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Model
Shannon Haley
Posts: 50
Denver, Colorado, US


I've been freelance modeling on and off for about 4 years now, and I'm no pro but I think I've got a few things figured out.
Just the other day I did a shoot with a girl roughly about my age and she brought her mentor along.
The mentor was a nice guy, but he would not stop directing me. I didn't have any moment to throw some of my ideas and poses into the shoot. He kept it up so much that I was actually getting distracted from my posing and I was over thinking everything. He was demanding my attention away from the camera! The actual photographer girl couldn't hardly focus.
I'm all for tweaking or helping out here and there, making sure everything looks great but it was just toooooo much that day.


Anyone else have similar stories? Lets hear em!
Jan 08 13 09:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ivan Galaviz - Photo
Posts: 891
Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico


I've witnessed in pure HORROR photographers 'directing' good models trought the equivalent of taco hell of Poses... and they just don't ever shut up! They talk and talk and try to direct every limb and finger of the model, just to get the same pose over and over in ther portfolios.

I would rather NOT speak at all during the photoshoot, except maybe for something like "Lookout, there's a snake about to bite you". I think that good models are capable of posing without direction and need only minor 'feedback' when you're trying for something especific.
Jan 08 13 09:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
M Pandolfo Photography
Posts: 12,116
Tampa, Florida, US


I guess mentor sounds a lot better than sluggo.

The entire time reading this I couldn't help but think, "...and where was the photographer?" Sounds like the real issue was a photographer who didn't have control of the set.

Outside people (significant others, mothers, etc.) see someone else getting the attention and want desperately to feel relevant. The model is responsible for who she chooses to associate with. But the photographer is responsible for eliminating those outside distractions.

You should have taken the photographer aside and expressed your concerns. There's no excuse for someone, anyone, being allowed to disrupt a shoot. If it was me that person would have been told to leave. If the model had an issue with that, she would have been gone too.
Jan 08 13 09:28 am  Link  Quote 
Model
E e v a
Posts: 1,724
Nashville, Tennessee, US


I've been pretty lucky so far. There's maybe been a couple of instances of other models moms being pretty agitating. Only other time was when a model shooting after me tried to distract the photographer from my shoot. Usually speaking my mind in this case or asking the photographer to play some music will shut them up.
Jan 08 13 09:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ForeverFotos
Posts: 6,620
Indianapolis, Indiana, US


OP, your scenario is one of many reasons I do not allow escorts.......the photographer should've taken control of the shoot from the very beginning, but didn't. Escorts (or mentors if that is what they are being called now) are nothing but a huge distraction to the set. Unless you were being handsomely paid, you should have considered walking away after a few misdirected posing instructions from this "mentor"
Jan 08 13 09:40 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jeffrey M Fletcher
Posts: 4,342
Asheville, North Carolina, US


The use of the girl pronoun for two different people is confusing me. Was the mentor there with the photographer girl or another model girl?
Jan 08 13 10:06 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
BlueMoonPics
Posts: 4,227
New York, New York, US


Sorry, I'm a photographer answering but I usually like to give the model ideas for clothing and poses and let her extrapolate from there and give me the poses based on her personality.
That's why I think my pictures have some technical flaws in them but what I think is most important is the model's photo personality comes through.  That's what I love.
Jan 08 13 10:17 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Shannon Haley
Posts: 50
Denver, Colorado, US


Jeffrey M Fletcher wrote:
The use of the girl pronoun for two different people is confusing me. Was the mentor there with the photographer girl or another model girl?

The mentor was with the young photographer girl, who was shooting me.

Jan 08 13 10:22 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Shannon Haley
Posts: 50
Denver, Colorado, US


Thanks for the advice from some of you. That was a new situation for me to be in and I didn't really know how to handle it. I've been very lucky so far meeting wonderful people who are easy to work with. Next time that happens I will definitely pull the photographer off to the side and let them know what I see going on.
Jan 08 13 10:24 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mark Salo
Posts: 8,193
Olney, Maryland, US


Shannon Haley wrote:
The mentor was with the young photographer girl, who was shooting me.

I would complain in front of both of them.  I have done this on more than one occasion.

Jan 08 13 10:40 am  Link  Quote 
Model
MoRina
Posts: 5,703
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US


Was it a paid shoot, or a trade shoot?  If I am being paid and the person paying me wishes to direct every move, I am completely fine with that. 

If it was a trade shoot, you should have stopped the shoot and discussed how you were going to accomplish getting something from the shoot that you were happy with (since it appears that you didn't discuss this beforehand).  Maybe 1 hour with his direction, and one hour of your own posing.  Or, had you known about the "mentor" beforehand, you could have checked out his portfolio and decided if his style was what you wanted in your portfolio.  You may have decided to skip the shoot altogether.
Jan 08 13 12:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Brightonn
Posts: 234
New Orleans, Louisiana, US


MoRina wrote:
Was it a paid shoot, or a trade shoot?  If I am being paid and the person paying me wishes to direct every move, I am completely fine with that. 

If it was a trade shoot, you should have stopped the shoot and discussed how you were going to accomplish getting something from the shoot that you were happy with (since it appears that you didn't discuss this beforehand).  Maybe 1 hour with his direction, and one hour of your own posing.  Or, had you known about the "mentor" beforehand, you could have checked out his portfolio and decided if his style was what you wanted in your portfolio.  You may have decided to skip the shoot altogether.

I think the question of the basic compensation of the shoot is very important.  If its paid, I would be much less likely to say something in front of all parties, but would have still had a private quick conversation with the young photographer.  But, disrupting the whole shoot in a paid situation is probably not the right answer.  I also do freelance graphic design, that means I open my self up to supply exactly what the contractor wants, including correcting the design as many as 5-10 times.

Jan 08 13 12:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
deletedxxx
Posts: 149
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


It's really unusual for a photographer to bring along an escort/mentor whatever. I also think it's extremely unusual for you to strike a total beginner who obviously is insecure and is completely clueless about anything. I'm also amazed that someone like that would even have the smarts to arrange a shoot. Who did you talk with to set up the shoot, her or her mentor?

I think this is a very rare situation and not one you'll encounter again.
Jan 08 13 01:02 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Lily Darling
Posts: 1,299
Lansing, Michigan, US


I had something similar. At a shoot I had the photographer directing me, and then randomly their friend thy brought was also a photographer started telling me what to do, then some random girl thy showed up and never modeled a day in her life was trying to tell me what to do. That girl just pissed me off but the battling photographers made me extremely insecure and uncomfortable. It totally came through in the pictures. I was so confused. And then the main photographer started to get pissy with me because of all of the chaos. Smh.
Jan 08 13 01:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
eye4art
Posts: 4
San Diego, California, US


BlueMoonPics wrote:
Sorry, I'm a photographer answering but I usually like to give the model ideas for clothing and poses and let her extrapolate from there and give me the poses based on her personality.
That's why I think my pictures have some technical flaws in them but what I think is most important is the model's photo personality comes through.  That's what I love.

Jan 08 13 01:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
eye4art
Posts: 4
San Diego, California, US


Bravo to BlueMoon,
        Images don't always have to look right to have the right look.

As for the original complaint about some overbearing ass ruining a shoot, I've had it happen when others chime in too much but I finally either pull the plug or get them off set, pronto.
Shannon you sound like a great gal with a great attitude, let this go and seek more professional shooters, life's too short.
Jan 08 13 01:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
D S P
Posts: 510
Portland, Oregon, US


Totally understand your frustration... It's their loss. Hopefully you got something worthwhile out of the shoot.
Jan 08 13 01:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,376
Dallas, Texas, US


Your story reminds me of when I was married and going to my 14-year old step-daughter's basketball games.  The mother of one of her friends used to CONSTANTLY yell instructions from the stands to her daughter - "...take the shot...", "...drive the basket...", etc., etc.  I used to wonder why it never occurred to her that her daughter had a coach with a game plan and maybe the mother (who knew nothing about basketball) had no business telling her daughter how to play during the game..that her directions might be in total opposition to what the daughter's coach (and/or teammates) had in mind for her to be doing.

The same could be said of your photoshoot.  Unless there is a separate, specifically designated director for the shoot - the photographer is in charge and is the only one who should be directing (open to suggestions - yes - but only the photographer should be making the calls).
Jan 08 13 01:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
terrysphotocountry
Posts: 4,073
Rochester, New York, US


ForeverFotos wrote:
OP, your scenario is one of many reasons I do not allow escorts.......the photographer should've taken control of the shoot from the very beginning, but didn't. Escorts (or mentors if that is what they are being called now) are nothing but a huge distraction to the set. Unless you were being handsomely paid, you should have considered walking away after a few misdirected posing instructions from this "mentor"

< AGREE!

Jan 08 13 01:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
T A Y L O R
Posts: 2,977
Austin, Texas, US


I like helpful "suck in, push out" tips, but when people get over directy it can get pretty disheartening. One of my favorite photographers was shooting with Mosh when she came into town, and he (he likes to be overly posey) was trying to direct her and she put a finger up to her lips and said "you clicky, me posey." lol I love that story.

I think most of the time people either are really trying to be helpful or are really going on an ego trip.
Jan 08 13 01:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
NYMPH
Posts: 618
Oakland, California, US


Oh man. I feel your pain, and I know exactly what you are talking about. Fortunately, I've had less run ins with this lately. At some point, I'll just start posing on my own, when the photographer is futzing with the camera or something. Sometimes this doesn't work, and I just kind of zone out and just give them whatever pose their asking for. If it's a trade, then I will definitely speak up and let them know that I want to do what I want to do.

I also had one time recently where the direction wasn't bad, but it was nearly constant. As soon as I started to explore and solidify one pose, the photographer would say something else. About 3/4 of the way through, I realized that he was just a chatty person, and that the posing style actually yielded some dynamic, interesting photographers. But man, if you're not used to it, it can feel like you're doing everything wrong.
Jan 08 13 04:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
NYMPH
Posts: 618
Oakland, California, US


T A Y L O R  wrote:
One of my favorite photographers was shooting with Mosh when she came into town, and he (he likes to be overly posey) was trying to direct her and she put a finger up to her lips and said "you clicky, me posey." lol I love that story.

That is absolutely classic. I love it!

Jan 08 13 04:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Jordan L Duncan
Posts: 207
Jacksonville, Florida, US


I've never shot with a photographer who had a mentor but it sounds like you had a bad experience. I've had similar experiences when shooting with more than one photographer at a time, or when other people were around for various reasons (one time I was working with a team and the MUA kept suggesting poses and stuff for me to do) but I've never had to deal with a mentor and student sort of situation. To me is seems a bit trickier since the padawan is trying to learn from the camera jedi. But if he's her mentor then he should have been suggesting things for HER what to do, not you. If he wanted to shoot you and tell you how to pose then he should have booked you himself.

Many of the previous comments say that either you should have taken the photographer aside and let her know you were being distracted, or the photographer should have told the mentor to cool it. Faced with a new situation like this, I'm not so sure that I would have done anything differently than you. I probably would have been flabbergasted but done the best I could and then chalked it up to experience.

Maybe you should email the photographer and let her know that you would like to work with her again, but alone next time??? Maybe even tell her that even though you are sure it was with the best intentions, her mentor was distracting. I would probably add a nice compliment to soften it up a little and say that I thought she could do beautiful work without having someone breathing down her neck the whole time.
Jan 08 13 07:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Jordan L Duncan
Posts: 207
Jacksonville, Florida, US


MoRina wrote:
Was it a paid shoot, or a trade shoot?  If I am being paid and the person paying me wishes to direct every move, I am completely fine with that. 

If it was a trade shoot, you should have stopped the shoot and discussed how you were going to accomplish getting something from the shoot that you were happy with (since it appears that you didn't discuss this beforehand).  Maybe 1 hour with his direction, and one hour of your own posing.  Or, had you known about the "mentor" beforehand, you could have checked out his portfolio and decided if his style was what you wanted in your portfolio.  You may have decided to skip the shoot altogether.

I'm fine with being directed within an inch of my life for a paid shoot as well, but since it was the photographer's mentor and not the actual photographer I think it was too much for her. If the photographer wasn't speaking up she had no way of knowing if the photographer was agreement with the mentor about the direction and if she should be following the mentor's suggestions (or demands) or ignoring him and doing her own thing.

Jan 08 13 07:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Jordan L Duncan
Posts: 207
Jacksonville, Florida, US


T A Y L O R  wrote:
"you clicky, me posey."

LOVE!

Jan 08 13 07:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chuck Goodenough
Posts: 544
Los Angeles, California, US


I could say a lot about this thread BUT - the most extreme example I have was the time I was hired to shoot Phyllis Diller for her new Chili on the rooftop of The Moorehouse Foods building downtown Los Angeles.  Helicopter arrival and all.

I'll give you 5 minutes to imagine it, because thats exactly how it went.

I had medium format Hassey & portable strobe (film), assistant - and did not say one word of direction to her the whole time.  She yelled me into my position, told me what the background should be and then asked that I wait till she counted to 3 so she could strike her wildly exaggerated poses.   It was perfect.  I was even told when it was a wrap.
Jan 08 13 08:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
NewBoldPhoto
Posts: 4,897
PORT MURRAY, New Jersey, US


T A Y L O R  wrote:
"you clicky, me posey."

If only we could each stay in our own spheres and get the desired results

Jan 08 13 08:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Good Egg Productions
Posts: 15,308
Orlando, Florida, US


T A Y L O R  wrote:
I like helpful "suck in, push out" tips, but when people get over directy it can get pretty disheartening. One of my favorite photographers was shooting with Mosh when she came into town, and he (he likes to be overly posey) was trying to direct her and she put a finger up to her lips and said "you clicky, me posey." lol I love that story.

I think most of the time people either are really trying to be helpful or are really going on an ego trip.

If I've hired you, you do what I ask.

Even if that means I'm asking you to pose in what YOU think is a crappy pose.

If you can't comply, then you're free to forfeit your pay and go home. 



Now, that said, I'm good enough to recognize when a model needs direction to accomplish what I'm after and when I should just shut up and press buttons.  But if I'm trying to do something very specific, I expect the professional model that I've hired to be professional and deliver.



All of that is out the window when we've both been hired by a third party to do something.  Then we BOTH do what the client wants.  Hopefully, we've both been fully briefed on what that is and how to accomplish it.

Jan 08 13 08:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gary Melton
Posts: 6,376
Dallas, Texas, US


Good Egg Productions wrote:
If I've hired you, you do what I ask.

Even if that means I'm asking you to pose in what YOU think is a crappy pose.

If you can't comply, then you're free to forfeit your pay and go home. 



Now, that said, I'm good enough to recognize when a model needs direction to accomplish what I'm after and when I should just shut up and press buttons.  But if I'm trying to do something very specific, I expect the professional model that I've hired to be professional and deliver.



All of that is out the window when we've both been hired by a third party to do something.  Then we BOTH do what the client wants.  Hopefully, we've both been fully briefed on what that is and how to accomplish it.

Yes, in most cases, whoever is footing the bill should be doing the great majority of the directing.  The exception is when the person being paid is the one with the most proven track record.

For example - if a beginning starlet hires a world class photographer to produce some photos to help build her career, she should have the good sense to listen to his direction and let him do his thing (even though she is paying him).

By the same token, if a journeyman photographer hires a wildly successful commericial model - he should have the good sense to let her show the chops that got her where she is.

Jan 09 13 09:06 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
D-Light
Posts: 573
Newcastle, Limerick, Ireland


The photographer should be in control at all times. If she chooses to bring a mentor, he or she should observe and speak to the photographer during a break or after the shoot.

If it's necessary to have a third person in studio for any reason, that person should not speak or interfer in any way with the shoot.

I would feel that, in this case, you were fully entitled to ask that the 'mentor' leave the studio.

I shoot with an assistant and the rule is that she never directs the model or comments in any way. If there's anything she wants to ask or say, she does so during the breaks. I will explain what I'm doing during the shoot, for both the benefit of the model and my assistant.
Jan 09 13 09:29 am  Link  Quote 
Model
NYMPH
Posts: 618
Oakland, California, US


Gary Melton wrote:
Yes, in most cases, whoever is footing the bill should be doing the great majority of the directing.  The exception is when the person being paid is the one with the most proven track record.

For example - if a beginning starlet hires a world class photographer to produce some photos to help build her career, she should have the good sense to listen to his direction and let him do his thing (even though she is paying him).

By the same token, if a journeyman photographer hires a wildly successful commericial model - he should have the good sense to let her show the chops that got her where she is.

Precisely, my good Gary. I couldn't agree more.

I would also like to add to this complaint regarding overly directive photographers: I cannot stand someone who cannot give direction, or interrupts the flow of a shoot. I have developed a generally good intuition about where you might need me to adjust a pose, but sometimes (especially when working with projections, shadows, bodypaint, etc.) I cannot see what needs adjusting, and I am relying completely on the other person. I've had some experiences where this works out great (Juan Moreno, Trina Merry), and others where it's like pulling teeth while the photographer figures out which arm is my right, and whether I need to move forward or back.

I also loathe it when we cannot find a consistent rhythm. Everyone has different speeds. But when you suddenly ask me to hold a pose where I'm practically levitating, oh gr. Or the 'constant clickers' who don't let a model fully pose, they just keep snapping away.

Jan 09 13 11:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dan Brady
Posts: 605
Perth, Western Australia, Australia


Tell mentor to be quiet. Show photog you can pose without him.

win win
Jan 09 13 11:45 am  Link  Quote 
Model
Virginia P
Posts: 469
Los Angeles, California, US


I've had photographers over-direct before, to the point of trying to grab me and "pose" me. But some random other person? That's even more ridiculous.
Jan 09 13 11:57 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Leighthenubian
Posts: 2,789
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Shannon Haley wrote:
I've been freelance modeling on and off for about 4 years now, and I'm no pro but I think I've got a few things figured out.
Just the other day I did a shoot with a girl roughly about my age and she brought her mentor along.
The mentor was a nice guy, but he would not stop directing me. I didn't have any moment to throw some of my ideas and poses into the shoot. He kept it up so much that I was actually getting distracted from my posing and I was over thinking everything. He was demanding my attention away from the camera! The actual photographer girl couldn't hardly focus.
I'm all for tweaking or helping out here and there, making sure everything looks great but it was just toooooo much that day.


Anyone else have similar stories? Lets hear em!

Were you told that there would be an additional party coming to the shoot?

Kinda works in reverse when models bring along an "escort" unannounced.


If you were having difficulty you could have said something to them as I'm sure you being distracted didn't make for good images...

Jan 09 13 11:58 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Good Egg Productions
Posts: 15,308
Orlando, Florida, US


A different thought occurred to me.

Perhaps this mentor was teaching the young photographer how to direct.  In a case like this, it WOULD be a pretty awkward flow since the model is supposed to listen to 3rd party direction while connecting with 2nd party camera.

In any case, if this were a learning shoot, the model should have been made well aware of the goal and could have been much more helpful if she understood what was being asked of her.

At least that's how *I* would conduct a mentoring shoot.  The more the model knows about the shoot, the better, I believe.

OR.... he's just an overbearing ass and a total amateur himself.  Hard to know with so little information from the other side.
Jan 09 13 12:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Bunny Bombshell
Posts: 11,752
Huntington, West Virginia, US


I've had a few shoots where there was an assistant to adjust hair/clothing. Sometimes it's a real benefit to have someone there specifically for that, I've had several shoots where extra help would have been a major advantage to both the photog and myself. That being said, it would annoy me to no end if they tried to over do their job. Thankfully that hasn't happened (yet)
Jan 09 13 12:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
intense_puppy
Posts: 864
Brighton, England, United Kingdom


Jan 09 13 12:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Rachel-Elise
Posts: 1,650
Grand Rapids, Michigan, US


Ohhh, yeah, has it EVER happened to me! Once, a photographer made me pose the same way for an HOUR! Whenever I'd try to do ANYTHING different (facial expression, the way my fingers were being held, if I breathed the wrong way), he'd say, "No, no... go back to the way you were. I liked that."

That's when I decided that maybe TF with amateurs in this country is NOT worth it. Besides ALL being the same pose and expression, the photos were so (obviously) photoshopped in the end that they didn't even look like me!
Jan 09 13 01:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Barely StL
Posts: 778
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


Yeah, sad to say, I did something like this the Friday before New Year’s. And I never realized it until I was going through the photos afterward.

I’m usually pretty good about outlining the look we’re going for, letting the model pose and just making minor adjustments every now and then.

There was a long list of things we had agreed to shoot, and when the model arrived, she said she’d have to leave three hours early. She was en route home (to the OP's home state) after visiting family for the holidays, and she had underestimated the travel time to a friend’s house where she was going to spend the night – by three hours.

She didn’t say a word about my overdirecting. As I was loading her stuff into her car, she gave me a hug and said she’d be back in June – and maybe as early as February.

But the photos would have been better if I had just crossed some things off the list and let her do her thing instead of trying to push through everything on the list.

Someone asked me a couple of days ago if there were any shoots I’d like to do over. That trade shoot is at the top of my list.
Jan 09 13 01:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Darren Brade
Posts: 2,746
London, England, United Kingdom


Shannon Haley wrote:
Thanks for the advice from some of you. That was a new situation for me to be in and I didn't really know how to handle it. I've been very lucky so far meeting wonderful people who are easy to work with. Next time that happens I will definitely pull the photographer off to the side and let them know what I see going on.

If you had arranged the shoot with the photographer then it's well within reason to ask only the photographer to direct you.

Sounds like the mentor may have been brought in because the photographer hasn't worked with models before (first time can always be scary).

Poor mentoring skills.

Jan 09 13 04:12 pm  Link  Quote 
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