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Monday, November 1, 2010

Tips for Male Models: Contacting/Networking with Female Models

(This post is great for all male models, regardless of what kind of modeling you want to do. )

The topic of this particular blog post is in regards to contacting female models for the purpose of networking, meeting up and planning shoots together. Needless to say, the Internet has opened up a lot of opportunities for exposure and getting work done in the industry.

However, it is also a resource that is regularly abused by those with bad intentions. While the majority of professional, experienced female models know how to interact with male models they've never worked with before, if you are the one doing the contacting and are new to the whole modeling industry, there are a few helpful tips you can follow and keep in mind to take the intimidation factor out of the process and put any female model at ease.

Pick the Right Form of Contact: There are tons of ways to get in touch with a female model in order to express your interest in shooting with her. If you have held a casting to find a model to work with, then they will be contacting you so you'll have no worries there. But if you are looking for models on your own, the place you find them online will determine how you contact them.

For example, if you come across a female model's profile on a site like Model Mayhem or One Model Place, then you can either message them through the site or if she lists other contact info (email address or phone number) then you have those options open to you as well. It is usually better to send a message or leave a comment on their profile letting them know you are interested in working with them. Social networking sites like Facebook give you the option of sending a message, friend request or leaving a comment on their Wall.

Have you come across a female model in person while out and about, at a casting or on a shoot? Then introduce yourself and ask for her business card or give her yours and let her know you would like to shoot with her in the near future.

Be Professional in Your Response: Contacting a female model should always involve being respectful. First impressions are important and contacting someone through the Internet is already impersonal as it is so be sure you introduce yourself the right way. Female models are already wary of shady people with ulterior motives and you don't want to say anything that makes you come across as a creep.

Whether it is a Facebook Wall comment, a message/tag on Model Mayhem or regular email, keep things straight to the point and explain why you are contacting the female model. Keep the message brief and let her know the best way to contact you.

Things that Should be Avoided in Your Correspondence:

- Statements that sound more like come ons: It is okay to compliment a female model on her looks and/or photos but be a gentleman. There is no need for "Damn, you're hot!", "You have a great a$$!" or other comments that are lewd, sexual in nature, etc.

- Inquiring about her dating/marital status: Unless you are discussing who her escort will be to a shoot, don't ask if she is dating anyone or other more intrusive questions about her love life. You are supposed to be contacting her for a job opportunity, not to find a date for the weekend.

- Asking for personal information that isn't relevant to your purpose of making contact : By this I mean things like asking where she lives (residential address). Remember, she doesn't know you so why should she give you such information? When you meet up to discuss your shoot together it should be in a public setting (coffee shop, restaurant, shopping center, etc)--do not entertain the idea of meeting at her place or having her come to your place. It just isn't in good taste, professionally speaking. If you want to find out the best way to get in touch with her to talk about working together, simply ask what the best method is instead of asking for her phone number (some female models may be uneasy about this while others may not care--it's better to be safe than sorry).

You May Have to Deal with Escorts: Safety is always a concern, especially for female models, so be prepared for the possibility of having an escort/guest accompany the female model to your meetings and/or shoots. It is a good idea to ask upfront during your initial communication if she will bring an escort. Some female models bring a best girl or guy friend, a relative or even their significant other (the latter is usually not encouraged but it is up to the female model who she wants to bring).

If she is professional, the escort will not be a distraction or someone you'll have to actively interact with while talking business. In most cases the escort will hang in the background and allow the two of your to talk about your shoot while making sure the female model is safe and you aren't a threat or disrespectful to her. The escort may or may not come to the shoot--that will depend on the photographer's preferences. Hopefully, everyone will be on the same page and things will progress smoothly.

Include the Female Model in the Planning: When discussing/communicating with the female model chosen for your shoot, ask for her input. This is very helpful if you are new and need some ideas that would work well for your portfolio needs. Find out her comfort level of interacting with male models, what kind of poses she is okay with doing and what is off-limits. Ironing out these details prior to shooting together will help keep the two of you on the same page.

Overall, use common sense. These female models are businesspeople and you should address them as such, especially if you don't already know them. As long as you introduce yourself and your intentions upfront and without any funny stuff, everything else should fall into place.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Also, male models should learn how to deal with rejection from a female model if she turns him down for a shoot in a non-abusive manner. For example, I've turned down many male models in my area and they made threats at me. It's true that male models can be creepy sometimes, especially if the e-mail you lewd-looking photos of themselves.

And if a female model contacts a male model for a photoshoot, he should not be intimidated by her and think of her request as a sexual come on, like most guys do.

In addition to that I think you should also provide tips for female models who want to contact male models and tips for male models contacting and working with female photographers. I also learned that female photographers bring escorts like female models do for their own safety, whether it be a fellow male photographer, guy friend, or significant other. I've heard female photographers, especially inexperienced ones, easily become suspicious when it comes to male models sometimes.