There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It's All About Communication

I can't stress enough how important it is as a model to have great communication skills. Keeping the communication barrier open and consistent is the way to ensure a good shoot every single time.

However, this is easier said than done because one thing the modeling industry is known for is miscommunication. It is very easy for a potential photoshoot to go awry simply because one or both parties are not on the same page, communication-wise.

Both photographers and models are guilty of this so it would be in your best interest to develop good communication skills and stick to them. Sometimes this may require you to be a little harsh or cold but modeling is a business and as is one of my favorite mottos, "I am a businesswoman before I am a model." No one likes to have their time wasted. Freelance models will find a lot of great information from this post.

When freelancing your time is money. Whether the shoot is paid or a TFP/TFCD, you still spend money of some kind: gas, buying clothes or accessories, etc. Same for the photographer. My biggest pet peeve is working with a photographer who does not communicate consistently with me. If you set a date for a shoot with a photographer and do not talk or email at all until the day of the shoot, you are taking a great risk.

I can't tell you the times I've done all the calling and emailing, only to have a photographer never contact me again...even when we've set a date for the photoshoot. I've had one photographer set up the date, time and outfits and I called and emailed the week prior, up until the night before--with no answer. Needless to say, I spent that day doing nothing. Had that photographer contacted me to keep me in the loop, I could have picked up a different gig or done something else worth my time.

Here are some helpful tips for ensuring that your next shoot goes smoothly and actually takes place!

1) Once initial contact is made (either by you contacting a photog to shoot or vice-versa) establish the following ASAP:

- Time, date, location of shoot
- Themes, outfits, number of outfits
- Meeting place
- How long the shoot will take
- Transportation arrangements (are you picking the photog up? are they going to meet you somewhere? will you be driving together to locations?)
- What you will be getting from the shoot (money? prints? high resolution cd of
- When will you be getting these things (in the mail? the day of?)

2) Once the specifics are agreed to, try to meet up in person if possible. Meeting before the actual shoot will give the both of you a chance to feel each other out, see if you vibe with the photog in a good way, etc. This also gives you a chance to talk about the themes for the shoot, go over outfits, and discuss business policies. If the first meeting doesn't go over well, politely decline the offer to shoot together and move on.

3) If you still want to shoot with the photog, set up a day and time when you will call or email (calling is best) to confirm that the shoot is still going to happen on the date and time you've both agreed to. Things always come up last minute so you can't assume that all will go according to plan, even if you've met with the photog ahead of time before. Try to get a hold of the photog by phone at least a day or so before your shoot date--the night before at the latest.

By following these steps, you can avoid flakes and reduce the chances of missing out on other bookings. When it comes to photoshoots, I always stick to a strict schedule with plenty of communication. I tell photogs who are interested in working with me right away that I am very strict about returning phone calls and emails on time...as well as confirming the date and time we are set to shoot. I let them know that if I do not hear back from them by email or phone the day before the shoot, I will not be there.

You have to know where to draw the line in this business. No one has the time and money to go out to shoots and not have anyone show up, or to wait by the phone or computer for a call or email that will never come. Emergencies happen but in everyday life, those rarely occur.

As a model, if you cannot find the time to return an email or a phone call to a photog or client who is interested in shooting with you, or if you are not good about keeping up good correspondence, then you should find another profession. In my book, there is no excuse for any model to not contact the photog to let them know when something has come up or be MIA from a shoot without any notification. There are so many flakes and people with bad communication skills in this industry, why contribute to a growing problem? Be on time, be firm and keep the lines of communication open.

1 comment:

rich said...

I like your articles... keep up with the great work