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question about approaching models
Old 08-06-2003, 07:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Little background.....I have been shooting motorsports for the last bunch of years and I am a little out of sorts when it comes to approaching models for possible shoots. My porttfolio sorely needs to be updated. and with a new marriage and a baby on the way, I am looking to expand into model photography.

What my main question is....What is the best way to approach people? ...I live near the beach and see people there all the time, but, I dont want to seem like a pervert going up to someone and just asking them about it. There is also a photography school that is nearby and the few people i have talked to have been approached by many guys looking to shoot them. Some had very bad experiences with the so-called photographer bothering them constantly and being very pushy. I have even been asked to leave the mall, by security, just for approaching them.
Any help would be greately appreciated.
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Business Card
Old 08-06-2003, 08:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ask your cutest friends and relatives to pose for you and start getting some examples that way...then after some examples to show what you are interested in......

Be honest about your experience in moter cross and what you are looking for now.

Most important factor...be honest and humble. The worse thing you can say is, "girl you should be a model, let me help you".....huh uh.

Lead with a business card and keep the communication simple.

Save the b.s. talk. Approach with business card, link to your website, etc and let them call you. The more you do that, the better chances you will have as not coming across as a perv......

J T
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Like JT said, business cards...
Old 08-07-2003, 06:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Biz cards are really cheap. You can get 500 made up for you for less than $25. Of course, you will have to use the off-the-shelf design, but for a start they're okay.

A better option I learned is to use your biz card as a mini-portfolio. With a decent word processing program and a good picture, you can present your work along with your info.

Here's the way I've learned to do it. Feel free to use this script as is, or customize it for your use.

You see someone you'd like to photograph. With your business card in hand simply walk up to her and say, "Hi, my name is Joe Smith. I'm a photographer, and I'd like to photograph you. Here's my card [extend your card to her] with my contact information. You can see my work on my website. Take a look and if you're interested, please give me a call."

Then shut up, wait a beat for her response, and walk away. I have done this about 20 times this past summer. 19 took my card. Of those 19, everyone of them was polite and friendly. Only 1 looked at me as if I were some sort of pervert, or worse, and eModel scout!

Of the 19 that took my card, 1 was interested/confident/impressed enough to follow up. I'll be shooting with her when she comes back from college for fall break.

The key with strangers -- don't oversell it. Make it quick. Make it simple. Walk away.

This is the image on my business card.

My contact info is in the space on the left.
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Re: Like JT said, business cards...
Old 08-07-2003, 07:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Ed,

I like your approach, I had seen something a few months ago about photogs business cards. I cant remember who’s card I copied (sorry!!!) but I really liked the design, it was simple, elegant and no threatening.

I created these cards and have had pretty good results with them, they seem a little more real than some bikini or semi naked honey on them.



On the other side of this card, its totally black and says


David Purslow
Photographer

Fashion / Glamour / Swimwear

Model Portfolios / Head Shots / Editorial

Email :
David@davidpurslow.com


They have worked well, the cost was very low. I had them printed online at street cards, I think its streetcards.com or something like that.




 
 
More on Business Cards
Old 08-07-2003, 10:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You can make your *own* photo business cards, either by printing on nice photo card stock and manually cutting, or by using the precut perforated sort. The kind with micro-perforations is easy to use and gives you a card that looks professionally printed unless you examine the edges *very* closely. I use them all the time for my other hobby-business-thing.

St. Marc
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Re: Like JT said, business cards...
Old 08-07-2003, 03:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you all for the assist....cards are already made. They are very basic but will improve as soon as i get a few samples to show. I like your idea about giving them the card and walking away. The way i will look at it is..if I get 1 response in 20 im doing good...with time it will get easier.
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Carry more than a card to up your %
Old 08-07-2003, 04:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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An age old problem, photographers approaching and having limited success getting new models. To me, simply handing out a business card is not enough to temp a prospect to call back. Some will but most won't. It is a good tool but there are other steps you can take to increase your chances the person may call you and at the same time, assure the new contact of your ability as a photographer.

In the age of computers, anyone can make a photo business card and say they are a photographer. I have known such and seen it happen. So what is to assure this person whom you just walked up to, that you are what you say you are, with one business card and a photo on it? Your word? That will, if your lucky, get you a one in twenty reply.

Business cards are great but I back it up with images if given the opportunity to talk to this new contact a few minutes. Now, I am not saying that you carry your portfolio book around with you but you should have it in your car at least if you have a chance to show it. Think about that, an opportunity to show this new person that you do know photography.

My Solution To The Problem

One day while visiting a local camera store I found a new tool was right there at my finger tips! It was a great looking little album for wallet sized images. and it looked like leather too! Wow I thought, a mini portfolio in the making and price was under 2 dollars each. Well, that did not take much thought and I was soon home with my idea and looking for images to print for it.

Today, I keep it in my pocket along with my business card case too. Leave the big portfolio in the car. When you get a good prospect that actually takes the time to listen after you have approached her and given the card, take out your new mini portfolio with some of your best images and watch their face. It can be an impressive tool if used correctly. It has helped me at least. Call rates go up. Many times, they are asking when I would like to shoot with them and will give me their contact info right there.

Two things though. First, don't forget to print your name on the images in your new mini portfolio so they can see it and know that you took the images. Second, if they don't show initial intrest, just leave it at giving them the card and walk on. Believe me, there will be others that are interested.

Well, best of luck brother photographer. If you do try it, let me know how it works out. Just send me a private message or email.

Happy hunting!
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Re: Carry more than a card to up your %
Old 08-07-2003, 07:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Excellent idea !! I will definitely make little portfolio albums as soon as i can...still a problem is geztting the first few to model for me....friends say they will but they can never find any time to do it though. I will keep trying, EVENTUALLY, someone will agree
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Who can argue with the Hammer?
Old 08-08-2003, 06:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Great suggestion, Paul. In fact, I'm putting together a 4x6 mini-portfolio that I'll carry in my camera bag (amazing how many people want to know who you're working for when they see a telephoto lens with a lens hood - the impression of a "pro").

However, carrying a mini-portfolio at all times to all places is a bit impractical. That's why a business card with one of your images on it is important. It is, in effect, a mini-mini-portfolio. Great for those times when you see a potential subject behind the checkout counter at the grocery store. That said -- if you're off for a day at the mall clothes shopping, carry that mini-portfolio with you in case the potential model responds favorably.
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Re: Business Card
Old 08-08-2003, 08:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I use two different cards both printed on highly polished UV coated paper. The first is a boudoir shot of my wife, that's all there is on the front. Information is on the back. Second gives only essential information (no I do not have a website yet). The cards are through GotPrint.com. $69 for 1,000. I promised some folks at RG's Texas 7 that I would supply the info, but I forgot.
The card of my wife gets me a lot of clients. Women love the image. I am a portrait guy primarily but I wanted to leave open that I can meet many photographic needs thus the second card. By the way I'm having the second card made into magnets which will be delivered with coupons to specific neighborhoods.
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