Forums > General Industry > Biggest lessons learned?

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 27812

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

I learned that as an older man I did not have "the eye " to have become the truellly skilled and succesful photographer that as a younger man thought that i might have become if I had pursued photography as a career  -( so it is fortunate that I  did not)

Jan 11 13 12:07 am Link

Model

JoJo

Posts: 25650

Clearwater, Florida, US

StefaniG wrote:
Biggest lessons learned?

and most difficult to not fall prey of... "Don't believe your own press"

Jan 11 13 12:15 am Link

Photographer

NC Art Photos

Posts: 570

Raleigh, North Carolina, US

Emily Hayworth wrote:
Follow your gut, especially when it comes to shoots.  If something feels off, walk away.  Only had to do this twice in two years of almost constant shooting, but I'm still glad I did.

I walk away from work with clients who appear to be sketchy all the time.  I even walk away from sketchy companies that want to hire me full time to be their in-house shooter.  If a company just hired someone 6 months ago and in the process of hiring again and won't answer simple basic questions about the job (such as gear, #of shots per day, workflow, pecking order, etc.) then the company is one I don't want to work for.

Jan 11 13 12:25 am Link

Photographer

Chronos Creations

Posts: 353

Benidorm, Valencia, Spain

Lumatic wrote:
When someone asks you if you're a god, you say "Yes!"

Hehehe ghost busters!


When driving a model to the shoot location, don't forget the camera.

When driving a model to the shoot location, don't forget the model.

Jan 11 13 12:28 am Link

Photographer

Chronos Creations

Posts: 353

Benidorm, Valencia, Spain

Don-Jones wrote:
For a photographer, learn how to do makeup.  Reasons why:

1. Better communicate your needs to MUA.
2. MUA doesn't show, it's not a complete loss.
3. Its a great way to break the ice and build trust with a new model!

Because if they let me put a pencil with a sharp point extremely close to their eyeball, then you won't have any trouble with those oddball requests that make no sense.

Great advice and I'm going to take you up on this!

Jan 11 13 12:33 am Link

Makeup Artist

Makeup Hair by Dani B

Posts: 790

Los Angeles, California, US

-Everyone in this business is replaceable. Remembering this makes you humble and more pleasant to work with. At the same time, if you kick ass at your job, kick it. Humbly.

-There is no amount of talent that makes up for a lack of professionalism.

-Hold your breath while working on models who smoke.

-Humility, a sense of humor and mad problem solving skills/flexibility are everyone's best ally on set.

-It is your job to make everyone on set look good, not just in the makeup and hair department.

-Communication that is clear, direct yet kind is most effective.

-Work for money, pictures, tears, or whatever makes you happy...but do not work for free and do not work without a deal memo. Unless it's Kabuki calling for an assistant.

-Do not wear shoes you cannot stand in for at least 10 hours without crying.

-Do not accept a job you are not qualified for. Ever.

-Do not lie about your work or experience. Ever.

-If something in your kit doesn't come out every third job at the least, edit it out. You don't need it.

Jan 11 13 12:34 am Link

Photographer

DOUGLASFOTOS

Posts: 9272

Los Angeles, California, US

That on MM....Haters will always continue to Hate.

Jan 11 13 12:54 am Link

Model

MelissaAnn

Posts: 3958

Seattle, Washington, US

DOUGLASFOTOS wrote:
That on MM....Haters will always continue to Hate.

I hate you!  tongue

Jan 11 13 12:58 am Link

Photographer

FBY1K

Posts: 929

Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

One of the biggest is don't work with someone that offers terms you don't really agree with.

FBY1K

Jan 12 13 08:14 am Link

Makeup Artist

Ash Mathews

Posts: 251

Los Angeles, California, US

Only take on projects that you really want to do, don't be a flake, always be on time, and be careful about what you say and who you say it to.

Jan 12 13 10:25 am Link

Model

Sky Donohue

Posts: 265

Salt Lake City, Utah, US

Always bring a water bottle and don't forget to eat.

Jan 12 13 01:27 pm Link

Wardrobe Stylist

Pretty Deadly Stylz

Posts: 559

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Be okay to make changes. There is always something on set, that in theory and in planning worked great, but on set, just ain't doing it. Be ready and able to be flexible.

Jan 12 13 01:53 pm Link

Photographer

Faces2Die4 Photography

Posts: 426

Houston, Texas, US

That "TR" in a model's name does NOT stand for "Tomb Raider."

Jan 13 13 07:59 am Link

Artist/Painter

Two Pears Studio

Posts: 3466

Wilmington, Delaware, US

If she looks a little like a man in her shots... make sure she isn't a man before she shows up.

If you notice that the photographer has scheduled 10 models and only has one makeup artist and no hair person... go to lunch and come back in two hours when it all blows over.

Drunk does not make things more beautiful... the next day.

People are good.

Be quick to say yes... until they give you reason to say no. Then say no once and be prepared to get the fuck out.

Jan 13 13 08:21 am Link

Model

VictoriaRose

Posts: 2

Kruibeke, East Flanders, Belgium

No matter how much they offer to pay you or how awesome their work is, do not shoot with someone you don't feel comfortable with.

Jan 13 13 08:32 am Link

Photographer

Raff

Posts: 2

London, England, United Kingdom

Lesson learnt!...

Cancel the shoot immediately when:-

1) The model asks for a 'car' to pick her up (when she isn't Dean Johnson or Naiomi Campbell).
2) If a model asks....for your details (when you've already given them TWICE!)
3) If a model.......Calls you on the morning of the shoot to ask what time/where is the shoot.

CLASSIC FLAKE BEHAVIOUR........AVOID! ........AVOID!

Nikita Marriott Model Mayhem # 2725110. Don't book her! You will be wasting your time/money. Disrespectful. Cowardly. Illiterate. Useless. Sinister....Photographers, please learn from my mistake. PLEASE!

Jan 17 13 11:31 am Link

Model

Caitin Bre

Posts: 2248

Naperville, Illinois, US

Anthony-Ray wrote:
- Keep them away from bright lights.

- Never give them food after midnight.

- Never get water on them.


Oh, wait.. I think I'm confused..

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m965kqOfAM1r6j25uo1_500.gif

LOL I have a gizmo stuck to the window of my truck!

Jan 17 13 12:27 pm Link

Photographer

ddtphoto

Posts: 2506

Chicago, Illinois, US

Get a good accountant.

Jan 17 13 12:31 pm Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12916

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Cut the green wire first.

Jan 17 13 12:39 pm Link

Photographer

Harmon Photography

Posts: 261

Maryville, Tennessee, US

Raff wrote:
..... Don't book her! You will be wasting your time/money. Disrespectful. Cowardly. Illiterate. Useless. Sinister....Photographers, please learn from my mistake. PLEASE!

Outing is not allowed in the forums. Please remove the identifying information from your post!

Jan 17 13 12:41 pm Link

Artist/Painter

MainePaintah

Posts: 1827

Saco, Maine, US

NEVER, EVER......

take on a job for free, be it photographing/painting, or exhibiting your work, for "the wonderful exposure and future work you will get out of doing this for me for free"!

Jan 17 13 12:52 pm Link

Photographer

Angelfactory

Posts: 1559

Foley, Minnesota, US

If your shoot location is littered with elderly people move to a back up location, the cops are probably already on the way.

Jan 18 13 06:23 pm Link

Model

Leena Elizabeth

Posts: 65

Mira Loma, California, US

Always check references. Don't just look to see who a person has worked with.. I recently worked with someone and ended up leaving a shoot with no pay because things got uncomfortable. I had driven an hour to get there. And that person had worked with models I know, so I just assumed it was cool. Don't assume anything about anyone, model or photographer!

Jan 19 13 10:31 am Link

Photographer

Abbitt Photography

Posts: 11938

Oakland Acres, Iowa, US

Lessons I've learned since becoming an MM member:

1.  Never invest anything in a shoot with an internet model I'm not willing to loose/walk away from.

2.  Stock has low returns, but still pays more than art nudes.  Art nudes are much more fun than stock.  Stills offer a better return than models, but models are more fun than stills.

3.  The rates stated in model rate threads bear almost no resemblance to what models actually accept.

4.  Models here seem to be either extremely dedicated, reliable and dedicated or the exact opposite.  There's little in between.

5.  Get the released signed whenever possible before the shoot starts.

6.  Pass on the models that have many demands (Escorts, want references, want RAW images, etc.) - Easier and more reliable to move onto a compatible model than try to compromise.

Jan 19 13 10:41 am Link

Model

Leena Elizabeth

Posts: 65

Mira Loma, California, US

Abbitt Photography wrote:
Lessons I've learned since becoming an MM member:

1.  Never invest anything in a shoot with an internet model I'm not willing to loose/walk away from.

2.  Stock has low returns, but still pays more than art nudes.  Art nudes are much more fun than stock.  Stills offer a better return than models, but models are more fun than stills.

3.  The rates stated in model rate threads bear almost no resemblance to what models actually accept.

4.  Models here seem to be either extremely dedicated, reliable and dedicated or the exact opposite.  There's little in between.

5.  Get the released signed whenever possible before the shoot starts.

6.  Pass on the models that have many demands (Escorts, want references, want RAW images, etc.) - Easier and more reliable to move onto a compatible model than try to compromise.

Lol aww we can't ask for references?! I've heard many complaints directly from photographers about some really really ridiculously good looking and popular models being total flakes, so I'd think to cover yourselves you'd check our references too. Just sayin'. wink

Jan 19 13 11:23 am Link

Photographer

Halcyon 7174 NYC

Posts: 20109

New York, New York, US

Always take a 50% deposit.

Jan 19 13 02:25 pm Link

Photographer

Art of the nude

Posts: 11936

Olivet, Michigan, US

Abbitt Photography wrote:
Lessons I've learned since becoming an MM member:

1.  Never invest anything in a shoot with an internet model I'm not willing to loose/walk away from.

2.  Stock has low returns, but still pays more than art nudes.  Art nudes are much more fun than stock.  Stills offer a better return than models, but models are more fun than stills.

3.  The rates stated in model rate threads bear almost no resemblance to what models actually accept.

4.  Models here seem to be either extremely dedicated, reliable and dedicated or the exact opposite.  There's little in between.

5.  Get the released signed whenever possible before the shoot starts.

6.  Pass on the models that have many demands (Escorts, want references, want RAW images, etc.) - Easier and more reliable to move onto a compatible model than try to compromise.

Leenah  wrote:
Lol aww we can't ask for references?! I've heard many complaints directly from photographers about some really really ridiculously good looking and popular models being total flakes, so I'd think to cover yourselves you'd check our references too. Just sayin'. wink

Escorts are widely scorned, references not so much.  Mostly, that's his thing.

Jan 19 13 03:16 pm Link

Artist/Painter

MainePaintah

Posts: 1827

Saco, Maine, US

Biggest lessons learned?

Cameras don't bounce!

Jan 19 13 03:22 pm Link

Photographer

name removed3

Posts: 264

Boston, Massachusetts, US

don't work with hookers

Jan 19 13 04:03 pm Link

Photographer

Vincent Arthur

Posts: 899

Red Bank, New Jersey, US

never ask anyone to take their clothes off unless you're willing to see them naked

Jan 19 13 04:34 pm Link

Photographer

Ken Marcus Studios

Posts: 8633

Los Angeles, California, US

Garry k wrote:
I learned that as an older man I did not have "the eye " to have become the truellly skilled and succesful photographer that as a younger man thought that i might have become if I had pursued photography as a career  -( so it is fortunate that I  did not)

That may or may not be true . . . . .

However think of all the fun you would have had as a young man with a camera during those times when life was easier and more fun . . . !

KM

Jan 21 13 08:08 pm Link

Photographer

Ken Marcus Studios

Posts: 8633

Los Angeles, California, US

Vincent Arthur wrote:
never ask anyone to take their clothes off unless you're willing to see them naked

"WORD!"

Jan 21 13 08:10 pm Link

Photographer

MichaelClements

Posts: 1739

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Never leave the camera on a high table with PC cord attached...

Jan 21 13 08:13 pm Link

Photographer

LA StarShooter

Posts: 1976

Los Angeles, California, US

SYCF wrote:
Using one light setup the whole shoot, and realizing later the nose shadow made it pretty much unusable.

I was sad to read that. That's a lot of work undone!

Jan 21 13 08:17 pm Link

Photographer

4point0

Posts: 687

Los Angeles, California, US

Never hang off a bridge to document floodwaters without support. I'd recommend strapping ropes around the body instead. Lesson learned.

Jan 21 13 09:10 pm Link

Photographer

4point0

Posts: 687

Los Angeles, California, US

Ken Marcus Studios wrote:

"WORD!"

+1 for sure
Seriously you don't want to see most people nekkid.

Jan 21 13 09:12 pm Link

Photographer

Luminosity-Hold

Posts: 1

Milan, Michigan, US

Don't forget your sandbags on a windy day, It can be a costly mistake.

Jan 21 13 09:15 pm Link

Photographer

4point0

Posts: 687

Los Angeles, California, US

Michael Charter wrote:
Don't forget your sandbags on a windy day, It can be a costly mistake.

Oh huge. I lost a 550ex back in the day.

Jan 21 13 09:21 pm Link

Photographer

Ed Woodson Photography

Posts: 2644

Savannah, Georgia, US

The most important lesson I've learned since I started pretending to be a Photographer....

"To end up with a small fortune in Photography, one must begin with a large fortune."

Jan 21 13 09:51 pm Link

Photographer

Lovely Day Media

Posts: 5127

Vineland, New Jersey, US

What I've learned:

  If a model is more than 10 minutes late with no communication, they're probably not going to show.  Go home.

  If a model shows no or too much enthusiasm, they're probably not going to show (ie I *LOVE* your work and can't wait to shoot with you, for me, = flake).

  Don't start threads that deal with llama herders.

  Don't start Canon vs Nikon threads.

  If you are going to shoot, be prepared for all the negativity everyone will have to say about why the shot is a "snapshot" and/or otherwise terrible.

  When an llama herder starts recommending poses and angles, end the shoot immediately, if not, sooner.

  If you are shooting a model who is married, don't let them pose with another model.

  Always, ALWAYS confirm a shoot before leaving to go there.  This is true even if the shoot gets set up just 12 hours before the shoot is supposed to happen.

  The list could go on and on ... but I think the biggest lesson I learned is really simple:  ignore everyone who has "great advice" because it's usually not that great.  If it is great, I'll be the judge of it.

Jan 21 13 09:54 pm Link