Interesting you would chime in like that here on GG. It's true that there is money in commercial photography. For most of us however, there isn't that much in commercial glamour or even 'eye-candy' photography. There just isn't
I know about the movement in J'vill right now that you are part of. Some other photographers that I respect are also part of that movement with you. but Scott, I've told you and those other photographers before and I will carry it to my grave. If you wanna make a living shooting models you're not going to do it by charging the girls. For one, most of them don't have any money. What little they may have had they spent on Barbizon or Sessions thinking they would get something worthwhile only to realize they shoulda saved that money or bought lottery tickets instead.
Second there are enough talented photographers that like to shoot for fun that they are willing to shoot these models and charge them nothing. These guys don't need to make a living with photography and they could care less about 'taking business' from those of us that do. They like making pretty pictures. Hell Scott, some of them are willing to pay the girls and give them high res images! Why do you think there are so many girls on the net that have nothing to show for a port but still expect $100 to model a full body cast? Because somewhere someone's going to pay it. If you wanna shoot her, then you have to give her something worthwhile. If she wants to shoot with you bad enough that she's willing to shoot for a few web ready images and the chance to buy some prints, then that's what'll happen. Good luck finding them, especially in Jacksonville.
Answer this for me. Why is it that photographers feel like they can tell others how to run their business? You don't see Ford motors calling GM and saying, "Hey, you really shouldn't be running that employee discount thing. It's killing us! You're taking our business!" Nope. Ford comes back with their own employee pricing promotion instead. It's called business. For Ford to compete, they had to make some cuts. If they can't make those cuts to compete, they go out of business or start looking for other ways to keep themselves afloat. If you can't make money shooting models because other photographers are stealing your business by giving their talents away for free, maybe you should take a close look at your business model.
You want me to tell you how I handle shooting models? Here it goes. If a model calls or emails me asking me how much my portfolio sessions are, I tell 'em. If a model calls or emails me asking me if I shoot TFP, I tell them, "No, I don't shoot TFP." Then based on whether or not I think shooting that model would benefit me either by giving me something I can sell or by networking, I may say something like, "I shoot TFCD with some models, maybe we can work something out." If I think the model has nothing to offer me, I tell them how much I charge. When I shoot a model TFCD, he/she gets a CD of high res images. "Print all you like, I don't care. Just don't sell them or put them on a paysite w/out speaking to me first," I tell them.
I shoot for free to network. There are plenty of other pros around here that do the same thing. Some of the pros that handle it how I do are where you want to be. A good friend of mine, and mentor, was talking to a model at a commercial shoot I was assisting him on. She asked how much we would charge to shoot her for her book. I said $XXX (forget the exact number). My friend told her to hire the MUA and he'd shoot her. Guess who she called? Yup, him not me.
Ohmygawsh! See he's stealing work from all of us! No, he's networking. This model is actually one of the top prom and wedding dress models in the southeast. She ended up referring him probably $20k in commercial work. As a result of some of that work (and more networking), he's in Teen Prom and YM Teen.
So, he gave up $1000 to shoot her for free. Was it worth it? Guess not. He really should've stuck to his guns and made her pay him. I mean he's cheapening all of us right? Do you see how stupid that sounds?
You've been a friend to me in the past, Scott. I've admired you and looked up to you. But you're in left field on this one. Or maybe not. I guess since I shoot weddings and portraits, this whole glamour thing is really a hobby for me, huh?
Here's just another hobby shot I did for Stare.
Model: Rachel Acosts
Hair and Makeup: Jessic Rovira