I want to organize a model shoot after the first of the new year. I have never organized one and I would appreciate to get some tips, input and advice from those that have organized and run successful model shoots.
I can get models from MM and I have a great location I can rent, it's inside a safe old building, there is an old bathroom and a couple of other rooms that have wonderful character, dust, dirt and fantastic natural, south light all day long.
I am limited on lighting, I have a few small, constant light instruments but not much to speak of.
I would like to make this a small group event for the first one, I would need to find a good instructor, someone who is proficient in natural light, urban style fashion, nude/non-nude shoots.
I was thinking that I could split this up between a Non-nude, artistic style group for one price and a nude workshop for a larger fee, I don't know if that is done...
If it runs 2 days, there is a small hotel in town and plenty of small restaurants and a Wal-Mart.
Thanks in advance -
Dec 06 12 10:06 am Link
Rockbridge, Ohio, US
I have run 7 group shoots on my farm in SE Ohio. The photographers paid $20 and the models free. We have had some pretty good turnouts, as many as 48.
They have been one day events and I built up a nice group of contacts. Now I am planning my first paid shoot and am bringing in one model from Florida and one from Chicago. According to everyone I have contacted Jan. is a bad time because it is too close to Christmas and with the bad economy, money is tight.
My event is posted here in events. Hocking Hills group shoot Jan. 11- 13 photographers only.
At this time it is not doing well. Unless it picks up I am going to lose a lot of money. The problem with inexpensive models is that you usually get what you pay for. I was hoping that local photographers would take advantage of shooting with quality models at a reduced rate, but so far I am wrong.
Don't advertise too far out. Usually about 6 weeks is good. Arrange for some kind of food and at least water for the people that attend. Keep your event on page one in events. Use a title that includes state and date but also catches attention. I don't shoot during the event because someone needs to be available to meet everyones needs. Make sure there is electricity for those who bring their own lights. Try to find a few photographers that will loan you lights and pocket wizards for the day. If you have a dark rainy day, natural light may not be an option. It can be hectic and there is a lot to plan for but they are rewarding. You get to meet a lot of interesting people and build your contact base.
Dec 10 12 08:52 am Link
Toledo, Ohio, US
Jim's group shoots are AWESOME! I've been to the last 2 & plan on continuing to come. Well worth the 4 hour drive each way.
I can't copy- paste the link from my phone, but do a search for past Hocking shoot threads to see how the they run. Keep in mind that Hocking has a lot of "regulars" that know each other & that will take you a while to develop.
Set your pricing to cover your expenses with a little cushion, but group shoots generally aren't intended to make money for the organizers.
Biggest problem that you will have is limiting the no-shows. If possible, try to have a few more models than photographers scheduled, as (satisticially) more models will flake.
Don't put people on the "attending" list unless they are committed to coming.
If you are doing a group shoot as opposed to a workshop, generally nude/non-nude are the same price and everything is TF. Group shoots may include more experienced folks sharing their knowledge on a casual basis. Workshops would include more formalized instruction and usually, paid models.
EDIT: Here is the link to the thread from the last Hocking shoot:
Dec 16 12 01:08 am Link
Lansing, Michigan, US
Model releases... Ya gotta handle model releases well, or you will have unhappy shooters. Unhappy shooters are NOT repeat customers. No model release, the images are USELESS!
Model release made out to you... useless to another shooter.
Dec 21 12 05:00 pm Link
Salem, Oregon, US
the group shoots that seem to work out best around here are done through meetup.com groups.
i did one and managed to sell four seats at $79 each but paid more than that to the model (which was fine, it was a good experience). but i learned that you can't make money unless you have an audience to sell into. i advertised on mayhem and CL but that wasn't enough. that's where meetup.com comes into play. organize one of those groups and you will have some followers who can attend your events.
Dec 21 12 11:04 pm Link
Portland, Oregon, US
The biggest thing you need to make sure of: have more models booked then you need, you will have no shows. Have back up models ready just in case. Sad but true fact. See if some agencies will offer talent, they are usually more reliable. Just my experience as a member of events and my own.
Dec 21 12 11:17 pm Link
Mira Loma, California, US
Welcome to the land of the hairless. I've been doing shoots for 20 years and every one is a possible "crapshoot". you never know what you're competing against. It could be "the Superbowl", it could be a great day at the beach or any number of things you can't plan for. I say just go for it and keep your fingers crossed. I am more than willing to help you any way that I can because you're not in my demographic (Southern California). I have been sponsoring HOMEGROWN HOTTIES for several years now and this last year was actually my best one for photographer attendance. I'll make a couple of bullet points to get you started:
1) - Arrange your model to photographer ratio to be at least 4 to 1. That's four shooters to 1 model. Space gets crowded if everyone is shooting the same girl.
2) - I pay my girls $100 for Nude & $50.00 for Implied. This gives them some incentive to get "nekkid" for more money.
3) - The shoot is broken into two time periods. The group shoot & the 1-on-1's.
4) - During the group shoot everyone can shoot any one they please. This is what the model pay covers and some models will sell releases for this period.
Once again, I recommend $15 - $30 for each release depending on content.
5) - in the 1-on-1's, the photographer hires the model of his choice for 30 minutes and he is the only shooter. The model sets her rate for that time period and this includes a release for that photographer. I suggest $30 - $40 for nude. slightly less for implied / bikini / lingerie. Set a 15 minute break between each 1-on-1 so the model can change outfits.
6) - Let the model keep all of her 1-on-1 money. Build up a trusting relationship with your models and this will help eliminate no shows.
7) - Some models will not want to stay for 1-on-1's. This should be voluntary.
8) - I provide a release form to anyone who asks. I had a bunch copied at Staples and just tear them off as I need them.
9) - Keep your price reasonable. I charge $80 to photographers. you're not going to buy a Jaguar any time soon but you will cover your bills and walk away with enough to consider doing another event.
10) - If there is anything I can do to help you out, just ask. Little details can save you money and make it a lot easier to deal with.
Check out my thread for Jan 5th - Homegrown Hotties - Riverside, CA for more information.
Dec 22 12 10:29 am Link
Goodyear, Arizona, US
Building on what Mike said:
1. Make sure everyone understands the schedule (if the shoot starts at 11:30, the models shouldn't be wandering out from the dressing room at 12:15).
2. If it is done on a TF type of basis, make sure that each of the models will actually get some pictures. Making sure they get a few shots will also help ensure goodwill. Don't count on the photographers to send the models shots, they often don't.
3. Don't plan on participating as a photographer (except for the few shots needed for the above item), you will need to oversee the event (keep models moving between the sets, ensure the photographers give the models time to change and get a break, watching out for people trashing the location, photographers making the models uncomfortable with their words or directions, etc).
4. Try to keep the action continuous (if you have 8 sets and 6 models, try to keep things moving so that no more than 2 models are on break/changing at a time, and that the models is not stuck on one set all day).
5. Pick a location big enough for to hold all the attendees.
6. Make sure everyone understands the rules (any location rules like no food out of the kitchen, start/stop time, no touching the models, models have to do group portion in order to sell 1 on 1s, etc).
7. The photographers will often turn into a mob around a model. At least one person will insist they need to shoot from 2 feet away from the model, thereby blocking everyone else's shots. Convincing the photographers to stand 6-8 feet from the model is futile, but doing so would make large group shoots much better.
8. Watch out for the models (above mob scene, photographers making the model squint into the sun at outdoor shoots, etc).
9. Try to provide a variety of locations, rather than use the same location over and over again.
Dec 22 12 10:48 pm Link
Salem, Oregon, US
especially for portfolio building i think some photographers prefer that it be some kind of amazing mansion suitable for a Playboy shoot, not just somebody's studio (unless it's a fancy one).
Dec 23 12 08:08 pm Link
Mira Loma, California, US
I don't believe in cheating the models in exchange for a hugh mansion. It's more important to keep your girls happy. You can fake a background, why pay $1000.oo for it and not get quality models.
Dec 23 12 10:49 pm Link
Thanks for all the great info and a Merry Christmas to all!!
Dec 24 12 02:40 pm Link
Salinas, California, US
You've gotten a lot of great advise here! All I can say is be patient and you build this one person at a time.
Dec 24 12 02:45 pm Link
San Francisco, California, US
I won't add anything since you are already getting a lot of advice. I'll just welcome you to the club of event promoters and wish you the best!
Dec 24 12 02:46 pm Link
Houston, Texas, US
The most common problem is plenty of eager photographers signing up and showing up without sufficient models doing the same.
Those are the fools who think 24mm on a crop sensor will yield a flattering, undistorted image. Good luck with that.
Dec 24 12 02:52 pm Link
Indianapolis, Indiana, US
Hey keep me updated I would be interested in participating.
Dec 24 12 03:06 pm Link
Columbus, Ohio, US
I did a lot of group shoots this year and it was a great way to portfolio build.
There were 2 types:
These were shoots where photographers took turns shooting the llama. I think a key to the success of these was making sure photographers were taking turns and not shooting at once or crowding each other out.
2) Natural Light
Again, two many people shooting at once can lead to frustration. If more than one photographer are shooting the same llama you can get a moderator to enforce turns or have photographers take turns directing the llama while others shoot in the background but do not distract the llama. As someone mentioned, a photographer with a 70-200 zoom can stand way back whereas someone with only a 50 will have to get closer and risk getting in front of everyone else so it pays to have some organization vs. a free for all.
For group shoots that recur Meetup.com is an excellent tool - I know several ongoing group shoots that use meetup and you can even have people reserve their spot and pay online via Paypal. Others do Paypal invoices.
As someone mentioned, posting a group llama release shortly after the meetup is important - otherwise the shots are useless and people get irritated.
It's better to pay the llamas as they will be more reliable and like someone said it's hard to guarantee they will get images from everyone.
Dec 24 12 03:29 pm Link
Cherry Hill, New Jersey, US
I used to run shoots for twenty years and best of luck.
It is really good if you have in demand models who will bring their own following of photoraphers.
The two big problems are having to few models for the number of photographers or too few photographers to cover the cost of the models that do show up . Both will cost you.
Really best if you can find free locations, like a great house where the owner thinks it is great to have a bunch of great looking naked girls running around.
Expect to lose money until you get a good reputation and strong following, even then a profit is not guaranteed. I looked at the entire year, not individual events to judge if it was profitable. In the end it was not.
Dec 24 12 03:52 pm Link
Sounds like good advice
Patrick Walberg wrote:
Dec 30 12 12:49 pm Link