Forums > Photography Talk > What do you think I should do?

Photographer

Chuck Purnell

Posts: 322

Wilmington, Delaware, US

A MM model reached out to me expressing interest in wanting to shoot. I viewed her profile and noticed she was local to my area, however when we chatted she said she is now living in another state about 3.5 hour drive away or so and wants me to come to her to do the shoot since she doesn't have transportation.

This was going to be a TF shoot if it was done locally but since I now would have to travel to her state and town, I was thinking I should charge her for the shoot even if its to cover my gas of coming out there.

What do you think? Also this an aspiring model who has never done a shoot before so there is definitely some hesitation on my behalf making me wonder if this is even worth it.

Your thoughts?

Jan 16 13 10:02 am Link

Photographer

John Horwitz

Posts: 2920

Raleigh, North Carolina, US

NEXT-

Jan 16 13 10:05 am Link

Model

Lana Belle

Posts: 50

Washington, District of Columbia, US

Don't do it

Jan 16 13 10:06 am Link

Photographer

Justin Bonaparte

Posts: 260

Charlotte, North Carolina, US

^This.

Jan 16 13 10:06 am Link

Photographer

M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12117

Tampa, Florida, US

I treat is as a job and provide a written estimate for my services.

Would you even consider driving 3.5 hours (7 hours RT) plus travel and perhaps lodging expenses, on your own dime, for a model who's never even shot before? Some hesitation? It should be far more than just some.

That makes a model flaking sound like hitting the lottery.

A good way to look at is, what would you need to be compensated to feel it was worth it, assuming that the images turn out like crap? Always assume the worst.

If you do this on a TF* basis and the images turn out terrible or the shoot doesn't work out, you will have wasted 7 hours of travel time, plus shoot time, plus expenses getting there. Are you ok with that? Or will you be starting a thread saying, "WTF was I thinking?"

Jan 16 13 10:13 am Link

Photographer

Looknsee Photography

Posts: 22835

Portland, Oregon, US

John Horwitz wrote:
NEXT-

Lana Belle wrote:
Don't do it

Justin Bonaparte wrote:
^This.

So, sight unseen, you'd reject this model?

Are you familiar with the OP's area, specifically the availability of good models?

The questions are:  how much does the OP want to work with this model?  Is it worth the drive?  Does the OP have better options closer to home?  Are there good locations available at the end of the drive?  What can be expected from such a session.

Look -- it's exceedingly obvious to me:  anyone can ask for whatever compensation & conditions he/she wants, and everyone else can accept, decline, or make a counteroffer.  Declining this offer is a reasonable option; working something else out is also reasonable.  We can't make this decision for the OP, and I doubt that any specific recommendation, one way or another, is valid (or even appropriate) here.

Jan 16 13 10:16 am Link

Photographer

Good Egg Productions

Posts: 16248

Orlando, Florida, US

How much do you want to do the shoot?

How can we give you an objective answer?  Best we could do is answer for ourselves.



So.  If I saw something interesting about this particular model.  If I had the time.  If I wanted to try something new.  If if if.

Sure, I'd travel 4 hours to shoot trade.  I've done it before.  I'll probably do it again.  Gas money would be nice.

Be seriously, you're the ONLY person who can determine if this is worth your time.


And who are these models reaching out of the blue and asking for shoots???!  I feel like I have a pretty good portfolio and in the 6 years I've been here, maybe TWO models contacted me out of nowhere.  Must be doing something wrong....

Jan 16 13 10:18 am Link

Photographer

Austin D

Posts: 16

Cary, North Carolina, US

If she's the one who approached you about a TF she needs come to your locale.

I can't imagine a situation in which I'd be willing to burn 7 hours driving + shooting and editing time for a no-pay job unless I had other business in the area.

If it's a choice between 8 hours drinking beer in the hammock versus the bump in your portfolio then that's really up to you.

Jan 16 13 11:01 am Link

Photographer

Michael Broughton

Posts: 2260

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

she doesn't have transportation? did no one ever tell her what buses are for?

Jan 16 13 11:21 am Link

Photographer

Silver Mirage

Posts: 1581

Plainview, Texas, US

Is it worth it to you? Do you expect the session to justify your travel time and expense? It's a simple business decision.

Jan 16 13 11:42 am Link

Photographer

DennisRoliffPhotography

Posts: 1928

Akron, Ohio, US

Looknsee Photography wrote:
So, sight unseen, you'd reject this model?

Yes

Jan 16 13 12:59 pm Link

Photographer

ontherocks

Posts: 23083

Salem, Oregon, US

i've had models (and their mom) travel that far to shoot with me on trade. but i would be hesitant to travel to them unless they were already tested and known to be reliable (and even then might not do that).

have her pay you a refundable fee that you will give back after the shoot happens.

Jan 16 13 01:09 pm Link

Photographer

Classic_Reflections

Posts: 442

Grand Rapids, Michigan, US

It depends on how bad you want to shoot with her and your lifestyle. If you can make a trip and really want to, give it a shot. Be sure to contact others in that area so if she flakes you have a couple more lined up and the trip isn't a total loss. Personally I wouldn't. We have a decent amount of damn good models locally so 7 hours round just wouldn't be worth it to me. Lots of good ones travel through here too.

Jan 16 13 01:23 pm Link

Photographer

ForeverFotos

Posts: 6646

Indianapolis, Indiana, US

Looknsee Photography wrote:
So, sight unseen, you'd reject this model?

DennisRoliffPhotography wrote:
Yes

http://www.easyfreesmileys.com/smileys/lingua3.gif

in a heartbeat!

Jan 16 13 01:32 pm Link

Photographer

Warren Leimbach

Posts: 2834

Tampa, Florida, US

Let me see if I got this straight.  An aspiring unproven model calls and offers you a chance to drive 3.5 hours to shoot her for free.

Unless there is more to this situation than you have described, I can't see any benefit here for you.  Does she have access to a one-of-a-kind location?  Surely you aren't that hard up for talent in your town.

Since she initiated contact, I would expect her to shoot at your convenience - i.e. come to your area, cover her own travel expenses, and shoot at a mutually convenient time.

Jan 16 13 01:36 pm Link

Photographer

KA Style

Posts: 1583

Syracuse, New York, US

How about cast for another model in that area and shoot two! More bang for the buck so to speak.

Jan 16 13 01:45 pm Link

Photographer

Tony Lawrence

Posts: 19728

Chicago, Illinois, US

Chuck, chances are if you do this you'll be back here with a complaint about how she flaked, etc.   I wouldn't drive that far for a new model.   Especially one as you described.   I read a recent comment about a model who have a member a false address.   TF shoots are a gamble to start with.   Find local models or if you really like this one offer something toward bus fare and pick her up at a drop off near you.   Reimburse her for the fare after your shoot. 

Think this way.   How much in gas and time would you spend getting to her.   If that's not worth it then move on.

Jan 16 13 01:47 pm Link

Photographer

Michael Clancey

Posts: 71

Colorado Springs, Colorado, US

Talk to her... not email, not text.  Good old fashioned phone call.  See if the great divide is really that great or if you two can work something out.

Jan 16 13 02:16 pm Link

Photographer

Paul AI

Posts: 1046

Shawnee, Oklahoma, US

There's no way I would drive 7 hours round-trip for a TF shoot with a model who has no previous experience.

Jan 16 13 02:19 pm Link

Photographer

Wolfy4u

Posts: 1103

Grand Junction, Colorado, US

If she's gorgeous and might be worth shooting, offer to cover the cost of her coming (bus/train) to you. Say you'll pick her up and the station and bring her back after the shoot.
I've had this work 2-3 times for me.

Jan 16 13 02:31 pm Link

Photographer

Vector One Photography

Posts: 3013

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US

Yea, how badly do you want to shoot her ? Is she irreplaceable ? Is she special ? I've driven that far several times to shoot a model and most of those models I was paying. If she's the one, then it's worth it.

Jan 16 13 02:56 pm Link

Photographer

Personal Photograph

Posts: 245

Davenport, Iowa, US

Walk away.

Jan 16 13 03:05 pm Link

Photographer

ArtisticGlamour

Posts: 3846

Phoenix, Arizona, US

Sounds like "porn" to me...wink

Jan 16 13 03:31 pm Link

Photographer

Gianantonio

Posts: 8158

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

Chuck Purnell wrote:
A MM model reached out to me expressing interest in wanting to shoot. I viewed her profile and noticed she was local to my area, however when we chatted she said she is now living in another state about 3.5 hour drive away or so and wants me to come to her to do the shoot since she doesn't have transportation.

This was going to be a TF shoot if it was done locally but since I now would have to travel to her state and town, I was thinking I should charge her for the shoot even if its to cover my gas of coming out there.

What do you think? Also this an aspiring model who has never done a shoot before so there is definitely some hesitation on my behalf making me wonder if this is even worth it.

Your thoughts?

I think you should make this decision on your own...

Jan 16 13 03:56 pm Link

Photographer

Marin Photography NYC

Posts: 7319

New York, New York, US

Meet half way or stay home. This way you both share the expense. Fair is fair. If not....next!!

Jan 16 13 04:00 pm Link

Photographer

Leighsphotos

Posts: 3001

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Reading your profile...it says that you are experienced. You also make very good points about "being professional". So it makes me wonder why you did this post at all...someone experienced and professional would already know how to deal with such situations...

Honestly..so much BS here sometimes.

Jan 17 13 09:43 am Link

Photographer

37photog

Posts: 704

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US

I'd skip it.  Too far with too much risk for her to cancel.  If it was 1.5 hours, 3 hours round trip I'd consider it, depending on the model.  7 hours round trip is too far, plus you'd front for the hotel room. Even if she supplies a location you'll need to shell out $$ to rest your head.

Jan 17 13 10:20 am Link

Photographer

Chuck Purnell

Posts: 322

Wilmington, Delaware, US

I have read each of your comments and I guess everybody responds to situations like this differently. I never said I was going take this job nor was I hurting for photographs like I had to accept this offer to shoot this non experienced aspiring model.

Why this person's profile says she currently lives in my city when she clearly doesn't (found that out after the fact) is questionable. Yes there are plenty of other models and aspiring models in my city that I can reach out to or have reached out to me for shoots so technically I do not have to accept this offer to drive 3.5 hours to shoot someone who has never had a "real" shoot before. It was not told to me in our first few email conversations where she was actually living. Thinking she was right in my city, as her profile states, I was going by that and told her we could shoot this weekend before I had another shoot planned. It was her most recent email back to me is when she stated where she was living and asked if I would come to her.

I agree she needs to find a way to come to me if she really wants to shoot with me. This would be totally different if she lived closer in say Philadelphia which is only a 25 minute drive for me and I know plenty of places to shoot there. I don't know anything about where she is living or where to shoot there. There is no benefit for me driving way out there. Even if she knew of some places there, I still don't see the benefit. I know photographers that travel all the time and they book hotel rooms or shoot on locations but they don't do those shoots as a TF shoot.

There is a model who I have shot several times and have a couple photos of her in my portfolio where I had to pick her up on the way to the location to shoot because she too had a transportation issue. I only agreed to pick her up because 1. she was local and 2. she lived 5 minutes away from where we were shooting that day.

The answer is simple with the long distance shoot, I will kindly decline the opportunity for obvious reasons.

Jan 17 13 10:33 am Link

Photographer

ArtisticGlamour

Posts: 3846

Phoenix, Arizona, US

It's a scam...probably involves pornography. wink

Jan 17 13 01:17 pm Link

Photographer

Max Cherry Photography

Posts: 44

Gainesville, Florida, US

KA Style wrote:
How about cast for another model in that area and shoot two! More bang for the buck so to speak.

Great solution IF the first model or locale is something you just can't get on your home turf.

Jan 17 13 02:08 pm Link

Photographer

Glenn Hall - Fine Art

Posts: 452

Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Max Cherry Photography wrote:
Great solution IF the first model or locale is something you just can't get on your home turf.

...just that, have a back-up plan in case one flakes.
If you live out at the Black Stump like I do, models that actually ARE models are as scarce as hens teeth and traveling to do a shoot with a model who has the look you want is well worth the travel a few k's up the road.
You have given her the boot, so I guess models are easy to access your neck of the woods.

Jan 17 13 02:48 pm Link

Photographer

Teila K Day Photography

Posts: 1948

Richmond, Indiana, US

This is one of those situations where the answer should be obvious to most reasonably intelligent adults.  Aside from only a few exceptions, there is no compelling reason to drive basically 4 hrs. to shoot with a model that isn't likely to do anything for your photography any more than another model that's closer.

If she has attributes that you can't find in virtually any other model on the planet then consider it (e.g. flawless skin and a beautiful face before make up, and large pale Siberian Husky coloured eyes and naturally jet black hair, 5'11" but wears a U.S. size 7.5 heels, and hips so curvy that you'd be afraid to drive a Kart racer over them.)

-or-

If she is the Superintendent of a large school district, governor, congresswoman, famous singer, etc..

-or-

She's a typical model, but owns a real (and the only) unicorn, and wants YOU to be the first to photograph her and the rare creature.

...  Otherwise, it wouldn't cross my mind to entertain such a situation.  Too many possibilities that should be closer to your own front door than to make a trek across the country for what is likely to amount to 'nothing special'  or worse.... nothing at all due to her flaking.   If you go, require your expenses to and from pre-paid via Paypal or whatever you use.   Even if you get screwed-  you always make it so that in the end... you never really get screwed.  Money talks.

Jan 17 13 05:06 pm Link

Photographer

RachelReilly

Posts: 1743

Washington, District of Columbia, US

Come on dude.. Why post this!?
Use your brain.

Jan 17 13 05:14 pm Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12925

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Silver Mirage wrote:
Is it worth it to you? Do you expect the session to justify your travel time and expense? It's a simple business decision.

+1 Simple, will it help your book?  Will her look get you paying clients?

Actually it's the same question evennif she lived I the same city, no reason it's really different based on location.  It's something I ask befor doing any trade work, after all that is the point

Jan 17 13 05:20 pm Link

Photographer

Rob Photosby

Posts: 3713

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Chuck Purnell wrote:
I have read each of your comments and I guess everybody responds to situations like this differently. I never said I was going take this job nor was I hurting for photographs like I had to accept this offer to shoot this non experienced aspiring model.

Why this person's profile says she currently lives in my city when she clearly doesn't (found that out after the fact) is questionable. Yes there are plenty of other models and aspiring models in my city that I can reach out to or have reached out to me for shoots so technically I do not have to accept this offer to drive 3.5 hours to shoot someone who has never had a "real" shoot before. It was not told to me in our first few email conversations where she was actually living. Thinking she was right in my city, as her profile states, I was going by that and told her we could shoot this weekend before I had another shoot planned. It was her most recent email back to me is when she stated where she was living and asked if I would come to her.

I agree she needs to find a way to come to me if she really wants to shoot with me. This would be totally different if she lived closer in say Philadelphia which is only a 25 minute drive for me and I know plenty of places to shoot there. I don't know anything about where she is living or where to shoot there. There is no benefit for me driving way out there. Even if she knew of some places there, I still don't see the benefit. I know photographers that travel all the time and they book hotel rooms or shoot on locations but they don't do those shoots as a TF shoot.

There is a model who I have shot several times and have a couple photos of her in my portfolio where I had to pick her up on the way to the location to shoot because she too had a transportation issue. I only agreed to pick her up because 1. she was local and 2. she lived 5 minutes away from where we were shooting that day.

The answer is simple with the long distance shoot, I will kindly decline the opportunity for obvious reasons.

That is a sensible analysis, but it leaves me wondering why you made the original post because the original post now seems redundant.

Jan 18 13 05:02 am Link