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04/07/2010 01:52:11 PM · #1
Hi I'm completely new to the business side of photography. I have taken senior pictures for a lot of my friends, been paid for taking business card photos, sold photo cards in a Dallas-area music store, and shadowed photographers at weddings. I recently re-made my blog (//madeleinewilburphotography.blogspot.com/), finished my portfolio (//madeleinewilbur.daportfolio.com/), and made a facebook site (//www.facebook.com/pages/Colorado-Springs-CO/Madeleine-Wilbur-Photography/108181175880302?ref=ts).

Anyway, I just got an email today from a young model who is trying to put together a modeling portfolio and wondered if I could help her this summer. I've never shot models before and have several questions: (I'm sorry if there's already been a thread about this, if you post the link i'd gladly read it. :)

~What kind of shots are modeling agencies looking for? (diversity, types of styles)

~Are there any classic styles/poses that should be included? (any reference material for this?)

~Any tips for shooting models in general?

~How does the model release and copyright release work? (can I use photos of her for my own portfolio, how should I give her the images, prints, full resolution, watermarking, does she have copyright to my photos?, etc)

~How does payment usually work? (do I charge her my normal session fee? Do I do it for free because I need the photos for my portfolio? Do I pay her? etc.)

Sorry, I know that's a lot of questions. I'm mostly wondering about the copyright and model releases, how that all works, and how the payment works. Thank you!

04/07/2010 05:11:51 PM · #2
check out modelmayhem.com
millions of model shots.

tips - you and the model both need to relax, no chance of good shots otherwise.
communicate well before, and during the shoot. Plan all the details, locations, wardrobe etc.

model release depends on how you want to use the shots.
if you want them for a stock library then it's essential, if not up to you.
how you give the shots depends on what the model wants.
most want web sized jpegs for web portfolios, some may want larger files for printing. Communication again.

As the model as asked you for help, i doubt she wants paying.
As you are asking these questions, i guess you are not a pro.
i would say that it will be whats called a TFCD or TFP shoot. Time for CD, or Time for Prints.
you and the model do not swap cash, just time, and you both add to your portfolios.

hope this helps.


04/07/2010 07:07:59 PM · #3
Model Mayhem is a decent place to look for examples, but be a bit careful, as there is a lot of "by MMers for MM" sorta stuff that is not what agencies want to see.

Agencies, and those who hire agency models, it turns out, don't really want to see a lot of shots with overdone photoshopping, mannequin-skin processing, etc. They are using those shots to assess the model herself--they know about what can be retouched and how it can be done, etc. Those who hire an agency model use shots to select, and don't like to be surprised when a model shows up and looks Nothing like her shots. Skin retouching is fine, but it should still look fairly natural. If she doesn't have high cheekbones, but they get shifted in post, will only disappoint or annoy clients. This is why most agencies snapped simple polaroids of models in the office.

You can visit the agencies websites, find their fan pages at Facebook, and see a bit more what the test-shoots for models look like. For Fashion stuff, W magazine and British Vogue (I find them on the rack in Borders) are worth snagging: good examples, though the sets, staging, clothing, etc will be out of reach, the image lighting and poses are good reference material. Familiarize yourself some with High Fashion, Editorial, Catalog, Beauty shots, poses, lighting approaches.

A fair amount of MM type work is TF (you trade each other time and photos). If she has a MM profile, you might ask to see it, see the kind of work she already has, and have a conversation about what kind of shots she wants or needs for her book. If she is really new to this, she may not be real certain, so just be prepared for things to evolve some.

It is really cool to find a model who wants to work with you, and they usually are willing to collaborate, take direction, and be patient in front of the camera. So it is a win-win!

As for releases, the trade for stuff is usually pretty informal in my experience: each of you has the right to use the images for self-promotion (in each of your portfolios, websites, etc) but no right to sell the images or the rights for use of the images. If money is changing hands, you might want a release/contract that really states what is being delivered (prints, files, rights).

I am going to guess that she is fairly new, wants to do trade for, and would be willing (if your first shoot goes well) to work with you multiple times on different looks/concepts. You could have a lot of fun. But if you want to charge her for this, be sure to have a chat with her first, be sure that is what she is thinking, and get specific about what is going to be done, # of looks, prints, images etc.

Working with any model: be at ease yourself (or appear so, if not--tension is contagious). No negativity--if she strikes a pose you don't like, either pleasantly direct her into a different pose, or just fire a shot and then say "okay, now let's try this". If you chimp a shot, don't show a negative reaction on your face, even if it is because the light is not right, or the settings were wrong--she will see your face and think it is Her Fault somehow. Periodically show her the shots (not necessarily all of them, but some that you like). If you are working toward a specific thing, showing her the shot, how her arm needs to be bit more over here, etc, will help her collaborate with you, help her to feel involved.

I always ask permission before touching a model--if their clothing needs a stretch or a fold they can't reach, hair needs moving, or we don't want to break the pose, I ask, then do. I seldom ever actually touch the model as a part of posing them, but if so, again with permission and a light touch--no grabbing or gripping of any kind. I've seen photographers get grabby--just not a good thing. At best it annoys the model, at worst it can be kinda pervy or downright unacceptable.

Depending both on her experience and her own style of modeling, she may be kinetic or static. In other words, she may get in front of the camera and WORK for you, doing moves, poses, etc. Or she may stand there stiffly and only do precisely what you tell her. Either can be good or bad. If she is too kinetic, you'll have to be a bit firmer with her if you are trying to get a certain precise pose or angle. Some models move too much, too fast (suddenly their arms or legs are out of frame, then back again). In those cases, ask her to move more slowly, in small steps, with each flash, and be ready to freeze if you say "Hold That" when a particular pose grabs you and you want to work it from different angles or move the light a bit, etc.

Often times, explaining to them where your frame is can help a lot: "this is a waist up shot, and your arms need/don't need to stay close" etc.

Another thing that can be very useful for both of you: collect a set of shots that you like out of magazines, web, etc. I keep some on my iphone, for example. Then sometimes the shoot is directed not at reproducing a specific shot exactly, but doing something similar, in family, but with your and her own take on it. You can study the shot for lighting and set-up, you both can study for posing, and you can discuss wardrobe, hair, etc. that will work for that sort of image. Use these collected images for inspiration, not duplication :-)

Message edited by author 2010-04-07 19:21:38.
04/07/2010 07:33:48 PM · #4
I just throw something shiny on the ground, they get distracted and quit moving. It makes it so
much easier to hit them.
04/07/2010 07:50:37 PM · #5
i was thinking i might have some answers for you, but then i realized i'm probably one of those random old creepers that you want to compete with...

if you want professional advice, start thinking like a professional and acting like a professional ;-)
04/07/2010 07:58:59 PM · #6
Actually......considering what I've seen of your work on your blog, just keep doing what you're doing, develop it, and go from there.
04/07/2010 09:05:49 PM · #7
Thanks everyone for the advice! It is very helpful. Especially ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' dainmcgowan and ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' chromeydome. :)

Originally posted by Skip:

i was thinking i might have some answers for you, but then i realized i'm probably one of those random old creepers that you want to compete with...

if you want professional advice, start thinking like a professional and acting like a professional ;-)


And thank you too, I appreciate the constructive criticism. However, I am 17 and right now my audience is high schoolers (my age). I am not pretending to be a professional right now but you're right in that if I want to be, I should act like one.
04/07/2010 09:20:29 PM · #8
Originally posted by photoMAD:

Thanks everyone for the advice! It is very helpful. Especially ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' dainmcgowan and ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' chromeydome. :)



You're welcome.

And I am not random....
04/07/2010 09:29:50 PM · #9
Originally posted by chromeydome:


You're welcome.

And I am not random....


No offense! Really I'm not trying to offend anyone. It's just at my school they have this really awkward guy take all of the required school pictures and everyone hates him. Part of my marketing strategy is being someone THEIR age so it's more just like hanging out and less formal. That's just my photography style. I could definitely change the wording though if it's so offensive. I mean no harm to professional photographers. I'm really good friends with some.
04/07/2010 09:37:27 PM · #10
Originally posted by photoMAD:

Thanks everyone for the advice! It is very helpful. Especially ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' dainmcgowan and ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' chromeydome. :)

Originally posted by Skip:

i was thinking i might have some answers for you, but then i realized i'm probably one of those random old creepers that you want to compete with...

if you want professional advice, start thinking like a professional and acting like a professional ;-)


And thank you too, I appreciate the constructive criticism. However, I am 17 and right now my audience is high schoolers (my age). I am not pretending to be a professional right now but you're right in that if I want to be, I should act like one.

i was half-jibin' ya, maddie. i know exactly the situation you're in. i shoot weddings, but i'm not part of of the wedding industry. the thing you have to do, though, is find a way to connect with your market without slamming (even unintentionally) your competition.

here's some things to consider. find a way get across the fact that you offer great value without pushing the low-price point. for one, even though you're just getting started, if things go well for you, sooner or later, you're going to be one of those *expensive* photographers. and two, as you grow professionally, you'll find others will be willing to help pull you up, as long as they don't feel you're trying to pull them down.

you have tons of potential, just keep pushing yourself.
04/07/2010 09:49:20 PM · #11
Originally posted by Skip:

i was half-jibin' ya, maddie. i know exactly the situation you're in. i shoot weddings, but i'm not part of of the wedding industry. the thing you have to do, though, is find a way to connect with your market without slamming (even unintentionally) your competition.

here's some things to consider. find a way get across the fact that you offer great value without pushing the low-price point. for one, even though you're just getting started, if things go well for you, sooner or later, you're going to be one of those *expensive* photographers. and two, as you grow professionally, you'll find others will be willing to help pull you up, as long as they don't feel you're trying to pull them down.

you have tons of potential, just keep pushing yourself.


Thanks so much. That is very good advice. I will change my websites.
04/07/2010 10:31:24 PM · #12
Originally posted by photoMAD:

Originally posted by chromeydome:


You're welcome.

And I am not random....


No offense! Really I'm not trying to offend anyone. It's just at my school they have this really awkward guy take all of the required school pictures and everyone hates him. Part of my marketing strategy is being someone THEIR age so it's more just like hanging out and less formal. That's just my photography style. I could definitely change the wording though if it's so offensive. I mean no harm to professional photographers. I'm really good friends with some.


No apologies necessary--I was just kidding around :-)
04/08/2010 02:57:36 PM · #13
if the model is a minor, her parents will need to sign any model release forms.

I'd get a model release signed no matter what, just so you're both clear of where and when the shots can be used.

I suppose you could incorporate the release into a contract, which you could also spell out what the model gets out of the shoot- a CD of pics, some prints, are the prints watermarked, what rights does she have to print her own stuff (if any), etc etc etc.

Wrap it up tight.
04/08/2010 06:28:38 PM · #14
can i just give you a little advice? This is regarding what i saw under your pricing on the website! You said you give customers :
~High Quality Photo CD of all photos taken (full resolution, no watermarks)
& ~ High Quality Photo CD of 20-30 best photos retouched and edited (full resolution, no watermarks) If i were you I wouldn't give clients High Resolution CDs for printing without retouching or editing the photos... personally I don't let a photo of mine be printed or digitally burned onto a cd for printing unless I know it is my best work. You never know who will see your work and want to hire you! Don't let them see a mediocre unedited image when they can see your best enhanced/retouched work... just my opinion! :]

also, I think you are really missing out by not doing prints for your clients! Too many 'one hour photo' places do a TERRIBLE job of printing! I know my local walgreens prints are always too dark and too contrasty. Costco on the other hand does a BEAUTIFUL job, the results between the two are drastic! When you give people the CD you have no control over where they make their prints, again losing another opportunity for your work to look as great as possible! Now i'm not saying that I never give people the High Res. CD, but I think offering to make prints as well really gives you an advantage. Plus prints are really cheap, so you make a good profit off of them also.

I will also just say that for being 17 years old you are very talented! I started my photo business at 17 as well (i'm 19 now...) and I think you are on the right track! Just don't let other people take advantage of you because of your age, for a 2-3 hour session with unlimited locations and outfit changes AND high res. Cds i think you are undercharging for your time. Good Luck! :]
04/08/2010 09:25:19 PM · #15
Originally posted by LMA128:

can i just give you a little advice? This is regarding what i saw under your pricing on the website! You said you give customers :
~High Quality Photo CD of all photos taken (full resolution, no watermarks)
& ~ High Quality Photo CD of 20-30 best photos retouched and edited (full resolution, no watermarks) If i were you I wouldn't give clients High Resolution CDs for printing without retouching or editing the photos... personally I don't let a photo of mine be printed or digitally burned onto a cd for printing unless I know it is my best work. You never know who will see your work and want to hire you! Don't let them see a mediocre unedited image when they can see your best enhanced/retouched work... just my opinion! :]

also, I think you are really missing out by not doing prints for your clients! Too many 'one hour photo' places do a TERRIBLE job of printing! I know my local walgreens prints are always too dark and too contrasty. Costco on the other hand does a BEAUTIFUL job, the results between the two are drastic! When you give people the CD you have no control over where they make their prints, again losing another opportunity for your work to look as great as possible! Now i'm not saying that I never give people the High Res. CD, but I think offering to make prints as well really gives you an advantage. Plus prints are really cheap, so you make a good profit off of them also.

I will also just say that for being 17 years old you are very talented! I started my photo business at 17 as well (i'm 19 now...) and I think you are on the right track! Just don't let other people take advantage of you because of your age, for a 2-3 hour session with unlimited locations and outfit changes AND high res. Cds i think you are undercharging for your time. Good Luck! :]


Hi! Thank you very much for the advice. I'm so glad people here don't just say "wow your'e photos are nice" because that's the only thing I hear from my friends and family. That is a very good point about prints. I've never thought about it that way. The thing for me right now is I avoid doing prints because simply of the hassle. I like just giving them a CD and letting them deal with printing and paying for prints and such. I don't have to order them, pick the right pictures, pay for them up front, or worry about them coming back to me later and wanting more thus me having to dig for them. I definitely agree that there are some CRAPPY photo printing places out there so I always recommend the ones I like to use.

Yes I've heard I'm undercharging, however, I still haven't had any takers which is interesting to me lol. So I think I'm sticking with what I have right now and maybe change it later if I'm overbooked. I'm moving cities and maybe states for college so I don't think that'll be that much of a big deal. Thanks!
04/08/2010 10:20:45 PM · #16
Originally posted by photoMAD:

Originally posted by LMA128:

can i just give you a little advice? This is regarding what i saw under your pricing on the website! You said you give customers :
~High Quality Photo CD of all photos taken (full resolution, no watermarks)
& ~ High Quality Photo CD of 20-30 best photos retouched and edited (full resolution, no watermarks) If i were you I wouldn't give clients High Resolution CDs for printing without retouching or editing the photos... personally I don't let a photo of mine be printed or digitally burned onto a cd for printing unless I know it is my best work. You never know who will see your work and want to hire you! Don't let them see a mediocre unedited image when they can see your best enhanced/retouched work... just my opinion! :]

also, I think you are really missing out by not doing prints for your clients! Too many 'one hour photo' places do a TERRIBLE job of printing! I know my local walgreens prints are always too dark and too contrasty. Costco on the other hand does a BEAUTIFUL job, the results between the two are drastic! When you give people the CD you have no control over where they make their prints, again losing another opportunity for your work to look as great as possible! Now i'm not saying that I never give people the High Res. CD, but I think offering to make prints as well really gives you an advantage. Plus prints are really cheap, so you make a good profit off of them also.

I will also just say that for being 17 years old you are very talented! I started my photo business at 17 as well (i'm 19 now...) and I think you are on the right track! Just don't let other people take advantage of you because of your age, for a 2-3 hour session with unlimited locations and outfit changes AND high res. Cds i think you are undercharging for your time. Good Luck! :]


Hi! Thank you very much for the advice. I'm so glad people here don't just say "wow your'e photos are nice" because that's the only thing I hear from my friends and family. That is a very good point about prints. I've never thought about it that way. The thing for me right now is I avoid doing prints because simply of the hassle. I like just giving them a CD and letting them deal with printing and paying for prints and such. I don't have to order them, pick the right pictures, pay for them up front, or worry about them coming back to me later and wanting more thus me having to dig for them. I definitely agree that there are some CRAPPY photo printing places out there so I always recommend the ones I like to use.

Yes I've heard I'm undercharging, however, I still haven't had any takers which is interesting to me lol. So I think I'm sticking with what I have right now and maybe change it later if I'm overbooked. I'm moving cities and maybe states for college so I don't think that'll be that much of a big deal. Thanks!


You can put the images on smugmug, set the prices, and allow them to order prints directly from there, direct to their doors. It's an option that might work for you.
04/08/2010 11:49:50 PM · #17
' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' chromeydome what are your opinion on the print quality on smugmug??
04/08/2010 11:55:26 PM · #18
Originally posted by LMA128:

' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' chromeydome what are your opinion on the print quality on smugmug??


I ordered some prints just to see--there are a couple higher end lab options, and they were well done. Prices seemed reasonable to me, and then you can mark them up as desired for clients. I have not yet done a direct to client delivery, where the client orders.

I also recommend ordering with faster shipping: this keeps them coming via ups or fedex. My friends have, on multiple occasions, received some very expensive print orders shipped via the postal service that were folded and jammed into mailboxes (even though appropriately marked). They got replacements, but it was a hassle I'd rather avoid entirely.

But just upload 4 or 5 print res image files, order some 8x10s for a small fee to check it out. You definitely want to see what you get from them before you send clients there, just to be sure your colors come out right, you are satisfied, etc.
04/09/2010 12:08:54 AM · #19
thanks! ya i just ordered a few prints for myself... i'm looking forward to see how they turn out, prices are reasonable and i really like that i can customize the prices for my customers. thanks for the info!
04/18/2010 04:01:01 AM · #20
Make sure she has several clothing changes, brings sufficient make-up and hair products to show variety and have a look at several Fashion Magazines before commencing. I have written several essays on this topic and what I find that lacks in most shoots, is the team to give it the polish needed. Try getting a hair and make-up artist and if you can get your hands on a fashion stylist that would be even better.

Ben
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