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Money and model photography

Money and model photography, some would say that’s an oxymoron, others would say they are rolling in the dough. Yet others would say the latter are liars.

A few weeks ago (OK, months. Forgive me!) I started to make a post about this, but ended up going into a rant because of my annoyance with people who are more worried about MY work and not their own. Today, I plan to finish that original thought and put my feelings out there. Money is a necessary evil. In my entire life, I’ve not known something that has turned so many good people, evil. Some would digress and say through out history women have been the cause (No, this isn’t a slam on women but if you’re a religious person, you use Adam and Eve. Sampson and Delilah, etc.) that the love of a woman can make men do crazy things. Today, it’s money. There isn’t as much of it floating around, so people feel the best way to get it is to lie, cheat, steal and sometimes kill for it. All of these have happened in the modeling industry and as of late.  We need money. We all have bills to pay, things we want. Need gas in the car and most of all, need food and security of a home. Money provides those things. In our profession, it also provides power and there lies the problem. In our industry, most people equate money with success. I lead an event where a photographer from a small town in PA said well over half of the attendees would never reach any sort of fame. Those in attendance were crush View full post »

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Can you not use my pics anymore…

I stress quite often my displeasure with TF* or Free shoots. A large part of why displeasure? the email “…can you not use my pics anymore…”

My built in response?

“No. Go kill yourself.”

But I never say it. Want to, but never do.

I think free shoots are a valuable asset to both model and photographer, however, BOTH parties need to understand and accept the work, time and money that goes into it and respect it. I will greatly admit a lot of my frustrations come from working with inexperienced wannabe models, or those who think they are beyond value that I and everyone else must bow to their whims. Now don’t get me wrong, everyone has value, but your value doesn’t supersede mine. In my findings, there are two types of people who shoot, take up time and effort:

The “almost were” and the “never will be”.

Both groups share a lot of the same pathology: They want to be models. They love the idea of having photos taken and at one point in time, they’ve actively pursued it. The only difference is the final outcome. The “almost were” girls were those

Janelle is one of the few models I

Janelle is one of the few models I’ve shot and want to be a better photographer the next time we shoot.

who legitimately almost were models! For one reason or another, life got in the way: read a boyfriend, finding Jesus or not making a million dollars on their first or second shoot and thinking everyone is a scam. View full post »

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Kim Kardashian breaks internet

Kim Kardashian breaks internet didn’t happen then way she wanted, but it happened in other ways.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, that has no internet and you don’t own a phablet, smart phone, tablet, laptop or any other device that attaches to the internet, you’ve seen the hoopla over Kim Kardashian and the Paper Magazine fight. I call it a fight because that’s all that seems to have happened. I had first heard of it the way most of the world had: “Kim Kardashian nude” and thought to myself; “Who cares? She has a sextape and Playboy pictorial, we’ve seen her wares, inside and out” but became intrigued because I saw a group of supposed professional boudoir photographers making comments that defied the term, professional.


The comments conti View full post »

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The great negative debate

The great negative debate is a debate many photographers find themselves lulled into and unable to get themselves out of.

This debate is one of epic proportions such as the Nikon vs Canon or Apple vs PC, Samsung vs Apple. If you are unaware of the debate, thank your God’s you’ve been spared, although I’m going to tell you now: Customers requesting the digital RAW files. If you’re older than I, or recently in a high school photography class, you will know film cameras used negatives. These negatives contained the photo and you could get a negative scanner or print them at your local pro lab or Walgreens. During the 35mm or 120mm era, your negative was usually the only ones you got, unless you paid for duplicate negatives. So hanging on to your negatives were vital to your career as if people wanted reprints, you sent these off to the lab to get reproduced. Today, with digital cameras, there isn’t any cost involved with reproducing the negative since we most likely have it on a drive or backed up somewhere. Back in the day, a negative scanner or store willing to reproduce the film negative wasn’t available.

Holly the fashion model turned glamour model

Holly the fashion model turned glamour model

Today, with pro-grade DSLR’s being under 900.00, the everyday average customer knows that digital negatives View full post »

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Traveling freak shows?

We all know photography as an industry has taken a hit. When an aspiring photographer contacts me and says he or she is in school for photography, I find a way to work in “Dump photography and go for business”. Perplexed, they ask me why and I explain to them that they can learn photography, business skills are best learned in school. There are plenty of traveling freak shows near them they can go learn photography from.

Jay Kilgore teaching a workshop  2007

Jay Kilgore teaching a workshop 2007

Some don’t get it, others are offended once they do. I don’t mean to offend anyone! Ever! But when I was learning photography, I was faced with an industry that kept everything close to the vest. No one was really teaching so wannabe photographers had to learn by trial and error or shooting and getting it wrong, until we got it right. I used to hate that no one would share anything in my industry. I wanted to be handed everything and make adjustments and my own style. Today, I am VERY thankful that I had to learn the hard way as my style is truly mine. I’ve learned may things that make my photography mine. Business school will teach you about marketing and running a business and it’s a generic enough of a degree that should you decide you don’t want to do photography, you can do into any aspect of Corporate America and do just fine. With photography, you can grab a friend and shoot, or your spouse/significant other and shoot them. No one wants to invest thousands of dollars into something that is a waste of time. At least I don’t.

This is where we enter the traveling freak show pandemic. Over the years, I’ve watched photography, model photography, go from a way to make a living, to almost a side job. There are many people who were forced with two options: Branch out from model photography alone, or sell their skills in workshop or photoshop actions…sometimes both. I have watched how not only model photography, but general portrait photography take a hit as a once big time Colorado child and family portrait photographer start shooting wedding photography. She posted on a forum that she’d not shot a wedding in 10+ years at the time, and a few weeks later she was teaching a workshop on wedding photography!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m View full post »

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January 27, 2015 - 3:07 pm

Money and model photography » Glamour by Jay Kilgore - […] Traveling freak shows? […]