptual projects with models I never worked with exactly for that reason. I have seen it all and I don't care how good or hot you believe you are. There are people that are better.
Can I bring an escort?
All models will need permission to bring an escort to the shoot. And then escorts will be limited to somebody that takes care of your hair, make-up or clothes or sits silently in the studio. We are trying to get cool shots and - unless you are an experienced model - you will get distracted with people hanging around. There are also liability and property theft reasons why no escorts are allowed.
Although I understand especially new models believe they feel more comfortable with friends or family around, trust me, you will do so much better without. If you have a driver, there are all kind of shops and restaurants close by, so they can drop you off, meet me, and pick you up a few hours later. If you need references please check with the models I worked with, listed at Model Mayhem, browsing thru my FB or IG or available on request. You may also check the Testimonials. If that's not enough and you still do not feel comfortable shooting with me, I can tell you I am not comfortable shooting with you eiher. Next.
If you are under the age of 18 you are required to bring a parent/legal guardian who stays for the duration of the shoot. No exception.
How about Model's safety?
Let me assure you, nobody will harm you in my studio or in the neighborhood around it. For all shoots, I respect model's safety. I will not expect anything from you that you don't want to do, including wardrobe and poses you feel uncomfortable with for any reason - apart from walking barefoot in snow. If we are shooting on location, usually these locations are safe. If we shoot in a less safe neighborhood, we will discuss this ahead of time.
I’m not 18 - Can we shoot ?
Yes, but one of your parents or legal guardian has to be present during the duration of the shoot. And a legal guardian is not a friend or family member, who just turned 18 or older. No exceptions! A parental consent is not enough.
Do I need to bring an ID?
Yes I will card you. Any shoot with a new model (the definition includes you if we didn’t shoot before) requires age verification. A legal guardian needs to bring their ID and any proof of guardianship if necessary.
Can I bring my own music?
Yes, bring in your iPhone, iPad, MP3 player or CD's - as long as it's not Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars or Christian Music.
How about the pictures?
After the shoot I will screen thru the pictures and upload unedited images (proofs) to a private server site and provide you with a password or send them by wetransfer to your mailbox. In that case please check for a mail from wetransfer.com and click the download link there. I will continue to upload/send images and may start editing some I like, and may submit them to magazines. I will only provide pictures that are up to my standards - which will be your standards too if you shoot with me. Depending on the shoot - we may get between 40 and 100 images (proofs with minimal touch up). The pictures you receive are optimized for web and can be used based on the Shoot contract which means you can use them for your portfolio, share them on social media, submit them to magazines etc. Please note that watermarks need to stay intact.
Edited images will be in high-resolution 300 dpi JPG, digital format optimized for print and will have a small watermark/logo at the bottom. I will not release digitals without watermarks due to copyright reasons.
I will not automatically send out CD/DVDs. Contact me for digital edits or prints.
To what extend do you edit the pictures?
I am a photographer and you will probably not find any photoshop'ed image in my portfolio. If I want a picture of a dragon standing next to a princess in front of a haunted castle, I look for the opportunity or build the set, get a dragon and a princess and then take the picture, not the other way around. Photo edits will typically be limited to spot removals, removal of blemishes, touch-ups and adjustments. I will not over-process pictures unless there's an artistic reason or magazine requirement (i.e. beauty or glamor work). I will not add any glitter, sparkles, or any other gay stuff, I will not make your eyes skyblue, your teeth whiter than white, or use selective colors to make you stand out as a red spot in a b/w picture. If you are not standing out in a picture without it you are working with the wrong photographer anyway. I will not photoshop you 20 years younger or 20 lbs lighter. In the end it's your face and it should tell your story. Also, I am not a doctor, plastic surgeon or own a waxing studio.
Depending on the concept (this is for editorial work and not family pictures), I may remove any birthmarks that are distracting and take focus off your eyes. Freckles will usually not be touched up. Any acne, pimples, blemishes etc will most likely be touched up. Same goes for facial and visible piercings if they don't go with the concept of the shot. There may be an artistic reason not to touch up all this though.
I wanna print my own pictures. They are only 9c at Walgreens. Can you give me the high-resolution edits?
Please understand, not only is there a lot of work involved editing pictures, I usually do not give out unwatermarked high-resolution edits - unless something else has been agreed on - usually for commercial work. This is something pretty much no professional photographer would do. Besides running into possible copyright issues - the main reason is that images that get printed in a cheap 1 hr lab such as walmart, walgreens or similar, will not have the quality the photographer (or the model) would like to see in these pictures.
So that's why prints are only available thru my shootproof server, working with professional labs such as Black River Imaging and BayPhoto - quality prints with a pretty good 24 hrs turnover time.
The prices for these prints are comparable to prints you would get from other professional photographers printed by professional labs and include additional work such as editing/retouches, prior to approving them for the lab to be printed. There is no comparison to 9c walgreens prints.
I always give out a lot of images - most of these pictures are minimal touched up proofs when I make them available to the models or I work with the models on additional touch ups if required as part of a paid or TFP deal. All this involves a lot of work already. These images are optimized for the internet, and have the optimal resolution to be used for online portfolios, websites, social media, magazine submissions etc. You just can't print them since this would require high-resolution images - otherwise they will get pixelated the more you enlarge the prints.
Freckles, birthmarks, blemishes, scars, ...
The question actually is, what will be retouched in a picture. The answer is it really depends on the picture and the purpose of the picture. Rule of thumb: anything distracting that may take the focus off your eyes. But only a stupid photographer would touch up freckles.
Blemishes, pimples, scars, skin discolorations will probably be touched up in final edits. If the image is a 'beauty shot' or for will appear in a magazine, there may be further retouching necessary, conceptual or natural shots may need less retouching.
This is for models over 18 only.
If you bring sheer or see thru outfits to a shoot and decide to go bra-less, do NOT wear any silicone or shiny nipple covers. There is nothing worse than seeing the reflection of my strobe lights in every pictures on your breast.
I am wearing braces...
Good for you. From time to time I get asked, if I can edit braces out. No I cannot and I will not. If you wear braces, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. It's you and be proud of it. That's how people know you and if we shoot comp cards or headshots they may be visible. Casting directors want to see how you look! Don't try to hide your braces by pressing the lips together, this just doesn't look natural and the picture will reflect it (that it's not natural). So for comp cards, fashion or even editorial and conceptual looks braces may be totally cool. The exception would be if we shoot a vintage concept staged in a time were braces or the kind of braces you wear were not around - for authenticity reasons . Then we need to workaround them a bit by making it not so obvious that you are wearing some.
Some people ask if I can make them invisible for a comp card shoot because 'you will take them off when you get a modeling or casting gig anyway'. Sure, if you can make them invisible and still look natural. Rule of thumb, if you can take them off at a modeling or acting gig, take them off during the shoot, if you can't take them off because they are kind of semi-permanent, no reason to hide them in a comp card shoot. Always remember, the casting director wants to see the person he knows from your comp card pictures coming thru his door.
A model should have a repertoire of standard poses and individual poses. Poses that she knows inside out. And forget anything about cheesy pageant runway poses, or senior picture style poses. If you are new to this or try to build your poses repertoire, check thru magazines like VOGUE, ELLE, etc - But it also depends on the style of the photos. Lifestyle poses are different from edgy editorial poses or catalog poses.
Will my pictures be published?
The usage of the pictures is outlined in the Shoot Contract/MRF which may include submitting pictures to magazines. So there is a chance that you will get published when shooting with me during a regular shoot. But there will never be a guarantee on a tearsheet since final decision for a publication approval is ultimately by the editors. There are options to get pre-approved magazine shoot done though or if we shoot an exclusive shoot by/for a specific magazine.
Quick info on tearsheets, portfolio, lookbook and resume...
And that's a really quick 101 - just to give you some heads up. Feel free to contact me to discuss these things further.
When I send over tearsheets or images of shoots by wetransfer you need to click the download button (you probably need to use a computer, not sure if tablets or phones are supported) and save them somewhere at a safe place. The tearsheets are something that should go into the model's resume (mention them in the resume) and you may want to add the best ones in the models portfolio. That means, if the model has an online portfolio such as a website you may want to add it there, or print select ones and add to the lookbook. A lookbook is some kind of file binder that includes 8-15 of the best pictures of the model in 8x10 or 8x12, that you bring to auditions and castings. Usually the lookbook should have transparent pocket folders to hold several copies of each photograph in the lookbook, so these photographs can be handed out to casting directors etc if they are asking for a specific picture and will be easily replaceable with updated/better/different looks - photos. The lookbook should not have more than one photo of the same look.
What can/can't I do with the pictures?
You can use the edits and proofs based on the shoot contract, which basically means you can use them for anything - besides selling them or selling the rights of the pictures. You can use them to promote your portfolio, share on social networking sites, send out to agencies, submit to model competitions/contests, magazines etc. You cannot sell them, you cannot change/edit/crop the pictures that includes converting a color picture to black and white or using any social network/IG filter. And please leave watermarks intact.
Can I submit pictures to magazines?
Yes but please note, that although you are encouraged to submit images to magazines for possible publications, please have the magazine editors contacting me upon approval for touched up, high-resolution images without watermarks. I do not want to see unedited proofs in low resolution quality in any magazine. Some low quality online/print magazines seem to publish everything people submit - including low resolution pictures with big watermarks. This doesn't benefit anybody in the creative team who worked on the pictures. Real editors understand the difference between low and high-resolution images. They should also know that legally they will need an image release form to be able to publish copyrighted work.
Definition of 'PROOF'
You may find other definitions for that. But proofs in our case are unedited, unreleased images. Images that may need touch ups, some post processing before it will be released.
Unless I am shooting your mom or the model is under the age of 18, communication will be with the model directly and not the mom (includes "momagers") or other relatives. Moms present during a model shoot, please avoid posing, suggesting poses or drawing the model's attention to you in any other way during a shoot.
Payments for shoots
A non refundable payment is required for any shoot to reserve your shoot spot. This payment either can be done by Paypal (credit card, debit card, etc) thru the bookings page or by check. Please note: I will not reserve a spot or even start thinking about working on a concept before the deposit is in or the check has cleared. There will also be no exceptions on 'promised future' payments or shoots without deposits - made to anybody anymore. I learned the hard way. I am not working for the red cross or any other charity. I understand you have expenses, so do I. So if you want to shoot, a deposit has to be made when scheduling and the remaining balance has to be made at the day of the shoot.
Do you offer TFP shoots?
Photography is my full time job and besides shooting, the majority of the time in a photographer's life is spent on post processing pictures. So time is more than limited for TFP or test shoots. There may be very rare TFP spots and this will usually be shoots I want to work with a specific model on.
I neither have the budget nor the savings to shoot for fun. Many people seem to believe that after a 2 hrs or 3 hrs shoot everything is over and seem to forget that besides the actual shoot, there is more work that needs to be done - prior to the shoot (such as planning, prep and working on concepts) as well as after the shoot (editing, magazine submissions etc). Besides that, I have equipment to maintain, duct tape to buy and rent and utilities to pay and any expenses that come with running a business - not to mention my basic life expenses I need to take care of.
So in order to consider shooting TFP with you, our work will have to STRONGLY BENEFIT MY portfolio with one of the following: magazine exposure in big name magazines getting in touch with industry decision makers, editor connection, agency connection, gallery or pop-up gallery exposure, getting future deals out of the shoot (commercial or editorial), you have the looks I am looking for RIGHT NOW for my concepts.
If you are one of the following, please do not ask for TFP: new models with no portfolio, models with portfolios that needs work on.
And please do not tell me that other photographers shoot you for free - just keep shooting with them. You are only as good as your portfolio.
Can I get High-Resolution pictures without watermarks for my website?
Here's the thing, I can't give out high-resolution images without watermarks. If you want unwatermarked high-resolution (300 dpi) prints for your portfolio lookbook of our shoots, you can order them thru the online lab. As for the internet presence, social media or your online portfolio - not sure if you are aware of this, websites won't be able to display more than 72 or 96 dpi anyway, so it will not make a difference. The only difference 72 vs high-resolution 300 dpi (which is used for print) would be, if you or the webdeveloper would give people an option to download the 300 dpi image from your website in any way due to a link or by clicking on the image, but this is exactly something you and I need to prevent.
Sorry not trying to be a jerk, but photographers usually wouldn't give out high-resolution unwatermarked images for the reason of copyright infringement (third parties gaining access to the images and use them for their own profits).
ModelMayhem models READ!
You better be rocking and convince me hat you are not a flake when contacting me. Also not sure what that is about response time on messages back and forth - if I get the impression you are not into modeling you name will just added to my list of people not to work with. Next.
Do you shoot out of area?
How should a model's bag look like in general? What should be in my bag?
Here is something that may be helpful for newer models to be prepared for shoots. Please note that this is not a complete list and you may have other things that are not listed here. But it will help to be a bit prepared for our shoots that are not conceptual or do not have Make-Up Artists or Stylists involved.
Besides a set of clothes you want to bring, your bag should include a few sets of shoes, include a set of combats. Bring a set of bras, including strapless nude bras. If your bras have straps, I prefer them NOT to be nude. If the straps show in the pictures (and they will) it should look like the bra is part of your fashion, so nude strapless and black with straps. There's nothing worse than nude bra straps or cups showing.
The following should also be part of your bag: small make-up kit, mascara, foundation, powder, curling or straightening iron, make-up remover, female hygiene kit, socks, towel, safety pins, hair band, bobby pins, lip balm, moisturizer, water, snacks, toothbrush, lint roller, favorite music. For outdoor shoots add a blanket, a morning gown and some warm coat you can throw over during shoot breaks. What you should leave at home: jewelry, that's not part of the shoot.
Also bring your comp card, lookbook, a few business cards if you have.
Any tips for my portfolio book
You ask different people and they will give you different opinions. The most important thing is that your Portfolio Book or Lookbook rocks and stands out, and this in regards to the pictures, not the quality of the binder. Some people print their lookbooks but it is recommended to get a neutral portfolio file binder with transparent pockets in 8x10 or 8x12 format. Transparent pockets so you will be able to easily swap out prints with better prints or recent shoots. In general you should not have more than 1 image of the same shoot/look in your portfolio. Even if you believe all pictures of the shoot were killer, you should decide on one. Also do not overkill your portfolio with hundreds of pictures - find the 8-15 best ones! Less is more! Keep in mind, any picture that's not up to standards does not belong in the book. If you are sentimentally connected to a pictures but it's boring, don't include it. One bad picture will decrease the overall quality of your portfolio. You should also have more than one copy of each picture in your portfolio map since sometimes casting directors will be asking for a copy of a specific pictures, so you can hand out the ones they want to keep. Don't forget to get additional copies to fill up your portfolio binder before you head out to another casing.
You can purchase portfolio books at different locations. Here is one
To order prints of your shoots, contact me and I will put them up online to order thru the shootproof lab I am working with.
Cell phones, selfies, BTS
It's not only rude to check your texts or similar during a shoot it's also distracting (more for you, than me) - and unprofessional. I totally understand the need for selfies (NOT) but keep your smart phone usage to an absolute minimum - even during shoot breaks. I am pretty much not interested in working with you anymore when I get the impression you are more interested getting the coolest selfies than being motivated performing in front of the camera. During the shoot I want you to be 100% focused on the shoot and creating pictures that rock.
Same goes for checking your phone during Make-Up and Hair
If we are shooting magazine editorials or concepts check with me if BTS (Behind the Scenes) pictures can be posted during the shoot or cannot leak until after magazine or image release. Also make sure GPS/Geo-tagging is turned OFF when taking BTS on location.
Before the shoot....
A few days before the shoot:
Check the details for the shoot, put together the wardrobe, find out if there's a MUA/Stylist or if you are responsible for your hair, make-up, wardrobe. Get details on the concept. Check the directions to the studio or location and estimate the time it will take you to get there. Ask any questions you may have.
1 day before the shoot:
Make sure you have everything and leave early enough to be in the studio or on location on time. If there's a MUA/Stylist at the shoot, wash your hair the day before with no products applied to hair and face. Your bag shoot be ready. Did you think about wearing comfortable clothes for the way to the shoot? Make sure you have your ID/driver's license with you. Make sure you get enough sleep. The night before a photoshoot is not the night to party and hang out with Jack and Co.
When getting to the studio/location:
If you are wearing socks, wrist bands, watches, sunglasses, take them off to give the skin time to recover and eliminate marks. At this point we will spend time to discuss the shoot, get an overview about the studio or location, get the shoot contract/MRF (Model Release Form) signed, check thru the clothes and decide on the clothes of the shoot. Get hair and make-up done.
After you changed into your outfit for the shoot:
Make sure you removed any jewelry, any hairbands on your wrist. Check your clothes, use a lint roller to remove hair and dust. Check your flies, and hide or cut any hanger straps so they don't show in shots.
During an outdoor shoot....
Although model safety should be highest priority and Photographers should never ask models to do things that are potentially dangerous or life threatening. If that's the case - as a model - think twice, use common sense, discuss potential risks with the photographer/team and ensure precautions are in place. No picture is worth it that anybody gets hurt or even worse. This includes standing at cliffs, rooftops or sitting on railroad tracks, which btw is lame anyway.
A few things - some of them common sense - but should be kept in mind.
Winter/Cold weather shoots:
Never step on frozen lakes unless you are 100% sure it is safe, and this is not the case after only a few days of deep frost. Do not touch frozen metal with your skin or even your tongue. When shooting at low temps make sure there will be enough warm up breaks.
Summer/Warm weather shoots:
Always bring enough water to a shoot. Make sure to apply mosquito repellent and have some anti itch sticks handy. During breaks stay in the shade or A/C buildings, cars. Only do water shoots if you can swim. Do not swallow water thru mouth and nose when shooting in natural ponds, also open wounds may cause infections. When wearing clothes in water be aware that they will get VERY heavy when soaked with water. Even if you are fit and working out YOU WILL NOT be able to swim in a water soaked wedding dress or similar. Make sure precautions are taken when doing water shoots.
After the shoot....
As a precaution - especially after outdoor shoots, check yourself for ticks. More information on ticks here
There are a lot of black sheep in the modeling industry. The most important thing is
DO YOUR RESEARCH!
if you are new to working with photographers, check their portfolio, check references, check with other models they worked with. Do they have a website or just a FB, IG, ModelMayhem or other social media pages? There is no professional photographer without a website.
If you are being contacted by photographers, 'agencies' or similar to fly you out to a remote location for a shoot - be careful. All expenses paid? - be careful. Never make any payments (plane ticket etc) hoping you will get your money back - you won't!
If anybody wants you to make payments thru WESTERN UNION - be careful. Western Union is known as an easy way to get scammed.
Agencies ask you to pay to get signed or make it mandatory to have an 'agency' photographer taking your pictures as a paid shoot. Red Flag. Do some research on that agency. Real agencies do not ask you for money.
You have to pay to walk in a runway show or need to sell an amount of tickets for that show to your family and friends? Do your research! As a model you will get paid to walk in the show or if it's a charity event you may walk for free but you should not be the one paying to be able to walk monetary or thru ticket sales. Also, do your research on the charity! Supporting a good cause in the charity name doesn't mean the money is getting there.
Magazine publishers/editors contact you and promise to get you published if you shoot nude, semi nude, boudoir or similar. Unless it's Playboy and you are famous. Stay away. Do your research on the magazines. You may find out these magazines do not exist or "... will be released in the near future" which most likely is BS.
Photographers pay you to shoot nude. Do your research on the photographer. Check their portfolio. A lot of guys with cameras pay models to do these kind of shoots. Doesn't mean you will become famous. Do you want to do this for $100 or $300 - think about it.
There are a few SCAMs around and they are similar to Nigerian scams targeting photographers and models. As for photographers somebody will ask you if you are available to shoot at a family reunion - google it! - models are usually asked to shoot at weddings, in both cases they will ask for your rates, you tell them, they accept - as soon as it comes to payments, they will come up with some weird stuff to either use some weird merchants for credit card processing or want you to do some payments to the 'organizers' of the events for some extra money, oh yes, most of these scammers are 'cancer patients in intensive care' with no access to their personal checks (that's why they need you to do them a favor, such as paying the organizer, wedding planer etc), or hearing impaired so they cannot talk to you by phone if you want to discuss details. Oh and funny how these family reunions are basically getting scheduled based on the photographer's availability...
And here is some information from BBB in regards to red flags on "modeling and talent agencies" that are not legit
Modeling & Talent
Warning signs of a Non-Reputable Modeling Manager or Agent
A non-reputable manager often:
- charges an advance fee or “registration” fee;
- places ads in the “help wanted” section of newspapers that seem like job offers, but are really ads for representation or the purchase of portfolios;
- has a photographer on site, or one that they strongly recommend you use to immediately create a portfolio;
- pressures you to leave a deposit for photos, books or other forms of “packaging your talent”;
- pressures you to take their courses or seminars on topics such as acting, makeup and clothing;
- avoids answering questions concerning specific types of assignments for which you might be used;
- uses a name which sounds similar, but is not identical to, a well-known studio or manager, causing you to think that the two might be related;
- displays pictures of famous models or celebrities on the walls who are actually not represented by the manager. (Ask whether the manager actually represents and gets jobs for the models in the photos.)
Modeling & Talent
- Investigate the modeling agency or manager before you visit or sign a contract. Call the Better Business Bureau to obtain the BBB’s reliability rating for the firm, and to see if the firm has been the subject of complaints or serious law enforcement actions. If you are dealing with a modeling agency, contact the Department of Consumer Affairs to verify the firm’s license. Ask the company for the names of models who have received work through the firm’s services.
- Do not pay fees for classes or testshots. Legitimate companies invest in you, not vice versa. Occasionally, you may be expected to pay for the photographer’s film for test shots, which is a minimal cost.
- Do not meet with managers after business hours or at their homes. If you do see them at odd times or places, go with a friend who will stay with you. A legitimate manager will not be offended by this reasonable precaution; only illegitimate ones will.
- Beware of people who represent themselves as “Talent Scouts” or “Talent Packagers” who are really only photographers with little or no incentive to give you an honest assessment of your chances of becoming a model.