Forums > Newbie Forum > Not responding to paid shoot messages?????

Photographer

oCEAN iNK sTUDIO

Posts: 14

Seal Beach, California, US

Hi,
I'm new to MM and wanted to build my portfolio up so I have been contacting models offering to pay them their market rates.  I state in the email that I am new and that our shoot would be a collaboration.  I have most of the models ignore my email and the few that respond, don't write back after our initial exchange.
Am I doing something wrong???
Any insight is appreciated. Thank you!

Feb 11 13 06:01 pm Link

Photographer

Kev Lawson

Posts: 7955

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Post a casting call that details the shoot, when you want to shoot it, and the pay for the shoot. Pick from the replies you get and discuss the shoot with them and see if you get better results.

Randomly messaging models is like throwing darts in the ocean hoping to hit a fish, you may hit one but it might not be what you want.

Feb 11 13 06:06 pm Link

Photographer

S W I N S K E Y

Posts: 24315

Saint Petersburg, Florida, US

conflicting info...are you paying them or collaborating with them?

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

Feb 11 13 06:07 pm Link

Photographer

Tony Lawrence

Posts: 19225

Chicago, Illinois, US

Sadly you'll do better from Craigslist.   Also try a casting here.   If you want two models book five and maybe two will show.   Get a MUA also.   If your budget allows.   Get phone numbers and tell models to call and confirm.   Good luck, you'll need it.

Feb 11 13 06:07 pm Link

Photographer

oCEAN iNK sTUDIO

Posts: 14

Seal Beach, California, US

I'm paying the models their usual rates and I offer to give them a little extra (25%) because I would need a little help with the poses, etc...I make this very clear in the email. I even encourage them to bring an escort if they are uncomfortable (yes, let's hold off on the pro vs con of that topic).
Still puzzled....how often do people turn down good money in a safe environment (I was planning on renting a studio for the shoot)?????

Feb 11 13 06:11 pm Link

Photographer

Ash Photographic

Posts: 378

Cirencester, England, United Kingdom

oCEAN iNK sTUDIO wrote:
I'm paying the models their usual rates and I offer to give them a little extra (25%) because I would need a little help with the poses, etc...I make this very clear in the email. I even encourage them to bring an escort if they are uncomfortable.

Maybe you're trying too hard and coming across as desperate, which could be a red flag (or even seem creepy) to many models.

Post a casting call as others have suggested. Don't mention "help with poses" as any self-respecting professional model should know how to pose without much direction anyway, and don't offer over the market rate as this could be seen as an indication that you might be hoping for some kind of "extras" on top of the modelling, again, setting off the creep alarms!

Ash.

Feb 11 13 06:23 pm Link

Photographer

S W I N S K E Y

Posts: 24315

Saint Petersburg, Florida, US

there are so many workshop/shootouts in cali, you should spend your money on those..

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

Feb 11 13 06:23 pm Link

Model

MelissaAnn

Posts: 3956

Seattle, Washington, US

oCEAN iNK sTUDIO wrote:
I'm paying the models their usual rates and I offer to give them a little extra (25%) because I would need a little help with the poses, etc...I make this very clear in the email. I even encourage them to bring an escort if they are uncomfortable (yes, let's hold off on the pro vs con of that topic).
Still puzzled....how often do people turn down good money in a safe environment (I was planning on renting a studio for the shoot)?????

Depending on what type of models you're contacting (and the genre you want to shoot), it's not really that unusual for models to not respond, even to paid offers.

Pm me if you want some more detailed advice on how to increase your odds of getting a response.

Best of luck.

Feb 11 13 06:25 pm Link

Photographer

Michael DBA Expressions

Posts: 3196

Lynchburg, Virginia, US

My experience has been that sadly internet models -- not just here, but all the web sites I've tried -- are mostly pretenders. There are a few, perhaps 10%, that actually do model and are worth your time booking. The other 90% are what you are finding: supremely uninterested in actually doing what they claim they want to do, i.e., pose for the camera.

When you find one of that 10%, praise the Lord and treat them well, they are worth their weight in gold. The rest? Pffft. If you inquire once and get no response, maybe the email got lost in the great beyond, try once more. If you got no response to that, give them no further thought. Congrats, you've found another faux model. Write 'em off and move on to another. There ARE worthy ones out there, it's just a matter of finding them, and the less time and emotional energy you waste on the fakes, the better.

Feb 11 13 06:25 pm Link

Photographer

Brian Scanlon

Posts: 791

Encino, California, US

I don't know which models you are choosing, but be aware that many who have profiles are not active.  If the "last activity" date is more than a month old they may have not even seen your message.  Young women will set up a profile expecting everyone to throw money their way and become famous.  Since it doesn't work like that they become disillusioned and quit.  I do find that casting calls are more effective in figuring out who is working (and interested).  Also be aware that models also put up casting calls looking for photographers (not as many, but there are some).

Feb 11 13 06:31 pm Link

Photographer

Marin Photography NYC

Posts: 7249

New York, New York, US

Michael DBA Expressions wrote:
My experience has been that sadly internet models -- not just here, but all the web sites I've tried -- are mostly pretenders. There are a few, perhaps 10%, that actually do model and are worth your time booking. The other 90% are what you are finding: supremely uninterested in actually doing what they claim they want to do, i.e., pose for the camera.

When you find one of that 10%, praise the Lord and treat them well, they are worth their weight in gold. The rest? Pffft. If you inquire once and get no response, maybe the email got lost in the great beyond, try once more. If you got no response to that, give them no further thought. Congrats, you've found another faux model. Write 'em off and move on to another. There ARE worthy ones out there, it's just a matter of finding them, and the less time and emotional energy you waste on the fakes, the better.

+100

Feb 11 13 06:34 pm Link

Photographer

Jackson frontier photos

Posts: 531

Joplin, Missouri, US

oCEAN iNK sTUDIO wrote:
Hi,
I'm new to MM and wanted to build my portfolio up so I have been contacting models offering to pay them their market rates.  I state in the email that I am new and that our shoot would be a collaboration.  I have most of the models ignore my email and the few that respond, don't write back after our initial exchange.
Am I doing something wrong???
Any insight is appreciated. Thank you!

Maybe but there are plenty of factors out of your control as well.  My advise is to keep contacting them and you'll find and develop working relationships with a handful of reliable local models, then, work with them multiple times.  In the meantime, expect poor to no communication, expect immaturity, expect 80% no response rate, if you survive the frustration, it won't last.  I wrote a post just like yours about two months ago.  Today, I can choose between several awesome local models to work with.  The models who did not respond or took two months to respond, I don't care how good they are, I won't work with them.  I tell them that too and on one occasion when I did, one model made a good effort to improve (switch conversation to cell phone), we worked together and I plan to work with her on an ongoing basis.

Feb 11 13 06:35 pm Link

Model

Acanthus Tattoos

Posts: 429

Union, New Jersey, US

A few things to consider although you're new but have 13/15 photos up:

1-You don't list models you worked with in your profile

2-I didn't check all, just top row - no photos credited to models, none posted by them credited to you

(edit: maybe the models you shot weren't on mm)

3-most shots in your portfolio are headshots, maybe consider removing a few and if you possibly have access to any of the models who you already worked with, add a few different types of shots?

4-not sure what you mean by the phrase "My interest is in bringing out the inner self of the model" in your profile

5-maybe rephrase "the right model" here in your profile
"I am also very interested in 1940's look photo shoots with the right model"

6-I think you can consider leaving level of experience in the fill-in-category on the left and not reiterate it in the text of your profile. The way you phrased it also could imply to some-not that that should be your first concern-that professional photographers don't shoot TFP (I know your target audience is models, not photographers), and saying the right model, especially twice, might not be ideal, though others do write stuff like that too. Hard to specify sometimes, know it when you see it kind of thing.
"I am not a professional photographer and therefore would prefer TFP shoots; HOWEVER, for the right model, I am open to providing compensation."

7-Even though you mention you can help someone build her portfolio, that is general, of course, chicken and the egg (no reference to my avatar...)but the sooner you can provide examples of what you can offer, the better-of course you need models, but even if you get ideas of stuff you have seen on the site, try setting up as best you can without the model to see if you can imitate, and say you'd like to try etc.,etc.

8-Sometimes providing an email very soon isn't a good sign (mostly as only way of contact when the avatar is blank saying newb and the profile is under consideration or gone and the offer is too good to be true...), but you provided it as an alternative so probably fine.

Feb 11 13 06:39 pm Link

Photographer

Jackson frontier photos

Posts: 531

Joplin, Missouri, US

Yeah, I agree, take out the "bringing out the inner self" line.  You're not their therapist.  What genre are you looking to shoot?

Feb 11 13 06:47 pm Link

Photographer

Moore Photo Graphix

Posts: 5288

Washington, District of Columbia, US

oCEAN iNK sTUDIO wrote:
Hi,
I'm new to MM and wanted to build my portfolio up so I have been contacting models offering to pay them their market rates.  I state in the email that I am new and that our shoot would be a collaboration.  I have most of the models ignore my email and the few that respond, don't write back after our initial exchange.
Am I doing something wrong???
Any insight is appreciated. Thank you!

Yes! It's a communication breakdown. You're not being clear with them in your messages. It's either a trade or paid. Take your pick. If this is happening to you on multiple occasions, you need to make changes in your strategy. Also, models tend to look at your portfolio before writing back. If your work isn't going the same direction as them, it time to move on to the next one. The better move is go to the critique forum.

Feb 11 13 06:54 pm Link

Photographer

Faces2Die4 Photography

Posts: 426

Houston, Texas, US

S W I N S K E Y wrote:
there are so many workshop/shootouts in cali, you should spend your money on those..

+1

This will give you good pics to post to your port, which will attract more models to your castings, which will put more good picks in your port... you see where this is going.

But definitely use castings rather than random messaging.

Cheers
John
F2D4

Feb 11 13 06:59 pm Link

Model

Shandra Stark

Posts: 13612

Los Angeles, California, US

Do you have a cookie-cutter message you're sending to people?

Can you share that in this thread so we can see it?

Feb 11 13 07:01 pm Link

Photographer

oCEAN iNK sTUDIO

Posts: 14

Seal Beach, California, US

I wanted to thank all of you for responding. I will take the advice to heart and make some changes to the profile. As far as crediting the models, they are not on MM, so I couldn't credit them.  And regarding the lack of depth of my pictures-its the chicken or the egg situation.  This is pretty much all I've got. 



Update: I've changed my profile. Any advice on further improvement is appreciated.

Feb 11 13 07:15 pm Link

Model

Acanthus Tattoos

Posts: 429

Union, New Jersey, US

I like some of the text changes you made!

Feb 11 13 07:28 pm Link

Photographer

Jackson frontier photos

Posts: 531

Joplin, Missouri, US

You can credit non-mm models, I did for one on my credits, many others do as well.

Feb 11 13 07:31 pm Link

Photographer

Jackson frontier photos

Posts: 531

Joplin, Missouri, US

Much better profile!  I'd use a different word/phrase than "partner", maybe "work with."  Other than that, looks much improved.

Feb 11 13 07:33 pm Link

Model

Acanthus Tattoos

Posts: 429

Union, New Jersey, US

Jackson frontier photos wrote:
You can credit non-mm models, I did for one on my credits, many others do as well.

yup, but check whether they want to be credited/how they want to be referred to with their photos, some people lead separate modeling/non-modeling lives and don't want their names appearing with their images in a google search...

Feb 11 13 07:34 pm Link

Photographer

Speedlight87

Posts: 22

Eugene, Oregon, US

Feb 11 13 07:42 pm Link

Photographer

oCEAN iNK sTUDIO

Posts: 14

Seal Beach, California, US

Awesome advice. Changes made and casting call posted. Thanks!!!!!!

Feb 11 13 07:46 pm Link

Model

Tiffiney C

Posts: 570

Los Angeles, California, US

I'm in Cali and available smile Let's help you build your port!

Tiff
www.TiffineyC.com

Feb 11 13 07:50 pm Link

Photographer

Mark Salo

Posts: 8388

Olney, Maryland, US

oCEAN iNK sTUDIO wrote:
I wanted to thank all of you for responding. I will take the advice to heart and make some changes to the profile. As far as crediting the models, they are not on MM, so I couldn't credit them.  And regarding the lack of depth of my pictures-its the chicken or the egg situation.  This is pretty much all I've got.

If I work with a non-MM model, I ask her how she wants to be credited.  I do this as she is signing the model release.  I then place her "model name" in the Caption area. 

Anything, even just a first name, lets people ask you about that model.  Otherwise they are left saying things like: The first model in the second row which only works until you add or delete an image.

Feb 11 13 07:53 pm Link

Photographer

Little Ginger Lamb

Posts: 62

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Jackson frontier photos wrote:
You can credit non-mm models, I did for one on my credits, many others do as well.

Same. This helps prove that you are a legit photographer and not some person who swiped photos from someone else.

Even if these women don't model professionally or have Model Mayhem profiles, you can still say something in the credits to the effect of, "Models I have worked with are Tiffany, Brittany, and Marissa. They do not have MM profiles at this time." That way, you're not slighting the models you have worked with previously. Also, leaving out the last name of the model gives the models less Google worry.

Feb 11 13 08:07 pm Link

Photographer

JAE

Posts: 2145

West Chester, Pennsylvania, US

Are you contacting professional models who have good reputations or just any girl that says she likes money on her profile?  Most of the decent models on here with good reputations will be willing to work with you if you pay their bill.  You just have to do some research to separate them from the ones that are a waste of time.

I can personally vouch for Tiffiney who posted a few posts up smile

The suggestions to attend a local workshop or two are good too.  It's an easy way to get a port started.

Feb 11 13 09:07 pm Link

Photographer

Tony Lawrence

Posts: 19225

Chicago, Illinois, US

Little Ginger Lamb wrote:
Same. This helps prove that you are a legit photographer and not some person who swiped photos from someone else.

Even if these women don't model professionally or have Model Mayhem profiles, you can still say something in the credits to the effect of, "Models I have worked with are Tiffany, Brittany, and Marissa. They do not have MM profiles at this time." That way, you're not slighting the models you have worked with previously. Also, leaving out the last name of the model gives the models less Google worry.

With all due respect providing someones first name means nothing.   We don't know them and you could have still 'swiped' their images.   I also find some of the other suggestions made curious.   OP, its doubtful most of the models you've contacted even looked at your work much less cared about your written profile.   You aren't writing The Catcher in the Rye.   Most of us are over thinking all this.   Do a general casting.   I think you have one up now.   Offer what you can.   A model has offered her services.   Tiffiney is pretty.   She's a poser with a great figure.   Get on Craigslist.   Hand your card out when you shop.   Be friendly and if you have a tablet or printed book try and keep it close by.

Those cards are important.   Numerous times I've been approached by women and some guys when I shoot and I never have any cards.   Join omp as well.   My point is cast a larger net.   On the tech side.   Get a reflector to lighten up shadows.   Try and have your models do something.   Part of why girls like Tiffiney are good is because they can pose and emote.   Two of the most important things for models.   If you don't have clothing ask models to email images of things they plan to bring.   If at all possible meet a few days before sessions to verify their skin is clear and how they currently look.

Feb 11 13 09:15 pm Link

Photographer

ontherocks

Posts: 22621

Salem, Oregon, US

consider the traveling models. they need to work to pay for their trip (and sometimes more).

Feb 11 13 10:09 pm Link

Photographer

AWS Photo

Posts: 157

Los Angeles, California, US

Ah yes,  the age old problem with Model Mayhem.  You said it, you're new here.  Over time you will see that there are loads of flakes, people who don't respond, and other types of inconveniences. 

It was better 5 years ago..

It was mentioned earlier that Craigslist is better, for casting I agree!

Have fun!
Adam

Feb 11 13 10:15 pm Link

Photographer

Awesome Headshots

Posts: 2369

San Ramon, California, US

Just keep at it. Maybe stick to a flat rate of $50.00 for an hour of modeling and post your castings religiously.

Side note; are you a photographer or tattoo artist? Just wondering cuz of your name hmm

Feb 11 13 10:34 pm Link

Photographer

Little Ginger Lamb

Posts: 62

Atlanta, Georgia, US

Tony Lawrence wrote:

With all due respect providing someones first name means nothing.   We don't know them and you could have still 'swiped' their images.   I also find some of the other suggestions made curious.

If OP is being honest about who they have used as a model, it's up to the models looking at OP's profile to decide whether or not they're being truthful. They're at least CREDITING the models. If the models are normal, everyday people who aren't models, there's absolutely no guarantee they want their last name splashed about. I certainly don't.

Does it absolutely ensure that they didn't swipe the photos? No. But having a credited MM model doesn't ensure someone didn't necessarily swipe photos, either, sad to say.

Feb 12 13 01:23 am Link

Model

Jessica Vaugn

Posts: 7320

Los Angeles, California, US

I respond to paid offers unless its not content I shoot.

Surprised girls don't respond in this case but oh well, there's always others interested smile

Feb 12 13 01:35 am Link

Photographer

Ed Hanson Photo

Posts: 1129

Spring, Texas, US

Jessica Vaugn  wrote:
I respond to paid offers unless its not content I shoot.

Surprised girls don't respond in this case but oh well, there's always others interested smile

This is an offer worth considering, for the images you could come out with!
Great model, very knowledgeable, and highly published!

Feb 12 13 02:08 am Link

Model

Audur Birna

Posts: 9

Reykjavík, Höfuðborgarsvæðið, Iceland

If I ever go to California I would gladly work with you smile

Feb 12 13 02:54 am Link

Photographer

oCEAN iNK sTUDIO

Posts: 14

Seal Beach, California, US

Thank you to the MM community. I finished my first shoot! And I plan on getting better with each model I shoot.

Feb 13 13 02:07 pm Link

Model

Acanthus Tattoos

Posts: 429

Union, New Jersey, US

oCEAN iNK sTUDIO wrote:
Thank you to the MM community. I finished my first shoot! And I plan on getting better with each model I shoot.

YAY! CONGRATS! smile

Feb 14 13 04:25 pm Link

Photographer

J O H N A L L A N

Posts: 10330

Santa Ana, California, US

Besides some of the other comments.

You're saying "Huntington Beach/Long Beach area".
Huh?
I'd say something like "Seal Beach (just above Huntington Beach).

There really is no "Huntington Beach/Long Beach area".

Feb 14 13 05:00 pm Link

Photographer

Ed Woodson Photography

Posts: 2644

Savannah, Georgia, US

Tony Lawrence wrote:
Sadly you'll do better from Craigslist.

Sadly, this is true.

Feb 14 13 05:03 pm Link