Forums > Model Colloquy > Non-MM "Cold" Approach in RL

Photographer

Yugoboy

Posts: 77

Rochester, New York, US

I was at the library today and one of the checkout ladies had the most awesome (fake) red/magenta hair.  She's not model-beautiful, but was interesting looking and I just loved the hair.  I actually had my camera and some business cards with me, but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to come off all creepy.

So... how could/should I have approached that situation?

All ideas considered, except those that could get me in trouble with either police or my wife.

Jul 10 13 04:05 pm Link

Photographer

Mark Salo

Posts: 8379

Olney, Maryland, US

I once drove my mother to the optometrist.  The woman helping us was very photogenic.  I gave her my card.  Now she refuses to come out of the back when we come to the establishment.

Jul 10 13 04:21 pm Link

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 27227

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Though I rarely use the cold call approach , what I would do is compliment the lady on her red hair , tell her that you are a photographer and would like to shoot her , and had her your business card -then disengage .With such a minimal approach on your part - it would seem to me that her interest in being photographed and the quality of your work would thus be the determining factors as to whether you would score a shoot with her

Also it would be to your advantage to have your business card provide a link to a professional website

Jul 10 13 04:23 pm Link

Photographer

BeautybyGod

Posts: 3064

Los Angeles, California, US

Mark Salo wrote:
I once drove my mother to the optometrist.  The woman helping us was very photogenic.  I gave her my card.  Now she refuses to come out of the back when we come to the establishment.

google is not always your friend.

Jul 10 13 04:46 pm Link

Photographer

rp_photo

Posts: 42494

Houston, Texas, US

Yugoboy wrote:
So... how could/should I have approached that situation?

Most of us, myself certainly included, would be best served by sticking with modern networking.

There was a time when the cold approach was more likely to work and in fact it was the only option. Those days are long gone.

Jul 10 13 04:50 pm Link

Photographer

Bare Essential Photos

Posts: 3403

Upland, California, US

To Yugoboy --

rp_photo wrote:
Most of us, myself certainly included, would be best served by sticking with modern networking.

There was a time when the cold approach was more likely to work and in fact it was the only option. Those days are long gone.

Yes, I strongly agree with this.

Before discovering MM, I used the cold approach and it was awkward to say the least. Definitely don't recommend it.

Jul 10 13 04:59 pm Link

Photographer

Yugoboy

Posts: 77

Rochester, New York, US

I did tell her I loved the hair.  It was moving past that through the wall of social convention and fear of rejection (as well as just not wanting to seem creepy) that I need some help with.

While I'm not an overly gregarious person, every September I have to introduce myself to +/-90 new teenagers.  I'm not afraid of opening the door.  It's the stepping through that I would like to work on - at least when it comes to those micro-relationships like the librarian one.

Jul 10 13 05:10 pm Link

Photographer

Rob Photosby

Posts: 2985

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Yugoboy wrote:
I'm not afraid of opening the door.  It's the stepping through that I would like to work on - at least when it comes to those micro-relationships like the librarian one.

I am petrified of heights, but I know that the first time up the ladder is the worst, and it gets easier each time I go up.  Same applies to roller coasters.

My other life involves a lot of public speaking.  Initially, I would prepare and rehearse to deal with the butterflies.  Eventually, I became desensitised and, not only was it a lot easier for me, but my performance was better because I was more natural.

So, the message is do it until it no longer bothers you and do it with anyone who might even vaguely be a good subject so that you can get more practice runs in between meeting the ones you really do want to photograph.

Jul 10 13 05:39 pm Link

Model

NicoleNudes

Posts: 3860

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Why not something like,

"Hi,

My name is _____. I think that your red hair is really pretty and suits you. I'm a photographer and would be interested in doing a photoshoot with you. *give her your card* If you would be interested my contact info is on there. Have a great day!"

Leave it in her hands. Don't try and pressure her.
I think that's the best way to come off as not being creepy.

Jul 10 13 05:39 pm Link

Photographer

Awesome Headshots

Posts: 2369

San Ramon, California, US

NicoleNudes wrote:
Why not something like,

"Hi,

My name is _____. I think that your red hair is really pretty and suits you. I'm a photographer and would be interested in doing a photoshoot with you. *give her your card* If you would be interested my contact info is on there. Have a great day!"

Leave it in her hands. Don't try and pressure her.
I think that's the best way to come off as not being creepy.

+1.

And make sure your zipper is zipped up big_smile

Jul 10 13 05:50 pm Link

Photographer

BP Glamour

Posts: 836

San Bernardino, California, US

NicoleNudes wrote:
Why not something like,

"Hi,

My name is _____. I think that your red hair is really pretty and suits you. I'm a photographer and would be interested in doing a photoshoot with you. *give her your card* If you would be interested my contact info is on there. Have a great day!"

Leave it in her hands. Don't try and pressure her.
I think that's the best way to come off as not being creepy.

Perfect! Two models in my port were actually my waitresses at restaurants.

Jul 10 13 05:52 pm Link

Photographer

Cherrystone

Posts: 36710

Columbus, Ohio, US

Be it good, bad, right or wrong much will depend on your appearance. If you look like Quasimodo, don't.

Meaning not only your actual physical self, but how you appear on the specific day.

Like.....did you just spend 3 hours digging in your garden, you're covered in dirt, and are sweaty like a stuck pig? Skip that day. wink

Or did you just leave a funeral home and you have a coat & tie on.

You have to have a decent looking business card, don't even bother if you don't.
Like with a portrait or editorial looking shot. Not a pinup or bikini glam.

You need to be short, sweet, right to the point, and finish your spiel in like 15-20 seconds at the most.

After saying hello, look them right dead in the eye the whole time. Do not look away. Talk softly, smile slightly, and do NOT try and sell yourself.

Hello, I'm a photographer, & I've photographed models from around the world, and all over the US. I'm really struck by your appearance, and would love to photograph you based just on that, no strings attached. (hand card about this time)

If you have any interest, my contact information & website is on there, I'd love to hear from you.

Say thanks, and walk away. Even if they try and engage you in conversation at the point, politely walk away.

If you engage in conversation, you're probably fucked. If you engage in trying to sell yourself, you're probably fucked.

Be discerning about who you approach. Do that with minors and you're gonna be fucked sooner or later.

Keep in mind that works for me, I've told the truth, I do have a good business card, & I do have an actual website. For the love of God, don't give them a card with your MM URL on it. wink

Also if the person who piques your interest is somewhere you'd have reasons to stop often, such as a gas station or a convenience store, that can be good. Once they recognize your face over time, familiarity breeds comfort. Wait a few weeks or a month.

Cold approach results. I have more, but only ones posted as of now.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/100121/16/4b58ef22ad576_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121130/20/50b9881e0df94_m.jpg

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/100322/16/4ba7fa38ccf58_m.jpg

Jul 10 13 06:28 pm Link

Photographer

Ars Gratia Artis 908

Posts: 80

Wooster, Ohio, US

I've tried the cold call approach four times and I'm 4-0. One a gas station attendant who used to dance behind the register. Two a waitress down the street that must have been a gymnast for 12 years. Three the mail carrier fill in. Fourth was a shop girl and for her I even brought a model in that actually knew her sister.

All zip, zero, nothing. Yes, I was clean, yes I had a card, yes I kept it short. Not creepy, didn't hover.

I'm not likely to try it anytime soon. Don't see how to improve the odds. There is a gorgeous 6 foot blonde at McDonald's and every time I see her, I think, what could I say to get a "yes" out of her...

Jul 10 13 06:37 pm Link

Photographer

Yugoboy

Posts: 77

Rochester, New York, US

Thanx for the help.  It's not a library I go to regularly, so my chance with her was probably shot.

For the moment, my card is one I printed up on my own.  Just a logo and some contact info (name, phone, email, blogspot address).  I should probably get some model-based shots up there before actually trying the cold approach, I guess.  wink

As a full-time educator, accidentally approaching a sub-18-yr-old is a significantly daunting risk.

I'll let you know if I get (photographically) lucky.

Jul 10 13 07:38 pm Link

Photographer

Farenell Photography

Posts: 18130

Albany, New York, US

Yugoboy wrote:
I was at the library today and one of the checkout ladies had the most awesome (fake) red/magenta hair.  She's not model-beautiful, but was interesting looking and I just loved the hair.  I actually had my camera and some business cards with me, but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to come off all creepy.

So... how could/should I have approached that situation?

You're a guy approaching a female, 95% of the time they're ALWAYS going to think you're creepy. Think about, "Hi, I'm a photographer & would like to take your picture," how does that not sound like a lame pickup line. There are no two ways around it, it just is what it is.

I suggest simply being straight forward, hand them your card, intentionally don't press them for an answer, & then walk away. & to increase the odds of something positive happening, approach A LOT of people. Not only is it a numbers thing but serves to increase your self-confidence.

A great majority will never get back to you, that's fine anyway because you're looking for that 5% who will. About half of those will never setup a shoot (could be school, could be it seemed like a good idea at the time, could be boyfriend issues, could whatever), it still doesn't matter. Just be blessed for those that do follow through. The best are those who point people in your direction or become an extension of your own family or better yet hire you out for something they need.

Jul 11 13 06:23 am Link

Photographer

JONATHAN RICHARD

Posts: 652

New York, New York, US

Yugoboy wrote:
I was at the library today and one of the checkout ladies had the most awesome (fake) red/magenta hair.  She's not model-beautiful, but was interesting looking ............

I actually had my camera and some business cards with me, but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to come off all creepy.

So...how could/should I have approached that situation?......

Sorry Yugoboy… but this is how I now see you smile

Jul 11 13 08:46 am Link

Photographer

Phantasmal Images

Posts: 616

Boston, Massachusetts, US

I make cold approaches a lot, in fact all but one of the models in my port were (the other one being a friend of another girl I shot). Like others have said, keep it short, maintain eye contact, and hand her your card. A good quality card, home printed ones don't exactly make you look like a pro, and she'll probably think you're trying to pull something. I get about 10% to contact me after that, and about 25% of those actually follow through and shoot with me. I've noticed the chances of her responding favorably increase significantly when my girlfriend (who is also a model, and 17 years younger than me, so probably closer to their age) is with me. I suspect it puts them more at ease that you're not just trying to hit on them.

Jul 11 13 11:03 am Link

Photographer

Eralar

Posts: 1778

Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada

Ars Gratia Artis 908 wrote:
I've tried the cold call approach four times and I'm 4-0. One a gas station attendant who used to dance behind the register. Two a waitress down the street that must have been a gymnast for 12 years. Three the mail carrier fill in. Fourth was a shop girl and for her I even brought a model in that actually knew her sister.

All zip, zero, nothing. Yes, I was clean, yes I had a card, yes I kept it short. Not creepy, didn't hover.

I'm not likely to try it anytime soon. Don't see how to improve the odds. There is a gorgeous 6 foot blonde at McDonald's and every time I see her, I think, what could I say to get a "yes" out of her...

Don't think that way... you want to go to them and hope they will go to your site, will be interested by what they see, then call you back to say they are interested.

But trying to kind of coerce someone into modeling for you, even a gentle way, might lead people to call you a creep.

On the other hand, as was said, it takes practice. The first times, your speech will be shaky, you'll say something that will make you facepalm yourself 10 seconds after wink But with practice, you will find confidence, and with confidence you will have a higher rate.

What if you need to hand over 15 cards for each beautiful model you actually shoot? The result is there, and cards are not that expensive.

My personal opinion anyways...

Jul 11 13 02:49 pm Link

Photographer

roger alan

Posts: 464

Anderson, Indiana, US

JONATHAN RICHARD wrote:
........

Sorry Yugoboy… but this is how I now see you smile

too funny!!

Jul 11 13 03:02 pm Link

Model

Shilo Von Porcelaine

Posts: 227

Chicago, Illinois, US

I would make it clear that you're not hitting on her in some way (telling her you're taken/whatever and are not looking to date) then maybe ask if she's ever thought about modeling and that you're a photographer. If she gives no indication that she already is, tell her that she's welcome to bring a friend/family member/boyfriend or that you'll pay her for her time (if she agrees.) Give her your card and have her call you if she decides to work with you.

Be professional, courteous, and to the point.

Jul 11 13 10:10 pm Link

Photographer

Valenten Photography

Posts: 265

Balikpapan, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia

interesting advices here smile

Valenten
http://www.valentenphotography.com

Jul 12 13 03:39 am Link

Photographer

D-Light

Posts: 618

Newcastle, Limerick, Ireland

I've had a few positive responses from this but will not do it again, as they all turned out to be a disaster. Couldn't pose, couldn't take direction, didn't want direction, got their poses from facebook and were vain.

Jul 12 13 03:46 am Link

guide forum

Photographer

Rays Fine Art

Posts: 6314

New York, New York, US

I'm another one with too little nerve to try the cold approach.  I'm not too worried about getting in trouble with either the police or my wife.  It's the 6"6" boyfriend that worries me.

Jul 13 13 05:53 am Link

guide forum

Photographer

Rays Fine Art

Posts: 6314

New York, New York, US

I'm another one with too little nerve to try the cold approach.  I'm not too worried about getting in trouble with either the police or my wife.  It's the 6"6" boyfriend that worries me.

Jul 13 13 05:54 am Link

Photographer

ontherocks

Posts: 22610

Salem, Oregon, US

i did two shoots with the lady who sold me a cellphone at costco. but when i'm doing that i usually suggest a clothed shoot unless they express an interest in something less clothed.

Jul 13 13 05:07 pm Link

Photographer

Art of the nude

Posts: 11892

Olivet, Michigan, US

Phantasmal Images wrote:
I make cold approaches a lot, in fact all but one of the models in my port were (the other one being a friend of another girl I shot). Like others have said, keep it short, maintain eye contact, and hand her your card. A good quality card, home printed ones don't exactly make you look like a pro, and she'll probably think you're trying to pull something. I get about 10% to contact me after that, and about 25% of those actually follow through and shoot with me. I've noticed the chances of her responding favorably increase significantly when my girlfriend (who is also a model, and 17 years younger than me, so probably closer to their age) is with me. I suspect it puts them more at ease that you're not just trying to hit on them.

I think that having a model with you has a great deal of potential to be reassuring.  I'm less convinced that DATING that much younger model is going to reassure a random girl of your professional intentions.  Not that it's a BAD thing (assuming you aren't, say, 30) but it creates a certain impression.

Jul 14 13 11:13 am Link

Photographer

C h a r l e s D

Posts: 9304

Los Angeles, California, US

Yugoboy wrote:
I was at the library today and one of the checkout ladies had the most awesome (fake) red/magenta hair.  She's not model-beautiful, but was interesting looking and I just loved the hair.  I actually had my camera and some business cards with me, but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to come off all creepy.

So... how could/should I have approached that situation?

All ideas considered, except those that could get me in trouble with either police or my wife.

This is the one of the few times you don't have a choice.  Ask, or lose the opportunity.  Sometimes they say, "Yes," and sometimes, they say, "No."  You must ask.

Jul 14 13 11:15 am Link

Photographer

Art of the nude

Posts: 11892

Olivet, Michigan, US

Shilo Von Porcelaine wrote:
I would make it clear that you're not hitting on her in some way (telling her you're taken/whatever and are not looking to date) then maybe ask if she's ever thought about modeling and that you're a photographer. If she gives no indication that she already is, tell her that she's welcome to bring a friend/family member/boyfriend or that you'll pay her for her time (if she agrees.) Give her your card and have her call you if she decides to work with you.

Be professional, courteous, and to the point.

Bringing someone is plausible, even if you don't normally do escorts, since she can't be expected to follow professional expectations for a model.  But I don't think that paying is helpful in general.   A novice is going to take more time and coaching of course, but also payment may increase the feeling of pressure to agree to whatever might be suggested.

Jul 14 13 11:28 am Link

Photographer

Jason Haven

Posts: 38336

Washington, District of Columbia, US

I've only approached a couple women before... and both of them gave me the "yeah, sure buddy, get away from me you creep" look. So, I think it's just best to leave people alone and use MM, FB, etc.

Jul 14 13 11:32 am Link

Photographer

Brian Diaz

Posts: 63178

Danbury, Connecticut, US

I made a promise to myself to approach someone like that for every time someone random has approached me on the street to hire me as a photographer.

Jul 14 13 11:40 am Link

Photographer

Jason Haven

Posts: 38336

Washington, District of Columbia, US

Brian Diaz wrote:
I made a promise to myself to approach someone like that for every time someone random has approached me on the street to hire me as a photographer.

lol

Jul 14 13 11:43 am Link

Photographer

Innovative Imagery

Posts: 2815

Los Angeles, California, US

Brian Diaz wrote:
I made a promise to myself to approach someone like that for every time someone random has approached me on the street to hire me as a photographer.

In fairness to this approach, you should always or at least frequently, walk around with a camera and be seen being a photographer.  I get people all the time asking for my card when I do that.

Jul 14 13 11:59 am Link

Photographer

Yugoboy

Posts: 77

Rochester, New York, US

Innovative Imagery wrote:

In fairness to this approach, you should always or at least frequently, walk around with a camera and be seen being a photographer.  I get people all the time asking for my card when I do that.

Given how much "environmental" photography I do (nature, landscape, architecture, etc.) I get asked all the time who I'm shooting for.  And 99 times out of 100 it's when I have forgotten my cards at home.  Trying to get better at remembering them.

People may not offer to hire me off the street, but getting them looking at my work is part of the struggle.

Jul 14 13 12:50 pm Link