Forums > Model Colloquy > What did you have in mind?

Photographer

David Stone Imaging

Posts: 1015

Seattle, Washington, US

I'm wondering if anyone else is getting this "What did you have in mind" response to a PM when asking a "known" nude model her rates and limitations?  By "known" I mean her profile says she does nude modeling, and she has nude modeling in her port.  All that is missing is a rate structure with limitations that some have found useful to publish.

I do get contacted by traveling nude models, and they are always forthcoming with rates and limitations. 

And...I mostly have fine art, boudoir, and implied in my port, so its pretty clear what kind of work I do...so I fail to understand why the rate and limitation question gets avoided?  So...is this local to me...or do others get this "what did you have in mind" also...and how do you respond?  (So far...any response back from me is usually the end of the PM dialog.)

Oct 22 12 04:06 am Link

Photographer

RKD Photographic

Posts: 3265

Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Tell them what you have in mind, maybe?

Just describe the shoot or send them some sample images in a similar style to what you want to shoot...

At least they answered you...

Oct 22 12 04:13 am Link

Photographer

Woven Thought

Posts: 329

Petersburg, Virginia, US

My guess, if you actually have a plan in mind, you're likely a serious photographer and will actually deliver as promised.  If you are vague, red flags for flaking.  Don't think photographers can't be flakes too.

Oct 22 12 04:36 am Link

Photographer

Rob Photosby

Posts: 2976

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

It could be that she has not bothered to look at your portfolio (pretty common) or it could be that she is fishing to discover if you are inclined towards "adult" images or it could be something else.

Perhaps give her a general scenario and direct her to some images in your portfolio or in your lists that represent the style you are thinking of.

If, like me, there is an element of improvisation in your shoots, tell her as much.

Oct 22 12 06:16 am Link

Model

Miss AY

Posts: 8166

Boston, Massachusetts, US

David Lumen Photography wrote:
I'm wondering if anyone else is getting this "What did you have in mind" response to a PM when asking a "known" nude model her rates and limitations?  By "known" I mean her profile says she does nude modeling, and she has nude modeling in her port.  All that is missing is a rate structure with limitations that some have found useful to publish.

I do get contacted by traveling nude models, and they are always forthcoming with rates and limitations. 

And...I mostly have fine art, boudoir, and implied in my port, so its pretty clear what kind of work I do...so I fail to understand why the rate and limitation question gets avoided?  So...is this local to me...or do others get this "what did you have in mind" also...and how do you respond?  (So far...any response back from me is usually the end of the PM dialog.)

Just because you have XYZ in your portfolio doesn't make it safe to assume that's all you shoot or what you want to shoot with whatever model you are contacting. I always ask what someone has in mind for shooting before I give them a rate, because there are some variables I take into account when asking to be paid for my time. I don't have a one-size-fits-all rate.

Oct 22 12 06:23 am Link

Photographer

Azimuth Arts

Posts: 1490

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

David Lumen Photography wrote:
I'm wondering if anyone else is getting this "What did you have in mind" response to a PM when asking a "known" nude model her rates and limitations?  By "known" I mean her profile says she does nude modeling, and she has nude modeling in her port.  All that is missing is a rate structure with limitations that some have found useful to publish.

I do get contacted by traveling nude models, and they are always forthcoming with rates and limitations. 

And...I mostly have fine art, boudoir, and implied in my port, so its pretty clear what kind of work I do...so I fail to understand why the rate and limitation question gets avoided?  So...is this local to me...or do others get this "what did you have in mind" also...and how do you respond?  (So far...any response back from me is usually the end of the PM dialog.)

Models will quote their rates based on a whole host of factors, or of course decline to shoot if they are not comfortable with what you have in mind.  Be as specific about your shoot plans as possible.  Rates will vary based on any of the following factors:

- Location - indoors or outdoors, will it be cold/wet or otherwise uncomfortable
- travel required - is the location down the street, across town or a three hour drive - or across the country.
- time of day - does she need to be up at 4:00 AM to be on set before sunrise, or shoot until midnight?
- hair/makeup provided/required - does she need to show up ready to go or will you provide it, or none-required
- length of shoot - rates will vary for a short 1-2 hour shoot vs. a full day
- is it nude or clothed - just because she shoots nude does not mean that is all she does.  She may offer a discounted rate to shoot clothed concepts.
- wardrobe etc. - does she need to bring wardrobe or props to the shoot?  If so, what kind?
- Usage - is this for your private collection, portfolio, gallery or a pay site?  Is it commercial usage or stock photos?  Some models won't do that, or want more money.
- Model release - some models will change their rates based on the type of release, or even if one is required at all.
- Limitations - she may not have any, but she may charge different rates for certain things.  Art nude may be done at a lower rate than fetish or bondage shoots.

When I am not doing photography I build web sites.  If someone calls me and says "how much to build a website?" I always need to ask "What do you have in mind?"  I am not going to build a full e-commerce site for the same price as a 4 page brochure site...  Modelling is not all that different.

Oct 22 12 06:29 am Link

Photographer

Jeffrey M Fletcher

Posts: 4344

Asheville, North Carolina, US

This sort of question can often sound more confusing than it actually is. Visual examples are helpful and you have to be certain that the model has looked at them.

It's nearly impossible for a model to list every limitation they might have in an unknown situation. If you've brought up limitations and the model has responded asking what you have in mind, I'd suggest answering the question. An answer such as "I'm pretty improvised as a shooter but the content would be along the lines of what is in my portfolio" would be a workable answer. If you are wanting to shoot something else then an example or two would probably be helpful.

I've found that sometimes with new people it can take a couple or even three referrals back to the examples to make sure they've looked at them and have brought up any questions, reservations or limitations they might have.

Oct 22 12 06:42 am Link

Photographer

Blue Ash Film Group

Posts: 9539

Cincinnati, Ohio, US

A lot of llamas' rates are dependent on many factors like content, location, what the llama has to provide, and date, time and duration of the shoot. Why don't you just answer with what you have in mind so that the llama has the info they need to give you an answer? It is a natural part of any business arrangement, and I'm not sure why it is throwing you for a loop.

Oct 22 12 06:45 am Link

Photographer

Art of the nude

Posts: 11892

Olivet, Michigan, US

David Lumen Photography wrote:
I'm wondering if anyone else is getting this "What did you have in mind" response to a PM when asking a "known" nude model her rates and limitations?  By "known" I mean her profile says she does nude modeling, and she has nude modeling in her port.  All that is missing is a rate structure with limitations that some have found useful to publish.

I do get contacted by traveling nude models, and they are always forthcoming with rates and limitations. 

And...I mostly have fine art, boudoir, and implied in my port, so its pretty clear what kind of work I do...so I fail to understand why the rate and limitation question gets avoided?  So...is this local to me...or do others get this "what did you have in mind" also...and how do you respond?  (So far...any response back from me is usually the end of the PM dialog.)

Just tell them.

Contrary to the "do you do nudes or not?" mentality, there is a wide range of things that fall under "nude modeling."  Many, probably most, models who shoot nudes aren't comfortable with all of it.  Some have limits on what shows, some on the "tone" of the images.  Some are concerned about "quality," however they define it.  (That's not a comment on your work, I didn't look; and it doesn't matter.  I've had "Paid only, selective about nudes" models ask me to trade for nudes, and I've had models who do nudes say they have no interest in what I do, even if paid.)

Oct 22 12 07:09 am Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12116

Tampa, Florida, US

RKD Photographic wrote:
Tell them what you have in mind, maybe?

Just describe the shoot or send them some sample images in a similar style to what you want to shoot...

At least they answered you...

I would think the response was pretty self-explanatory. Obviously the OP expressed interest in working with the model but didn't provide specifics that would allow her to quote an accurate rate. So, she asked..."what did you have in mind?" As in, give me details so I can quote you.

Content of someone's portfolio doesn't fully answer that question. And we all know, just because a portfolio contains one type of image (i.e. nude) it doesn't mean that is what a) the photographer is interested in shooting with that model or b) that the model would perform that style with that photographer.

Be thankful she didn't just spew a blanket rate without any thought behind it.

Oct 22 12 07:23 am Link

Model

Dekilah

Posts: 4890

Detroit, Michigan, US

From a model's perspective, I ask this because I simply need to know. I ask this for a variety of reasons:
- there is such a variety in the person's port that I am not sure what they want to shoot with me
- there are things in the person's port that I may not be comfortable shooting for whatever reason
- I do a lot of homework for shoots (looking for inspiration mainly) so it helps to have some idea of what we are shooting
- I also need to know what time frame we are looking at
- And I like to know the intended usage for the photos

Plus, I find "What do you have in mind?" to be purposely open because when I get really specific and ask my full list of questions, people seem to get really defensive or they ignore half of them. By asking "What do you have in mind?" I usually get answers to most of the questions and then can specifically ask the others.

Oct 22 12 07:33 am Link

Photographer

David Stone Imaging

Posts: 1015

Seattle, Washington, US

Thanks to all for the various answers.  The model's responses and perspectives were particularly insightful. 

Here's the thing that raised the question in the first place...  Traveling models have the same concerns that other non-traveling models have, and these get discussed in due course.  However, I have yet to have one not tell me...the first time I asked...what their rates and their limitations were. 

I suppose that when modeling is approached as a business, a professional model soon realizes that time is money, and they see little sense in starting a time-wasting dialog with someone not willing to pay their rates...which are often negotiable anyway.  As a business owner, I appreciate the expediency and professionalism of their approach.

Oct 22 12 09:23 am Link

Photographer

ontherocks

Posts: 22606

Salem, Oregon, US

i've found they usually are "up to classy nudes" and don't really want spread leg crotch shots floating around. if they do more than classy they will usually tell you (but sometimes charge more for that).

but as others have said you can always send them some examples of what you have in mind. when i do that i often include one that's a bit beyond to see how they react.

Oct 22 12 09:28 am Link

Model

MoRina

Posts: 5815

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US

Oct 22 12 09:41 am Link

Model

DivaEroticus

Posts: 14716

Fayetteville, Arkansas, US

Augustine York wrote:

Just because you have XYZ in your portfolio doesn't make it safe to assume that's all you shoot or what you want to shoot with whatever model you are contacting. I always ask what someone has in mind for shooting before I give them a rate, because there are some variables I take into account when asking to be paid for my time. I don't have a one-size-fits-all rate.

This.  I always ask, if there's been nothing said.  If I get a message that says something like, "I'm going to be in your area and would really like to shoot," my response is always to first thank the person contacting me, and then asking what he/she had in mind.  Always.

Oct 22 12 11:18 am Link

Photographer

The F-Stop

Posts: 1510

New York, New York, US

25¢.... hows dat?

Oct 22 12 12:01 pm Link

Model

Laura UnBound

Posts: 27372

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

David Lumen Photography wrote:
Thanks to all for the various answers.  The llama's responses and perspectives were particularly insightful. 

Here's the thing that raised the question in the first place...  Traveling llamas have the same concerns that other non-traveling llamas have, and these get discussed in due course.  However, I have yet to have one not tell me...the first time I asked...what their rates and their limitations were. 

I suppose that when llamaing is approached as a business, a professional llama soon realizes that time is money, and they see little sense in starting a time-wasting dialog with someone not willing to pay their rates...which are often negotiable anyway.  As a business owner, I appreciate the expediency and professionalism of their approach.

When travelling, some know already exactly how much they NEED to make. Divide that number up amongst how many shoots are preferred, each person needs to pay X amount for up to Y type of content in Z hours of shooting. Not everyone does this, but its not uncommon.


If shes local and doesnt necessarily NEED to work with you, asking you what your plan is before locking herself into shooting longer than she wants for X dollars, or shooting content she doesnt want to shoot for X dollars, or travelling to some location you didnt first disclose for X dollars, or having to acquire a bunch of shit you insist on for X dollars, is not unreasonable.

Many times Ive been asked my rates, to which I gave an answer, and THEN was provided the details for the shoot, at which point I would have rather said "aaaaccctually....for all THAT, you need to pay me more."

Oct 22 12 01:09 pm Link

Model

Laura UnBound

Posts: 27372

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

MoRina wrote:
MM has rules on what is allowed to be displayed here.  Therefore, none of the people asking me to shoot porn have had porn displayed in their portfolios (or are even allowed to mention it in their profiles).  So, what someone has displayed in their portfolio has nothing to do with what they may want to shoot. 

Why not say "I am looking to shoot similar to what you see displayed here?"

I shoot a lot of bondage work.  Many people don't display their bondage work here, or do so in separate portfolios. Why should I list out all my bondage limitations if you aren't shooting bondage?  What if you have art nudes displayed and I show up and you want to do nude bondage?  And you have no experience, but you thought since I did, I would be ok with it?  No.  I won't. 

Why should I give a laundry list of what I don't do when most of it doesn't apply? Narrow down the subject matter for me and we will have a more meaningful discussion.

"What do you have in mind" may also be asking for details such as length, location and timeframe of the shoot, which all affect rates.

This too.

Theres always someone who goes "well you didnt say the midget and goat were a no-no...so I assumed it was okay! YOURE A LYING DIVA BITCH!"


Tell her what you want to shoot, dont make her come up with every single little thing under the sun she wont shoot.

Oct 22 12 01:11 pm Link

Model

a raw muse

Posts: 3196

Amundsen-Scott - permanent station of the US, Unclaimed Sector, Antarctica

Pretty much in agreement with what has already been said; also, I like to have a written form explicitly stating what to expect, and what to prepare for, to make sure I am prepared mentally and otherwise. Also, it saves a lot of time and effort on both ends if what someone has in mind to shoot is not something I am interested in shooting, or able to shoot.

I'm much more likely to shoot with someone that has a clear idea and set of expectations, such as below:

"Let's meet at 7 am near 14th street, walk to xyz location, and shoot there for 4 hours. I'm planning on doing xyz project that is intended to be published in xyz magazine. I was thinking of make up reminiscent of blah movie, if you can provide it; otherwise I will find a make up artist. If you can provide a dark pair of pants and heels that would be appreciated, otherwise let me know your size. My budget is $." etc, etc. (Yes, I much prefer when someone quotes their budget.)

Messages such as below are aggravating (unless they're initial "feeler" hello messages):

"Let's shoot some nudes next month!"

-What kind of nudes?
-When? Where? How long?
-Is this for portfolio use, or commercial use?
-etc, etc...

Oct 22 12 05:57 pm Link

Model

V I C T O R I A

Posts: 13979

Los Angeles, California, US

Jeffrey M Fletcher wrote:
This sort of question can often sound more confusing than it actually is. Visual examples are helpful and you have to be certain that the model has looked at them.

It's nearly impossible for a model to list every limitation they might have in an unknown situation. If you've brought up limitations and the model has responded asking what you have in mind, I'd suggest answering the question. An answer such as "I'm pretty improvised as a shooter but the content would be along the lines of what is in my portfolio" would be a workable answer. If you are wanting to shoot something else then an example or two would probably be helpful.

I've found that sometimes with new people it can take a couple or even three referrals back to the examples to make sure they've looked at them and have brought up any questions, reservations or limitations they might have.

Wholeheartedly agree with this. Terms and the understanding of such can be so completely subjective and different from person to person. I always ask people to send me photo examples so that I can point specifically to an image and say YES or NO. Easy breezy.  Likewise, I often tell people I shoot anything along the lines of whats in my portfolio. So if I have an image up, it's safe to assume you can hire me to create something similar. lol

Oct 22 12 06:30 pm Link

guide forum

Model

Koryn

Posts: 36712

Boston, Massachusetts, US

David Lumen Photography wrote:
And...I mostly have fine art, boudoir, and implied in my port, so its pretty clear what kind of work I do...

No, it isn't.

When I was actively traveling, and shooting, people frequently requested styles they did not have featured in their portfolios. Many people who work in different genres will have separate ports/sites for each, but do cross-networking between sites.

For example, I pretty much lived on my income from fetish video work in 2011. Would you have guessed that by looking at my MM port? No, because I don't post that type of work here. If someone on MM contacted me about fetish work, I would refer them to other sites to see what erotic/fetish content I had experience with, and discuss rates, limits and booking schedule from there.

Works the same with a lot of photographers. They might have lingerie and bikini posted on MM, but be currently seeking models for side projects in some vastly different genre. It never hurts to ask. What you see (on MM) is not always what you get.

Oct 22 12 06:45 pm Link

Photographer

Mark Salo

Posts: 8378

Olney, Maryland, US

David Lumen Photography wrote:
I'm wondering if anyone else is getting this "What did you have in mind" response to a PM when asking a "known" nude model her rates and limitations?  By "known" I mean her profile says she does nude modeling, and she has nude modeling in her port.  All that is missing is a rate structure with limitations that some have found useful to publish.

I don't understand.  If she is "known," then you know her.

David Lumen Photography wrote:
I do get contacted by traveling nude models, and they are always forthcoming with rates and limitations.

In my experience, a traveling nude model usually has A SINGLE RATE.  Her limitations are illustrated by her portfolio, not yours or mine.

David Lumen Photography wrote:
And...I mostly have fine art, boudoir, and implied in my port, so its pretty clear what kind of work I do...so I fail to understand why the rate and limitation question gets avoided?  So...is this local to me...or do others get this "what did you have in mind" also...and how do you respond?  (So far...any response back from me is usually the end of the PM dialog.)

I find that the model's limitations are defined by her portfolio, not yours or mine.  You need to have something in mind that fits within her portfolio and limitations.

Keep in mind that the model probably has 100 or 300 more shoots in a year than you have.  Try to simplify.

Oct 22 12 07:07 pm Link

guide forum

Photographer

Rays Fine Art

Posts: 6308

New York, New York, US

I sometimes get that even when I include a list of genres and styles, and even with reference pictures.

I guess reading is just too much effort for some folks.

Oct 22 12 08:55 pm Link

Photographer

Eridu

Posts: 623

Boston, Massachusetts, US

I usually reply with several links to known works to give the model a baseline of what I am trying to do. I also describe in detail the nature of the composition, posing, nature of light source (ambient, strobe or beauty). Some get it, some don't.

You can also use this as a baseline for your compensation levels because a professional nude model might not know how to operate a light meter but she sure as hell won't act confused at the mention of ambient or natural light.

Oct 22 12 09:04 pm Link

Photographer

Face the Light

Posts: 94

Olivet, Michigan, US

ShivaKitty wrote:
Works the same with a lot of photographers. They might have lingerie and bikini posted on MM, but be currently seeking models for side projects in some vastly different genre. It never hurts to ask. What you see (on MM) is not always what you get.

Pretty much.

If for some reason, I contacted a model about shooting nudes from this portfolio, they'd have no idea what I had in mind.

If I link them to my nude work, and say "I'm looking to do a shoot along the lines of this, let me know if you're comfortable with all of it"
http://www.modelmayhem.com/791539

that's much more useful.

Oct 22 12 09:06 pm Link

Model

V Laroche

Posts: 2746

New Orleans, Louisiana, US

Personally, I always ask if there is the slightest doubt in my mind. Why does getting clarification bother you? It's when models start making assumptions that photographers get pissed off and vice versa.

For instance, a lot of people shoot more "erotic" or "fetishy" stuff but don't put it online. Also, a surprising number of photographers think every nude model will shoot fetish work. Now, how bad could that turn out if I assumed they wanted to shoot art nudes and they assumed I was fine with bondage shots... until I actually showed up for the shoot? EVERYONE WOULD BE PISSED. Well, I can't speak for them, I guess, but I WOULD BE QUITE PISSED.

Oct 23 12 12:09 am Link

Photographer

David Stone Imaging

Posts: 1015

Seattle, Washington, US

Once again, thanks to all for providing all the scenarios that can be behind the "What did you have in mind?" response to rates.

Clearly, there are many variables involved, and everyone has to decide how they will deal with them.  If I used everyone's input here when answering the "What did you have in mind?" response, it most likely wouldn't get read due to length, especially since many models are using cell phones to get their email and check MM PM accounts.

FWIW...my approach to initial PM content is different than other posters here.  I approach it as meeting someone for the first time...when you only get one chance to make an impression...and therefore I try to give an insight into who I am as a photographer & person in the first few words, along with a general idea of what I am interested in shooting and when. I do avoid lengthy details.   

I keep things short...presuming it will be read on a cell phone...because that is where the majority of responses come from.  I AVOID all questions...except the one about rates.  I save questions for later so as to not complicate things.

I do have a fairly high response rate using this approach.  IFor whatever reason, I failed to understand the "What did you have in mind?" as an invitation to continue the dialog...as opposed to a refusal to answer a legitimate question.

Again...thanks to all for your responses.

Oct 23 12 12:14 am Link

Photographer

David Stone Imaging

Posts: 1015

Seattle, Washington, US

V Laroche wrote:
Personally, I always ask if there is the slightest doubt in my mind. Why does getting clarification bother you? It's when models start making assumptions that photographers get pissed off and vice versa.

For instance, a lot of people shoot more "erotic" or "fetishy" stuff but don't put it online. Also, a surprising number of photographers think every nude model will shoot fetish work. Now, how bad could that turn out if I assumed they wanted to shoot art nudes and they assumed I was fine with bondage shots... until I actually showed up for the shoot? EVERYONE WOULD BE PISSED. Well, I can't speak for them, I guess, but I WOULD BE QUITE PISSED.

Where did you get the idea clarification bothered me?  Did I say it bothered me?  It doesn't.  At all.  All of the shoot details get discussed...so that by the time we meet for the shoot there aren't any surprises...at all.  However...I fail to see the need to discuss everything in detail before getting a GENERAL IDEA about rates.

Oct 23 12 12:21 am Link

Photographer

David Stone Imaging

Posts: 1015

Seattle, Washington, US

Rays Fine Art wrote:
I sometimes get that even when I include a list of genres and styles, and even with reference pictures.

I guess reading is just too much effort for some folks.

This.  I give a model enough information to get back with me...so it seems she could give a general idea about rates while at the same time asking additional questions.

Oct 23 12 12:25 am Link

Model

Laura UnBound

Posts: 27372

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

David Lumen Photography wrote:
Once again, thanks to all for providing all the scenarios that can be behind the "What did you have in mind?" response to rates.

Clearly, there are many variables involved, and everyone has to decide how they will deal with them.  If I used everyone's input here when answering the "What did you have in mind?" response, it most likely wouldn't get read due to length, especially since many models are using cell phones to get their email and check MM PM accounts.

FWIW...my approach to initial PM content is different than other posters here.  I approach it as meeting someone for the first time...when you only get one chance to make an impression...and therefore I try to give an insight into who I am as a photographer & person in the first few words, along with a general idea of what I am interested in shooting and when. I do avoid lengthy details.   

I keep things short...presuming it will be read on a cell phone...because that is where the majority of responses come from.  I AVOID all questions...except the one about rates.  I save questions for later so as to not complicate things.

I do have a fairly high response rate using this approach.  IFor whatever reason, I failed to understand the "What did you have in mind?" as an invitation to continue the dialog...as opposed to a refusal to answer a legitimate question.

Again...thanks to all for your responses.

"Im a nice laid back photographer who likes to shoot puppies, weddings, and art...what are your rates?" still doesnt tell me Who, what, when, where, and why, which I tend to have to have nailed down before I can decide what all that is worth to me.

If you live right down the street and only want to shoot art nudes for a few hours, that may be a totally different rate than if I have to travel 4 hours each way, for a full day shoot, where I have to provide hair and makeup and wardrobe, or if I have to pose naked in the snow, or other more elaborate circumstances. "what do you have in mind" isnt trying to dodge any questions youve asked, its trying to get all the needed info before she blocks herself into a rate. Would you rather give her info and hear a rate she can be happy with, or hear a rate, then give her more info, only to hear "actually...for that I would charge ___ instead"? Most people would feel tricked if it were the latter. You want a model who isnt going to walk away at the end of the shoot feeling totally ripped off, and you dont want to feel that way either, so you gotta play the negotiating game sometimes.

Oct 23 12 12:29 am Link

Photographer

David Stone Imaging

Posts: 1015

Seattle, Washington, US

Laura UnBound wrote:
"Im a nice laid back photographer who likes to shoot puppies, weddings, and art...what are your rates?" still doesnt tell me Who, what, when, where, and why, which I tend to have to have nailed down before I can decide what all that is worth to me.

If you live right down the street and only want to shoot art nudes for a few hours, that may be a totally different rate than if I have to travel 4 hours each way, for a full day shoot, where I have to provide hair and makeup and wardrobe, or if I have to pose naked in the snow, or other more elaborate circumstances. "what do you have in mind" isnt trying to dodge any questions youve asked, its trying to get all the needed info before she blocks herself into a rate. Would you rather give her info and hear a rate she can be happy with, or hear a rate, then give her more info, only to hear "actually...for that I would charge ___ instead"? Most people would feel tricked if it were the latter. You want a llama who isnt going to walk away at the end of the shoot feeling totally ripped off, and you dont want to feel that way either, so you gotta play the negotiating game sometimes.

Laura...it looks like you have been llamaing for 4 years now.  I find it hard to believe that you have yet to come up with an hourly, half-day, and all-day rate that you like to get for your services?  Travel is not llamaing, and is always a separate consideration and negotiation.

If you thought enough of someone to respond...what would be wrong with this...

"Generally speaking, my hourly rate for nude work is $xx with a 2-hour minimum, $yy for a half-day, and $zz for all-day...but rates ultimately depend upon the project.  If travel is involved, those expenses must be covered.  So...what kind of theme did you have in mind?"

I understand not wanting to get blocked into a rate, so "generally speaking" leaves room for change, as does the statement that rates ultimately depend upon the project.  If the photographer wants to add something not contemplated, then address it at the time it comes up. 

And yes...the whole process is one long negotiation...and having spent a number of years as a professional buyer...I can see now that the question of "What did you have in mind?" is somewhat out of sequence in a normal negotiation.

Oct 23 12 01:08 am Link

Photographer

David Stone Imaging

Posts: 1015

Seattle, Washington, US

AS WE SPEAK...  a couple of days ago I saw where a traveling model was coming to Seattle that I had an interest in working with.  I sent a PM and said that I would be interested in shooting some lingerie and implied, and likely some fine art nudes, and asked her rates. I didn't go into any more detail than that.  Here is her "cut and paste" response that I just received:

Hey, Just saw your comment. I'd love to shoot! My rates are $100 an hour. Can you shoot on the 30th? Where are you located?

Thanks,
(Her name)

There is no "What did you have in mind?" questions.  She gets right to the point.  Her port lets me know the kind of modeling she is comfortable with, e.g., she doesn't do open leg.  Before I agree to her rate...I am going to give her the specifics of what I have in mind so the shoot doesn't end up with any hard feelings, etc.  This is because...after her response...the ball is now in my court.

This kind of transaction is normal for me...and it follows the rules of common sense.  I fail to see why "What did you have in mind?" should be a response without stating rates and limitations.

Except...everyone is different.  smile

Oct 23 12 01:37 am Link

Photographer

Jeffrey M Fletcher

Posts: 4344

Asheville, North Carolina, US

It doesn't surprise me that a travelling model would have a rate package and shoot communication worked out in the way you describe. I don't want to limit myself to shooting with the pro's who operate in that way so I also answer the  "what do you have in mind" question. I'll also typically offer a package that includes information such as what I'm looking to shoot, session length and what I pay and then negotiate details based on those parameters that I set.

I've found it's especially useful to give some structure and information to new models or part-timers. I really think that's what they're asking for with the question.

Oct 23 12 07:27 am Link

Photographer

rp_photo

Posts: 42494

Houston, Texas, US

David Lumen Photography wrote:
I'm wondering if anyone else is getting this "What did you have in mind" response to a PM when asking a "known" nude model her rates and limitations?

I have always considered "What did you have in mind?" to have a slight negative connotation and a risk factor for the shoot ever taking place.

Oct 23 12 07:38 am Link

Photographer

B R U N E S C I

Posts: 25319

Bath, England, United Kingdom

David Lumen Photography wrote:
I'm wondering if anyone else is getting this "What did you have in mind" response to a PM when asking a "known" nude model her rates and limitations?

I really don't mind if a model asks me this. I just send a link to my inspirations Tumblr and say we will be shooting 'stuff like this'.

What does bug me though is when a model asks me to test with her but then starts fannying about with additional questions/demands like "Will there be a MUA" or "Can we shoot some beauty/bodypaint/avant garde hair/angel wings for my website/portfolio". That's usually when I stop replying to her messages.




Just my $0.02

Ciao
Stefano

www.stefanobrunesci.com

Oct 23 12 07:44 am Link

Model

a raw muse

Posts: 3196

Amundsen-Scott - permanent station of the US, Unclaimed Sector, Antarctica

David Lumen Photography wrote:
Except...everyone is different.

Yes, this is the important part.

There is no "correct" approach to making a shoot happen; it depends person to person, shoot to shoot.

If a photographer contacts me and seems more of a micro-manager and wants to plan every single detail out and give me loads of information, I work well with that. Not everyone will. So, in the initial message if someone seems an ill match to shoot with, a model may decline to work together or just stop responding (in order to not offend said photographer; I've personally had people blow up at me after a few messages back and forth and then saying I don't think we can work out a shoot, so I can understand why sometimes a no-response is utilized).

Also, if a photographer seems to be more of a take-it-as-it-comes type with only loose concepts, I can work within that, too. Again, some people may see this as a "red flag" for them and cease communication and not plan on taking the conversation any further.

Not everyone is compatible to shoot together, so I think in the initial messages it's best to be as clear as possible (not to say as verbose as possible), that way a model can get a better idea of who they would potentially be working with.

It's not just about appropriately pricing out how much a shoot is worth monetarily; I honestly would rather shoot for $100 with someone I think I would enjoy shooting with than make my full day rate shooting with someone who I would find irritating, and who would likely find me highly irritating. Life's too short.

And, I know this was directed at Laura not myself, I do have general half-day and full day rates for shoots that I have up on my portfolio site, and up on my current availability notice. They fit within what I am usually offered anyways. However, there are instances where I would ask for more or less, depending on a lot, hence the question "what did you have in mind?".

Oct 23 12 08:52 am Link

Photographer

Leo Howard

Posts: 6794

Phoenix, Arizona, US

Laura UnBound wrote:

This too.

Theres always someone who goes "well you didnt say the midget and goat were a no-no...so I assumed it was okay! YOURE A LYING DIVA BITCH!"


Tell her what you want to shoot, dont make her come up with every single little thing under the sun she wont shoot.

Heeeyyyy wait a minute, last time I talked to you, you said you were okay with the concept of shooting with 3 midgets, a goat, a trampoline and a bowling ball . . . . tongue

Oct 23 12 09:19 am Link

Model

NicoleNudes

Posts: 3860

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Augustine York wrote:

Just because you have XYZ in your portfolio doesn't make it safe to assume that's all you shoot or what you want to shoot with whatever model you are contacting. I always ask what someone has in mind for shooting before I give them a rate, because there are some variables I take into account when asking to be paid for my time. I don't have a one-size-fits-all rate.

+1

I usually do a one-size-fits-all rate but there are occasions where I might ask more/less depending on the shoot.

Also I need to know if it's something that pasts my limits.

Oct 23 12 09:36 am Link

Model

NicoleNudes

Posts: 3860

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

David Lumen Photography wrote:
AS WE SPEAK...  a couple of days ago I saw where a traveling model was coming to Seattle that I had an interest in working with.  I sent a PM and said that I would be interested in shooting some lingerie and implied, and likely some fine art nudes, and asked her rates. I didn't go into any more detail than that.  Here is her "cut and paste" response that I just received:

Hey, Just saw your comment. I'd love to shoot! My rates are $100 an hour. Can you shoot on the 30th? Where are you located?

Thanks,
(Her name)

There is no "What did you have in mind?" questions.  She gets right to the point.  Her port lets me know the kind of modeling she is comfortable with, e.g., she doesn't do open leg.  Before I agree to her rate...I am going to give her the specifics of what I have in mind so the shoot doesn't end up with any hard feelings, etc.  This is because...after her response...the ball is now in my court.

This kind of transaction is normal for me...and it follows the rules of common sense.  I fail to see why "What did you have in mind?" should be a response without stating rates and limitations.

Except...everyone is different.  smile

You also told her what you wanted to shoot. Lingerie, implied and art nudes.

When you send a message that just says, "Hey, do you want to shoot?" It's not unreasonable for the response to be, "What do you have in mind?"

I can tell you my rate right off the bat, but you might be looking to TF with me instead of paying me. If I assume right away that you want to pay me, that might offend some people. Well I'm sure it would absolutely offend some people.

Oct 23 12 09:51 am Link

Model

V Laroche

Posts: 2746

New Orleans, Louisiana, US

David Lumen Photography wrote:
Where did you get the idea clarification bothered me?  Did I say it bothered me?  It doesn't.  At all.  All of the shoot details get discussed...so that by the time we meet for the shoot there aren't any surprises...at all.  However...I fail to see the need to discuss everything in detail before getting a GENERAL IDEA about rates.

Well, you started a somewhat whiny thread about it. Some models charge different rates for different things. Maybe the model needs a portfolio update and might consider TF for something specific. Maybe she is trying to feel you out, looking for red flags, to see if she needs to charge you the "GWC creeper" rate. Lots of good reasons.

Any time a model appears to change her mind about something, a witch hunt gets started because she "baited and switched." We have to avoid that.

Oct 23 12 11:39 am Link