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Photographer
Rob Walker
Posts: 461
Loveland, Colorado, US


Good Egg Productions wrote:
Ratios aside, I liken it to golf.

Golf is really frustrating.  You can hack up 13 holes in a row and lose 6 balls in the process, but on the 14th hole you happen to take that 6 iron out and pop it high and straight and somehow roll it up about 3 feet from the cup.  Then you two putt that and lose two more balls and score an amazing 112 for the round.

But when you're having your third beer at the course bar, all you REALLY care about is that beautiful approach shot on the 14th.

And that's why you make a reservation for next week.

+1  That about sums it up...

Oct 12 12 03:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Eridu
Posts: 623
Boston, Massachusetts, US


Orca Bay Images wrote:

1) Learn some of the traits of flakes (note: hardly a comprehensive list). Be wary of:
    A) Unrealistic hopes and expectations
    B) Excessive enthusiasm
    C) Poor/inconsistent communication
    D) Fear and skittishness (especially if it manifests itself in boyfriend/husband is
        required as escort)
    E) If the model seems skittish, suggest she participate in a
        multi-model shoot with hair/MUA in attendance.

2) Do a cursory background check on the model. It's not foolproof.
    A) Check the model's profile tags. Are there any photographers leaving tags like,
        "What happened to you?" That's a kiss of death if those tags exist.
    B) Ask photographers who've worked with that model. (You'll rarely get a negative
        response, but you can verify the model's work ethic.)
    C) Ask other photographers you know if they'd dealt with the model. By this
        method I have found out some models have a history of flaking.
    D) If in doubt, include the model in a multi-model shoot. If she
        bails, you still have someone else to work with. And the model
        who does show gets our undivided attention.


3) Establish a policy for communication and timely response. Let the model know.
    A) For me, in the last 4-5 days before the shoot, any response slower than 24
        hours may terminate the shoot.
    B) I contact the model the day before the shoot to verify. If by the day of the
        shoot I don't get a response, I try one last time by email and voice call.
        No reply within an hour or two, no shoot.
    C) I don't hit the road without hearing from the model (voice call or email) on the
        day of the shoot.
    NOTE: When told about my requirement for timely response, most models are
             pretty good about contacting me proactively.

Can I use this...TF natch?

Oct 12 12 04:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Jordan Bunniie
Posts: 1,691
Los Angeles, California, US


I've had four flakes in nearly 100 shoots.

One was very early on, the classic no show "Im here where are you" crap.

Second was someone who never game an address. They might think I flaked, but I cant show up to no where. (can I?)

The third I drove 90 mins up a mountain to a random as fuck location, he gave very easy directions so I know it was the right place, I got there early, waited, called 10 mins after we agreed to meet. Nothing. He called me 5 mins later claiming to be at the location. Not possible. I waited a bit longer, incase he was nuts and lost. No.

The fourth disappeared after telling me hed email me the address in an hour or so.


4/100 aint so bad.
Oct 12 12 04:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Orca Bay Images
Posts: 32,233
Lodi, California, US


Autonomy II wrote:
Can I use this...TF natch?

Feel free.

Oct 12 12 05:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SPierce Photography
Posts: 19,774
Amherst, Massachusetts, US


I have never had a flake- no one has ever given me a "my grandma died" excuse, and i've never had a no call no show. I have had messages/communication drop off before a date was even scheduled- but that isn't a flake and it happens to everyone.

If someone calls and says they can't make it on a day, we normally reschedule right away and the shoot goes off without a hitch.

I never call first, but we exchange phone numbers. All communication is done through MM message, email, or text message.

I did have one girl cancel and say she was having car trouble, but magically make it to a shoot with one of my MUA friends the day we were supposed to shoot. i consider that a dodged bullet- and her loss!

On my other (alternative/nude) profile, people are more likely to cancel and reschedule.

None of it really bothers me though- I've got other things to take pics of!
Oct 12 12 06:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Eros Fine Art Photo
Posts: 2,596
Torrance, California, US


Rik Image wrote:
Ever get moments when it seems the world is full of flakes?

I'm sure both models and photographers can relate to this feeling.

I shot 3 amazing lingerie series last weekend, only to have 3 ladies drop on me this weekend.

Oh well, I guess the odds catch up with you sooner or later.

Tell us your worst flake stories.

I've shot with 100% of the models who showed up for the shoot.  wink

Yeah it sucks when it happens.  In my book, the really good shoots more than make up for the ones that flake though.  Given the numbers on this site (what are we up to now, about half a million models here?), it's inevitable you're going to come across those people who make it sound like they're genuinely going to show up and then simply won't keep their word. 

We've all been there (trust me on that one lol), so you're definitely not alone out there.  Don't lose faith.

Oct 12 12 07:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,717
Salinas, California, US


Rik Image wrote:
Ever get moments when it seems the world is full of flakes?

No.

Rik Image wrote:
I'm sure both models and photographers can relate to this feeling.

I can't.

Rik Image wrote:
I shot 3 amazing lingerie series last weekend, only to have 3 ladies drop on me this weekend.

Glad to hear you got three in last weekend.  Sorry you were dropped for this weekend.  At least you already know that they are canceling on you, right? 

Rik Image wrote:
Oh well, I guess the odds catch up with you sooner or later.

I consider a true "flake" to be a "No call/No show" ... and I've had only one of those in recent times .. it was in March of 2006 as a matter of fact.

Rik Image wrote:
Tell us your worst flake stories.

My only flake story is boring.  I'd rather tell you how I reduce the chances of models flaking or being late.  Best wishes to you!  smile

Oct 12 12 08:21 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,717
Salinas, California, US


Looknsee Photography wrote:
People tend not to believe me, but I've had two flakes in the last 18 years.

Some reasons why I think I have such a good "flake ratio":

...  I am selective when it comes to models.  I prefer experienced ones.  (Models
     who flake tend not to last long enough to become "experienced").

...  I check references.  Photographers in this area talk with each other, and we
     can share both good & bad information about models.

...  I am professional, laid back, positive, empathetic & constructive.

...  I treat models as respected adults.  I don't ask for deposits.  I don't insist on
     phone calls.  I don't require face-to-face meetings.  If she says she'll be at
     the photo session at a certain time, I believe her.

...  I am experienced myself.

...  I am clear in my communications.  We discuss expectations before we agree to
     work together.

...  I produce images that are of sufficient quality & uniqueness that models want
     to work for me.

...  Most times, I pay models (because my web site brings in revenue).

There are probably other factors, but that's the gist of it.

I believe you!  Because it's similar for me too.  smile

Oct 12 12 08:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,717
Salinas, California, US


MichelleGenevieve wrote:
My ratio currently stands at 50 / 50, with some pending that could go either way.  It's puzzling - even after I respond with a Yes some photographers simply vanish with no further contact.

Maybe their grandmothers died?

Do you consider it a "flake" if you have not set a shoot date?  I don't.  If some one vanishes on you with no further contact, there sould be a lot of reasons .. like perhaps they lost interest.  Whatever the reason, if they didn't set a date to shoot, then how could it be flaking?

Oct 12 12 08:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Ivanafox
Posts: 979
Healesville, Victoria, Australia


Answering the last line of Op posting. My worst flake story-

I was meeting up with a photographer for a pre-shoot meeting to check out a location- it was a park at a reservior (dam) up in the mountains. It was belting down with rain. I tried to call him to see if he wanted to postpone but I kept getting his message system on his phone so I went anyway. Waited in tha car for around an hour, still no contact and in the end I sent an SMS "if you aren't here by X time I will assume you aren't coming and I'm leaving". It got to XX time, turned the key on my car. Nothing. Because it was raining I stayed in my car and didn't realise I had left my headlights on and my battery was now dead.
A few hours later a friend finally arrive with jumper leads to rescue me.
What a total waste of time, I didn't even get a hot cup of coffee from it.
To add insult he tried to tell me I never set a pre-shoot meeting with him, it must have been somone impersonating him since he was in India (or some foreign country) I know he was lying since a year later and not one India photo has ever appeared on his webpage,folio facebook anywhere. (not to mention a trail of messages!)
Oct 13 12 02:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rik Williams
Posts: 3,446
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Patrick Walberg wrote:

Rik Image wrote:
Ever get moments when it seems the world is full of flakes?

No.

Rik Image wrote:
I'm sure both models and photographers can relate to this feeling.

I can't.


Glad to hear you got three in last weekend.  Sorry you were dropped for this weekend.  At least you already know that they are canceling on you, right? 


I consider a true "flake" to be a "No call/No show" ... and I've had only one of those in recent times .. it was in March of 2006 as a matter of fact.


My only flake story is boring.  I'd rather tell you how I reduce the chances of models flaking or being late.  Best wishes to you!  smile

Thank's Patrick smile that's a great way of looking at things!

You know what they say though, one door closes and another opens.
Still having my prearranged crew on standby, I decided to try out my luck and cast towards a few highbrow models here in Melbourne.
As a matter of fact, I picked up a lingerie fashion shoot with one of them just today. So I guess it was meant to be. Very effin happy to put it mildly 8D
In regards to true flakes though, yes you're right... the last notification I got for a cancellation was on Thursday evening, so I guess if I look at it in the most positive light, they're not really flakes at all.

Cheers everyone.

Oct 13 12 02:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ken D Photography
Posts: 674
Marietta, Ohio, US


Fat Kitty Studios wrote:
I'm not exactly located in the model capital but as I told my former assistant, I've had an easier time shooting Facebook founders and heads of state than local "models".

Amen to that smile

Oct 13 12 05:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DavidV
Posts: 40
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada


Not an annoying amount of flakes but the number of models who drop communication is incredible... seems to be consistent with nailing down a date for the shoot.
Oct 13 12 07:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
BlueMoonPics
Posts: 4,384
New York, New York, US


DavidV wrote:
Not an annoying amount of flakes but the number of models who drop communication is incredible... seems to be consistent with nailing down a date for the shoot.

Dropped communication, I get that a lot.
Isn't it like high school where one day the girl is all into you and the next you're yesterdays news.  Quite immature.

Oct 13 12 08:06 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vintagevista
Posts: 10,989
Sun City, California, US


It's been a coupla years since the last full fledged flake.  I've had them - but, I have my own system for limiting them.



I shoot with the same models multiple times - (cause I know they show up)

And I have a long and torturous communication for new models working with me - I figure if they can't hold up their end in a "shoot setup" series of emails - they are damned unlikely to hold up their end in making to the shoot.
Oct 13 12 08:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Stanley L Moore
Posts: 1,679
Houston, Texas, US


I get my fair share of flakes but seldom have much trouble. I pay the models and that incentivizes them. I do lots of repeat shoots with models I like and am comfortable with and these seldom flake.

I did have a travelling model scheduled but he texted and said he could not get a standby seat. That was 18 months ago and we still have not rescheduled though he recently contacted me to shoot.

Another first time model whiom I knew to be pretty inexperienced called me 30 minutes before teh shoot saying he was stuck in traffic but would be coming. Then no response after that. No show. I rarely do TF shoots but one this month was cancelled when teh model who was coming to Housatonfrom Canada on a business trip decided not to come after all because he had priblems in another city enroute to me. BUT he was courteous to inform me 48 hours in advance, so that is not really a flake.

I shall post alater about dropped communications and sudden at teh last minute unreasopnable demands fro meh models that cancelled teh shoot. I don't know if that qualifies a a flake.
Oct 13 12 09:13 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,532
Portland, Oregon, US


Looknsee Photography wrote:
People tend not to believe me, but I've had two flakes in the last 18 years.

...  Most times, I pay models (because my web site brings in revenue).

There are probably other factors, but that's the gist of it.

Art of the nude wrote:
Not that the rest is bad ideas, but I think you could have covered it with this.

Possibly, but I dunno.  I like to work with experienced models, and I believe a model doesn't get that kind of experience if they have a track record of flaking.  If I had to guess, I'd say that "experienced model" is better than "paid model".  (BTW:  "Experienced" might mean something different to me than to the model who claims to be "experienced").

Oct 13 12 09:57 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lovely Day Media
Posts: 4,237
Vineland, New Jersey, US


I'm sitting at about 63% success.  The 38% failure comes from people who say they want to shoot and set up a date and time but don't call and don't show, either. 

  My worst flake case is a toss up.  In one instance, I had a casting up for a swimsuit shoot.  The only one who responded was a 16 year old girl.  I tried to talk her out of wanting to shoot but her mother took over the conversation (supposedly, anyway) and said this was "all for her baby" so it didn't matter how far she had to drive (roughly 300 miles round trip).  The day before the shoot, she texts me to tell me her daughter is sick and would like to reschedule for 2 weeks later.  I'm a reasonable person and people do get sick sometimes, so yes, okay ... whatever.

  When the 2 weeks had passed, I sent her a text to ask if they were still coming.  She waited until the next morning to text me back with all sorts of apologies, excuses and questions.  Finally, half an hour before the shoot, she texts me to tell me she needs to go pick her other daughter up and she won't be able to make it to me for at least another 4-5 hours.  I told her I had another shoot to do so we'd have to reschedule.  I didn't hear anything else from her/them.

  The other one wasn't a 100% flake but it may as well have been.  I've talked about it before.  We had the shoot set up for 11 am in a local park.  The model didn't show up until 11:45, asked me if I was coming (I had been there since 10:45 or so) brought an escort (I don't really care) who wanted to play lawyer and review the release before she signed it (I still don't care).  She also brought her friend who brought her 2 children (both less than age 5).  We shot for about 15 minutes before they "had to go" because they were meeting some other photographer at that time in the same park.

  I told them it would take 7-10 working days to get them their pictures.  Well, it just so happened that a day or so later, a major storm came through and knocked the power out in just about the entire city.  My electricity came back on in about 2 days.  Some of the city was without power for 15 or so days.  Anyway, one of these models contacted me after 4 days to see where her pictures were.

  I reminded her that I promised her pictures in 7-10 working days.  At that point, it had only been 4 days and I was without power for 2 of them.  She asked me if I owned a laptop.  The answer is yes, but how long do you think a battery in a laptop lasts before dying?

  I got the pictures done in about 7 days (total, there weren't that many pictures since I had only 15 minutes of shoot time divided among 2 models who were both complaining that it was over 100 degrees that day).  I burned CDs and did a few other things for them to make the presentation nicer.  I contacted them to see when they'd have a spare 5 minutes to take delivery of their CD's ... both said "I'm busy, can you email them to me?". 

  The release promised them 5 pictures.  I emailed them both 5 pictures.  If they had spent 5 minutes to get the CD, they'd have each had at least 20 pictures and on a CD that wouldn't get corrupted if their computers crashed.

  So I live and I learn.  C'est la vie.
Oct 13 12 10:57 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,532
Portland, Oregon, US


Lovely Day Media wrote:
>

  So I live and I learn.  C'est la vie.

Can you share what you learned?  More specifically, what you would do differently next time?

Oct 13 12 11:30 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Andrew Thomas Evans
Posts: 24,078
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


Karl Johnston wrote:
I'm too awesome to be stood up wink

+1

If someone flakes on a test/free shoot the team and I just go out for drinks or something. Not our loss.



Andrew Thomas Evans
www.andrewthomasevans.com

Oct 13 12 11:34 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rob Photosby
Posts: 2,919
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


MichelleGenevieve wrote:
even after I respond with a Yes some photographers simply vanish with no further contact.

Maybe their grandmothers died?

Actually, photographers are very much like models in this respect.  Not only do they both have an unlimited supply of ailing grandmothers, if ever you manage to follow up with them after the flake event, you will invariably find that they were struck down by a mystery ailment that totally prevented them from doing anything other than logging into MM, reading previous messages, but being far to ill to even contemplate replying.

So spare a prayer those valiant souls who simply vanish from the in-box - they are either totally grief-stricken or at death's door themselves.

Oct 13 12 08:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lee Nutter
Posts: 160
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


My flake rate is near zero these days, but it hasn't always been that way. It's been a frustrating journey, but you do live and learn. Here's my tips, they'll somewhat overlap what's already been said, but they might be useful to someone, and might help get responses in the first place and decrease the flake rate at the same time:

1) be up front about expectations.
2) have a concept in mind when you contact a model.
3) personalize your messages where possible. We've probably all got that template we reuse, but switch it up a little and make each message personal.
4) when they've shown interest, offer your phone number. Most, but not all, serious models offer theirs in return.
5) unless absolutely necessary, don't book your shoots too far in advanced. One week seems to be the sweet spot for me, two weeks max.
6) be consistent with your replies. You can't always get back to them within a few minutes, but try for a 24 hours turn around.
7) MOST IMPORTANTLY: contact the model the day prior to the shoot, reminding them of what's been discussed and offering to discuss any issues via email or phone.
8) offer the model references. Especially for new models, this seems to calm nerves. I honestly don't know if my references have ever been used as I've never checked, but I always offer them for the model's peace of mind.
9) if someone has flaked on you once, they'll probably do it again. DON'T reward disrespectful behavior. Unless the excuse is absolutely legitimate (it's usually obvious) then move on. Some models are simply not worth the effort.

In my experience, it gets easier to sniff out flakes smile I'm more selective these days so I suppose that helps too, but I'm quick to offer potential flakes an easy out so I don't waste anybody's time.
Oct 14 12 03:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lovely Day Media
Posts: 4,237
Vineland, New Jersey, US


Looknsee Photography wrote:
Can you share what you learned?  More specifically, what you would do differently next time?

In cases like the former one, just say no.  She's too young (even if this is what she *wants* and her mother is coming with her), they live too far away and any sign of unreasonableness is probably a clue that they aren't going to show.

  In cases like the latter, call an end to the shoot before they begin.  In other words, if the meet time is 11am (it was) and the model doesn't show by 11:15 (she didn't) without communicating (even if her communication is a complete BS story like she's stuck in traffic in a city that doesn't have traffic problems, it's okay), I'm going home and considering them a flake.  I also learned to ask if they want their pictures available via email, download or CD.  If they want email or download, it takes a bit more time but I don't have to buy CD's and things that ultimately won't be used by anyone (except me for archiving).

  ETA:  After yesterday's flake, I've also learned that if I let them pick the day and time and they agree to the location but contact me to see about changing the time, don't do it.  They're probably a flake and if they aren't, they are just short.

  I'll be taking someone else's tip, too (if I remembered who said it the first time I heard it, I'd give credit where due).  If I don't get confirmation before I leave the house/office, I'm not going.  The shoot was set up 2 days ago, they were "excited to work with me", confirmed yesterday, communication this morning (they're still excited, though they need a time change).  I did text before I left the house but went anyway, thinking that if I didn't go, then I'd be the flake.

  I got to the location, still no word, so I text again.  Now I get the text that says they're "so sorry", but they had "unexpected problems with their father".  Whatever ....

Oct 14 12 04:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Farenell Photography
Posts: 18,092
Albany, New York, US


I live in an area where there are a lot of models who do this as a hobby. Nothing wrong w/ it, it just means modeling isn't priority #1 for them.

I seem to disproprotionally get more cancellations around when school restarts & during finals than I do any other time of year. Considering I vividly remember my own school days & how quickly I got swamped w/ work where I was living off of coffee & pulling all-nighters, it just is what it is.
Oct 14 12 06:20 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Rik Williams
Posts: 3,446
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


The consequence of my 3 model drop last weekend.

As a result of my 'unlucky' 3x model drop, I was incredibly lucky to manage a shoot with the wonderful Melbourne model, Sally Arnott...

One of the shots smile


http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/121015/02/507bdb6841afa_m.jpg
Oct 15 12 02:33 am  Link  Quote 
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