Forums > Model Colloquy > How to handle "no show"

Photographer

Desert Shadows Photo

Posts: 406

Mesquite, Nevada, US

Some models that I have contacted or who have contacted me for a shoot seem to e pretty fickle. The are all enthusiastic to model, keep e-mailing me about the shoot but when I have arranged a location and paid money t hold the location all of a sudden 2 days before the shoot I never hear from them again. This happens mostly with male models. Female models have very rarely stood me up. How do you handle a situation like this? Is there a way to warn other photographers about such models?? What gives??

Jul 12 13 03:04 pm Link

Model

JessieLeigh

Posts: 2048

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Are you paying the models? That's usually helpful, although it doesn't always weed out the flakes.

Are you talking to other photographers the models have worked with, to ensure that they have showed up for previous shoots as planned? If not, why not?

Jul 12 13 03:07 pm Link

Photographer

Marin Photography NYC

Posts: 7247

New York, New York, US

Typical flake behavior. Just move on, not much to do about nothing when nothing happened.

A word of advice, don't spend money on any shoot where you are not 110% positive that the model will show.  Pick locations and places that don't cost you anything. That's what I do. If I need a model for a project I pick one I know or go through an agency. They are more likely to show up.

Jul 12 13 03:13 pm Link

Photographer

A. KAYE

Posts: 312

Richardson, Texas, US

DITTO

Jul 12 13 03:14 pm Link

Photographer

Trisha May Photography

Posts: 304

Colchester, Connecticut, US

Marin Photography NYC wrote:
Typical flake behavior. Just move on, not much to do about nothing when nothing happened.

A word of advice, don't spend money on any shoot where you are not 110% positive that the model will show.  Pick locations and places that don't cost you anything. That's what I do. If I need a model for a project I pick one I know or go through an agency. They are more likely to show up.

+1

Jul 12 13 03:15 pm Link

Photographer

Matt Schmidt

Posts: 3681

Greensboro, North Carolina, US

Rant . . .


. . . no not really.



Find better talent . . .

Jul 12 13 03:16 pm Link

Photographer

Nogawd Photography

Posts: 119

Cleveland, Ohio, US

Find something else to do that day?

Jul 12 13 03:22 pm Link

Photographer

H A Z E

Posts: 82

London, England, United Kingdom

If you are putting down money for a location, I would say book more than 1 llama. If one doesn't turn up at least you still have the other one to work with and if they both turn up you can shoot them together.

Jul 12 13 06:56 pm Link

Photographer

T A P

Posts: 2

East Ridge, Tennessee, US

I've been in Chicago for the summer and I have contacted a number of models about doing some shoots.  Five of them pulled no-shows.  We communicated, I confirmed and on the day of the shoot they didn't show-up or call.  My response was to tag their page with one word, (UNPROFESSIONAL).  I have found that a lot of models don't think like a professionals and they are not concerned about the photographers time.  But, let the photographer be one day late getting them the images and they have a fit.

Its the chance we take.  We should start asking for references.

Jul 12 13 07:17 pm Link

Photographer

robert b mitchell

Posts: 1454

Surrey, British Columbia, Canada

I have given up trying to figure out "models". That is why I prefer to shoot with ones with a good track record who have shot with other photographers or with me. tongue

Jul 12 13 07:28 pm Link

Photographer

DLH Photo

Posts: 339

Seattle, Washington, US

I have only had one no-show so far but I rented a studio so the no-show cost me money. I was going to pay the model if she showed. The most you can do on MM is make a "do not recommend" list but I have not. I just moved on, have done more shoots at locations that don't require fees, and have considered hiring agency models.

Jul 12 13 07:35 pm Link

Photographer

rp_photo

Posts: 42494

Houston, Texas, US

Desert Shadows Photo wrote:
Some models that I have contacted or who have contacted me for a shoot seem to e pretty fickle. The are all enthusiastic to model, keep e-mailing me about the shoot but when I have arranged a location and paid money t hold the location all of a sudden 2 days before the shoot I never hear from them again. This happens mostly with male models. Female models have very rarely stood me up. How do you handle a situation like this? Is there a way to warn other photographers about such models?? What gives??

Most models only have a short "enthusiasm window", and it can easily be used up before the shoot. In other words, don't book too far ahead and do your best to pace their enthusiasm until it's time to shoot.

Don't use locations that require risking money on models you don't know well. Rather than pay for a location, pay the model. This will motivate them to show up, and you aren't out anything if they don't.

Jul 12 13 07:50 pm Link

Model

K I C K H A M

Posts: 14636

Los Angeles, California, US

No reason to reach out and warn people-- you will just look petty.

I'm often a "pinch" model. I have photographers I work with on a very regular basis, and we have a great working relationship. When a girl flakes, they call me (or one of the other few others like me they each have) and usually can have A model.

Not perfect, but it works.

Also, sometimes usually casting calls on MM to find last-minute replacements works.

Jul 12 13 07:57 pm Link

Photographer

terrysphotocountry

Posts: 4144

Rochester, New York, US

JessieLeigh wrote:
Are you paying the models? That's usually helpful, although it doesn't always weed out the flakes.

Are you talking to other photographers the models have worked with, to ensure that they have showed up for previous shoots as planned? If not, why not?

I have arranged a location and paid money

Jul 12 13 08:03 pm Link

Photographer

Rasa Von Werder

Posts: 17

Brooklyn, New York, US

This is CONSTANT with male models - with female models over a ten year time I only had two flakes & THIRTY GOOD ONES.
But with males, MORE R FLAKES THAN NON FLAKES.
In fact, I lost $1,300. in 2012 on BUYING TICKETS - airplane & bus tickets & advances, 4 guys that DID NOT SHOW.  New rule is no more tickets or advances.
Spend as little $$ as possible in anticipation of their arrival--Realize that a large percent of them will not show up - It's just a part of this business - Just how it is, ....And it works both ways.  Photographers do bad things to models, even though they are usually older & more reputable.  I have spoken to 100 models & they tell me their stories. It's a business where people are mostly UNACCOUNTABLE & CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WISH - show or not show - without any penalty, so people just follow their own feelings or last-minute moods, not caring what happens to the other party.  Just be prepared that this will happen again & again.  I have had few models, but many flakes this year.  They come up with every excuse - all lies - broken arm, I got arrested, there was a bomb scare - the bus driver saw me but kept going on.....THEY JUST DON'T CARE ENOUGH TO GET TO THE JOB - even when I was paying some of them $500. or $1,000.!  Believe it or not!  The TRADES are more likely to flake, but paids flake also.  My solution is SPEND NO MONEY IN ADVANCE OR AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE, KEEP LOOKING 4 NEW MODELS.  It's a percentage game.  People say "find ones with character."  There are VERY FEW MEN IN THEIR 20'S with "character."  What gets them here the most likely is DESPERATION FOR MONEY - or else they want to meet me or have a vacation away from where they live.  If U have ten people who say they will do it, eight or more will flake.  What gets me is standing @ the bus & no one gets off.  They don't even call.

Jul 12 13 08:05 pm Link

Model

Shilo Von Porcelaine

Posts: 227

Chicago, Illinois, US

Also, if they ever contact you to shoot again, you could either charge them for it, or have them put down a deposit (especially if you're renting a space/taking time off work/other expenses.)

Jul 12 13 09:23 pm Link

Model

Amber Dawn - Colorado

Posts: 6243

Castle Rock, Colorado, US

There are MANY MANY post on this topic, Do a search and you'll get MANY MANY opinions.

Just move on find Models who are serious :-)

Jul 12 13 10:08 pm Link

Photographer

ontherocks

Posts: 22605

Salem, Oregon, US

i'm reluctant to spend money i can't get refunded on a TF shoot, especially the first time around with a particular model. this extends to hiring a MUA. once the model has proven herself reliable then i might be more willing.

Jul 12 13 10:36 pm Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12827

Atlanta, Georgia, US

How to handle a no show?  Call the agency and they send another.  Seriously if you are talking about a shoot with money involved then seek professionals to work with.

As others have mentioned this is a common topic and you just can't expect too much out of someone doing this on the side or as a hobby.  There are potential day job issues that could come up that could kill a shoot, not just the dead grandmother excuse/flake model issues.

Jul 12 13 10:48 pm Link

Photographer

Desert Shadows Photo

Posts: 406

Mesquite, Nevada, US

What I usually will do is when the modeling session is done, I will pay the model a minimum of $25/hr (minimum of equivalent of a 2 hr session, $50) even if the shoot was meant to be a TF session. I don't want to tell the model that it is a paid session, then if their heart isn't in it they won't show up. Like I said, this happens mostly with male models. Very little trouble with the female models.

Jul 13 13 10:01 am Link

Model

Alexandria Web

Posts: 20

Washington, England, United Kingdom

I had a photographer no show a while back, I made sure to let the models I'm friendly with know that she didn't turn up (despite telling me 12 hours previous that she was really looking forward to shooting with me).

Jul 14 13 06:21 am Link

Photographer

Amul La La

Posts: 828

Plymouth, England, United Kingdom

Desert Shadows Photo wrote:
Some models that I have contacted or who have contacted me for a shoot seem to e pretty fickle. The are all enthusiastic to model, keep e-mailing me about the shoot but when I have arranged a location and paid money t hold the location all of a sudden 2 days before the shoot I never hear from them again. This happens mostly with male models. Female models have very rarely stood me up. How do you handle a situation like this? Is there a way to warn other photographers about such models?? What gives??

Checking references, not checking references, talking to other people they've worked with, not talking to others they've worked with, granted there are little things you can do to try to build up an immunity to flakes, but there is no defense, full proof, like a creatives that actually turns up, bar that there's not much assurity the creative won't do a Houdini - you have to roll with the punches, if you aren't working with e.g aspiring fashion agency models.

Jul 15 13 04:35 am Link

Photographer

Risen Phoenix Photo

Posts: 1402

Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

Work with a team of models who love your work and that know you well.  I have never had a no show once I started this system

Jul 15 13 06:49 pm Link

Model

P I X I E

Posts: 35327

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Post hidden on Jul 15, 2013 07:10 pm
Reason: not helpful

Jul 15 13 06:53 pm Link

Photographer

MFP Photography

Posts: 1

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, US

Does anyone know any model in Oklahoma that wants to do a shoot at all?  My cameras are gathering so much dust I'm considering selling everything and spending more time on the couch.

Jul 15 13 07:01 pm Link

Model

P I X I E

Posts: 35327

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

MFP Photography wrote:
Does anyone know any model in Oklahoma that wants to do a shoot at all?  My cameras are gathering so much dust I'm considering selling everything and spending more time on the couch.

Post a casting call and you will find out.

http://www.modelmayhem.com/post_casting_call

Jul 15 13 07:05 pm Link

Photographer

HWM Photography

Posts: 1395

Chicago, Illinois, US

I am leaning toward agency models period.  And I am so sick of the "I've never cancelled before, but this came up.." BS.  Oh, I do pay models.

Jul 15 13 07:21 pm Link

Photographer

Top Gun Digital

Posts: 1273

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Desert Shadows Photo wrote:
Some models that I have contacted or who have contacted me for a shoot seem to e pretty fickle. The are all enthusiastic to model, keep e-mailing me about the shoot but when I have arranged a location and paid money t hold the location all of a sudden 2 days before the shoot I never hear from them again. This happens mostly with male models. Female models have very rarely stood me up. How do you handle a situation like this? Is there a way to warn other photographers about such models?? What gives??

You need to understand that many of the people on Model Mayhem are not professionals.  This applies to both models and photographers.  As a result, it's very common to have a model flake.  The behavior that you just experienced is actually very common as far a doing a lot of planning for a shoot and then having nothing happen.   I have been in contact with many models that say they want to shoot and they discuss wardrobe, compensation, makeup, etc.  When you actually try to pin down a date for a shoot you never hear from them again.

The key here is to not invest any money when working with a model you don't know.  I learned that lesson the hard way after renting a studio more then once to shoot a model I didn't know only to have the model flake leaving me stuck paying for the studio.  The only time I would consider renting a studio now would be to shoot with a model that I have previously worked with that I am confident will show up.

Jul 15 13 07:29 pm Link

Model

Ivanafox

Posts: 979

Healesville, Victoria, Australia

If it's any consolation this happens on both sides of the camera.
This is a site full of random people who have photography in common, that's it, nothing else.
Some are professional and reliable, some are complete morons who have no respect or care for others and lots who are in-between. Keep that in mind when setting up a shoot, do whatever you can to keep communication clear and prove you aren't one of the idiots (cos like I said models cop it too) and hope for the best that you're arranging things with one of the better people.
One thing that is guranteed is that there is no guranteed method of avoiding the morons.

Jul 15 13 08:02 pm Link

Photographer

Eric Nelson

Posts: 3

Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand

I like that! smile
Seems you did everything as you should have and that's how I'm now handling my TF shoots after my first no show today.  It's a beautiful day in Bangkok and I'm doing laundry instead of shooting!

TEA Photography wrote:
I've been in Chicago for the summer and I have contacted a number of models about doing some shoots.  Five of them pulled no-shows.  We communicated, I confirmed and on the day of the shoot they didn't show-up or call.  My response was to tag their page with one word, (UNPROFESSIONAL).  I have found that a lot of models don't think like a professionals and they are not concerned about the photographers time.  But, let the photographer be one day late getting them the images and they have a fit.

Its the chance we take.  We should start asking for references.

Aug 01 13 01:01 am Link

Photographer

Happy Guy Photos

Posts: 1141

Upland, California, US

To Desert Shadows Photo --

Desert Shadows Photo wrote:
Some models that I have contacted or who have contacted me for a shoot seem to e pretty fickle. The are all enthusiastic to model, keep e-mailing me about the shoot but when I have arranged a location and paid money t hold the location all of a sudden 2 days before the shoot I never hear from them again. This happens mostly with male models. Female models have very rarely stood me up. How do you handle a situation like this? Is there a way to warn other photographers about such models?? What gives??

This is a freelance modeling site and "no shows" are to be expected.

I get quite a few of those. Just got one yesterday, in fact. She probably got a better deal with another photographer, or one that was noticably closer, and made up a story of why she couldn't make it. I just move on. Now that I shoot at my house, it doesn't affect me as much. Before, when I was shooting at a studio, I would really get depressed. After awhile the studio owner booted me out because he was losing money and could have booked with another photographer who hired an agency model. And, yes, I was paying a non-refundable deposit.

End point -- you're not doing anything wrong so don't take it personally. You may want to do what many others are doing now, joining Meetup.com and attending their groupshoots. That's pretty much a sure thing. Then you can try to hook up with a particular model and do a "one on one" later on.

Aug 01 13 04:25 pm Link

Photographer

Antediluvian Design

Posts: 1137

Dunmore, Pennsylvania, US

Hit the pub for a frosty pint of goodness..smile

Aug 01 13 05:42 pm Link

Photographer

New Art Photo

Posts: 701

Los Angeles, California, US

Desert Shadows Photo wrote:
Some models that I have contacted or who have contacted me for a shoot seem to e pretty fickle. The are all enthusiastic to model, keep e-mailing me about the shoot but when I have arranged a location and paid money t hold the location all of a sudden 2 days before the shoot I never hear from them again. This happens mostly with male models. Female models have very rarely stood me up. How do you handle a situation like this? Is there a way to warn other photographers about such models?? What gives??

I constantly get girls who contact me showing some interest, then drift away.
( And this is when I'm on my best email behavior.)
I do TFP shoots, and I  think
often the girls are not particularly motivated.

Aug 01 13 05:55 pm Link

Model

Isis22

Posts: 2567

Muncie, Indiana, US

Desert Shadows Photo wrote:
What I usually will do is when the modeling session is done, I will pay the model a minimum of $25/hr (minimum of equivalent of a 2 hr session, $50) even if the shoot was meant to be a TF session. I don't want to tell the model that it is a paid session, then if their heart isn't in it they won't show up. Like I said, this happens mostly with male models. Very little trouble with the female models.

Offer to pay them FIRST so they will show up!

I would do like others suggested and have a backup plan if you are renting a studio. No way would I put out money unless I know for a fact I am going to have someone show up.

Aug 01 13 07:37 pm Link

Photographer

GER Photography

Posts: 7935

Imperial, California, US

Uh,, ball peen hammer??:-)))))

Aug 01 13 07:49 pm Link

Photographer

Farenell Photography

Posts: 18127

Albany, New York, US

Rule #1, "Never invest more into a shoot than that to which you cannot afford to lose if things go south."

Aug 01 13 08:24 pm Link

Photographer

JAE

Posts: 2141

West Chester, Pennsylvania, US

I shoot somewhere that is free if I don't know the model yet or don't have a friends recommendation. I make the model text me a few hours before the shoot to confirm. I never have complete flakes where I am at location waiting around wondering, but sometimes get same day cancellations. Gives me time to find something else to do and I am not upset because there's no money invested.

Aug 01 13 08:35 pm Link

Photographer

REED Photography

Posts: 32

Los Angeles, California, US

I had a model pull the "food poisoning" excuse, literally 6 hours before the shoot. I'd gotten wardrobe and a mua for her.

Luckily the gorgeous MM girl in my avatar emailed me back at 8am and said she could fill in! And this was on a sunday!

For every flake there is a gem.

I'm actually pretty happy that girl "got food poisoning" because I don't think the images would have been as awesome had I not shot with Anastasia.

Lesson that i learned... always double book... because one of them will most likely flake. Always better to have too many models booked than have none!

Aug 02 13 07:40 pm Link

Photographer

Michael Zahra

Posts: 1106

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Marin Photography NYC wrote:
Typical flake behavior. Just move on, not much to do about nothing when nothing happened.

A word of advice, don't spend money on any shoot where you are not 110% positive that the model will show.  Pick locations and places that don't cost you anything. That's what I do. If I need a model for a project I pick one I know or go through an agency. They are more likely to show up.

Exactly...

Aug 02 13 07:45 pm Link

Photographer

Michael Zahra

Posts: 1106

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

90038 Photography wrote:
I had a model pull the "food poisoning" excuse, literally 6 hours before the shoot. I'd gotten wardrobe and a mua for her.

Luckily the gorgeous MM girl in my avatar emailed me back at 8am and said she could fill in! And this was on a sunday!

For every flake there is a gem.

I'm actually pretty happy that girl "got food poisoning" because I don't think the images would have been as awesome had I not shot with Anastasia.

Lesson that i learned... always double book... because one of them will most likely flake. Always better to have too many models booked than have none!

If it's a TF creative, I'll often double book.  It's not really double booking (like airlines over book seats) as I'll shoot both, separately and together if they wish.  While I'm shooting one, HMUA can do their magic and I can even use a model as an assistant if I'm alone shooting outdoors.

Aug 02 13 07:48 pm Link