Who’s On Your Black List?

We all have different expectations on our time and expertise when we collaborate with other people. Whether you’re getting paid or not there are things you want from a shoot before, during and after.

The same old problems come up time and again and I know I am not alone in this. Most of what I’m about to say regularly comes up on forums as gripes and rants so I guess to anyone in the industry this is of no surprise. But if you’re a newbie looking for guidance on how  to conduct yourself, here are some clear pointers on what you should and shouldn’t be doing to impress the people you work with.

Time keeping

There is rarely an excuse for being late. I always leave an extra half an hour traveling time for hold ups, make sure I know exactly where I am going, check out the parking situation and get a contact number before I head off. And I always take my SatNav.

Studio hire is often involved and whoever is paying for the venue (usually the photographer) has arranged a limited amount of time. If you’ve got a 4 hour shoot including hair and make up and you turn up half an hour late, well that’s half an hour of shoot time eaten into that’s leaves someone else out of pocket as well as short of images. If you don’t care enough to turn up on time, don’t do the job.

Of course, sometimes things are just out of our control. If you’ve planned ahead but still run into problems, that’s just the way it is. It’s especially true for teams coming in from long distances or those who’s transport options are limited. Shit happens. It’s why we have mobile phones. Use them!

There are so many people to work with out there, why would I waste my time on someone who thinks it’s okay to keep the rest of the team waiting for an hour? Especially if I’ve had to leave several hours before others are getting up to make sure I was there.

Unpredictable Model Looks

The number of times I’ve got to a shoot and not recognised the model you would not believe. Sometimes it’s just that they get a lot of post shoot editing which is why I like to see at least one natural unedited image in a models portfolio so I know what they really look like. Others are just genius at absorbing any look you give them and really know how to perform in front of the camera. I love these people.

But models who turn up with different hair colours, really bad skin that needs a lot of post edit work or those that arrive already plastered in make up knowing there is an MUA on board irk me. It can ruin the look of the shoot if you’re not as you appear on your portfolio and an MUA likes to start with an unmade face. If you’re so insecure you can’t leave the house without make up, why are you a model?

Whiney Models

There is nothing that infuriates me more than the size 6 model who complains all day how fat she looks. I want to strangle them. If you feel like that when you see the photos on the back of the camera you are not fishing for compliments, you are insulting the photographer and the stylist. What, we made you look fat??? Urgh. No time for it. And that is invariably the difference between a pro and a hobbyist. BUT you can still act like a pro if you are a hobbyist and people will remember you for it.

Photographers who don’t deliver

Two chances (if the quality of your work is good) and you’re out. If you don’t send pictures in a timely manner, or at all, I will not waste my time with you again EVER. I don’t style shoots free for your personal development and photo library. I do them because I want images to show people my work. You should be doing the same. If you’re not happy with the images, maybe get some lessons on how to take photos.

If you can’t be bothered to give me the images I won’t work with you again. I’ve done this and given second chances, sometimes third, but I don’t anymore. If you keep me waiting around with nothing at all for a month without a good reason or any valid explanation at all, one strike and you’re out. If you’re too busy or prefer to prioritise your paid work consistently, that makes me feel like I’m not worth your effort. Go away. Because there are a zillion better photographers out there who do want to work with me.

Models who have no stock

How can it be that a model can turn up to a shoot without the basics. I’m talking about a few decent pairs of heels and a suitable selection of underwear in black, white, nude, and a strapless bra. Seriously? If you don’t already own these, what are you doing????

I think that pretty much covers the basics. I don’t doubt that once I’ve posted this up I’ll think of something else. If there’s anything you think I’ve missed which is a regular issue for you, please drop me a line or post here. I’m interested in your experiences. But for now, rant on!


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