Join Date: Mar 2005
Member GG#: 42634
After the experience I had yesterday, I fully understand why some of you no longer do TFP/CD shoots.
Grab your preferred frosty beverage and pull up a chair. This one's a little long.
Yesterday I had my first studio environment shoot with a model who wanted to try doing some 40's style glamour photos. When I initially talked to her, she said that she had a particular look she was going for (side-lit w/ deep shadows), and I figured it'd be a good opportunity for me to get some experience. I did some research on the style (can't remember the name at the moment... my brain's fried from my day job), and I bought a book on 40's Noir style films to get a better feel for the look.
We originally were scheduled to work together on Monday, August 15. I even took the day off of work specifically to accomodate her. The night before the shoot, she called me to ask if we can reschedule since she didn't have a moment to pick up the outfit that she had in mind, and that her hair was a mess. At this point, I should have gotten the hint that she wasn't very serious about working together. But, me being the nice guy that I am, I reschedule with her for 2PM on August 28.
I call her they day before the shoot to confirm that she can make it, and I give her specific directions on how to get to my studio. She says she's all set, and that she'll use Mapquest in addition to the directions I gave her.
Fast foward to August 28th @ 2PM. Here I am in the studio with all my equipment set up, but no model to shoot. Humm.. I figure she's probably running late, so I do a few test shots to get a hang of the lighting, using some silk flowers I had on hand. I leave her a voicemail message on her answering machine to see if she's on her way. At 2:30PM I get a voicemail message from the model saying that she's running late (church got out late), and that she's going to be another 20 minutes.
While doing my test shots, I discovered that my sync cable is a tad too short (next purchase, POCKETWIZARD!), but thankfully there's a Radio Shack about a mile away that I can get an extension at. At 3PM the model still hasn't shown up, so I leave her another voicemail message letting her know that I had to run to the store really quick.
I get back in 15 minutes, and the model's nowhere to be seen. I wait until 20 minutes of 4PM, and she STILL hasn't either shown up, or called me to let me know what's going on. At this point, I figure that this model is stringing me along and has no intention of actually showing up. I leave another message on her voicemail and tell her that if she doesn't arrive or call me by 4PM, not to even bother calling me to apologize.
Figuring that she's not going to show, I start breaking down my equipment. At 3:59 she calls me and tells me that she got lost. Apparently the MapQuest directions she got sent her in completely the wrong direction (and she completely ignored the directions I gave her). She has no idea where she was, except that she's parked at a Shell station that's across the street from an Applebees on Rt-1A, and she wants me to find her (???!?!?). When I asked her why she didn't call me sooner, she first told me that she did try, but she kept getting a message about my number not being valid. She then told me that she didn't have a cell phone, and asked a guy at the gas station to borrow his phone. She first called her home number and listened to her voicemail messages, and when she heard how annoyed I was, she figured that she should try and call me.
I wanted to salvage the shoot if I could, so I figure I'll try to find her. Without much to go on, I tell her TO STAY WHERE SHE IS, and I'll be over there as soon as I can. I punch the highway into my Nav system in my car and set out to try and find her. Well, she wasn't in the town she thought she was in. Long story short, my Nav system actually took me AWAY from where she was, mainly because she told me she was in another town than where she actually was. I make an educated guess and figure that she's in the next town over. Just as I pull into the gas station I thought she was at, she was PULLING OUT of it, getting ready to leave. She then sees me and pulls up along side. Because of the wrong info she gave me, it took me an extra 20 minutes to get to her, and she thought I just gave up on her.
Having found her, I instruct her to follow me in her car to the studio, and I purposely drive a lot slower than I normally would so she can't lose me.
We arrive at the studio, and I give her a hand bringing in her items. We get into the studio, and she shows me what she brought along for the shoot. Now remember that we had agreed on doing a 40's style glamour shoot. Well the outfits she brought along were anything BUT from that time period. :\
By the time I get my equipment set back up, it's almost 6PM. I change my lighting around to accomodate the outfit change, and make the best of a poor situation.
500 shots later, we finished up at 11PM. In the end, I did end up with some really good shots, but not necessarily of the style I was looking for.
Thankfully I can say that this list doesn't apply to all models, but I did learn a few valuable lessons:
1) Some models will think nothing of wasting your time.
2) It's OK to be flexible, but don't bend over backwards.
3) It doesn't always pay to be overly nice, even if you are the new guy trying to get a foothold.
4) Make sure that the model has a cell phone that you can reach her at if she's running late.
Am I soured from this experience? Nahh. A touch annoyed, but not soured in the least. Thankfully I know this experience is the exception and not the rule.