||Sep 17, 2014
||Apr 23, 2006
Austin, Texas, US
Well published photographer with almost 30 years of experience specializing in athletic models. My work is used by publishers for calendars, greeting cards, and photo art books. I sell signed prints to private collectors. Seeking athletic collegiate models comfortable doing A&F type modeling.
I have done 4 European calendars, as well as feature articles & stock images profiling my work in magazines and books from 1999 to 2014. My first monograph FOND MEMORIES from German Publisher Bruno Gmünder was released in April, 2014 for worldwide distribution.
Models must be 18 years of age and have a government issued ID* before we work together. The average session is one to two hours.
* An acceptable ID is a Drivers License, Military ID or DOD Dependent ID Card, State Issued ID Card or a Passport. The ID must have your picture AND your date of birth.
HINTS FOR NEW MODELS
Modeling can be fun and lucrative but you have to use common sense to stay safe and not be taken advantage of. Here are some suggestions that are important things for new models to consider before accepting a shoot.
Beware Of The Most Common Model Scam On Mayhem:
The most common scam on MM involves an exciting job offer - however the "client" wants to send you payment IN ADVANCE. Out of that money YOU are asked to pay some fee - studio rental, wardrobe fee, makeup person etc. You are told to pay for that fee out of your account after you have recieved their advance payment check and deposited it. This is the part of the scheme where you lose your money. Why would any legitimate company do this - to save a stamp?
There is a 100% chance that their check is worthless, it will bounce and be charged back against your account in seven to ten days. You will be out the money you paid to the thrid party. You will NEVER be asked to do business like this in the real world. Everyone is paid directly by the agency/client. No one will pay a model in advance. No one will ever pay you" extra" to pay a thrid party.
How Did You Get My Number?
Do not put your email address, phone number or information like where you go to school or work. Use Model Mayhem email to screen people.
Too much personal information invites strangers to look up your social media profiles and contact you outside of Model Mayhem. Don't make it easy for a stalker by posting your Facebook link and personal email address in your profile.
NEVER give someone your social security number, bank account number, a credit card number or any other personal information unless you are absolutely sure of who you are dealing with. If someone asks you for more than a copy of your drivers license to verify your age and identity it should raise a red flag.
If a photographer from hundreds or thousands of miles away is offering to fly you to shoot ask- why me? I know we all want to be the next super model but be honest with yourself.
Why would someone reach out to an inexperienced model from far away? A photographer in a major metropolitan area has hundreds of local models to choose from. When someone more than a few hours from you wants to bring you to them, pay all the expenses and pay you to shoot keep asking - why me?
What Am I Signing?
ALWAYS request copies of any documents you will be asked to sign in advance of any shoot. Unless you are an attorney you should ask a knowledgable trustworthy person to look over the agreements, releases or contracts you are sent before you sign them. Once you have arrived it is almost impossible to have the documents properly reviewed for you.
Lights, Still Camera, HD Video Camera - Wait a Minute!
When you arrive at a photo shoot and the Photographer wants to shoot video of the session without having discussed this with you in advance - stop. Ask to review the model relase again. Most releases cover still or video work. Few Photographers shoot video of photo sessions unless they are planning to use the video one day.
If you are told they shoot video of all shoots to protect themselves from false accusations, offer to reschedule and have a witness present rather than making a recording. Having a witness present will do far more to protect you both than an easy to edit recording only the photographer has in his posession.
REMEMBER that most DSLR cameras will record HD Video as well as still photos. If you see cameras pointed at the shooting area on tripods it would not hurt to ask the photographer to point those cameras in another direction. This is especially relevant if you are shooting nude or erotic photos. You don't want to find out one day that you are starring in a video production on the internet.
Why Do We Have To Meet In A Dark Alley ?
When meeting a photographer at their home or studio for the first time ask if you can bring a friend especially if your photographer does not have a commercial studio space. You can ask to meet them in a public place like a Starbucks. You should cancel if they insist on meeting you in private and alone, period.
*Please do not bring a friend to your interview that is under 18 years of age. Most photographers will not want a minor on the premises unless they are escorted by a parent or guardian.
Should I Bring An Escort With Me To The Shoot ?
You have to use common sense and trust your instincts. If you are a former Navy SEAL you can handle yourself in any situation. Ladies often want to have someone else present and that should not be a problem with your photographer. Photographers may not want your escort sitting in the shooting room with you, but having someone on the premesis waiting for you should be acceptable especially the first time you work with someone. Discuss this with your photographer in advance and work out something you are comfortable with.
What Will The Pictures Be Used For?
You should understand what they intend to do with the images and how they make their money from Photography - print sales, commercial work, studio work, etc. You should be able to understand their business model in a few sentences.
Beginning photographers may not have an extensive body of work to share but you can tell if they are creepy. An established photographer will have a portfolio that should speak for itself. Be suspicious if they keep talking and you still don’t understand their business model.
Be SAFE When You Travel.
If you are traveling to do a shoot ALWAYS be certain at least two responsible people know all the details. They should have complete contact information about the photographer, hotel, agency and client and you should make a schedule to check in with them periodically. Be certain that your two lifeline contacts can contact each other if need be. Don't let the excitement of a "real" modeling job cloud your judgment. Take common sense precautions - don't wind up on the evening news.
In a worst case scenario if you fail to call in when scheduled what information would help the authorities start looking for you? If anything changes in the plan once you arrive UPDATE your people immediately.
BEFORE YOU GO: Ask who is paying for the travel and where you are staying and who is paying for the hotel (call the hotel and verify this). Expect the agency that is booking you to send you an email with your travel itinerary showing that they have purchased a ticket in your name and all the ROUND TRIP flight information. You should also recieve an email with the hotel booking infrmation showing that they have booked a room in your name and all the details of your stay.
If a large fee has been offered always CALL the company you are supposed to be shooting for and verify the story. Unless you are a very well established model very few offers will be for thousands of dollars. NEVER USE text messaging for any business communication. You need to be able to PRINT out all of the details.
ALWAYS look up the telephone numbers for the client, agencey, hotel etc. yourself. Do not rely on phone numbers you are given.
REMEMBER that photographers seldom hire models directly for commercial work. The client or an advertising agency typically work with a modeling agency to hire the talent. Photographers are hired by the client or an ad agency just like the models.
NOTE: A well established photographer may be hiring you for a self-directed personal project so these guidelines may not apply in every situation.
WHEN YOU ARRIVE: If you arrive in Atlanta for a shoot and the driver says you are going to Florida, turn around go back into the airport. Pay attention to the road signs so that you have an idea of where you are actually being taken. Consider texting your people with the license plate number of the car you are getting into.
WHEN YOU CHECK IN: When you arrive at your hotel you will have to check in. Confirm that the room is pre-paid. You WILL have to give the clerk a credit card number to cover any incidental expenses you incur like room service or pay-per-view movies. This is a standard procedure at every hotel regardless of who has paid for the room.
Who Did You Say That You Represent?
If you are dealing with a third party in setting up a shoot please be sure you know who that person really is. You need to know their real name, their phone number and who they represent - the photographer, an agency, etc.
Stick to email for detail oriented messages that involve terms of a shoot, money, travel plans and PRINT these emails for reference. Always call and verify everything you are told using phone numbers you look up.
A good rule of thumb is that someone from an agency and most working photographers will usually have a "email@example.com" email address not a G-Mail, Yahoo or other free email. If everyone you are dealing with on a project has a free email address you should do more digging. Don't run to the airport because "firstname.lastname@example.org" has sent you a ticket and expect it to end well.
You Want To Be My Agent / Manager?
Many states require agents and managers to be licensed, find out what the laws are in your state and the state where the agent resides are and ask for their credentials, licenses, etc.
If someone suggests that you take down your profile and it's not an agency that has you under contract you should be very suspicious. If someone tells you they are an agent ask for not only the names of other models you can confirm this with but also THE CLIENTS that they have placed models with.
You Want Me To Do What?
Many photographers do some nude photography as part of their craft. Nude photography can be implied, artistic or erotic. If you model for very long sooner or later someone may ask you to pose nude.
You should think about this now and decide what your personal comfort level is so it won't be a shock when you are asked. We all have our own comfort level and yours may change as you gain more experience.
Your photographer should not be offended if you are not interested in doing nudes so don't feel pressured to do something don’t want to. Not all models do nude work and don't let them tell you that you have to do nudes to succeed.
Thanks But No Thanks, I Am Leaving...
If anyone directly or indirectly suggests that you need to provide any kind of sexual favors in order to further your career, get "in good" with a photographer or agency, etc you should leave. Call a cab if you have to or call the police if its starts to feel creepy, get to the airport and go home.
Where Are My Pictures ?
If you are doing any kind of trade out work (commonly called TFP or Trade For Print) work ask a few questions up front.
A common complaint is that photographers are slow to return images to the model, or don't send any at all. Photographers are too busy to get to it or lazy. You should have a clear understanding about WHEN you will get some images.
You should also be clear about what you are getting: Prints or digital files? Most models only want digital images now. Are you getting ALL the images from the shoot or the photographer’s choices? Are you getting a disk or just images sent by email? Will you be getting only web quality images or will you also get print quality images you can print yourself?
IMPORTANT - be sure that the images they send you will have been worked up in Photoshop to make them something you can use. Almost all images need some help with color balance, density or cosmetic touch up for the model. A disk full of raw images is of very little use to you.
The Big City..... If You Can Make It There....
You have decided to make the rounds of the big agencies in New York or Los Angeles. Find the agencies that represent models with your look on the web- fashion, fitness, etc and just call them. Ask what times they accept new model walk in's. Most set aside a few hours every week for potential models to just walk in and meet.
You do not need an expensive portfolio of images to show an agency. If they like your look they will have pictures made.
Don’t be talked into creating an entire make believe catalog of pictures in a hundred looks. A client will want to hire you to create NEW images for their ads, not copies of iconic images from the past.
To Test Shoot or Not?
As a new model you might be asked to do a "test shoot". Should you do it? If a well-known agency sends you to a photographer for a test shoot by all means do it! You should not expect to be paid for this shoot, it's more of an audition and you may not be asked for a model release and usually the images are discarded. The agency will pay the photographer for his time, so they are making an investment in some professional images of you.
A "test shoot" is sometimes really an IQ test. If a photographer (not an agency) wants to do an unpaid "test shoot" - ask exactly what they are testing? If you are asked for a lengthy test shoot AND asked for a model release and not paid for your time OR not given images you can use for your portfolio you have just worked for free. You may find those “test shots” being used or sold one day and realize that you were duped.
Where is that Darned Cell Phone!
Always have your cell phone with you and don't forget to bring the charger when traveling. You should be able to call for directions if you get lost, or something happens and you need to call 911.
Anytime you are out of your own element at a studio, office or private residence in your town or on the road make sure you have the address in your pocket. Calling 911 if you have an emergency only works if you can tell the dispatcher the exact address where you are calling from.
Having equipment that suits your work and that you know how to use is just as important as the brands and model of gear you buy. Feel free to ask about any of the gear I use. Nikon Cameras (D3 and D2X), Profoto and Elinchrom Strobes, Pocket Wizard Radio Triggers, Bogen Carbon Fiber Tripods, Aurora OctoBanks, California Sunbounce light modifiers, Apple Computers and Cinema Displays and DROBO & Western Digital NAS RAID storage systems.
Exclusive Representation in New York: Wessel + O'Connor Fine Art Gallery.
Philip Caggiano Public Relations - New York, NY.
Current project: FOND MEMORIES My first monograph since 1994. From German Publisher Bruno Gmünder. Released April, 2014 for worldwide distribution.
Numerous other print publishing credits from the United States, Germany, Italy, Norway and Brazil. Please contact me for an up to date list.
Prairie Visions Phtgy
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