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You\'re so Vain...You Prob\'ly think this post is about you.....
Old 01-13-2006, 11:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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So many think that models are vain, conceded, and stuck on themselves just because they decided to become a model. When the reality is, so many girls/guys are not at all that way. Sure, you have the models who after a few shots and a little attention, think they are a superstar and demand very high pay. They have gone beyond confidence and feel that they are going to be the next Cindy Crawford. You need to grease the side of your studio just so their head can fit. But, I've found many models to have low self esteem, shy, and lacking confidence. Complaining about weight, height, skin not perfect, or nose too big, boobs too small, the list goes on. When in truth, that model is beautiful. She just needs to gain the confidence and find her niche. One of the biggest things I've seen that models need to do is decide what TYPE of model they want to be. The industry has so many different standards for the 'type' of model they are looking for. It seems the new girls on the block just want to model, they don't take into consideration their physical attributes, they shoot fashion, bikini, glamour, commercial, with no real direction. You see her in shots with cut off jean shorts or swimsuit, by a tree, mixing a senior portrait with something out of Easy Rider. Where's the direction? And what can we do to help?? Maybe she wouldn't complain about needing bigger breasts if she would stop shooting so much glamour or swimwear and concentrate on getting into the fashion arena. Maybe she wouldn't think she needed to lose 20 pounds if she would stop shooting fashion and concentrate on glamour.

When you find a model you want to shoot, take a look at her. A long hard look. Where do you think she fits in this industry? If you want to make an impression, talk to your model and discuss where she wants to be in modeling. Discuss what you think may be her best chances in this business. Be honest, be truthful. Have a direction with your shoot. Be creative. Ask her to bring magazine images of things she would like to try, you do the same. Sometimes you get a girl who just wants to model for fun, then by all means, shoot for fun. Most of my online images are for fun. I do not plan to be in some bikini catalog or a well known bikini model. I"m commercial. My paid work and tear sheets are all commercial. Its the direction I knew I would need to go with my physical appearance and age.

But if a girl really wants to make it in the business, she needs to have guidance and direction. Can you give it to her? Food for thought, when was the last time you saw a girl 5'3 walk down the runway, when was the last time you opened up a Victoria Secret catalog and saw a model with an A/B cup, when was the last time you went to a bikini contest and saw a model who weighed 160 pounds? A woman who is 35-40 is least likely to succeed in being a Playboy Playmate. I'm not saying these things can't happen, but realistically we have to consider where our market is.

Yes we want to show we can do a variety of work, but we also need to concentrate on what is going to help us succeed. So when you want to shoot with a model, concentrate on what is going to be the best venue for her/him. It will only make your book look that much better. And ...your model will also think you know a thing or two about the business.

When I started out, I had those senior portrait 'tree' shots, (maybe why I hate them so much now), I had the glamour shots, (not from the mall) just glamour images, motorcycle shots (horrified my mom) I had no direction. I needed commercial stuff but didn't know who would shoot it. I was fortunate enough to meet the right people. I know now, if I were 15 years younger and wanted to do Playboy, I would go to the shooters like Glenn U. or Rolando to shoot me, swimsuit model:I would ask beach shooters: Andy Pearlman or Andy McFarland, If I were going for Fashion,: Fashion shooters like Rick Shellhouse, Chung Lee. Beauty/Headshots: JT Smith, Kade Lam. So if the models go to the particular photographers that shoot this stuff, shouldn't the photographers go to the girls with the particular look to fit the mold? And sometimes the models are coming to you with no clue.....don't just shoot whatever you feel like for the day....make it count.


I had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee .....



Kelly
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Re: You\'re so Vain...You Prob\'ly think this post is about you.....
Old 01-13-2006, 11:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Kelly, you've hit on some very valuable points with this.

This explains why I've been feeling like I just don't fit into the equation.

I don't shoot any of the things you mention, and I don't pretend I can compete with the people you mention, nor is it my goal.

See, I am a marketing, advertising, graphic design, product shooter for a living. I run a marketing company. So, I really have nothing to offer a model. I shoot just to try artistic things, I think like an advertising art director, and I have a goal of having my photography hang in a gallery someday (I shoot allot of "scenery" that I never post here).

So, you've just put into words why I feel out of place. I really don't do what this site is meant to showcase. I really offer nothing to "the industry". I just come here to post my photos and learn from people.

hmmm.
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Re: You\'re so Vain...You Prob\'ly think this post is about you.....
Old 01-13-2006, 11:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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nice rant. and i use the word "rant" in a positive way. personally, i come across more models who are insecure than models with diva attitudes. often, i have to work hard to build their confidence in front of the camera. if they don't feel their own beauty and sensuality, if they're not in touch with it, they won't project it and it doesn't matter how well i perform as a shooter-- it just ain't gonna happen.

i'm also the kind of photograher who is, sometimes, maybe a bit too candid in giving models 'reality checks.' i don't personally delight in being "straight up" with my assessments but, often, models need reality checks for exactly some of the reasons you mentioned. it's all about honesty. i don't do it to be mean, i do it to help them understand what they need to work on, i.e., what are their strengths and--and this is the part that sometimes is tough for models to handle--what are their weaknesses. when you're the model you're the product. when you're the shooter your work is the product. if someone says my work sucks they're talking about my work. if someone says that you, as a model, ain't got it, they're talking about you personally. models need to divorce themselves as best they can from being Ms. Sensitive. if you choose this vocation, you have to understand you're going to be appraised like your horse flesh. its just part of the game. it ain't personal, it's business. and to those models who think they're the ****t, all i gotta say is 'get over yourself.' cuz there's a bunch more equally gorgeous babes waiting to take your place.
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Re: You\'re so Vain...You Prob\'ly think this post is about you.....
Old 01-13-2006, 12:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Kelly,

You make great points. I dub thee "GG Mom".

I think one of the problems I see in the message you wrote is that it is written to the more mature (not age but skill) photographer that knows what his niche or direction is.

There are many of us that have just as little direction as the models. Do I do commercial, Headshots like JT, or fashion like Chung Lee, glamour like Rolando. Heck, I'm just happy to be shooting a model, I don't really care which style. If I haven't matured into my style how can I direct a model. I can share some insights - mostly insights I've received from folks here but its still not first hand advice. Also, like yourself, many if not most of us don't live in a true fashion market. Honestly, the best I can do for a model is try to improve her portfolio to get her to a guy better than me to further improve her.

David
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Re: You\'re so Vain...You Prob\'ly think this post is about you.....
Old 01-13-2006, 12:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Rolando writes books on glamour photography maybe you need to write one too.

Memoirs of a Working Model.

All of your points are valid. Models are under tremendous pressure to be something they are not - perfect. But you are absolutely correct in pointing out that every model needs to chose the work that suits them and the photographer that can make it so. As the old saying goes 'the right tool for the right job.'

You should write a guide or give workshops. Not only would it produce better work for all of us it would alleviate a lot of needless anxiety and heartache.
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I had some dreams too (N)
Old 01-13-2006, 01:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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But its probably much better that I keep them to myself. But thanks for the mention.

You wrote a wonderful article that should be required reading for all models on here and the other modeling forums.

Bottom line is very true, many models don't do a self evaluation. A good commercial model might be a horrible glamour girl. And you are not doing anyone a favor to promote or get shot in a style that doesn't match your actual look.

Hillary, one of my all time favs:

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Re: You\'re so Vain...You Prob\'ly think this post is about you.....
Old 01-13-2006, 01:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi Kelly, Great post! You are so right! I also agree that you would make the perfect advisor for any model to look up to. You have tenure and the shots! Most of the models that we have met with are bouncing from Photographer to Photograher, with very broad portfolios that barely qualify as presentable. No direction, No focus, No look? You are young enough to step up and make a difference. The GG site is a public forum with many aspiring young models who see your posts and probably wonder what it takes to be you.
Respectfully,
Marc
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Re: You\'re so Vain...You Prob\'ly think this post is about you.....
Old 01-13-2006, 02:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Kelly I've said this MANY times - YOU ARE AWESOME!!! What a well written post with SO much valuable info!!!!!!!

(((hugs)))
Caroline
 
 
Re: You\'re so Vain...You Prob\'ly think this post is about you.....
Old 01-13-2006, 02:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi Kelly

Great insight and advice, many thanks. I feel that I am in a similar position to telcoman. It's the experience that makes you better.

Pete
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Re: You\'re so Vain...You Prob\'ly think this post is about you.....
Old 01-13-2006, 02:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I really can't wait to chat with you at the workshop!!!! You kinda hit the spot of where I am at right now.
Thanks,
AJ
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