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July archive of Merlin’s blog

Merlin's blog

Just as photographers, or those claiming to be can do things which annoy models, the reverse is true as well. There are some things which are the responsibility of the model.

First is showing up on time. The photographer has put a lot of time in to the set up. Frequently has people assisting. Leaving everybody standing around waiting for a model that is late, or worse doesn't  show at all is very discourteous. Light changes with the time of day. The window of time to be able to shoot may be lost. If something goes wrong that you are late or can't make the shoot, calling is a must.

Be ready to shoot. If there is a makeup artist, that may be having no makeup. If you are doing your own makeup, that means having it ready. Don't wear clothing that leaves pressure lines, since what you end up wearing may show them. Don't go to the party the night before the shoot and arrive hung over.

If you bring an escort with you, make sure they know not to get in the way. Their job is to make sure you are safe, not to take pictures, direct, tell jokes, or disapprove of what you are doing. They should not become the photographers problem. Mom is generally not a good escort. Supportive boyfriend maybe, jealous boyfriend, probably not. Think about who is a good match for the shoot.

Listen to directions. Occasionally and idea may help, but also keep in mind, you can't see yourself, and may not know exactly what the photographer is trying to create.

Read the release. Make sure the deal is clear.

In soliciting TFP, or TFCD from a photographer, keep in mind fair trade value. If you need head shots, chances are that those are of no value to the photographer. The same is true if you plan to submit to a website that will take the copyright, or otherwise devalue the photos. If the photographer does not need the type of photos that you do, consider offering work on another project in exchange. If not, then consider paying the photographer for what you need.
There are many misconceptions about how real shoots are conducted, and the relationship between a model and the photographer. On many boards, there have been those that fantasize about the myths, and try to get in on what they think is happening. In the process they build a bad reputation for all of us. The term GWC (Guy With Camera) was coined to describe them, since their goal generally to see how far they can get with the model rather than to produce a good image. With the goal of promoting professionalism, even among amateur photographers.

First is that in placing and ad, or contacting a model, be honest about what you are looking for. Don't book a fashion shoot with the intention of pushing for nude later. It is stressful and annoying for the model. If you want nude, say it. Give a description of what the shots will be, and where they will be displayed. The same goes for adult, don't set up an artistic shoot, then put her on a porn page.

Don't represent yourself as something you are not. State your experience as it is.

Don't ask for dates, or sexual favors, paid or otherwise. These are not why women answer modeling ads. Most of the time they won't care what you look like. It is a shame that it has to be said, but these offers are extremely common, and become a reason why women quit modeling. It falls under the heading of sexual harassment.

On a shoot, don't touch or invade the model's space. A photographer should be using a longer lens under most circumstances. Poses can be directed verbally. If it is necessary to touch the model, ask first.

Be courteous in comments. Compliments on her appearance, may be ok. Comments about particular body parts may not be, and could make her uncomfortable, or be offensive.

Communication is key in a good photo shoot. The model is half the picture so it is important to make sure you are on the same page.

Make sure that verbal agreements are the same as the written release. It is good to let the model read the release before the shoot.

TFP, TFCD, Collaboration, and test are often abused terms. They should not mean free models. The purpose of a test shoot would be an audition for a project, if there is no project, then it is not a "test" shoot. Collaboration would be working on a project that there is a mutual interest in, or there is a mutual profit. Any sort of trade deal should have a benefit for the model. It is especially common for a beginning photographer to be seeking TF, so they can learn. This is unfair to the model since they get a beginner quality photo that is of no use. If you are learning, pay the model, otherwise ask friends who are ok with doing you a favor.

If you are providing pictures to the model, do it promptly after the shoot.

Show respect for the models. They are people, and your pictures can't be done without them. Many people think they are dumb, vain, anorexic, or promiscuous, which most of the time is not true. They are likely fans of the art, they may or may not understand the camera, but frequently do understand the creativity.
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