Friday, April 2, 2010

Professional models V wannabe models...

Go to any photographic networking site, based in any country in the world, and you'll discover some quite remarkable similiarities. They are all inhabited by polar opposites, models trying for paid work or photographers attempting to persuade models to work for free. Its really quite simple after a while.

For today's lecture we will concentrate on a hybrid breed of female called "Models".

I have discovered that many of them have seven grannies, are adept at having their mobile phones stolen, or are tragically unlucky in a Darwinian sense. These are known as "wannabe" models. They WANT to be models but don't realise that modelling, done PROPERLY, is actually hard work.

Now don't get me wrong. There are professional models who actually work hard to justify their title, but they are sadly few and far between. I have taken to hiring these professional models at usually very fair rates of pay rather than risking premature dementia attempting to work with the "wannabe" type models.

There are certain factors that can, to the trained eye, indicate whether a model is a professional or a wannabe. Chief amongst these indicators is the number of references that a model can produce. Careful checking of these references can reveal that a model may have more than two grannies. I personally have been in contact with a girl whose claim to fame is that she had SEVEN grannies. And they all died. On the morning of a planned shoot with various photographers. Three of them died on mornings that I had organised shoots with this girl. But that was years ago, before I got sense and decided that the first no show would be the last no show.

I have had to develop a heart of stone since I took up photography.

Another good indicator of a models status as a professional or a wannabe is how often her mobile phone gets stolen. Professional models seem capable of hanging on to their cell phones - even in bars! Wannabe models are, unfortunately repeat victims of callous thugs with a public cell phone fetish. Strange that they can't hold onto their phones. Wannabe's are ALL capable of fluent text speak ("hi hun wer wil u be n how much wil u be payin me to get baps owt? i get 10,000 kwid per ower fer topliss"). How can they manage to learn this very strange language when they're constant victims of callous cell phone thieves?

Professional models tend to communicate with a photographer in English. Generally the Queen's English. Usually by email at first, and then by phone on the eve of the shoot and on the morning of the shoot.

So these days I prefer to deal with models who have a proven track record of actually managing to get in front of the lens, as there is a very high probability of them turning up!

There are a zillion and four wannabe's who look stunning, and I'm sure that Charlie, my camera, would love to take their photos. But unfortunately for Charlie, I'm his operator. Therefore I choose the model. And I really don't give a flying fuck how big the wannabe's "baps" are.

I have a strange preference for booking the professional with the smaller "rack", as a model friend of mine refers to that portion of the female anatomy. At least that way I actually manage to take some photographs!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Model Manners...

Tricky post this!

Well, I've had a few more experiences on the path through my photographic life. I thought I'd seen everything, but these beat Bannagher...

Model Anna (name changed), eighteen years old, reasonably good looking but gradually growing chubby. She wanted to be a "glamour model". Cute smile, about 5'9" tall, huge boobs, things were in place to make her into the aforementioned "glamour model".

First item on the agenda, no holds barred pep talk. I gave her MY opinion on her future as a model. First, a career as a fashion model...

The big model agencies survive by providing models to fashion houses to promote their new ranges of fashions. The idea is that the agencies "promote" their models as being out of the ordinary girls, who exude class, style and a certain "look". The look, despite numerous attempts to change it, including lip service to politically correct fads of the moment, has not changed in fifty years. The fashion houses, and therefore the model agencies, all want the anorexic, waif type of look. A tall girl, skinny, bog all boobs, with unhealthy, pale, translucent skin. These are the ones who have SOME chance of making it as a fashion / catwalk model. Forget the outcry about the politically incorrect "size zero" girl starving herself to death to try to achieve a dream career as the new Kate Moss. The real world is cruel and looking for victims. There is a high price to pay for recognition as a successful fashion model.

Anna was NEVER going to make it as a fashion model. Not if she lived to be a hundred and ten years old...

The glamour side of the business was her only realistic other hope. This invariably meant that the model was going to be portrayed as a "sex object". Desire, lust, sexuality, titillation, tease were the keywords here. I explained this to Anna. Did she want to be a glamour model?

"Oooh yes", she giggled. "Make me famous! I want to be famous!"

Ok, I said. We'll do a shoot, within her comfort zone, to her limits, and see if we can get it published.

She wanted to keep her top on, and I agreed. No problems from me there! A comfortable model is a happy model. Happy models take better photographs!

I sent Anna copies of the photos. She LOVED them.

I was asked to submit photos to a glamour web magazine. I thought of Anna. I asked her if she wanted me to send her photos in for possible publication. "Ooooh YES", she squealed. "Make me FAMOUS!"

I sent the photos that she approved to the magazine. The editor of the magazine contacted Anna. Yes, she was happy to be published. The editor asked her a few questions to write a supplementary Bio to accompany the pics. Anna gave him all the info he wanted.

Anna got published. As she wanted. As she agreed.

Two days later, Anna started whinging that she wasn't happy with the image that she portrayed. She wanted the photos pulled from the magazine. She texted me that she hadn't seen the photos that I sent to the magazine (Lie number one) and that she hadn't realised that the editor would write that she didn't have a boyfriend (lie number two - she TOLD him that she was looking for a fella), and that she hadn't given her permission to be published (Lie number three - I kept the text messages and chat records).

Luckily, the magazine was online, not printed. So the editor pulled the photos - embarrassment to the magazine. Embarrassment for me. I look like a twat here.

Unfortunately, I made a serious error. The agreement to publish was verbal. I foolishly trusted her.

So, if any photographers manage to read this blog, there are a few lessons to be learned.

I know for sure that I learned from this experience! GET THAT RELEASE SIGNED BEFORE EVEN TAKING THE FIRST PHOTO!!!