Forums > Photography Talk > Booking multiple models for a shoot.

Photographer

Herman Surkis

Posts: 8857

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

It is recommended that multiple models be booked to prevent a dead shoot due to a model flaking. At least you are likely to have one.

Makes sense as far as it goes.

And please let's not get into flaky models/photographers here. There are at least 3 other threads dealing with this at the moment.

So what I am really asking, is ...

Although it does mean that you will likely have somebody, what if everybody shows up?

Lets dispel the first response ... shoot with both.

But what if I am really only wanting to shoot one at a time? If I wanted 2 on set I would have booked 2.

And if it is paid, then you have just doubled your model costs for this shoot.
Which with some models is now a not inconsiderable cost.

Not sure how good the initial idea is. And without getting into all the other flake cures, can somebody say how they have made double booking work?

Or perhaps most think it is a non-viable idea?

May 03 12 04:36 pm Link

Photographer

Surreal Sister

Posts: 65

Phoenix, Arizona, US

Set up test shoots with models you are interested in working with, if they flake, never book them for paid gigs, if they come through and you work well together you know they are reliable and will show up for something important. Build relationships with models, so you can even call someone in as a backup if you need to, I have made lots of friends through this site and it has been a god send for important stuff, even when mua's flake I always have a backup!

Not only does it protect you, you make awesome friendships with people who are in the same line of work as you!

May 03 12 04:40 pm Link

Photographer

Jacob Davis

Posts: 858

Boulder, Colorado, US

Herman Surkis wrote:
It is recommended that multiple models be booked to prevent a dead shoot due to a model flaking. At least you are likely to have one.

I've never heard someone recommend that before; it seems terrible on its face for exactly the reasons you described. +1 to Surreal Sister's suggestion, build up a network of folks and maybe one of them can jump in at the last minute, if it's important to do the shoot. On the other hand, I usually go in with a planned concept, and the model has been in on the plan for a while. I would just cancel; I sure as heck wouldn't book two or more models hoping that only one shows up.

May 03 12 04:45 pm Link

Photographer

Brian Scanlon

Posts: 790

Encino, California, US

Surreal Sister  wrote:
Set up test shoots with models you are interested in working with, if they flake, never book them for paid gigs, if they come through and you work well together you know they are reliable and will show up for something important. Build relationships with models, so you can even call someone in as a backup if you need to, I have made lots of friends through this site and it has been a god send for important stuff, even when mua's flake I always have a backup!

Not only does it protect you, you make awesome friendships with people who are in the same line of work as you!

I've tried that, got two shoots with a model and they went well, raised the stakes on the third, flake.

May 03 12 04:50 pm Link

Photographer

J O H N A L L A N

Posts: 10310

Santa Ana, California, US

I don't really think it's viable - what are you going to do, cancel on the others when the 1st shows up? (rhetorical). Of course not, so...

I have a long history in consulting and I think the same kind of thing could be implemented successfully for use with independent models, as we've done for years. Ie. a commitment letter/booking letter. the resource (consultant or model or...) signs it committing to appear at the designated time or they are responsible for a bill-back of whatever. (In my case, I think direct expenses are appropriate).

But to enforce it, you really have to be a company (not just a freelance independent photographer), with hopefully a pre-existing relationship with a collection firm.

May 03 12 06:11 pm Link

Photographer

D S P

Posts: 510

Portland, Oregon, US

I have a couple go-to models that I can have on call just in case. That's only when I work with MM models though. I never have a problem with agency models or models that I meet outside of MM.

Edit:
I throw $25 to the on-call model if she doesn't have to come in. I got the idea from my wife who is put on call as a nurse every now and then.

May 03 12 06:19 pm Link

Photographer

Select Models

Posts: 36179

Upland, California, US

Booking multiple models for a shoot.

Do it all the time... actually had 91 models booked at once... but that was a HUGE groupshoot with 300 photographers in 1995 at a 5 acre mansion in Temecula CA... wink

May 03 12 06:38 pm Link

Photographer

Brooklyn Bridge Images

Posts: 9758

Brooklyn, New York, US

Last year I had did a 5 model 2 Mua shoot day
4 showed
The one MM newbie was no show no call
Did rotation as hair/makeup/outfits were being done.
Worked great

May 03 12 06:44 pm Link

Photographer

AspirationImages

Posts: 184

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

A model that no shows never works again with anyone I know. Best to book one with good references, confirm regularly, be in constant contact on the day, and have a couple of emergencies.

I only work with paid models so I seldom have a problem. If you work TF then you will have to live with a better offer coming along.

May 04 12 03:09 am Link

Photographer

Herman Surkis

Posts: 8857

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

As I guessed, for TF, not likely to work well.

Some of the alternatives, such as on call model may not work, as a flake just does not show up, so backup model means the day is postponed an hour or two.

May 04 12 01:50 pm Link

Photographer

L A U B E N H E I M E R

Posts: 8788

Seattle, Washington, US

Herman Surkis wrote:
It is recommended that multiple models be booked to prevent a dead shoot due to a model flaking. At least you are likely to have one.

Makes sense as far as it goes.

And please let's not get into flaky models/photographers here. There are at least 3 other threads dealing with this at the moment.

So what I am really asking, is ...

Although it does mean that you will likely have somebody, what if everybody shows up?

Lets dispel the first response ... shoot with both.

But what if I am really only wanting to shoot one at a time? If I wanted 2 on set I would have booked 2.

And if it is paid, then you have just doubled your model costs for this shoot.
Which with some models is now a not inconsiderable cost.

Not sure how good the initial idea is. And without getting into all the other flake cures, can somebody say how they have made double booking work?

Or perhaps most think it is a non-viable idea?

Norm Peterson: "Rebecca, has it ever occurred to you that maybe the reason you always lose is because you think you're going to lose?"

Rebecca Howe: "Oh, don't give me that crap. I tried that positive thinking stuff, and I knew it wouldn't work, and sure enough, it didn't."

plan your shoot, communicate, give them a reason to want to work with you. think positive. if you do these things i see no reason to worry and overbook.

May 04 12 02:17 pm Link

Photographer

Christopher Hartman

Posts: 54149

Buena Park, California, US

Try the following:

Explain to backup model that they are backup model, if they are not used, they will be excused and paid $50 (or whatever...)

Same thing for a trade shoot.  But I'd still offer then the $50 even if the other model is a no show and when you complain to the no show model, tell them they cost you money because you had to hire another model. tongue

May 04 12 02:22 pm Link

Photographer

Fotografica Gregor

Posts: 4122

Alexandria, Virginia, US

in my earlier days I held a monthly TF shoot for newer models. I had hair and makeup available.  I promoted the event locally and invited 4-5 models. 

The most that showed up was 4 - the average was 2.7 - the low was 1

but every time I got images that I was happy with for my port at the time (all long gone now) and the models enjoyed the shoots - the networking with other models and the MUA / hair stylist,  and added images to their portfolios

This was actually a lot of fun, and as many requests as I get these days I might just do it again.  But not regularly....

as to specifics -  I usually booked 4 hrs so if everyone showed up, they could count on 1 set each -  usually there were 2-3 models for 2-3 looks each....

May 04 12 02:30 pm Link

Makeup Artist

ArtistryImage

Posts: 2834

Washington, District of Columbia, US

Herman, I assist commercial photographers... their take? 
Agencies exist to eliminate this issue... an agency booker will have a talent on set... the cost is ultimately passed through to the client... paperwork is straightforward... jobs are typically through an advertising agency... the model arrives at call time for prep, the session is shot... the photographer or session director signs the model's voucher... the model's agency invoices the advertising agency... the fee is passed through to their client...

The only issue is the lag time for recompense... can be up to 4 months till the photographer receives payment... then sometimes another month till I'm paid...

May 04 12 02:48 pm Link

Photographer

Herman Surkis

Posts: 8857

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Many of the comments for commercial work make sense.
But for trade it defeats the point to pay your backup if not needed.
The multi-model thing has been suggested in some threads for TF, which never made sense to me.
For trade, where it is important that somebody shows up, I do agency, or somebody I know. So pretty much, set up a multi model shoot shoot, and if all show up, then shoot them all, and if only one shows up, that one gets all the shots.

I prefer to work with one model for 2 hours, then keep swapping back and forth, but I need top change my style to make this work. Or not, and just consider I have a day off if someone does not show. Shooting for fun, and need to STOP thinking of it as work.

May 05 12 11:26 am Link

Photographer

Bills Imagination Photo

Posts: 125

Kansas City, Missouri, US

Mark Laubenheimer wrote:

Norm Peterson: "Rebecca, has it ever occurred to you that maybe the reason you always lose is because you think you're going to lose?"

Rebecca Howe: "Oh, don't give me that crap. I tried that positive thinking stuff, and I knew it wouldn't work, and sure enough, it didn't."

plan your shoot, communicate, give them a reason to want to work with you. think positive. if you do these things i see no reason to worry and overbook.

The wisdom of Norm is very appropriate to this discussion. All of my shoots are TF and I have yet to have a noshow. I have had a lot drop out, just plain disappear, during discussion adn planning. However, at the appointed day and time, they have all showed up. And a good time was had by all.


Good thread BTW.

Bill

May 05 12 11:49 am Link

Photographer

Jerry Nemeth

Posts: 27952

Dearborn, Michigan, US

I have never booked multiple models for a shoot.  I choose models carefully and none have ever flaked.

May 05 12 03:17 pm Link