Forums > General Industry > Model shows up for shoot looking very different

Photographer

Greg Hitchcock

Posts: 282

Chicago, Illinois, US

Recently was contact via the internet, a "model" had seen my profile and wanted to know if I would be interested in a tft shoot. I hadn't done anything except weddings in a long time and thought why not. Model sent over a few images of past work and we scheduled a shoot. The woman shows up and I realize that those past pics were not only taken from just the right angle, but must of been more than slightly photoshopped. Her body was totally different, heck I almost did not recognize her. This every happen to anyone else? Would it of been bad form to just leave?

Dec 04 12 06:20 pm Link

Photographer

joeyk

Posts: 14845

Seminole, Florida, US

I've shot models from the internet for about 10 yers now ( there were sites before mm ) and it has happened to me a couple of times, where I just flat out didn't recognize them...

Edit: I missed part of the point with my post. I shot them, and did my best, tho a couple of times it was a waste of time...

Dec 04 12 06:23 pm Link

Photographer

Looknsee Photography

Posts: 22427

Portland, Oregon, US

Bad form?  Yes, indeed.  You made a commitment -- fulfill your commitment, and be gracious while you are doing it.  Don't be so easily defeated.

You imply that a photographer used his/her skill to improve the model's appearance with perspective selection & photo-editing.  Consider that a challenge -- do your stuff; be better than the previous photographer.

Dec 04 12 06:24 pm Link

Photographer

IrisSwope

Posts: 14857

Dallas, Texas, US

Looknsee Photography wrote:
Bad form?  Yes, indeed.  You made a commitment -- fulfill your commitment, and don't be so easily defeated.

You imply that a photographer used his/her skill to improve the model's appearance with perspective selection & photo-editing.  Consider that a challenge -- do your stuff; be better than the previous photographer.

I don't know. If you made a commitment to shoot someone for free, and a visually different person shows up, I'd say it's ok to to say, You're not the person in those images, and turn them away.

Dec 04 12 06:27 pm Link

Photographer

Top Gun Digital

Posts: 1293

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Greg Hitchcock wrote:
Recently was contact via the internet, a "model" had seen my profile and wanted to know if I would be interested in a tft shoot. I hadn't done anything except weddings in a long time and thought why not. Model sent over a few images of past work and we scheduled a shoot. The woman shows up and I realize that those past pics were not only taken from just the right angle, but must of been more than slightly photoshopped. Her body was totally different, heck I almost did not recognize her. This every happen to anyone else? Would it of been bad form to just leave?

It's strictly a judgement call on your part if you feel that the model misrepresented herself.  As far as her images being Photoshopped, just about every image you see has been manipulated to some extent.  The question is what extent is acceptable. 

I had a model show up for a lingerie shoot and she was at least 25 pounds heavier than in her portfolio with a big roll of flab around her midsection.  She seemed like the nicest person so I tried to pose her behind different objects that would cover her midsection.  It was a trade shoot so I tried to be nice and not tell her how bad she looked.  If I had agreed to pay her for the shoot I would have had no choice but to send her home.

Dec 04 12 06:28 pm Link

Photographer

Abbitt Photography

Posts: 11926

Oakland Acres, Iowa, US

I agree with Looknsee - you made a commitment.  You should honor it.

If you had asked for recent polaroids, and received out of date, photoshopped photos, it would be different.

Dec 04 12 06:31 pm Link

Photographer

Looknsee Photography

Posts: 22427

Portland, Oregon, US

Looknsee Photography wrote:
Bad form?  Yes, indeed.  You made a commitment -- fulfill your commitment, and don't be so easily defeated.

You imply that a photographer used his/her skill to improve the llama's appearance with perspective selection

Dec 04 12 06:41 pm Link

Photographer

IrisSwope

Posts: 14857

Dallas, Texas, US

Looknsee Photography wrote:

Looknsee Photography wrote:
Bad form?  Yes, indeed.  You made a commitment -- fulfill your commitment, and don't be so easily defeated.

You imply that a photographer used his/her skill to improve the model's appearance with perspective selection & photo-editing.  Consider that a challenge -- do your stuff; be better than the previous photographer.

Well, we'll have to agree to disagree.

Some additional thoughts:

...  Two wrongs don't make a right.
...  Now the OP knows some additional questions to ask before agreeing to work
     with someone.
...  If you are doing a trade, you take what you get.  If you have specific
     requirements, perhaps you should hire an appropriate model.
...  She showed up.  According to what I see on these forums, the OP is ahead
     of the game (i.e. she didn't flake).
...  To a certain extent, it's the photographer's job to make a model look good,
     regardless of how much work that is.
...  We do trades in large part to hone our skills.  Big deal if the photographer is
     facing a slightly larger challenge.
...  If it (photographing this model) was easy, what value would it be to the
     photographer in making pictures of her.
...  If the OP has aspirations of becoming a professional photographer, he's
     going to be challenged to photograph people of less than optimal looks.
...  What would a true professional do?
...  I assume that every model you meet will later talk to every model in the world;
     what would you want this model to tell her model friends?
...  We know that a good photographer can make her look good; consider that a
     challenge.
...  What kind of attitude is conducive for success as a photographer?

Yeah, I'm pretty clear that the OP should be gracious and do his best.

I totally see what you're saying, and I don't disagree. But I know I've nearly shut the door in some people's faces.

The only one I'd slightly disagree with is shooting to "hone your skills" if the purpose of the shoot was actually to have a certain look in your book, and the person who shows up, doesn't or never had that look. Then there might not be a reason for that shoot at all. But overall, I do agree with your points.

Dec 04 12 06:49 pm Link

Photographer

robert b mitchell

Posts: 1717

Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

It has happened to me a couple of times. I went through with the shoots cause I was committed. Some models have REALLY bad complexions when they show up for a shoot and that bothers me even more cause even editing can only do soooo much. i think many of us get fooled as photogs, but some do not want to admit it.

Dec 04 12 06:55 pm Link

Model

Jay Dezelic

Posts: 4877

Seattle, Washington, US

LOL.  This reminds me when I hired a model through a small agency before the days of MM.  I had clothing samples made to fit her claimed measurements.  All measurements confirmed multiple times.

When she showed up, I didn't even recognize her. She had probably gained 30 to 40 pounds since here comp card was shot.  She was at least three or four sizes too big for the samples.

Needless to say I was a total waste of time.

People can be delusional about their appearance sometimes.

Dec 04 12 06:55 pm Link

Photographer

Images by MR

Posts: 8261

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

IrisSwope wrote:

I don't know. If you made a commitment to shoot someone for free, and a visually different person shows up, I'd say it's ok to to say, You're not the person in those images, and turn them away.

This..

Dec 04 12 06:56 pm Link

Photographer

-Ira

Posts: 2191

New York, New York, US

Jay Dezelic wrote:
Needless to say I was a total waste of time.

Sometimes typos are funny.

Dec 04 12 07:00 pm Link

Photographer

S W I N S K E Y

Posts: 24320

Saint Petersburg, Florida, US

"you're _______________________??????"
"oh, i didn't tell you i cut my long blonde hair and dyed it dark red/"
"umm no, you didnt"...

I was there with all my equipment, so i shot her....
i got some cool images..

but then i'm not of these high powered internet photographers that would just get back in his car and go home...

http://i.imgur.com/m8TQi.png

Dec 04 12 07:07 pm Link

Photographer

IrisSwope

Posts: 14857

Dallas, Texas, US

S W I N S K E Y wrote:
"you're _______________________??????"
"oh, i didn't tell you i cut my long blonde hair and dyed it dark red/"
"umm no, you didnt"...

I was there with all my equipment, so i shot her....
i got some cool images..

but then i'm not of these high powered internet photographers that would just get back in his car and go home...

It's easy to close the door when you're at home smile

Dec 04 12 07:12 pm Link

Photographer

R A V E N D R I V E

Posts: 15867

New York, New York, US

watch out for da big girl

watch out for da big girl

watch out for da big girl

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHQee6EqHIo

Dec 04 12 07:22 pm Link

Photographer

GER Photography

Posts: 8295

Imperial, California, US

Hehe, I've had it happen, bet you can guess the one in my port!!:-)))

Dec 04 12 07:32 pm Link

Photographer

Rik Austin

Posts: 11966

Austin, Texas, US

A couple of hours of wasted time versus crushing some young girls heart.  Hmmm, I'd have to think about that.

Dec 04 12 07:36 pm Link

guide forum

Photographer

Rays Fine Art

Posts: 6579

New York, New York, US

Just to check out my theory of how reliable pictures are, I just compared six pictures of myself in my casting networks portfolio, all shot within the past 6 months, with my appearance in the mirror right now.  Three of the pictures, if I didn't know better, I would say were of someone else--nothing more than changes of light, posture, angle and clothing.

I'm rarely able to recognize models when I meet them to plan shoots.  That's why I use preshoot meetings wherever possible.

Dec 04 12 07:42 pm Link

Model

Wynd Mulysa

Posts: 8619

Berkeley, California, US

Greg Hitchcock wrote:
Recently was contact via the internet, a "model" had seen my profile and wanted to know if I would be interested in a tft shoot. I hadn't done anything except weddings in a long time and thought why not. Model sent over a few images of past work and we scheduled a shoot. The woman shows up and I realize that those past pics were not only taken from just the right angle, but must of been more than slightly photoshopped. Her body was totally different, heck I almost did not recognize her. This every happen to anyone else? Would it of been bad form to just leave?

yes, it would be poor form for a "photographer" such as yourself to just leave.

it's a bummer that this happened to you.  but perhaps other photographers she's worked with have not given her unedited photos.  if you want unedited photos, it's good to specify that.  i have very rarely been asked for unedited photos [but my portfolio here is pretty broad--actually, it includes unedited photos--and i think one could gather what i look like through it] from a certain angle or of a certain type of pose, and it's kind of been a pain in the ass.  like i have to take them myself, and they're not very high quality.  so i'm guess these images are what she had.  if you shot with her, maybe you can provide her with better images to use while soliciting photo shoots.

Dec 04 12 07:47 pm Link

Photographer

Cherrystone

Posts: 37142

Columbus, Ohio, US

I've sent two packing......I took mercy on a few more and shot anyhow.
There was one I should've left standing at the airport terminal....but I didn't.

Only one instance has been recent....I learned early on. I make pretty sure I know what someone actually looks like before they knock on my door.

Dec 04 12 07:48 pm Link

Photographer

Cherrystone

Posts: 37142

Columbus, Ohio, US

S W I N S K E Y wrote:
"you're _______________________??????"
"oh, i didn't tell you i cut my long blonde hair and dyed it dark red/"
"umm no, you didnt"...

I was there with all my equipment, so i shot her....
i got some cool images..

but then i'm not of these high powered internet photographers that would just get back in his car and go home...

That's wonderful Doug. I'm going to nominate you for the Humanitarian of the Year Award. smile

Somehow I think the OP was talking about more than hair length/color.

Dec 04 12 07:50 pm Link

Model

Kelleth

Posts: 2531

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

If somebody completely misrepresents themself (ie changes hair colour/cut, drastic weight change, etc) you have every right to send them home.

Most models look pretty different in person. That's normal. But if you're talking total misrepresentation then send her packing.

Dec 04 12 07:57 pm Link

Photographer

Greg Hitchcock

Posts: 282

Chicago, Illinois, US

Looknsee Photography wrote:
Bad form?  Yes, indeed.  You made a commitment -- fulfill your commitment, and be gracious while you are doing it.  Don't be so easily defeated.

You imply that a photographer used his/her skill to improve the model's appearance with perspective selection & photo-editing.  Consider that a challenge -- do your stuff; be better than the previous photographer.

That's a very valid point, and I did do my best. I did n;t say anything or let it slip my content. Shot for an hour and a half and she liked the images,

It's just sometimes when I do a shoot, even TFT, there are a great deal of investments I make, to rent a specific location or piece of equipment, and then a person shows up who simply isn't capable of performing the role we planned.

I am chalking this up to a lesson learned.

Dec 04 12 07:58 pm Link

Photographer

Greg Hitchcock

Posts: 282

Chicago, Illinois, US

Rik Austin wrote:
A couple of hours of wasted time versus crushing some young girls heart.  Hmmm, I'd have to think about that.

Defiantly don't want to do that.

Dec 04 12 08:00 pm Link

Photographer

ontherocks

Posts: 22979

Salem, Oregon, US

models can look very different after MUA'ing and photoshopping. maybe ask for a candid if you want to see how they look before all that stuff.

Dec 04 12 08:00 pm Link

Photographer

rp_photo

Posts: 42507

Houston, Texas, US

Greg Hitchcock wrote:
The woman shows up and I realize that those past pics were not only taken from just the right angle, but must of been more than slightly photoshopped. Her body was totally different

They were probably 3 to 5 years old as well.

Dec 04 12 08:01 pm Link

Photographer

DG at studio47

Posts: 2365

East Ridge, Tennessee, US

communication, questions.

Dec 04 12 08:05 pm Link

Model

Wynd Mulysa

Posts: 8619

Berkeley, California, US

Greg Hitchcock wrote:

Defiantly don't want to do that.

i wouldn't say that's very defiant.

Dec 04 12 08:07 pm Link

Photographer

Alicia Hansen Photo

Posts: 1964

Durango, Colorado, US

I think it depends on the situation.

If a model shows up 40 lbs. heavier and 4" shorter than advertised and I'm specifically looking to shoot fashion that day, I'll have no problem sending her home. I'll feel like a dick for a minute, sure, but she shouldn't have lied to begin with.

But, I can also understand there are some models who look very different than their pictures in person, yet photograph flawlessly. (And vise versa; There are some ladies who are gorgeous in person and you think 'model' when you see them, but the camera hates them and they end up taking terrible pictures for whatever reason.)

Dec 04 12 08:07 pm Link

Photographer

Alicia Hansen Photo

Posts: 1964

Durango, Colorado, US

Kelleth wrote:
If somebody completely misrepresents themself (ie changes hair colour/cut, drastic weight change, etc) you have every right to send them home.

Most models look pretty different in person. That's normal. But if you're talking total misrepresentation then send her packing.

^ This this this.

Dec 04 12 08:09 pm Link

Photographer

Ken Williams Photo

Posts: 3067

Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, US

Lol, I have to believe it's happened to all of us at one time or another.  I had a model show up to a bikini shoot with an open hernia and pink hair (her hair was blonde in the images she'd sent, and no mention was made of the hernia).  I did the shoot, but the images were useless to me.

Dec 04 12 08:13 pm Link

Photographer

HEF Photography

Posts: 1817

Jacksonville, Florida, US

Always before a shoot with a model have a meet and greet to discuss the shoot...

Dec 04 12 08:13 pm Link

Photographer

Greg Hitchcock

Posts: 282

Chicago, Illinois, US

Wynd Mulysa wrote:

i wouldn't say that's very defiant.

Never said I was a good speller.

Dec 04 12 08:13 pm Link

Model

Paige Morgan

Posts: 4058

New York, New York, US

I'd politely send her home. Her current look is not what you agreed to shoot.

Dec 04 12 10:31 pm Link

Photographer

Darkroom Art

Posts: 657

JOBSTOWN, New Jersey, US

HEF Images wrote:
Always before a shoot with a model have a meet and greet to discuss the shoot...

This method has worked for me too.  Removes any questions by model and/or photographer about the looks & what the models can expect from the shoot.
Just good business

Dec 04 12 10:47 pm Link

Photographer

devpics

Posts: 836

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Well i think it happens to most of us one time or another, I opted for the polite option, had a short shoot and bashed my head against the wall when i got home

Dec 04 12 10:58 pm Link

Photographer

Cinema Photography

Posts: 4449

Mission Viejo, California, US

While I agree it's bad form and very cheesy to get hoodwinked like that, for me, if the reincarnated Elephant Man showed up with two heads and caution tape, I'd still give it a go for the absolute challenge

Dec 04 12 11:02 pm Link

Photographer

Gregory D Peck

Posts: 50

MOYOCK, North Carolina, US

I don't misrepresent what I will supply in the trade.  They shouldn't either.

Unfortunately I have to reserve the right to decline to shoot them if they have misrepresented what they will supply for their part of the deal.

Dec 04 12 11:17 pm Link

Photographer

James Scolari

Posts: 81

Los Angeles, California, US

I've had it happen, with a paid gig, when I was a lot less experienced. Chalked it up to learning; it won't happen again. Faced with the same situation (that is, the model shows up looking much worse for wear than her portfolio advertises), I would scratch the shoot. Politely, not unkindly, but unequivocally.

If I book a model, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect her/him to not be too far from expectation - after all, that's the whole point of a portfolio, yes? Times and people change, and that's no sin -- but if a model has changed significantly from her portfolio, simple professionalism dictates a "heads up" at the time of booking, IMHO.

Dec 04 12 11:21 pm Link

Photographer

D S P

Posts: 510

Portland, Oregon, US

Can you make the images you planned with the current look? If not, send them home. The white knights that train these models to get away with this stuff is one of the reasons they do it. In 2012  I sent 2 models home for showing up for a fitness shoots with muffin tops. They said I could just photoshop their midsections. Wrong.

Dec 04 12 11:23 pm Link