Glamour Photography by Jay Kilgore
Everyone has their own rules for a shoot and these rules compliment their business motto. The one thing I’ve found is they are all different and often times the extreme of most others. In keeping tradition of my wannabe model post, I’m going to discuss how in my experience, the wannabe model affects the shoot rules. Before I go any further, I’m not putting down wannabe models at all. In fact, we all start off wanting to be a professional, but much like the term GWC has stuck around, MWB or Model wannabe should too. This series isn’t to put anyone on “blast”, but to help people recognize that they are fitting the stereotype and hopefully change if they so desire.
Times are tight with regards to money so the influx in TF* requests have increased dramatically. Models, Photographers, Wannabe’s of both sides are feeling the crunch of the economy. However, this is what separates the wannabes from the professionals. There are many who believe their good looks alone will get them through life. Yes, it will for a small amount of time (In fact, to make decent money in modeling, the window is 18-23 years of age!). Very few women are gorgeous into their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and on (Alyssa Milano, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Salma Hayek and Iman are exceptions) so they need to capitalize on their looks now in this industry. Instead of using their looks in a positive way that works for BOTH them and the photographer, most models feel entitled to to be photographed because they are beautiful. Some require you pay them to be in front of their beauty.
I live in a state that has no real fashion industry.Details
There are risks in everything we do. A cognitive decision I’ve made was to work primarily with “wannabe” models vs the professional, established model. This is a choice late in to my career, I’m starting to regret. Note not all the “wannabe” models I’ve worked with have been disastrous, but a good chunk/majority of them are. The risk of working with wannabe models can exact a tolling effect on you and your career.
Back in 2010 when I got serious about shooting people, I was living in northern, MN and reaching out to more established credible models. Most were very polite and open to the ideal, but wanted me to get more experience. This made no sense to me. How am I to get more experience if I’m not working with those who have the experience? This was the same reaction I was getting from most photographers that I respected. Get more experience then come talk to them. At about the same time I decided to teach what I learned, I decided that there wasn’t fun in working with the established or well known model. That I wanted people who wanted to learn with me, working with me. Therein lies the problem.
As my skills grew, I continued working with the new model. It got to the point to where I preferred a new model over an experienced one. I didn’t turn down the opportunity to work with an advanced or experienced model, I just sought out the inexperienced model. I had the mindset that if IDetails
Last week we were introduced to Hanna in my Old School Friday section. Today, let’s Meet the models Hannah!
I first met Hannah via her sister, Maegan, vicariously. When I say vicariously, I mean I had shot Maeggy and while we were shooting, their mom said “Hannah would be so jealous right now! She wants to model so bad”. I loved Maeggy’s style so I was looking forward to shooting Ms. Hannah. The first time I met Ms. Hannah was at my 2009 “Shootout”. Hannah was the second half of the shoot where I opened it to any and all that wanted to come out. Maeggy was already there so Mrs Melissa left to go get Hannah. When I met Hannah I thought she was pretty and fun! She had attitude and was very confident with herself. I was afraid she would live in the shadow of her sister like many other younger siblings do, but nope, she was her own person and strong aura.
Around that time Ms. Hannah was about 15 or 16 so I didn’t really push or pursue photography of her. I could have used her as a High School Senior Model Rep, but every time I try and launch a general portrait business, I get a TON of new clients in the glam side so I never really got it off the ground. I had kept in great contact with Mrs. Melissa over the time. Total sweethearts the three of them. I found myself really liking all three of them! At this point the story goes quiet until 2012.
Late 2012 I got an email from Ms. Hannah saying she wanted to shoot. She wanted to give modeling a try and she wanted to do a bit more with it. She wanted more mature looksDetails
Today’s Old School Friday Hannah features a young lady that I’ve shot over the years. Introduced to modeling by her older sister, Hannah was a sweetheart and all around great person. Monday she is our featured Meet the Models so be sure and tune in for that!
A photographers protection is something that is almost always taken in vein. When I’m looking over various message boards, talking to potential clients and reading what others are saying on Facebook, the biggest thing being touted is “Model Safety” “Models should protect references” and so on. There’s one thing that I hardly see and it bothers me:
In my 14 years of professional photography, I have learned many things. The first and most important thing I’ve learned is; “All photographers are pervs”. This is something that bothers me, but nothing I’ve never let get to me. However, I did come across something that made me want to blog about it. What? Let’s discuss a bit later.
When I first started out in photography, I was mentored by someone who I came to learn was less professional than I had thought. At that point in my career, he took amazing images and I was happy to align myself with him. I learned a few things at that time and was happy. My Wife was never thrilled with him and said he was bad. I thought to myself: “How can I protect myself?” And pondered it for several years. I finally came up with the most honest solution; document EVERYTHING! I got to a point to where I never spoke with a client on the phone, everything was done via emails. This way I had a working history of everything that was discussed. This worked for me as it kept me honest as I could refer back to what I promised and they agreed upon. As with anything, that only protected me so much, I had to get bigger and better.
In 2003 IDetails
Meet the Models: Emily
Emily is the sister to my former Muse. Sharing the same bloodline, I thought she was pretty right from the start.
I don’t know much about Emily other than my own opinions on her. I will share them of course, but before I start that, let’s get into the meeting. For some time, Lauren had suggested Emily and I shoot. At first I was down just because she was the Lauren’s sister. It turned into a process so I forgot about it. For me, to work with me is simple; you have an interest. I have an interest. We set a date and time and we put in work. Any variations in that is work and no one likes to work. Now I understand some people aren’t as ready mentally, physically or psychologically for what ever reasons. Apparently, Emily wasn’t really ready and it never happened. March 3, 2011. When I met her I thought she was beautiful in a way different than her sister. I wasn’t sure if she was shy and reserved because her sister was such a dynamic force? Or if because her sister and I had a then well established relationship? Or if she was shy in and of itself? but we shot and had a great time!
After that shootDetails
Today’s Old School Friday: Emily is about one of my fav models.
I met Emily via her sister and while I’ve only shot her a few times, I’ve grown an affinity for her. We were supposed to shoot last weekend but she was unable to. Here are a few photos for OSF and be sure and check back Monday when you will see Emily featured in my Meet the Models segment.
As promised, today’s Meet the Model: Cassidy is happening!
I first spoke to Cass a long time ago! It was about four or five years ago. I saw her and she had braces and I thought she was cute! I thought it would be cool to shoot her. We spoke back and fourth a few times and promises of shoots were made and never happened. We started speaking again July of 2011 and we had a more firm shoot promised. The weekend of 8/30/2011 I got an email from Cass saying she gets her braces off 8/31/11 at 10am and she wanted to shoot at 11. It got close to 11am and I didn’t hear anything. At about 11:20 I got a text apologizing and saying her removal took a bit longer than what she was expecting but she was on her way. My hope was renewed.
She arrived and had the biggest smile ever. I made a point to tell her how beatiful her teeth were and even asked if she had ever had braces. She relaxed and we got to work. Right away I knew she was a perfect Jay Kilgore model as she had quick wit and amazing quips. She agreed to implied topless and we got to work:
Our shoot was a success and it was awesome. Cass and I kept in touch and talked a lot. I really found myself digging this chick! In October of 2011Details
I’m back! And with me is Old School Friday!
If you don’t know, Old School Friday is when I bring some old photos and show you how terrible I was, as well as use the model for Meet the Model Monday.
This week’s Old School Friday: Cassidy. Cass is someone who wanted cool photos for her Facebook. We met, shot and got along great. Do we still talk and hang out? guess you’ll have to see on Monday, eh?
Am I the only white shooter?
No, not white like that, but white backdrop shooter.
I’ve seen a lot of well respected, and some not-so-known photographers sound off on white backdrop shooting and as someone who LOVE’S it, I wanted to chime in yet again. If you’ve read my blog over the years I’ve spoke on how to get it pure white. Why I like white and gave diagrams on white backdrops. I have my reasons for shooting on white and preferring it over anything else, some of them I will explain in this article.
I’ve seen comments such as “I hate shooting on white because it’s too sterile” or “It’s boring” and everything in-between. I do it because it’s a challenge. Sometimes I can get it just right, others, I need to post help it. I’m not a fan of having things compete with my clients so shooting solid color backdrops is my thing. We all have our own thing, so don’t judge me! 😉 But back to business; I’m an ambulance chaser! For me, ambulances are magazines. In my research for this article, I went to my local Barnes and Noble and took a photo of the various periodicals:
See what I see? At a GLANCEDetails
As promised, I’m updating with my Meet the Models: Kylee! Kylee and I “met” more or less, through her father, Andrew. Andrew and I had spoke for many years about getting together shooting. We were both fans of each others work and either I was busy and he open, or vice versa. I had sent him a note about a workshop I had up coming and invited him. He responded that he was busy and unable to make it out, but wished me well. We exchanged pleasantries and that was that. The following day, Kylee posted several messages on his FB asking him to check in. Later that evening she posted that she was very concerned that he never responded. A few days later, his page was updated that he had passed and would be missed. Having just poke to him not too long ago, I was in shock! We had just spoke about shooting Kylee and Heather together. Fast forward a bit and Kylee and I decide to shoot. 11/19/2011 The day of the shoot I was nervous. I had no ideal what we would talk about since our only real connection was her father. I’ve not lost my Mother, so I don’t know what it’s like to lose a parent, but I knew I didn’t want to focus on the sadness that death brings. I wanted her to know she was her own person and awesome, but her father should be remembered. She came in and we sat down to talk. I think she could sense that I wanted to address it as she brought him up first. She said he always had good things to say about me and for that I was appreciative. With that addressed, we moved on to her and shooting for her. I found her pretty and easy to talk to. She was confident and fun, sure of who she was and accepting. Values I find misplaced in many young women her age. I was drawn first to her eyes, then her legs! She’s not tall, but she has amazingly long legs. The one thing I remembered most about Kylee was her wanting to explore different areas of shooting! She was legal and wanted to try new things. At the end of the shoot she wanted to shoot some implieds as well as as a photo or two showing off her tattoo she got in honor of her father: After that shoot, she wanted to shoot with her BFF so we shot. Her friend was a senior in High School so I won’t post those photos.
Our second s hoot promised to be super hot! She wanted to push boundaries and wanted to shoot some topless!Details
It’s been a while since I’ve done an OSF and Meet the model. So let’s do an Old school Friday and Meet the model combined!
Yes, I’m slacking.
I’m going to bring it back! My goal is to update tomorrow or Saturday with Kylee. I’m not sure if I’ll make it but if not, Monday for sure!
Kylee is a great story! There’s some awesomeness, some drama, some rumor spreading and lies, forgiveness and forgetting. You want drama? suspense? You’ve got Meet the Models, baby!
There are many, many rules for photography. There are many people who shoot non standard ways and have non standard thinking. The people who are successful in shooting non standard, are those who know and understand the standard thinking.
Now that I’ve filled the “non standard” quota, lets move on…
This weekend past, I was at a Daddy & Daughter dance with my 7 y.o. Princess. We were having a grand ole time and she demanded we get a photo taken. The line was SUPER long and thus the wait began. Three minutes into it, my Princess said she was bored and wanted to go dance. I insisted we wait since we were already in the line. She toughed it out and we waited. As we approached the venue I noticed that the strobes were putting out a TON of light. Now, I had no clue if this was because I would have chosen different modifiers (She had umbrellas)? But either way, people were squiting and asking for a few moments break in-between. As I approached, I saw:
Now after seeing this, I couldn’t help but think someone was playing games with me? Yes, for a quick moment in time, I thought this was TOTALLY all about me. Then I realized this was no joke, this was real, people. I couldn’t believe this was how this photographer was shooting! I got up to her and my Princess and I got our photo taken. The photographer was nice enough. She was professional enough and fun to be around. The experience was good and my Princess enjoyed it. Afterwards, my daughter complained of seeing spots and I spent a bit more time watching.
If you’ve not noticed, the umbrella’s are pointed AWAY from the strobe! The umbrella wasn’t offering any sort of diffusion, she was bare-bulb’ing the heads. In case you couldn’t see well on the photos, here’s a video:
Now this isn’t an attack on the photographer, it’s got me wondering: Of all the photographers that may have applied for the job, why they chose this one? Price? Word of mouth? Reputation? Accessibility? These are all the things I was thinking about as I was watching her move. It was clear to me, she wasn’t what most standard people would call a “pro”, as she had a wireless transmitter on her camera body and the hot shoe flash popped up firing as well. I posted the photos on my facebook page and got some colorful commentary from some of my photographer friends. One friend said he liked what she was doing and encouraged her to do it. Said he likes the non standard way of shooting. If you know me, you’ll know that I ALWAYS say “Break the rules! Only by knowing the rules can you know which ones to break” and she didn’t know that. The rule here was simple; save your clients eyeballs!
If this photographer happens on my blog, what I have to say to her is simple:
Kudos to you for getting the job, working it and making sure your clients had a great time! Make sure that if you accept the job, you take the time to make sure your equipment is setup correctly and that you’re diffusing your light.
Everyone loved the images on the back of her camera and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.Details
As you may or may not know, I’ve stopped my workshops. I’ve lost my love of teaching them, so I’ve been the student. I’ve not found any workshops worth attending here, but I’m on the look out. Either way, I’ve noticed a new trend amongst photographers that is silly, sickening and stupid. What’s the trend?
“I’m the best photographer in the state”
It’s what I see on business pages, facebook pages and everywhere else a photographer is allowed to write their own copy. As we know, photography is a career that doesn’t require a degree, certificate or license of any kind
which means anyone is a professional. Being everyone is a professional and the economy being in the gutter, everyone has to find a way to make themselves different. One way to NOT do this is over hyping of yourself! Truth be told, some people will believe it when you say you’re the best in your state, but sadly the people that will believe it will be family and friends.
When you use phrases such as “I’m the top model photographer in the state” you are alienating yourself from your peers and friends. There are MANY photographers that are far better than you and I, that the world will never know. So why set an expectation that you can’t live up to? Now those who know me, maybe calling me on my old phrase tag “I’m the most nationally published and sponsored model photographer in CO”. This is phrase I can back up since I used to spend quality time looking over all the social media markets. Even so, I’ve stopped using it as a driving force since CO is my home state. CO isn’t exactly N.Y. or Cali, so I don’t say it too much. Today, I say things like “I’m a nationally published and heavily sponsored model photographer”. I’m staying true to the facts and not over embellishing things.
Now I’m not running out telling everyone to get a tag line, amend the ones you have and make sure you’re not putting yourself in a situation that is almost impossible to live up to.
Always remember, if you have to tell people you’re the best, you’re not. They will know with out your saying so.Details
Being a Glamour Model photographer I hear many people saying “I’m going to put my state on the map!” Great thought!
If your state is meant to “Be on the map” it would be. Now I’m not saying you can’t get it on the map, you just won’t get it there by staying in the state. I have lived in a few states and traveled to a lot others. Colorado is by large and far, has some of the most dedicated residents I’ve ever seen. Win, loose or draw, CO fans back their teams. Being a Minnesota boy with fair-weather fans, this stings a little, but it’s all good. When I’m working with people here, almost all of them say they’re going to put CO on the map, one day. At the start I would tell them it just won’t happen, but I’ve stopped doing it now. Not because CO is finally on the map, but because no one listens due to that CO Pride that we were discussing.
Before we jump into how one can put their state “On the map”, let’s talk about someone who is, or was a resident of my home-state, Minnesota; Jessica Biel. Jessica was born in Ely, MN which is about 2.5 hours north of
Minneapolis. She was born several years after me cause Lord knows if she was my generation, she’d be Jessica Kilgore ;). Jessica, like many, desired more than a life in Ely, MN and sought this life out. After making up her mind to do it, she left Ely, MN and started her pursuit of becoming a famous actressDetails
Way too long time no see huh? I apologize for that! I have a couple of excuses and I think they’re good ones.
Where I have been:
Everywhere and no where! I think I’ll break each main ideal into different segments. This way, you can look for one that interests you the most.
Reflection: I took the first part of the year to really reflect on my photographic career. Have I done everything I intended on doing? Did I live up to my expectations? Did I improve over what I did last year? Most of those answers were yes. Why? Simple, I wasn’t shooting much 2012. Made a TERRIBLE decision to move back to the Midwest and hated every moment of it. So end of 2012 I moved back and just ended that time reflecting. 2013 saw me going to new states to teach more one on one photography as well as work on gaining more commercial clients.
Workshops: I’ve retired from teaching workshops sadly. I just don’t have the passion to do it anymore. All of my loyal students were great, but sadly it was the GWC’s that were there only to shoot T&A and not improve their photographic game that killed it for me. I have always wanted to make a difference in the photographic world. Towards the end, I felt the difference I made was not making a positive change, but allowing those with intentions other than my own an easy outlet.
Website: I took my radiant desire portfolio page down!Details
I posted a question a few years ago;
I got a wide variety of answers such as camera, good lens, back up bodies and lens. Many great things. For me, I answered it simply; Music.
Music that the client enjoys is the best experience for them. I have had to sit through music genres I’m not a fan of, but have heard some tunes I like. With mobile devices now able to play excellent quality music, I turn my mobile phone into a portable jukebox. When I’m shooting in the studio, I crank the music up and we get down. It helps the client open up, relax and put in work! It helps fill the quiet spaces of a shoot and if you pick a station they dig, they will forget all about the flash of the strobes and get to moving around.
For those who don’t believe music can get a client to open up, please watch the following video:
Can you honestly say Music doesn’t have power to move?Details
For this shoot I had wanted something different!
A few years prior I had spoke with Kelsey, Meg, and Kabulie about doing a shoot with a boy. I never had any idea what I wanted to shoot, but wanted something hot and sexy. Meg and her now ex did a few photos and people loved them. A few weeks back I decided I wanted to change it up and go for something with a boy. I started my quest to find a boy and low and behold I found one. I used Kelsey as the model and the images we got were super hot and awesome!
Lighting is suuuper simple; natural light no reflectors!
I wanted to go for a CK, AF look
Super long time no talk! Sorry I’ve been away for so long, I had lost my interest in posting and teaching and sharing and all that. Got burned out. I’ve picked up a side project, one I’m happy to be doing! I’m one of two staff photographers for Glamourmodelmagazine.com and I enjoy it! Go like their facebook page too!
I get free reign over what I shoot, so I get to shoot a lot of personal projects and share what and how I want!
Here’s a video of Taylor that I submitted. Here are a few photos:
As far as the future of this blog, to be totally honest I’m not entirely sure. I may just turn this into a portfolio site and showcase my work. I’d still keep the blog info but can’t guarantee that it will update as regularly as it had in the past. I’ll take a bit to think about it, what would you guys like to see happen to it?Details
Let’s cut through the B.S. and talk about something that annoys me;
Fashion photography in a non fashion state.
As the days go by, I find myself shying away from model photography more and more. Why? Simple; I live in a glamour state!
It is NOT my job to educate people on their career choices, but lets be honest; to sell them a dream is making a ass out of me. Presently, I live in Denver, CO and as much as everyone here wants to make it so, Colorado will NEVER be a fashion hub! I realize this sounds very negative on my part but I’ve never been known to fluff. Before we get into it, let’s define Fashion modeling;
From my posts So you want to be a model I have covered the height issue. To be an Editorial model one needs to be minimum 5’8″ tall. This is non negotiable and has been standard since fashion was something to do. To walk runways you need to be taller.
Clothes look better on long limbs, this is indisputable. As a short guy, it pains me to say it, but they do. Long limbs look more graceful than short stubby limbs. This is why the fashion industry goes long, it’s the point of the designer to make their product desirable and statistically that’s been proven by decades upon decades of testing and learning. Before we move forward, let’s look at some fashion images by my favorite Fashion Photographer Mr. Patrick Demarchelier:Details