No "drive-by" friend requests. If you want me to add you as a friend, take a minute to comment on a couple of pictures you liked. Yes, at least TWO!
IN COMPLETE SENTENCES. With a verb and everything. Yes, I am serious. (OMG, OMG). An example of a complete sentence would be "this picshure is very niiiice." Single-word comments don't count. Or write me a message saying why you want me to add you. Also, I DO NOT TRADE comments.
Conditional comments that are given in exchange for a similar comment are obviously worthless.
"An original idea is an idea that you don't remember where you stole it from."
"When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes." -- Erasmus
"When I get a little money I buy lenses; and if any is left I buy lights and modifiers." -- Me
"Pretty please. With sugar on top. Clean the fucking car."
"Leave the gun. Take the canollis."
"If you could only see what I've seen with your eyes."
"I'm not in the business. I am the business."
"Charlie don't surf."
"I believe in two things. Discipline and the bible. Here you'll receive both.
Put your trust in the Lord. Your ass belongs to me."
Charlie Harper (to a chick he's trying to impress): Hey, I have an $80,000 Mercedes.
Chick: Oh big deal. What does it do that other cars don't?
Charlie Harper: It costs $80,000!
"I'd like to find your inner child and kick its little ass..." The Eagles.
Yes, this is about 60 bucks' worth of watermelons, at about 19c a lb. For my approach towards modeling photography scroll down below the watermelon pic.
Shooting with me, rates, TF, copyright, etc.
I am Greek and Greek, mixed in with a bit of Grecian and somewhere down my lineage a pinch of Hellenic. A true mutt. I love long walks on the beach ... no wait, that's another profile. Okay, photography. I charge for shoots because I am a full-time professional photographer. Of course, SAYING that I am a professional photographer does not mean squat. I come across photographers' profiles who say that "they've been pros for twenty years" and after looking at their stuff my only reaction is "I would so not advertise that fact if I were you." And sometimes I see amateurs whose creativity and fearlessness I envy. So "pros," "amateurs," whatever, the proof is in THE PICTURES. Take a look at what I have and decide if a paid session with me is going to push your portfolio past the average photographer's product. My basic hourly rate is $150.
I do not shoot much TF anymore. I do, however, test new lighting setups, equipment, and styles of photography from time to time, and at those times, I need models for the tests. By the way, I'm shocked by those cold-hearted, calculating models today that are "doing select TF ONLY if it will benefit their portfolio." I so miss the good ol' days when models were doing indiscriminate TF with the sole purpose of trashing their portfolio.
If we have communicated and you are interested in testing with me, I will have to meet you before the shoot.
There are many stories of models' flakiness floating around, and almost all of them have happened to me. (True story: model shows up at the studio an hour-and-a-half late. I'm not there anymore and she calls me on my cell and yells at me because I'm not there and "why didn't I call her if I wasn't going to be there.")
For the initial meeting (or "go-see") YOU
will choose a time to come by the studio at a time and day convenient for you. If you don't show up for the casting meeting, ... "no soup for you."
(True story: "Model" lives in Torrance, about half an hour's drive from me and when I give her my address she messages me back "that's too far, don't you have another studio closer to me?") The initial meeting lasts about half an hour. I will then plan the shoot, scout locations, discuss setups and wardrobe beforehand and the day of the shoot I will execute the concepts we settled on as best I can. Escorts are always okay with two stipulations: a) They can't park their butts on the couch. They have to help with the lights, carry stuff, etc. That's right, I'm looking to get free labor out of this! b) They HAVE TO STAY ON SET, especially if we're shooting in studio.
There are plenty of GWCs on MM who will give you a bunch of unedited pictures on CD. I'm not one of them. On a TF shoot, I will do a first edit, rejecting any pictures I don't approve, and then I will send you a private online link to a gallery of all the pictures I've approved. You can go through the gallery and you can choose 2 (that's TWO) pictures from each look we do and you will get them in JPEG format, fully edited, in full print resolution with my signature on them, discreet, faded and to the side --like in almost every picture on my port-- which you cannot remove or crop out. If you choose different pictures than the ones I pick for my use, I'd be happy to also throw in any that I edit for myself. Under no circumstances I will release RAW or unedited pictures.
YOU WILL HAVE TO SIGN A MODEL RELEASE BEFORE THE SHOOT, which I will email to you beforehand for your review, and I will own the copyright on these pictures. So, please READ my one-paragraph model release before we shoot. If English is not your first language, get an interpreter or one will be provided for you.
Tips for models
a) Quickest way to get a gig is to have a clean, well-lit headshot for your avatar.
Keep the avant-garde pics or the full-body shots for inside your profile. The logic is simple. There are five thousand girls competing for gigs. So, don't make me work to see what you look like!
If I'm doing a search for models fitting a particular look, I'm scrolling through the small thumbnails in the search results, so if the picture in your avatar does not draw me in, I'll just click on the girl below you with the clean headshot. If I learned anything shooting models is that even though being the right age, having a fit body, good height, no stretchmarks and no (major) cellulite, are the necessary prerequisites at having a chance in this business, they're not what ultimately sells a model. To paraphrase James Carville, "It's the face, stupid."
b) Get reliable transportation and get to a casting session ON TIME or ten minutes before if you can. Showing up early will always score you major points. ("My car blah, blah, I forgot the map at home, I dropped the iPhone in my soda, the dog pee'd on my GPS, traffic, blah, blah," will not fly. And NEVER, EVER use the "I feel so sick because I drank too much last night." Every professional photographer will show you the door and tell you to google the nearest AA meeting. Here's some insight to the professional photographer's mind. Of course the photographer gets excited when an attractive model walks into the studio. His first reaction is "I bet she'll look great in this or that setup." But if she shows up late, she's got an attitude, that initial excitement quickly gives way to the following thoughts: "Hmmmm, if I schedule a shoot, will she show up or will I waste my time, will I be paying my assistant(s) for nothing that day, will I be able to make the rent in my studio..." So --to quote Tony Soprano-- never forget that "this is a business" and even when it's TF, the shoot has to have business-oriented results, i.e. to produce the best possible pictures that can bring clients to the photographer. Bottom line, if you show up on time and it's between you and a better-looking model who was late, 95% of the time you'll get the gig.
c) Approach a TF shoot as if it were a paid gig. Remember, the photographer is not getting paid either, so do not make the fatal mistake of treating a TF shoot as a "free" shoot. The only way to get a photographer to bring his A-game to the table, is if you bring your A-game as well.
d) DO NOT photoshop the crap out the pictures you post on MM. This may seem like an odd statement, in a business that's all about beauty and perfection, but altering your appearance significantly on the pictures that you post here, is actually detrimental to you getting gigs. MM is not geared towards the consumer who should see you perfect as part of an ad campaign, but primarily towards photographers, models, MUAs, stylists, etc, building their portfolios. Fixing a pimple, a drop of sweat or stray hair on your pictures is, of course, okay. If, however, your pictures are overexposed and filtered beyond recognition in Photoshop to hide age lines, your actual body shape liquified and skewed to make you look thinner, in other words, a different person shows up to a casting session than the one in your photographs, what do you think the photographer is going to do?
I use artificial light as much as possible to complement the available light. Strobes, reflectors, modifiers, whatever. I hate harsh shadows and I love chiaroscuro lighting. Most of my shots are WYSIWYG (yes, I'm a Mac guy). I used to be a graphic designer, so I know Photoshop like the back of my hand, but I believe that a picture should stand on its own right out of the camera. Photoshop must be used only as a finishing tool, not as a scalpel to try to save a bad shot. I use it to fix skin flaws, take out sensor dust (and I have to say, that freakin' 5D MKII does not pick up any!), enhance the color a bit, the operative words being "a bit." I can't stand pictures where they've used the surface blur filter so much that they turned the model into a wax doll. That's laziness on the part of the photographer. Bottom line, a photographer should get 90% of his shot in the analog world, concept, composition, lighting. Anything more is not photography, it's graphic design.
The difference between sensual and hoochie
I think this is how "hoochie" is spelled, but I'm not absolutely certain. You see, no true "hoochie" knows how to spell it, so we were not able to get an authoritative answer on the subject. Personally, I'm all for sensual and sexy, but never "hoochie." Sometimes the difference is subtle, so I always try to err on the side of elegant sensuality. However, what immediately hoochifies any shot and you'll never see it in my pictures, is PLATFORM shoes. It's like stamping a big freakin' "HOOCHIE" on the shot. Oh yes, CLEAR platform shoes is a double hoochie. Of course, then, the question arises, "how do you know if you're a hoochie if you still don't know how to spell it?" Easy, take a look at your shoes. (Amendment to the platform rule: Recently copies of "Allure" and "Vogue" magazines fell in my hands. Okay, I picked up "Allure" at the dentist's office, but I actually bought "Vogue." I am secure in my masculinity that way. And there were these high-fashion shoots and the models were wearing platforms! In "Vogue" there was a shot of Giselle Bundchen in platforms!! And there's a woman who DOES NOT need to wear them. So, I give up trying to even remotely make any sense of fashion. From now on, it's the stylists' problem. Oh, if you walk into the studio in platform shoes and I immediately reach for a dollar bill, don't get offended, it's just the force of habit.)
Trading comments and other pet peeves.
I NEVER trade comments. Comments should reward excellence, not perpetuate mediocrity. I will not comment on your pictures if I think they are average or below average, solely because you commented on mine. The only comment worth anything is like laughing at a great joke, an involuntary response. In other words, you see a photograph that's so good, a composition that's so innovative, a model so gorgeous, that you simply get the urge to splurge. Anything else is bs.
What's with the word "capture" when referring to a photograph? Who the hell coined that and now everyone is using it trying to sound like a photography connoisseur? It's either a picture, a shot or a photograph, so quit with the "lovely capture this," "great capture that..." Oh, yeah, and what's with that shot everybody's doing, the close-up of the model holding up her head with both hands? What is she doing, a spine self-adjustment or "sexy with a headache?" Get some freakin' aspirin and come up with a new pose already!
Please don't write about yourself in the third person in your profile, it's beyond hokey. Who wrote this, your publicist or your "people?" If that's the case, tell your peeps to get off MM and go get you some work.
Out of all the things I read on MM the one that never fails to crack me up is the "I prefer paid assignments." Why don't you also add "I also like breathing air, eating food, drinking water, etc, just in case there are any doubts. Oh yes, and that other great argument "I need to get paid because modeling is my only job
..." Well, unfortunately, that's not how the free-market economy works. Just because you have a need, it doesn't mean that someone will fulfill it. So, if modeling is your only means of support, until you get signed and your phone is ringing off the hook with job offers, learning a trade or something might be a smart move. And since you're on MM at the moment, I'm guessing your phone isn't ringing off the hook with offers to strut your stuff on the runways of Milan.
Models who put in their profile "99 years old, 100 years old, 2009 years old," you might as well put there in big bold letters "I"M OVER THIRTY." We get it.
Personally, I'd like to do "low fashion." Everybody wants to do high fashion, but if Target calls me to do their catalog I'm so there...
The moment I see a model's name with qualifiers like "Miss, Mz, Goddess This, Princess That..." I can hear the "beep-beep" of the big-ass attitude truck backing up. We will not be purchasing anything off that truck. We like to shop at the "As Little 'Tude As Possible" model store. I know what you're thinking. That it's right next to the "Good Luck Finding It" store, but I've shopped there before. I can't always find it, but it does exist, I swear.
"Independant, acheive, definately, phenominal, truely, experiance and most of all PAYED, as in PAYED ASSIGNMENTS ONLY" are not words in the English language. Firefox has a built-in spellchecker! I'm not sure about Explorer or Safari or even Chrome, but I bet they have spellcheckers as well. People, when the little red line appears under a word you just wrote, it's time to look it up!
A FINAL WARNING: I AM INFECTED WITH THE H2N2!
You've heard of the H1N1, the "swine" flu. Well, I've got the H2N2, the "models' relatives and cars and appliances" flu. It infects mostly grandparents, uncles, aunts and vehicles (oh, yes, and recently refrigerators) of my potential models or collaborators, which seem to drop dead usually on the day of (or sometimes the previous day) of our initial meeting. There is no known cure or vaccine for it, and it spreads SELECTIVELY through the computer, once a model comes in contact with me and expresses interest in shooting. In other words some "models" get it while others are completely immune to it. I know, baffling, huh! I'm not kidding. I've never seen so many grandparents or cars die within hours of a model's meeting with me. And then they understandably have to cancel the meeting, poor things. The newest and ... bestest excuse: Model calls and cancels on the initial meeting --having chosen the date and time-- three hours before, because "my boyfriend has cancer and I have to drive him in for a procedure." Now, most people would think this cancer business is rather serious, so if boyfriend needs to go in for surgery, maybe it's something we plan and schedule, oh I don't know . . . a week or two in advance maybe? But I guess the implication was that she woke up that morning and said to her boyfriend, "do you feel like having surgery today. honey, oh yeah, okay, I'll call the photographer and cancel..."
I coined this term a while ago, so I'll include it here. GWA.
You've heard the term GWC, as in Guy With Camera, a mocking term for guys who own a camera with no apparent photographic skill other than their desire to ogle naked girls. And yes, MM is full of them. I am clearly suggesting that I am not one of those guys, because I have some photographic skill and I will gladly settle for girls who are semi-naked or even clothed occasionally. Now, the equivalent of the GWC is the GWA
, or Girl With Ass (or even Guy With Ass). Just because a girl has an ass and her boyfriend or somebody who wants to sleep with her told her that she's so hot and that she should be a model, it does not mean she's going to make money from modeling. Commercial/fashion models who consistently make money are 5 9" and up (5 8" is pushing it), weigh 125 lbs. at most and retire at 25. Oh, yes, and they're pretty. And they get to the gigs on time. And they have decent portfolios. These are not my rules, bitch at Anna Wintour if you don't like them. And yes, there are shorter or older models, like Giselle who work in fashion past 25, but unless your last name starts with a "B" and ends with "unchen" the odds are not stacked in your favor. So, if these are not your stats, don't resent the fact that pro photographers (or more precisely, their CLIENTS, the ones who actually pay the models) don't want to pay you. Resent those Glamazon bitches (=Tyra's term) who do have those stats and will always cut to the front of the line before you.
Finally, no matter how much you beg, I won't shoot nudes. My legs are just too hairy for that. And don't even start with my back.