Glamour Photography by Jay Kilgore
I see many photographers
reverse engineering images and I feel bad for them. The reason I feel bad for them is the fact that I was one of those guys. I would sit for HOURS looking at images trying to figure out how they lit them. I would contact photographers and ask and beg and plead and become annoying with pestering them to find out how they lit, and what camera, etc, etc.
One day, I finally figured it out; reverse engineering is a waste of time! Much like posting on photography forums, trying to figure out how an image was lit vs how its being edited was about as useful as a flash light with no battery. If I could do it all over again, I’d not spend hours looking at images, but those same hours SHOOTING images. As an fyi, the catch lights do NOT always tell the truth! Here’s a simple five light setup on high key image that I LOVE:
And truth be told? This same image could have been taken with one light! I used five…because I could.
As photographers we have to see the image not for what it’s worth, but how it’s meant to be seen. Janelle is by large and far one of my most favorite models ever. As I stated previously, when I shoot her I want to bring out a more fun, soft, sexy side. Every time her and I shoot, she up’s the notch. This shoot is noooo different! What makes this image work in my opinion is NOT the lighting or technical aspect of it, but the amazing connection with the camera, the look she’s giving and her natural pose. Everything with this image works and on this shoot, every image was better than the next!
Could I get the same image with just one light? Yes, yes I could. Did I use multiple lights to achieve this look? Yup, said I did. Why? because I could. See the image for what it offers, not for what we perceive it to be. Sometimes, an image should just be viewed.Details
A flake as defined by the Merriam-Webster:
Definition of FLAKE
: a person who is flaky : oddball
Origin of FLAKE
perhaps from flake out
First Known Use: 1964
One of the largest, if not THE largest problem with the photography industry today is flakes. Flakes are a thing of the internet modeling world and basically results in someone, model or photographer agreeing to a shoot, and backing out last minute. This is something that hurts the industry as a whole as it forces people to take a position. I’m of the opinion when ever forced with taking a position, someone has already lost out.
For the most part, “flaking out” is part of the online modeling world as most serious models will never flake. For some models this is their job, or what they want to be a job or income earner. If you want to make money you can’t develop the reputation of not showing up to work. Online models are those who see photos and want pretty pictures on their Facebook or what not. They also like the title “Model” since it sounds cool to say “I’m a model”. Now I have no problem with that and not judging anyone, however I do have a problem when it affects people. There are many types of flakes, but the most common are the following:
The I’m so hot, I need someone to protect my body…Sh!t! I can’t find anyone to protect me:
these are the online models who model for the title. They believe they are the only chick that the photographer has seen and thus they need someone to protect their body. Their friend or bodyguard has something going on, or no real interest in hanging out for hours upon hours doing nothing, so they flake. The internet model can’t imagine going some place alone with the rape factor so high, that she doesn’t bother to contact the photographer until the day of-if at all.
The OMG! I got in over my head and don’t know what to do: These are again, mostly the internet wannabe models who are excited for the title model that either they agree to things they KNOW they have no intentions of doing, or has agreed and has no clue how to back out with out losing face. They take the high road and disappear, then get mad when they resurface a week later and you have no interest in shooting them.
The “My just died and I can’t make it”: These are the internet models who dutifully post on facebook how they’re getting “White girl wasted” along with photos and play by play commentary the night before and the morning of kill off their loved one. A few years back I was teaching a workshop and the photographers wanted to know why an advertised model didn’t show. I told them she had contacted me and told me her Grandmother passed. The photog who asked the question said “Odd. Her Grandmother died last week, too” Three other photographers had joined and by the end of the convo, five Grandmothers and three sick dogs were the cause of the model flaking out. These “Models” are friends on fb and updating all the time. If you want to be believed, don’t update facebook or tag yourselves being out at the local club if you’re going to flake. Or better yet, be honest and say “Too smashed to work” You most likely won’t work with photog again, but at least you’ll get SOME positive feedback for honesty.
The I don’t have : I love these ones as well. One of the more recent ones is “I can’t find a babysitter and I’ve been looking since Wednesday!” Your shoot is Friday and you started looking for a babysitter a day and half before your shoot? Take some responsibility and realize other people have lives. Often times, these flakes will contact flake #3 and end up finding someone else to take care of the baby while they go out and get hammered.
Those who have legit excuses: Not showing up to a scheduled shoot regardless the excuse is a flake. There are those who have legit reasons for not being able to work and if it’s an honest, legit reason then it’s ok, but it’s still breaking your word that you will be there and ready for work.
Photographers have their fair share of flake excuses from not scouting the location to just being scared to shoot, flaking is flaking.
This hurts the industry because it forces people to make choices. It forces photographers to have a prepaid booking or you wont get on the books. Models will sometimes require a 50% down payment and ALWAYS the party offended will use this as a reason to be more hard lined in their approach.
Bottom line; if you can’t do the work, don’t agree to it. Every time you take a job, photographer or model, it puts someone else who would love to be in your position, out of the chance. Make sure you have ample sleep and energy for the shoot as wasting time is burning money.Details
Long time no talk eh? I’ve had some things going on that has honestly, not really had me in the mood for photography, blogging or anything really. I promise to be back and updating more often than every three months lol.
As I’m slowly getting back into the commercial thing, I’ve noticed lots of people don’t like hearing the word “No”. Because they don’t like hearing “No”, it can often taint relationships. I have a good friend who lives in CA shoot a former CO model. Her and I spoke a few years ago about shooting and it never worked out. She moved to CA and has been working with a mid level agency there. She shot with my buddy and apparently they had an agreement that “No nipples” would be visible. My buddy is a consummate photographer and professional and no nipples were visible. There were however, a bit of areola visible. The model went on to blast him in public and say not nice things about him. In the background she had text’d him and told him to remove the images right now. He was working and unable to do so. This is when she took to the public libel and tried to defame him. This thread went on for a few hours and it had some valuable learning opportunities in it and learning ops for both models and photographers. The biggest point to learn? The ability to say and accept NO.
I speak with a LOT of photographers who have problems saying no to people. These photographers end up in situations they could have avoided if they would simply say “NO“. Now you’re reading posts from a world class Type-B personality, but being in business has taught me that sometimes I have to say no, other times I say no, but empower the person asking.
I live in CO. I LOVE it here and will never leave. Colorado is a glamour state. This being said, I get models of all heights, shapes and sizes contacting me for shoots. I have ZERO problem shooting ANYONE, however, I will not shoot someone who isn’t genre appropriate. Meaning I will not shoot a 5’6” model in “fashion”. I used to be crass in my explanation; “You are not fashion requirements, so it will be unrealistic to shoot you in a style that you can’t do”. Now I say no but in a nicer way “Sure, we can shoot some fashion themed sets!” They love this and go with it. This way I can shoot them in a style they want to shoot, and I don’t have to worry about them showing friends saying “I’m a fashion model” with my name on the image. This is a creative way of saying “NO” but not doing so in a way that’s negative.
“NO” is often most difficult to hear from the wannabe or new model. They are new to modeling and believe every door is open to them and every opportunity should be afforded them. Sadly, this isn’t the case. It’s like my going to a casting call where they’re looking for a ‘6″2 220lb muscle man in my 5’6″ 280lb frame and being upset I didn’t get reviewed for the casting. Because they want it, they feel everyone who says no is hampering them No can be a good thing! No helps you refocus yourself, realign your position and focus on what you CAN do. When talking to those who have difficult times hearing NO, I refer to Tyra Banks story of her going to several agencies and trying out and being told no. They told her she had too much hips, butt and boobs. She could never be a high fashion model. Did she give up? Did she lash out? No, she found that she was PERFECT for editorial and became one of the most known Victoria’s Secret models ever. To be totally honest, if it weren’t for Tyra, Victoria’s Secret wouldn’t be what it is today. NO helped Tyra focus on what she HAD to offer, not what she LACKED in the industry.
The confrontation between the model and photographer ended with him advising her to contact his lawyer and they lawyer up to resolve their differences. If you’ve read my “So you want to be a model photographer” segment, you will see I believe having a lawyer is the first thing you should do, but differing to them is often expensive. I let the model know that she could have handled the situation a bit better (He was on location and unable to drop what he was doing to remove images from facebook) and to have a bit of patience moving forward. She felt I was attacking her and I moved on.
There are many ways of getting what and to where you want, her actions may not have been the best way.
How do you handle saying “NO”?
It makes me proud to see students, current and past, display works of mine taken at one on ones, workshops or group settings. If I may say with out ego, it makes me equally thrilled to see images obtained at my workshop have the most comments, likes and lists.
Often times I wonder; “What have you contributed to the professional world buddy?” and I’ll be down in a funk. I’m usually so busy doing my own thing that I hardly take a break and go see what others are up to. Last time I did, I decided to take some images that were shot by students of mine, and compile them. I am proud to say that a lot of the people who’ve taken classes from me, have worked with me on one one, have gone on to teach and do other things!
The images are copyright their respective owners. I am not claiming copyright at all, using them to not only show off the photographers work, but the work they did under my direct guidance. Enjoy!
Top O the morning to ya!
If you’ve lived in a hole in the wall over the past week, you may have missed out on the…controversy that Mike Jeffries C.E.O. Of Abercrombie & Fitch has caused. There is a LOT to review and learn of this situation, but before we jump into it, let’s listen to some LFO singing about Summer Girls:
Now THAT was music people! “New Kids on the Block had a lot of hits…” In that song, the boys admit they like girls in Abercrombie and Fitch because of the aggressive marketing ploy of A&F of course. If you don’t know who Abercrombie & Fitch are, they are a major retail fashion seller. The current C.E.O., Mike Jeffries has been quoted as saying some things that are helping people view the Dove beauty commercials in a whole new light. When you Google Mr. Jeffries, you will see terrible headlines such as “Abercrombie and Fitch C.E.O. NO FAT CHICKS” yet if you take a moment to read the article, these are quotes from someone who allegedly spoken to Mr. Jeffries and these are quotes he allegedly said. That being said, let’s get to some known quotes of Mr. Jeffries:
“We hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.”
“Listen, do we go too far sometimes? Absolutely. But we push the envelope, and we try to be funny, and we try to stay authentic and relevant to our target customer. I really don’t care what anyone other than our target customer thinks.”
“In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he says. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely. Those companies that are in trouble are trying to target everybody: young, old, fat, skinny. But then you become totally vanilla. You don’t alienate anybody, but you don’t excite anybody, either.”
The above quotes are in fact from Mr. Jeffries mouth and can be easily traced back to him. These quotes are pretty damning if you’re looking at them from the eyes of someone looking to bring down an establishment, but that’s not how we’re looking at those comments today. Today, we’re going to look at them from aDetails
If you tuned in last week, then you’ve no doubt read “The sad truth about tattoos” and I’m sure you have an opinion on it.
Now I want to note; I am a working photographer I’m not an agent or anything like that. Nor do I claim to be. However, I use my eyes and judgement when reviewing whats going on.
In that entry, I said tattoo’d models are somewhat limited to what they can shoot and of course I had some that were upset about it. If you rely on one person, especially if it’s one person you’ve never met to dictate your life, modeling isn’t for you. Rejection is hard at first, but gets easy over time. Why? because to find the right one for you means you’ll be rejected from 10 possibilities. Now lets jump into today’s post! You’ve decided to get tattoo’s as a form of self expression and you love them. Great, right? No. Let’s be frank and honest; a tattoo is forever. Yes, you can get things over it and make it more pretty, but 75% of the girls I work with get their tattoo’s when they’re younger and as older women regret them. This is just a small lesson on reminding you that some things can’t be undone and that it can hamper you in modeling.
Yes, I said that before, but why not be more constructive?
Depending on where your tattoos are you can find work. Modeling is about selling yourself, you are the product so you have to find the right clients to sell yourself to. If you are heavily tatt’ed, then you will want more of the “alternative” magazine/clients. The new and more open minded client. The down side to that is the new company may not have as much money as the Baby Boomer owned business, but you can always use the new business as a stepping stone. The worst they can do is say no.
I work with everyone and work just the same as those with tattoo’s as those who don’t have. I don’t believe a person should be judged by looks, but what they bring to the event. With almost everyone having tattoo’s now, I’ve established someexcellent relationships with those who have tattoos.
As long as you’re realistic with what you do, you will always be successful. Success isn’t always money, fame, publications, it also includes accomplishing things that make YOU feel good about yourself.Details
So you want to be a model photographer?
It was bound to happen;
It’s time to talk about photography, photographers and the business of photography.
To be a Professional photographer it takes a LOT more than a desire. It takes countless hours of promotion, self promotion, education and willingness to learn via bumps, bruises and scrapes. Much like my “So you want to be a model?” series, this will be broken down into several different groups; starting out, halfway there, there and what next. Let’s get right to it.
Photography is not an easy or cheap hobby or profession. Photography is one of those things that one can never really master, just become proficient in it. If you want to be a professional, you have to start your business like a professional, with things and people that are geared to keep you on the right path, and protect you on said path. Yes, you will spend money out the gate. As long as it’s good money, in the end it will all be worth it. I am of the opinion every new photographer wanting to be a professional needs the following;
Gear: Your gear doesn’t need to be top of the line, brand new latest and greatest, it needs to be functional. A huge mistake people make is buying into the marketing of the various companies and assuming they need a $10,000.00 to take the best photos, when an $800.00 camera will work just the same. To further prove my point, here’s an entry I made a few months back that shows how I’d spend $1,500.00 if I were just starting over.
CPA: Having an accountant is AMAZING! There’s an old adage; “If you’re going to fight the system, best have a lawyer.” The same holds true for those starting ANY kind of business. An Accountant is an AMAZING asset to have as they will watch your pennies and help them turn it into dollars. At the start, you may not be able to afford them to do everything for you like pay creditors and handle your money, but at least around tax time you can itemize your expenditures and they can get you tax breaks as well as adjust your taxes and handle gear depreciation. You can save big money by itemizing your expenditures, you can even get tax credit for working/shooting out of your home!
Lawyer: IMHO it is imperative that you have a lawyer. Retain one before you do anything.Details
Tattoos. A form of self expression and someones G*D given right to get them if they want. I would never tell someone to get or not get a tattoo, but I would advise them to look at others in the industry they want to be part of and model themselves after those people.
Now I know this blog post won’t be a popular one because I will not be speaking positively amazingly happy-go-lucky about tattoos, but I will be giving you an honest, hard and fresh look at tattoos and how they work with and against models in our industry. What is my personal opinion about tattoos? I will let you know later. For now, lets get to the gettin!
Tattoos are not new, not by a long shot. They aren’t famous now, they are trendy now. Roughly 5,000 years ago, tattoos were worn to state many things; Tribe status, Medical healing, Warrior fear, etc. While the tattos of 5k years ago weren’t as colorful and exciting as today’s tattoos, they did stand to let others know many things. Tattoos were worn to denote King and even Queens, Medicine men, Elders and for Warriors, scary ones to help intimidate would be tribe attackers. As time progressed, they moved from things of “importance” to decorations and eventually, artistic forms of self expression.
While many people have tattoos for their own reasons, over the past 6 decades tattoos have turned into something…bad. In the 1950’s, only “Bad” boys and girls had tattoos. This was because inking the body was bad and anyone who would do such a thing was a rebel, someone who couldn’t be controlled. This person was considered a vagrant of society and was looked down upon. It was around this time that Society as a whole started shaping and Baby boomers were starting to take over the world and make changes. Growing up with the “tattoos are bad” philosophy, Baby Boomers shied away from them. Now don’t get me wrong, once in Vietnam many of our solders got tattoos, but that was more of a brotherhood thing. Today, lots of our military still get tattoos of their platoon, unit or what not. The Baby Boomers that didn’t go to Vietnam were again back here setting standards and one of those was to continue on with their parents belief that tattoos were “trashy” not something a “proper young man” would get.
“How does this affect the modeling industry, Jay?”
Glad you asked! The Baby-Boomers are still running the world. While they are all older and moving on to greener pastures in the sky, they are still in control of a lot of the old foundations and institutions of the world and one of those institutions is the modeling world, the Fashion world to be more precise. To be a Fashion Model, one must meet certain requirements (Age, Height, Weight, Look, etc) and one unwritten and some are written rules of little to no tattoos. There are some models and wannabe models who get very angry when I say this. As with the height thing, this is something that the industry goes with and until there are major changes, it will just be.
Let’s be BRUTALLY honest here; those with tattoos, and a large number of tattoos, will find less paying work as models. Why? simple, clients don’t want the model to compete with their product. The model is a prop, the product is the star of the shoot. Designers, makers and other clients want a model to wear their clothes/accessories and not interfere. Can you honestly say a model with a Yakuza tattoo could model an Old Navy Shorts and Tank outfit and keep the focus on the clothes? No, they wouldn’t. Now that isn’t to say there’s something wrong with a full body Yakuza tattoo,Details
It was bound to happen, CPI has closed down Sears and Walmart portrait studios.
Why was it bound to happen? Because they weren’t making any money! I tell every photographer that I run into that we should be charging. Why? simple; it costs money to do what we do. Buying new gear costs money and for those photographers who have wives, mortgages, car payments, etc, buying a 1,200.00 lens or camera becomes expensive. With camera companies spitting out new gear every year, it’s difficult to keep up with the Jones’.
Sears and Walmart closed because they weren’t photo studios. They were mwac/gwc type establishments that preyed off those who didn’t have the money, or didn’t want to spend money getting real portraits done. When doing a family consult or even model consult, at least once a week I would hear “Walmart I can purchase an 8×10 for .99” or something to the likes. My retort was always “Do you really feel comfortable getting your photos taken at the same place you can buy toilet paper?” For the models I would ask “Do you go to your mechanic to get a yearly pap-smear? Or breast exam? If you answer yes, then Walmart would be great since you can go get photos then walk to the back and get your tires kicked…” Most would get the point, some would not and still go there only to be disappointed with what they got.
At the end of the day making money is what keeps us in business. For photographers, discussing money is a touchy subject since no one likes to talk about it, yet we work to master our craft and should be paid. CPI owed lenders $98.5 million, including $76.1 million in unpaid principal, as of March 13, according to published reports. This is in part, due to them charging .99 for a sheet of photos. Cheap isn’t always good and as CPI has shown, cheap puts you further into debt.
Are you working to avoid the CPI mistake? If you’re not charging now, do you have plans to do so in the future? How will you go from not charging to charging?
Knowledge is not free. Expertise is not free.
Everywhere I look now I see people teaching photography workshops. I see good photographers, great photographers and really terrible photographers teaching. I am asked if the large mix bothers me and to that I say “NO!” Each photographer serves a purpose and teaches each and everyone of us something. Yes, even the terrible photographer teaches us. Before we jump into the pros and cons of workshops, lets first cover the most basic understanding of them all;
Not everyone that is good or great at photography makes a great photography instructor!
I’ve seen many great photographers totally fail at photography instruction. How can this be? Simple; to teach means to have a vested interest in the growth of the students or photographers who attend the workshop. Many photographers don’t really have this interest, they’re doing it for the money, or the money that can be provided at future dates. This isn’t a bad thing, just something these guys need to be aware of. One main reason I’ve seen people fail at teaching photography is many people want to keep a lot of secrets to themselves. They feel they have secrets and that if they give it away, they’re letting go of the one thing they have over others in the industry. Sadly this attitude is about as archaic as the images lots of these guys shoot. With technology and knowledge evolving every three seconds, whats yesterdays secrets is tomorrows moot point.
There are many photographers who are still finding their style that are teaching. They really shouldn’t be teaching as they are learning who they are in the photography world, but it’s so easy to post a cheap workshop for 20.00-50.00 and throw up a light or two and do a factory lighting setup. Everyone will get mediocre images but as long as they’re shooting, they will accept said images. They (the attendees) dDetails
Jenna was the first female I had shot in Colorado!
She was far from the first booked shoot I had. The first ever shoot I had setup for Colorado was a young lady that I had spent about three months talking to. Her and I had gone over concepts, ideals and lighting as well as poses. The shoot was one of the most fully thought out shoots I had ever planned at that point. The day of the shoot gets here and she shows up ready to work. I opened the door and greeted her. She smiled and asked “Is Jay here? I’m here for the photo shoot” I told her I was/am Jay and watched as her face crinkled up and she said “But you’re black! You didn’t tell me you were black?” Borrowing from the great movie “See no evil, hear no evil” with the greats Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder I said “Whhhhaaat? What you mean I’m black? I’m not WHITE?” To help break the tension. It didn’t work, she said “This isn’t a joking matter. This is false advertisement, you never told me you were black!” Turned around and walked out. I ended up hearing from her about six months later after I shot a few of her friends. She wanted to give it another go and I politely declined advising her “I’m sorry, but I’m still black”. Not feeling good about my business in my new state, I was contacted by Jenna and she was eager to shoot.
This was back in 2004 so my process wasn’t what it is now. I had asked her for a few photos so I could see what she looked like. She sent some and I was impressed by what I saw. I made a point to throw out the fact that I was black as I didn’t want there to be any surprises. Jenna didn’t seem to care, only cared about when we could make our schedules meet to get this shoot done. I was impressed because she was 18 and seemed to have everything together. She showed up a few minutes early which was a shocker for me, and was ready to go. She mad made it a point to let me know casual and glamour was it. Nothing more, nothing less. I was ok with that and we booked the shoot! At the shoot she was relaxed and having fun. She was shy and nervous as this was her first time not shooting for her Senior Portraits, but I expected that. The shoot was nice and easy and pretty simple.
When the shoot was done Jenna kept telling me she had a wonderful time. I walked her to her car and we agreedDetails
If you’re lost on what we’ve covered in this series, the following links should bring you up to speed:
Now lets talk about model preparedness. So far this series has been about what you need to do to get ready for a career in modeling, but the one area I’ve stayed away from is shoot preparedness. I’ve held this off until now for the simple fact this is one of the most important aspects of being a model. As we all know, I don’t allow escorts at my sessions. As documented here, I go into great detail of my experiences that has shaped my views on the issue. Another reason I don’t allow them is because I don’t know the person you’re bringing. I don’t even know YOU, much less who you bring. While assaults can happen to anyone regardless the sex, I am not as worried about it as I should be, nor as much as the clients that step in front of my camera. One MAIN reason I dislike escorts is often times, the escort has MORE energy than the client for the fact the client is nervous and the escort usually WANTS to shoot. They end up taking over and I get better shots of them than the client. All this being said, I know exactly my intentions with the clients that come before me and my camera. I can and do assure them they are safer with me, than any other place on the planet as I would risk life and limb before I let anything happen to them. At the end of the day, the clients must do their homework.
A HUGE part of being a model isDetails
Noooo, not Genna, but Jenna!
Jenna was one of my first shoots when I moved to CO. I saw her and loved her look right away!
She was super awesome and a nice girl, a real sweetheart. My story about her is short and to the point but fun! Be sure and tune in next week for the Meet the Models segment on her!
Until then, enjoy these Old School Friday photos!
I remember the day clearly!
It was April 13th 2008 and I was getting ready to shoot Genna. I was referred her by a mutual friend named Tony. Tony had worked with her at another workshop and wanted her to be a model at my workshop/s. I reached out to her and set up a test shoot. It was late in the evening as she lived about 30 minutes away and was always either at work or at school. When she showed up (late, but ok) she had a spark to her that was the direct result of youthfulness. She was hot and she knew it, but not in a bad way. She was confident with her body and looks and that showed through in everything she did. As with every shoot I do, I take a few minutes to get to know the model and find out what s/he wants from me, the industry and life. She appeared to be doing it because it was fun and she wanted to see where it took her. We shot and laughed and had a good time all through out the shoot. This was one of the first sessions with my 40D and it held up perfectly!
After the shoot I had decided on the spot she would be a great workshop model and decided toDetails
the honesty’s too much…it can be a bad thing.
One of the questions I get asked by models and photographers alike is “What do you think of X’s work?” Back in my younger days I had no problem saying if I thought the person was good or not. As the years have gone by, I’ve shied away from such comments as I personally find it more of reflection on myself, than the person who’s work I am critiquing.
Let’s be honest; no one shoots the way we do! We are all our own individuals even if we try and copy another photographer or models style. Why? everyone has their own vision and way of doing things and regardless of how much we try to copy, we will never do it the way someone else does. We shouldn’t want to do it the way another does as well. Would you want to be remembered for “Shooting like Jay Kilgore”? Or be remembered as “Jay Kilgore, photographer”? I would rather be known for the work I’ve created that is unique and original to me, not for copying someone else s style.
As we create our own style and way in the photography world, we need to be mindful that other photographers, new or old, aren’t shooting for US as they are shooting for their clients. We all know what a technically sound photo is but anything above that is all open to interpretation. We as photographers need to be mindful of our audience when we are solicited for advice. For someone who’s work we can’t stand, there are hundreds others out there who love it. We only alienate ourselves by saying that person’s work sucks…even if it does. EVERYONE we come into contact is a potential customer, why turn down business for the sake of ego?
Always remember, for every person you’re saying suck, there’s someone else saying the same about your work! YOU have the ability to control what comes out your mouth, why not make it good or find a way to move on?
The pretty lady in the photo is Ms. Nadia Norimi a wonderful person and great Judoka. Image taken in the caves of Duluth, MNDetails
This weeks Old School Friday is Genna.
Genna has an amazingly great story and one that I’ve debated on sharing. If you want drama, suspense and ultimate overcoming, then this weeks Meet the Model will have all of it for you. Until then this is Genna.
These were taken with the Canon EOS 40D around the time of April 2008-September 20010
I first met Sera on Myspace! Believe it or not that’s how far back this one goes!
I was relatively new to Colorado and looking to make a splash in the workshop world here. I was hosting a workshop that had around five or six models and wanted one more. The workshop was Sunday and Sera contacted me and said she wanted to model. To be totally honest I don’t remember what all was said between her and I, but I remember her telling me she wanted to shoot some nudes. I had told her to hold off on that and we’d talk after the workshop and set something up. The workshop was lingerie.
Sera showed up and all was well. Phuong was the only one that had an issue, but all was well with the other ladies. This was back in the days when my workshops weren’t workshops but sophisticated shootouts and everyone was grabbing a body and just shooting. Because everyone was just grabbing someone, Sera was left out. She was more quiet and an observer and the guys were wanting to shoot, shoot, shoot! It didn’t help that I went over and sat down to talk to her. While we were talking, it dawned on me to start shooting so that’s what we did. While we were shooting, I explained to her my reasoning for not shooting nude at major workshops; it can get crazy out of hand. She agreed and while we talked, we shot some images:
After the workshop Sera and I kept in contact. I thought she was a sweetheart and fun to be around. This was around the same time ROCKSTAR magazine was having me shoot some of their pictorials. They contacted me and needed someone asap so I reached out to Sera. Being she initially said she was OK with shooting nudes I gave her the first crack at shooting and submitting to Rockstar. She agreed and we set up a time to shoot. The MUA showed up on time but Cerida was a bit late. She ran into issues that prevented her from showing up on time and I believe my MUA was a bit put off by it,Details
At this point in my career, I’m faced with “Writers Block” and it’s something that happens about once every two years. I think the biggest thing we need to realize is what causes this? Once we realize what the cause is, then we can start to put together the fix solution. For me, it’s constant shooting and being a photographer in demand. This isn’t a bad thing mind you! I love it in fact, but I’ve found that sometimes I just want to break away from what I do and do something different. Now I realize that while it sounds good, the fact of the matter is simple; breaking away and doing different is scary for me. I have my style and it’s very recognizable and I love it, but sometimes I dare to dream of doing something different like REAL fashion photography. I live in a glamour state so my chances of finding a height and weight proportionate fashion model are far and few in between, but one can dream right?
One of the biggest reasons of my lack of inspiration is simple; the loss of my Muse. Now she’s totally OK health wise, but my Muse and I are no longer shooting so I no longer have the inspiration to try new things. I’m currently looking for a Muse but the new one will have to meet all the criteria and I’m just having a difficult time finding that one. I have a few regulars that I shoot and they are extremely beautiful and wonderful people inside and out, but I’m a glamour guy so my new muse will need to be comfortable shooting nudes. This has been the problem along side the Muse needing to have the body type and INPUT as well. I am in a state that is surrounded by beautiful and fit women, but in the sea of beautiful and fit women I have to find the one that is RIGHT for me.
The last time I had “Writers Block” like this, I went on to change my style slightly yet in a way that was huge for my business. I expect nothing different from this “Writers Block” but I realize it starts with my Muse. I will find her, I know she’s out there but how long will I look?
I’ve spent some time looking at photos for inspiration and while that helps some, there’s nothing like creating your own images for inspiration. Due to the time of year (submission season) I have been shooting a lot, but I’m just not shooting work that I’m inspired by.
What do you do to stay inspired? Have you ever experienced “Writers Block”? If so, for how long? How did you break the funk?
The pretty little lady above is Ashley. I will fill the blog with images of her soon so stay tuned!Details
There is a quote running around the interwebs by Johnny Depp that states;
“My body is my journal and my tattoos are my story”
Excellent quote and one that is often quoted by models when faced with the desire to get more tattoo’s on their bodies. I love tattoos on people, your body your choice, however, the modeling industry has yet to catch on to the body is a journal. This subject is a very tense subject so I will try and approach it from a point of view that is more neutral than my normal posts.
In the good ole 21st century it is now common place to see tattoos on people everywhere of all ages, shapes and sizes. Your body, your temple, do with it as you please. I will never judge you, however if you ask for my professional opinion, I will tell you to go slow with tattoo’s. I say this for many reasons some are because of your desired modeling career, others are because of your personal decisions later in life. I have yet to meet a model that is 100% proud of every tattoo s/he has. Every single model has one or two they wished they never got or are adding to it to make it “better” Tattoos are forever and few people realize this at the time they’re getting them. I remember in the late 1990’s the “tramp stamp” (tattoo on lower back) became the in-thing to do. Most females didn’t know why they were doing it, but they were doing it. Here’s a lesson for you; the reason why this fad started was for the fact that as you grow older and gain weight, that area of your body is the LAST to stretch out. With guys it was the tribal arm band. Quickly, those wore out and “Tramp Stamps” became a signal for “Easy” girls.
Tattoos aren’t prohibited in the modeling world,Details
This is Sera.
I met Sera years ago shortly after I moved to Colorado. She had contacted me to model and as it happened, one of the magazines I was regularly shooting for was asking me for new and fresh faces. I asked Sera her thoughts and she agreed. I had several sessions with her and Wednesday on the Meet the Models segment you will meet her!
These are from 2005 with my trusty Canon EOS 20D!
She learned how to blow a bubble at this shoot. And people say I don’t teach anything!