Eggers ImagesPhotographer Male Costa Mesa, California, US
My Website: Ron Eggers PhotographyMy MM URL: http://www.modelmayhem.com/TopTweens
Mayhem # 1189662
FASHION, LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL, SPORTS & RECREATION PHOTOGRAPHY
(Shooting for the Junior Market, from Tween to Collegiate.)
Most of the models I work with are in their late teens or early twenties, but, since I sometimes work with companies targeting the teen fashion market, I also work with younger models. I set this MM page up specifically for projects involving models under the age of 18.
I have considerable experience working with models who are just getting started, including teaching modeling seminars and coaching models, so a positive attitude, dependability and determination are more important than experience for the models that I work with.
I'm a Southern California photographer who spent most of his career handling editorial assignments for magazines, newspapers and corporate publications, both on a staff and independent basis.
I've been doing this for a very long time. I've had considerable experience shooting fashion, lifestyles, sports, and travel.
Over the years, I've done a lot of runway coverage, including things like LA, OC and Las Vegas Fashion Weeks, and I've done quite a bit of studio fashion work. But my preference is working on location.
I have a separate MM page for my fashion oriented work. That can be found at:
My work has been carried by numerous national magazines and major daily newspapers. Along the way, my articles and photographs have been featured in some of the top photo publications in the country. I've also taught photography and modeling seminars through various community education and extension programs, and I've written several books on photography.
I'll do trade shoots with models that have agency, commercial, editorial, stock or artistic potential, that might be interested in participating on one of the projects that I'm working on. I'm particularly looking to work with younger, talented, models just getting into the industry, who have the drive to succeed. and have a well developed fashion sense.
All models under the age of 18 have to have a parent or legal guardian at the shoot. (A boy friend or girl friend, an older sibling, another relative, a neighbor, or a family friend, all which have accompanied underage models to one of my shoots in the past, will not work.)
A model release signed by a parent or legal guardian is required for all shoots.
One of the biggest problems for younger models is not concentrating on what they're doing. They're very easily distracted. While parents are welcome, in most cases, having other siblings along for the shoot is not a good idea, unless they also are modeling. Siblings generally distract younger models, making them lose focus and reduce their attention span.
Bringing friends or relatives along is even more of a bad idea, again, unless they're also modeling. Friends are more distracting than siblings. No boy friends, girl friends, distant relatives who want to see "Suzy" model, or groups of friends can accompany models under 18. (A number of times I've had parents bring aunts, uncles and grandparents to a shoot to show how well the model is doing. That's disruptive enough, but then the relatives provide feedback as to what they think the model is, or should be, doing, which is deadly to a shoot.)
And, no texting, tweeting or checking e-mail messages during the shoot. (For tween models, parents hold on to cells phones during a shoot, to avoid that frequent checking of messages that seems to be so common.)
I'm currently in the process of developing a series of new activity and fashion oriented promotional pieces for tween to mid-teen junior models.
There are a number of things that will be part of that:
* Beach/activity/lifestyle branded shoots, including things like roller-blading, razor scooters, biking, beach volleyball, etc.
* Models/dancers/athletes with special talents or athletic abilities (such as gymnastics, aquatics, cheer, ballet, BMX, etc.).
* Costumes, characters and fantasy outfits. (very interested in shooting models with Thai, Indian, Irish, Mexican and similar ethnic costumes.)
* In-the-water/under water shots. (particularly interested in finding models with access to heated swimming pools.)
* Animal related themes, including animal patterned outfits such as zebra tights and leopard leotards, and actual exotic animals. (Any one have an elephant, giraffe or camel hidden in their closet??)
Models receive a CD with at least a dozen or more high-res images for each hour of modeling, generally within 10 to 14 days of the shoot.
SOME TIPS ON GETTING STARTED AS A MODEL
I tried to keep this information as objective as possible. Hopefully it will be helpful, particularly for younger models just getting started.
* There are no guarantees for success for models of any age. Getting started as a young model who depends entirely on parents for financial support, transportation and everything else is even more of a challenge. The only guarantee that there is, is that if a parent isn't 120 percent behind a young model's efforts, she's bound to fail.
* Parents should provide guidance, not pressure.
* Everything, all communications, contacts, follow-ups and listings on social networks, should be handled by a parent. A parent or legal guardian should accompany any under underage model to any shooting sessions.
* One of the best things that a parent can do for a model is to foster a good attitude and instill the importance of dependability. Unfortunately, models, particularly independent models without agency representation, have a reputation for showing up late and not really being prepared to work, or flaking out altogether. (Because the Internet has lowered the barriers to getting into modeling, any girl can call herself a model and start looking for work. Most are more model wanna-bes, because they like the idea of modeling, but they don't have the dedication and dependability required to be succesful.)
* A model who shows up on time, is ready to work and enthused about what she's doing is well ahead of the competition. For a younger model, that means parents have to take the initiative to ensure that the model is there on time and ready to work.
* As a parent, be prepared to spend endless hours driving to "look-sees", waiting around for your daughter to be called and being told "We'll make a decision next week and let you know."
Signing With An Agency
* There are various options open to getting started in modeling, but, by far, the best one is signing with a modeling agency. But getting on with an agency can be difficult. Leading agencies have very specific looks and requirements in mind for the models they sign. Those looks and requirements aren't the same from agency to agency, so it's good to approach a number of different agencies.
* It's important to select the right agency. For example, it doesn't make sense to send the images and information about a younger model to an agency that doesn't have a kids or junior division.
* In spite of what photographers or model mills who are trying to sell you portfolios tell you, you don't have to have a portfolio to land an agent. In fact, most leading agencies don't want the models they sign to work on portfolios on their on. They don't want poor quality images of their models floating around. In the days before the Internet, if a photographer took marginal quality images of a model, very few people, if anyone, ever saw them. Now, the poorest quality shots seem to be all over the Net. That's why agencies generally want to select the photographers that models they sign work with, and direct the types and styles of photos that are being added to porfolios.
* All that's really required to land an agency are three or four clear photos of a model that has real potential. Simply mail the images with basic stats (height, weight, measurments, dress and shoe sizes, etc.) to the agency and hope for the best.
* Some agencies host occasional open calls. If the agency you're interested in does, make the effort to go to it, even if they accept mailed submissions. It will give you a better feel of how that agency works, and it will give you a chance to experience sitting around and waiting.
* Make sure that any company that advertises itself as an agency, actually is an agency, which means they're licensed by the state as such. A lot of companies that list themselves as agencies really aren't. They may be model management companies, modeling schools, or simply scams.
* Some companies say they have jobs for younger models, and offer pie-in-the-sky earning potentials. All parents have to do is sign up with their "exclusive listing services" (or whatever they call it) and participate in their model development program. Don't pay for any upfront costs, listing services, meetings with clients or casting calls. Companies that work that way are not legit agencies.
* While some agencies will suggest going to certain photographers, modeling coaches or printing companies because they're familiar and happy with their work, any company that instructs a model to hire a specific photographer to produce an entire portfolio, go take specific expensive modeling classes, or have all their promotional material printed at a specific printer, as part of the condition of being signed, is probably getting a kickback or cut of the fee, and should be avoided.
* While taking modeling classes and seminars can be beneficial, don't sign up for any expensive, long term classes before getting your feet wet a little. (There are some so called "six month programs" that cost anywhere from $2500 to $3000. Considering the cost of education today, that doesn't sound like being too expensive for six months. It wouldn't be, if these were six month full time programs, but those six months actually consist of only two 4-hour classes (for a total of 8 hours) per month, or just 48 hours for the six months. That breaks down to approximately $50 per hour for a group class. There are much better ways to spend your money.)
* Know the difference between an Agency and Model Management Company. There's a considerably difference between the two. In California, at least, they earn their money differently, and work under different sets of laws, rules and guidelines.
* An agency's main job is getting models work. While they do get involved in putting portfolios together and generating promotional materials, it's all geared towards getting a model assignments.
* In most cases, agency contracts are exclusive to a specific geographic region. Major agencies might sign national and international contacts, but, it can also be that a model might have one agent in New York, and another in Los Angeles, even if both agencies have offices in both cities.
* A management company's main objective is model development, in other words, managing a model's career, to make sure she's ready when the big break comes. Model management contracts are almost always world-wide exclusive.
* Being with a model management company isn't essential, but working with the right model management company has its benefits. They're much more open to helping a model develop her skills and bringing her along. A good model management company will invest in the models they represent, maybe by sending them to work in New York or oversees for a summer, just for the experience. Some have good contacts with agencies around the world, so it might be easier to sign with leading agency, if you have a certain model management company behind you.
* Agencies are generally very selective of the models they sign. They only want to work with models that have the potential to make it, since they make their money from a percentage of the money a model gets paid for each job. They don't make any money unless the models that they send out book the jobs that they get sent out on.
* Some model management companies, on the other hand, sign as many models as possible. They're going to get a cut of whatever the models make, regardless of how the model gets that job, so the more models they have signed the greater the income potential. As long as a model is working, they make money, even it the company doesn't do anything. And, by signing a large number of models, there's a greater chance that one of them will make it big, and result in a big payoff for the management company, even if they had nothing to do with a model's success.
* Whether going with an agency or a model management company, don't sign anything until you've had the opportunity to discuss it with someone who is familiar with modeling industry practices. Make sure that all the promises of what the agency or management company is going to do for you are in writing.
* I've heard of numerous instances when models were promised significant development opportunities, such as the promise of being sent to New York to work Fashion Week, as an inducement to sign with a management company, which somehow never materialized. A common excuse for that is "The model just wasn't ready for that yet." Companies know pretty well when they sign a model that she's not going to be ready for that, but they promise it anyway.
* If no agency shows an interest in signing a model, or suggests holding off a few years to, for example, wait until braces come off, there are still ways to get involved in modeling. Going it on your own is much more difficult, but it can work. The Internet has made it easier to find out about potential modeling jobs and getting a model's name out there.
* The Internet has also made getting into modeling more tenuous. Be very suspicious of any too lucrative online offers. They usually come with a catch.
* Even if a model just starting out isn't making tremendous amounts of money, modeling can help gain experience and boost confidence levels, particularly for younger models who aren't quite sure enough of themselves yet.
* Going on your own generally involves putting some sort of online and printed promotional material together.
* While sites like Facebook and Instagram will work for an online presence, they're not the best option for serious modeling. But there are so many services out there now-a-days that provide portfolio hosting (such as Model Mayhem or OMP) that it's possible to have a real nice electronic porfolio online.
* Having a printed portfolio is also good idea if you're going to be trying to land jobs on your own. (While having a printed portfolio isn't essential when first starting out, getting one started can be a good idea. It shows a level of dedication and professionalism.)
* If you have the budget, buy a professional model portfolio. As a less expensive alternative, a simple 8 1/2" x 11 ", 12-sleave-24-page black presentation binder works fine. While there are all sorts of sized portfolios and prints, (generally from pocket sized 4" x 6" to display print sized 13" x 19") if you wind up getting any prints from photographers (which is getting more and more rare), they'll probably be 8 1/2" x 11" in size.
* Portfolios are evolving promotional pieces that should be updated regularly. Whether online or printed, portfolios are never really done.
* If you do wind up getting an agency later on, the agency will more than likely want you to start all over with the portfolio to match its requirements. At that point (or when the model starts landing some jobs on her own) it worth it to invest in a high quality professional portfolio in the size that the agency suggests.
* The secret for both the online and printed portfolios is getting quality images. That can take time and effort.
* Don't fall for some commercial photographer's offer of giving a model or her parents a special deal because she has such great potential. (A common ploy is offering a $2500 portfolio for only $600, if you sign up that same day.)
* One way of getting some acceptable photographs and seeing how much interest there might be in a model is to do test/trade (or time-for-photos/TFP) shoots. Photographers who shoot fashion are frequently looking for models to test shoot, to try new equipment, experiment with different techniques, or scout new locations. Most limit themselves to models over the age of 18, but there are some that work with junior models.
* Trade shoots are actually a good first indication of how a model will be received. If, for one reason or another, a model can't get a serious photographer to do a trade shoot with her, there might be some issues that have to be resolved before proceeding.
* Before agreeing to work with any photographer, take a good look at his work to see if the style and approach fits with what you're going for. If it doesn't, you'll probably be disappointed with the results of the shoot. Avoid any photographer who's work isn't up to par. You don't want bad images of a model just getting into the field floating around.
* Agree upon what will be provided and when it will be delivered, from any trade shoot. Usually photographers agree to provide a certain number of electronic images per shoot. Make sure that the photographer provides high resolution versions of any images. (Low resolution versions are fine for on-line use, but are not good for printing, in case you want to use them for a portfolio.) It shouldn't take more than two weeks, three at the most, to get images back.
* Go for quality, not quantity. You should be getting back anywhere from at least a half a dozen to a dozen optimized images per hour of a trade/test shoot. Some photographers will provide all the images that were taken during a shoot, but most won't. It is nice to have all the shots, but it's better to have optimized quality shots. (I know of one photographer who provides 1200 to 1500 images per shoot... none optimized. That's almost as bad as getting nothing, because such a large number of images is overwhelming. And most models and their parents have no idea of what images to select and how to optimize them for their portfolio.)
* Once some images have come in, produce some sort of "leave behind". With digital printing, its easy and relatively inexpensive to produce short run composites, zed cards, or even just simple business cards. (If you're going to produce something with images on it, stay away from large print runs. The quality of images being generated should improve dramatically as a model gains experience and works with higher levels of photographers. so what might look good now, may not a few months from now.)
* Some photographers may also provide prints. They should be high quality prints 8 1/2" x 11" in size. Let the photographer know that any prints should be provided without watermarks. Small studio or photographer IDs are fine, but large watermarks in the center of the images aren't. (Watermarks are generally indications of the images being proofs, so if you use them, it looks like the photographer is trying to sell you the shots and you're too cheap to buy them... that looks bad both for the photographer and the model.)
* Usually, for the first shoot, it's fine to do a trade shoot just for electronic images. But if the photographer wants to work with a model again, make sure to also include getting prints, something like two or three per shoot is good. (If a photographer either can't generate prints on his own, or doesn't know of a lab that does, he's probably not all that serious about what he does.) A few shoots like that can fill up a portfolio fast.
* Even with trade shoots, don't just use one photographer's work in a portfolio. It's important to have different looks, styles and techniques to show a model's capabilities. It also looks like there's more interest in a model when the works of various photographers are included in a portfolio.
* And, as a young model just starting out, don't get discouraged. Modeling, like so many creative fields, is filled with rejections. If you can't take rejection, it's probably not a field you'd want to get into.
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