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Model
Paige Morgan
Posts: 4,058
New York, New York, US


1. Contact some of the folks they've previously worked with (not just the references they give you, as those can be cherry picked for best results....contact a few folks credited on their port but not on their official reference list as well)

2.Choose more experienced models when you can. Someone who is brand new is more likely to flake/get nervous/whatever.

3. Get off site contact info. MM is an expert at crashing at the worst possible time, and this way you have a faster, functional point of contact

4. Speaking of messages, keep them concise and have all of the relevant info (who/what/where/when) right up front.

5. In the pre shoot discussion, make sure you are offering something that model sees value in/can use, be it cash/barter or trade.
Apr 21 13 02:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,481
Salinas, California, US


It's not fair to pick on just the models when photographers or any human being for that matter could flake or be late.  There is no way to prevent it from ever happening, but it is possible to reduce the chances of a model flaking or being late.  It is an extremely rare occurrence for me that a model flakes on me, but I would have back up plans in anticipation of it happening.  In fact, I try to plan for the worst, and hope for the best.  Here are some things I do that seem to help;

(1) Get the people invested in the shoot.  If money is being exchanged, she or he is more likely to show up on time!  It's a serious loss if you show up late to court or the hospital.  So if "serious loss" of money, freedom or life is involved, we show up!  It's not only money that can be exchanged, but in a trade situation the images I shoot should hopefully be worth while to the model. 

(2) Be sure you have exchanged cell phone numbers AND that directions are CLEAR.  I have an unlimited talk or text plan that allows long distance too so I don't care if I talk to someone while giving them directions.  I welcome the communication, so it does not bother me for people to call me anytime and as often as needed.  Communication is important!

(3) Have alternative plans or things to do available to you so that you are not bored (which contributes to bad moods.)  I like to have several people around so that I can put someone in right away to check lighting, warm up, etc. ... before the model gets there.  Then when the model arrives, they jump in!  It works that way in Hollywood!  If you can find something else to occupy your time, you'll feel better.

(4) Car pool or make arrangements for transportation.  This is a good thing to do, especially when it's critical to have everyone there about the same time.  Traffic becomes less of an "poor" excuse when we are together in it!  I also have noticed that models who have a driver (or an escort, or assistant riding) do tend to arrive on time more often.  It's nice to have someone helping with maps and directions.  I'll even be the driver if necessary!

(5) Use contracts or releases.  Get it in writing and ready to be signed before shooting. Don't depend on word of mouth!  If things are stated in writing, then issues can be resolved much easier.  Minor differences become major if you don't do this. 

Keeping in mind that I do mostly stock, website content and editorial, there are times I pay models, but there are many times that I do "TFP."   For those who do "TFP" and complain ... all I can say is what does the photographer and model have to lose?  It's part of the risk you take in doing "TFP" ... if it is something that absolutely must get done, then it's better to pay the models.  Often times I call back the same models I've shot in trade to hire them for paid shoots.
Apr 21 13 02:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,481
Salinas, California, US


Paige Morgan wrote:
1. Contact some of the folks they've previously worked with (not just the references they give you, as those can be cherry picked for best results....contact a few folks credited on their port but not on their official reference list as well)

2.Choose more experienced models when you can. Someone who is brand new is more likely to flake/get nervous/whatever.

3. Get off site contact info. MM is an expert at crashing at the worst possible time, and this way you have a faster, functional point of contact

4. Speaking of messages, keep them concise and have all of the relevant info (who/what/where/when) right up front.

5. In the pre shoot discussion, make sure you are offering something that model sees value in/can use, be it cash/barter or trade.

Regarding checking references, I don't put as much weight on that as I used to, and also not as committed with picking the "experienced" models over new ones.  There are possible manipulations that can be done regarding the references.   For example, only giving the references that will speak highly of you.  Models have to start some place, so I don't pass up every inexperienced model just for that reason.   

I take a proactive approach.  Getting off site contact information is absolutely a necessity for me.  I mix the communication methods to eliminate the chance that I'm communicating with a sluggo or fake.  That means I will communicate via email, and messages here, but I will talk on the phone too!  In some cases, I'll even meet in advance of shooting.  I will not depend on using only one method of communication to book a shoot.  I have nearly eliminated models from flaking on me.

Apr 21 13 02:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gerard
Posts: 17
Austin, Texas, US


One thing about checking references, if they have a particular photographer's pics on their portfolio, doesn't that mean that they actually showed up for that particular shoot? I mean, I would never say anything negative about any of the models I've worked with on this site, it is the showing up part that is the hurdle to get past.

g.
Apr 21 13 02:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,481
Salinas, California, US


Gerard  wrote:
One thing about checking references, if they have a particular photographer's pics on their portfolio, doesn't that mean that they actually showed up for that particular shoot? I mean, I would never say anything negative about any of the models I've worked with on this site, it is the showing up part that is the hurdle to get past.

g.

Yes, it is good to notice which photographers the model gives credit to in their images.  I credit models, and I also have listed each and every person I've worked with that has a profile on this website.  Like you, I don't speak negatively about any of the models I've worked with.  I posted that list in my profile to show that I am active on this website, but I actually do work with many people I find from other locations too.  Sometimes references aren't always easy to check.

Keep in mind that you should use the casting calls in various online locations ... and that it's your choice as to whom you work with.  When you find models you really like working with, it's well worth keeping a continual working relationship with them.  Some of the models on here, I might not work with again ... they might have moved or no longer have their profile up on here.  But it is the ones that I work with multiple times that I am most happy to have that great working relationship that gives me such confidence that they wont ever "flake" on me.  wink

Apr 21 13 03:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Scarlett de la Calle
Posts: 414
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia


Colorado Model Amber wrote:
Also Models who say they don't use this site much and say contact them through facebook/twitter I'd stay away from as well they never seem like serious Models to me.

That would depend on the area in which they work. This site is really inactive in my area so sometimes I don't go on here for months I have rarely gotten any shoots from this site. I purely network through facebook for the most part. The only way this site will benefit me is when traveling.

For my town there are photographer dens, model portfolio and other photographer/model related groups through facebook which most photographers and hair and makeup artists choose to network through.

Apr 21 13 03:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,481
Salinas, California, US


Colorado Model Amber wrote:
Also Models who say they don't use this site much and say contact them through facebook/twitter I'd stay away from as well they never seem like serious Models to me.

I don't often disagree with Amber, but this one I do!  Many of the models I've worked with are not as active on this website as they are elsewhere. There are many models I know personally who are way too busy to use this website because they are busy promoting their own website on Facebook and Twitter.   I use Facebook and Twitter myself.  I also have used Craigslist for casting and found it better than running casting calls on here.  I recently ran a casting call for MUA's on here and Craigslist.  I got many good responses on Craigslist, but not even one single person replied to my casting call here.  AND this was for a PAID shoot!  hmm

Apr 21 13 03:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R Michael Walker
Posts: 11,961
Costa Mesa, California, US


Good Egg Productions wrote:
offer them something they want.
yes, it's that simple.

Even THAT doesn't work all the time. There is no cure short of hiring agency models where the agency will send a replacement if the model's grandma dies, car won't start, in the ER and any of the other myriad of reasons given for a no show. Even the best most reliable model here CAN wake up sick or have some other legitimate reason for canceling. And they don't' have a back up standing by ready to go like an agency can. Me, I try to schedule 2 models knowing I will either have double the possibilities when shooting or that my probability of at least one showing up is good.

Apr 21 13 03:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Paige Morgan
Posts: 4,058
New York, New York, US


Patrick Walberg wrote:

Regarding checking references, I don't put as much weight on that as I used to, and also not as committed with picking the "experienced" models over new ones.  There are possible manipulations that can be done regarding the references.   For example, only giving the references that will speak highly of you.  Models have to start some place, so I don't pass up every inexperienced model just for that reason.   

I take a proactive approach.  Getting off site contact information is absolutely a necessity for me.  I mix the communication methods to eliminate the chance that I'm communicating with a sluggo or fake.  That means I will communicate via email, and messages here, but I will talk on the phone too!  In some cases, I'll even meet in advance of shooting.  I will not depend on using only one method of communication to book a shoot.  I have nearly eliminated models from flaking on me.

Patrick....this is why I mentioned contacting the folks who have credited images of that model, but might not be on the official reference list they give out. smile This way you avoid what could be a skewed sample smile

In my personal case, I keep a link to every single member I've ever worked with and let people contact whoever/however many folks they want.

Apr 21 13 06:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GER Photography
Posts: 7,564
Imperial, California, US


No matter what anyone says, I will not set up a shoot with someone who won't discuss the shoot on the phone, I will not waste my time with them.
Apr 21 13 06:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
MelissaAnn
Posts: 3,845
Seattle, Washington, US


George Ruge wrote:
No matter what anyone says, I will not set up a shoot with someone who won't discuss the shoot on the phone, I will not waste my time with them.

That's your choice, and personal preference. Just don't try and convince others that models who won't chat on the phone with every photographer are flakes. It's simply not true.

Apr 21 13 06:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,481
Salinas, California, US


George Ruge wrote:
No matter what anyone says, I will not set up a shoot with someone who won't discuss the shoot on the phone, I will not waste my time with them.
MelissaAnn  wrote:
That's your choice, and personal preference. Just don't try and convince others that llamas who won't chat on the phone with every photographer are flakes. It's simply not true.

I'm just like George on this.  What do you think aspiring llamas did before the Internet?  We talked on the phone, and we went to casting calls.  I don't insist on meeting llamas in advance, but I do require talking on the phone at least once previous to shooting.  It might seem mean of me, but I even had a hearing impaired llama call me with operator assistance.  I paid for her airline ticket after that, and we had a great photo shoot. 

If you wont make the effort to speak on the phone, then why should I believe that you are whom you say you are OR that you'll even show up?  I've uncovered many a potential flake, and even fakes on here for simply asking to speak on the phone. 

In the decades that I shot weddings, not one couple ever hired me without meeting me in person first.  Not even one!  So talking on the phone should not be a problem.   If a "want to be" llama is so afraid to speak on the phone, why should I believe they'll leave their house to shoot?  Remember, llamas show up for me, and very few flake on me.  So I must be doing something right?

Apr 21 13 07:04 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tina Sun
Posts: 35
London, England, United Kingdom


Perhaps put out a casting call and let the interested models come to you? Judge them by interest - if they came to you it's unlikely that they'll flake?

I do both (contact models directly & put out casting calls), I have never rung them up beforehand, just simply double checked via email...and I've never ever had a flake (model or any member of the team). I'm finding it so strange that people have had all these experiences! D:
Apr 21 13 08:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,063
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


George Ruge wrote:
No matter what anyone says, I will not set up a shoot with someone who won't discuss the shoot on the phone, I will not waste my time with them.
MelissaAnn wrote:
That's your choice, and personal preference. Just don't try and convince others that models who won't chat on the phone with every photographer are flakes. It's simply not true.

Out of 75+ shoots that I did last year, and I don't know offhand how many in 2011 and so far this year, I think I talked to one of the models on the phone before the shoot. That model, along with the the other 99+%, showed up.

The other model I talked to on the phone (three times in the three days preceding the shoot date - the model's preference - a male model, btw) didn't show up - so of course there was no shoot.

So I have a 50% flake rate with models I've talked to on the phone - nearly 10x higher than with models I haven't talked to on the phone.

Apr 22 13 12:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MC Photo
Posts: 4,144
New York, New York, US


Cherrystone wrote:

Sorry......kinda, but it doesn't always work that way.

What do you mean?


I was going to say the same thing.

Apr 22 13 01:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
glumpy
Posts: 516
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Advice on how to avoid flakes?

For a start, source models from places OTHER than websites.

Just look at all the advise, procedures and regiments people just here are saying you need to go through.
It shouldn't be that Fking hard! Do these peoples employers Ring them every night to make sure they are coming to work tomorrow or send emails, texts or whatever the hell is supposedly required to get these people to follow through on what THEY said they wanted to do??

It sure as hell isn't this complicated and time consuming with the people I approach in the street and I have emails from people telling me their experiences are the same as mine.

I have NEVER had an off the street girl flake on me or even stuff me around yet.
There are those here that say they have never had a model flake but Firstly I'm not sure how many I believe and of the ones that I might, it's clear they go through a long winded time wasting procedure to get there. They also never tell you how many models they started off with and how many they ended up working with. I bet the time and effort invested in total is huge.

Why should you have to go through a procedure to find someone who won't fk you around when the very reason they are here is by virtue they are interested in doing the same as you? It's maniacal.

Yes, before the indignant and white Knights feel the need to state the obvious and boring yet again, there are good models on these sites.  The point is they are outnumbered about 50:1 by models that will flake on you and you will burn a lot of time weeding the diamonds from the dirt.

I don't have time to go through all the procedures people state and a person shouldn't have to. It seems these sites inspire some sort of irresponsible mentality  that when you become a model ( or model photographer in loads of cases) Common courtesy, decency and good manners are no longer needed. To back this up, as you will see here, people make endless excuses to justify and make a lack of manners justifiable.

Modeling must be the only interest group I have ever come across where they try to Lower and justify the poor standards of behaviour rather than elevate them.
god knows why. If a stance was taken that poor behaviour wasn't accepted then maybe the useless people wouldn't participate and more reliable people would?
Geez, there's a radical concept.

If you want to avoid flakes and don't want to waste ridiculous amounts of your time trying to organise a simple, straightforward collaboration, Then I highly suggest you look at places other than model sites.

And the same goes if you are a model looking for a shooter.
Apr 22 13 02:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tony Lawrence
Posts: 18,989
Chicago, Illinois, US


MelissaAnn  wrote:
Red flags=

1.) If the models you're choosing are very young, or new to modeling (often equals lack of confidence, or not serious about modeling) they are more likely to flake.

2.) If you're only offering TF, the model is more likely to flake (no financial incentive for her). That's not to say that paid shoots never flake, you have to take other red flags into consideration.

3.) If you're not consistently checking references on models without established reputations, you're more likely to get flakes.

4.) If you're not offering images that will clearly benefit the models port, she's more likely to flake. This often includes models that you've been in contact with for a long time- ones who finally reluctantly agreed to shoot with you after your continued stream of correspondence. Don't work with models who don't show a clear interest from the start in collaborating with you.

5.) If the models you're choosing are not local (and you're only offering TF), they need to travel more than 30 mins to get to you, or they don't have their own transportation, they're more likely to flake. Offer to pick up the model if it's a long trip. This will eliminate any transportation excuses the model might have, like car trouble, missed the bus, etc.

6.) Pay attention to communication. Does the model return messages promptly, or do days or weeks elapse between messages? Does the model pay attention to detail? When you send her a message with several questions or suggestions, does she address them in her next message? Can she put together a thoughtful paragraph, and give more than a two word answer? Does the model mention kids, boyfriends, car trouble, or provide other details that aren't important to the shoot?  If there are red flags in her communication, and she clearly can't be bothered to pay attention to details, she's more likely to flake.

7.) If the bulk of the responsibility for a TF shoot falls on the model, she's more likely to flake.  If she has to travel more than an hour round trip (and you don't offer to help), bring a list of 50 specific items to the shoot, do her own hair and makeup, pay for her own gas, etc. Offer to help out in any way you can, it will cut back on the models who flake due to feeling overwhelmed.

8.) The *best* way to eliminate flaking is to do better work.  If you talk to some of the best photographers on MM, they'll tell you they rarely (if ever) get flakes, even for TF shoots. Make images that model's would kill to have in their portfolios.

There are many more, but hopefully this helps.

Be honest with yourself, trust your gut, and don't ignore red flags with the hope that everything will work out just fine.....because it usually doesn't.

I don't know about the best here but I do know in the real world models flake on some of the best shooters around.   They just don't talk about it and quite as its kept by some it happens to some of our best on MM.   They just move on.   Being better means little to models who have no ideal what that means.   Your ideals may be sound but driving to pick models up, etc....   Frankly that sounds more a date then a shoot.   People do what's important to them and if they aren't motivated enough to drive a few miles or get on the bus do you really want to work with them.   (that was a  rhetorical question.)

References?   I don't use them.   Someone else's experiences mean nothing to me.   I set a date.   I ask for a confirmation call.   I don't call.   I don't email.   I don't cancel plans for shoots or hire MUA or studio space.   Models who want too shoot will follow through.   I do agree about poor communication.   As for for being overwhelmed.   I know plenty of would be models who don't feel so overwhelmed that they can't go too parties and clubs or dates.   Years ago I met a model from Elite in NY while I was with my ex-wife.   She hadn't seen any of my work but called me at my hotel to set up a session.   My ex put a stop to things but you could feel her excitement and love of modeling.   I shot a MM model today.   This woman clearly loves modeling and being part of art.

People do what's important to them.   The wise thing to do is try to gauge how much they want too shoot.   You could be Avedon or Penn and it won't matter to someone who isn't all that interested.

Apr 22 13 03:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,481
Salinas, California, US


glumpy wrote:
For a start, source models from places OTHER than websites.

I disagree!  As I say to look for models in every source available to you.

glumpy wrote:
Just look at all the advise, procedures and regiments people just here are saying you need to go through.

The "advise, procedures and regiments" are suggestions.  Although all this advise, procedures and regiments may not work for everyone, it does take effort to succeed.


glumpy wrote:
It shouldn't be that Fking hard! Do these peoples employers Ring them every night to make sure they are coming to work tomorrow or send emails, texts or whatever the hell is supposedly required to get these people to follow through on what THEY said they wanted to do??

Oh come on!  Nothing worthwhile is easy.  Do you think models just fall into your lap from the sky without any effort?  Do you understand that employers interview potential employees before they hire them?  You certainly don't need to call a model or message them constantly.  That would be considered harassment.  There is a balance of communication needed for most everything.

glumpy wrote:
It sure as hell isn't this complicated and time consuming with the people I approach in the street and I have emails from people telling me their experiences are the same as mine.

Good for you!  I have been using my methods with some adjustments for 30 years.  I have used these same methods of vetting models that I have found on the streets at 7-11's or shopping malls.  These same methods work for me when potential models call me from print ads they've read or from referrals from others.  I've conducted casting calls where potential models come out to a public venue where I can meet them.  I've also used websites like omp, Craigslist, and this one with great success. It doesn't matter, as my methods work regardless of where they are found.

glumpy wrote:
I have NEVER had an off the street girl flake on me or even stuff me around yet.
There are those here that say they have never had a model flake but Firstly I'm not sure how many I believe and of the ones that I might, it's clear they go through a long winded time wasting procedure to get there. They also never tell you how many models they started off with and how many they ended up working with. I bet the time and effort invested in total is huge.

"Street girl?"  Sounds like you pick up prostitutes to call them that!  I've had one bad experience where I met a couple young women at club my band was playing at in 1992.  After I shot pictures, they kidnapped me until I processed the black and white film and gave all evidence (film, and proof sheets) to them.  I did not go through my normal procedures when meeting them. 

Over the 30 years I've been shooting, I've had about 6 flakes that were "no show/no call" types ... and that is about it!  I've always had back up plans for those situations.

glumpy wrote:
Why should you have to go through a procedure to find someone who won't fk you around when the very reason they are here is by virtue they are interested in doing the same as you? It's maniacal.

Asking that is like asking why should we put any effort into our work what so ever!  I have also shot weddings and portraits for much of those 30 years.  I have never been hired by a couple to shoot their wedding without them first meeting me in person!  It's smart to go though "procedures" to find people you want to work with.  It's how I put together great working teams for other projects besides photo shoots.

glumpy wrote:
Yes, before the indignant and white Knights feel the need to state the obvious and boring yet again, there are good models on these sites.  The point is they are outnumbered about 50:1 by models that will flake on you and you will burn a lot of time weeding the diamonds from the dirt.

Yes, you confirm why it's important to be vetting potential people to work with for the obvious reason that it does take effort to avoid the 50 over the 1.   Sorry you are bored.  You obviously found this interesting enough to post though.

glumpy wrote:
I don't have time to go through all the procedures people state and a person shouldn't have to. It seems these sites inspire some sort of irresponsible mentality  that when you become a model ( or model photographer in loads of cases) Common courtesy, decency and good manners are no longer needed. To back this up, as you will see here, people make endless excuses to justify and make a lack of manners justifiable.

Certainly "common courtesy, decency and good manners" are still in effect, because you have found models on the streets that impress you enough that you shoot with them.  I have been impressed by all the models I've been working with too.   

glumpy wrote:
Modeling must be the only interest group I have ever come across where they try to Lower and justify the poor standards of behaviour rather than elevate them.
god knows why. If a stance was taken that poor behaviour wasn't accepted then maybe the useless people wouldn't participate and more reliable people would?
Geez, there's a radical concept.

My standards are higher that thirty years ago, as I have improved, and so have many of the models I work with.  I do not put up with bad behavior at all!  I give respect, and get it back in a mutual manner.  Good communication has been the reason for my success. 

glumpy wrote:
If you want to avoid flakes and don't want to waste ridiculous amounts of your time trying to organise a simple, straightforward collaboration, Then I highly suggest you look at places other than model sites.

And the same goes if you are a model looking for a shooter.

Now that in bold is where I disagree with you the most.  Why are you even on this site if you think so lowly of the Internet as a tool to finding models?  Models not flaking on me means I'm not wasting time.  It really isn't so complicated to spend some time interviewing a potential model. 

I'm surprised no one has been proclaiming the virtues of using modeling agencies yet?  There were no worthy talent agents near me, so I held casting calls and did the search for models I wanted to work with myself.  I've been doing it for 30 years successfully and have never hired through a talent agency ... although I have worked with models who were talent agency signed or at least about to be.  So you could say that I am doing the work of a talent agent without going through a third party. I'll keep it that way!

Apr 22 13 03:44 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Photos by DeanR
Posts: 517
Langley, British Columbia, Canada


Good Egg Productions wrote:
offer them something they want.




yes, it's that simple.

Not a personal attack, but I gotta call BS on this.
I had a model bail on me yesterday.
I have done 2 TF shoots with her before, and she was happy with the results.
Yesterday was supposed to be a PAID shoot, but an hour before we were to meet she texted saying that she just remembered a dentist appointment.
Yesterday was a Sunday, you ever heard of a dentist working Sunday?

Apr 22 13 05:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
glumpy
Posts: 516
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Patrick Walberg wrote:

Oh come on!  Nothing worthwhile is easy.  Do you think models just fall into your lap from the sky without any effort?  Do you understand that employers interview potential employees before they hire them?  You certainly don't need to call a model or message them constantly.  That would be considered harassment.  There is a balance of communication needed for most everything.

Tell me with precision and detail, why it should be hard on not very easy??

People are supposedly here because they want to do this. They are not here because they want to bake bread and we have to sort those out who want to take pics from those that want to bake, go fishing or learn to belly dance or they were conscripted to. 

Why does it need to be any more difficult than a few emails if people and these sites had any real standards? Why do I and others that do it find it unfailingly easier to book a girl off the street ( and shove your smart arse extrapolations on that to score yourself points) as complete randoms than people that have by participation and statement said they DO want to do photo shoots??

The girl I worked with last week wasn't at all difficult to organise. Looking back at my actual emails, in summary, here's how it went.....

I sent an email- Are you interested in shooting this Idea with me? - yep i'm available Friday from then till then - Great suits me make it a confirmed booking - Where are you? - I'm here, ring me when you get to the station and I'll pick you up - OK see you tomorrow at 1.
Next contact was when I got a text to say she would be at the station in 10 min, I went and picked her up, came back and did a great shoot. 

Now explain to me why finding people who will turn up as they say, on a Modeling site, Should have to be any LESS easy than that? If I can do it with this girl and plenty of others, why should it be any harder and require more time and friging around? 
And spare me the thousand excuses and BS, lets stick to fact, logic and real world, every day standards.

When I look back at the models that I have worked with from sites, they all go pretty much like that one. Simple, easy, fuss free. 
OTOH, I can look through my messages here and see loads of conversations that went 12 messages or more with the models last words being how much they were looking forward to the shoot and how great it all sounded and they never showed or got back to me again.

From my experience, the more things go back and forth, the more likely the chance of a flake. Genuine people Don't need convincing, have to be checked on or have time spent making sure they will carry through on their commitments.
They are good to their word and honest to themselves before anyone else.

Yes, people get sick. Occasionally, but nothing like happens here or the famed monotony with which grandmothers die. If people didn't turn up for work like they don't turn up for shoots, no business could ever function. If it took as much to get people to come to work as it does to get them to shoots THEY have already agreed to, then no business could function.

If people were genuine and the piss poor behaviour of people was lambasted rather than defended on sites like these, then the standards would be different and so would these conversations.

Seems to me that the reason that people defend and try to rationalise all these BS excuses is because they are either guilty of them themselves or are scared that if they don't defend the guilty, others won't want to play with them.
If no one wants to play with me because I expect the sort of decency and reliability that is found everywhere else in the world, That's great.  Process of natural selection at work.

You seem like a very enthusiastic guy when it comes to shooting models. How many times have YOU flaked on a shoot? I'll bet about 1% of the shoots you have arranged IF that and it was for genuine reason. I'll also bet you contacted the other party ASAP and apologised profusely and made a time for another shoot.
That's the behaviour of genuine people in stark contrast to the disappearing act the flakes pull.

If I contacted you to shoot me, How much fking round would we have to go through if I said, this is what I want you to do, tell me when you can do it?
If I was a client and you wanted meetings and phone calls and 20 questions and other time wasting crap, then my clients at least would tell you to forget it. 

Ironically the decent people I do work with from sites and have no trouble organising, agree with me completely and don't have a single objection to my POV because they hold the same standards of personal morals , behaviour and professionalism.

Apr 22 13 05:39 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
glumpy
Posts: 516
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Photos by DeanR wrote:
Yesterday was a Sunday, you ever heard of a dentist working Sunday?

Not before I started reading modeling Forums!

Ask her for his name and number. You never know when you might have a dental emergency and need to go to one on a sunday.
Bet you $100 she can't remember his name, number or what town he's located in.

Before I got involved with modeling forums, I NEVER had anyone tell me they couldn't shoot because their grandmother died. Matter of Fact I have shot HUNDREDS of portraits of clients over the years and the only people that ever pulled out due to a dying grandmother have been models!  Amazing.

Model sites are also the only place where you can Find people who have Jesus like grandmothers that Die, apparently rise from the dead and then die again later on!

And Jesus only died twice. Some friends and I know of a model that has a grandmother that has died and risen again 4 times...
Bloody woman must be sending the family broke with funeral expenses!

They should cremate her and be done with it!

Apr 22 13 06:03 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marin Photography NYC
Posts: 6,848
New York, New York, US


For me anyway, when my work improved - then the choices available to me improved to more experienced models. Now less flakes, but I expect it from some - you learn to know from communicating if they will show.

Choose older models at least older than 22 is your best bet hopefully with references.  The rate of "flaking" from 18-22 is very high.

Avoid "new" and "young" unless they have references, most do not and you shouldn't waste your time.

The other issue is "experienced" - most claim it like photographers and don't have any. So watch for that too!...
Apr 22 13 06:18 am  Link  Quote 
Clothing Designer
Chain Reaction
Posts: 529
Grand Rapids, Michigan, US


Shoot landscapes. No, I'm not trying to be a smartass. After a while you get tired of people jerking you around and trying to pull shit on you. I do understand this. Or you could try working with people you already know and trust. I think it would work better than wasting time on someone that isn't going to show anyway.
Apr 22 13 06:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Extrosy
Posts: 656
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US


You don't have to avoid flakes, they avoid you.  Should be how to lour flakes.
Apr 22 13 08:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tony Lawrence
Posts: 18,989
Chicago, Illinois, US


glumpy wrote:

Tell me with precision and detail, why it should be hard on not very easy??

People are supposedly here because they want to do this. They are not here because they want to bake bread and we have to sort those out who want to take pics from those that want to bake, go fishing or learn to belly dance or they were conscripted to. 

Why does it need to be any more difficult than a few emails if people and these sites had any real standards? Why do I and others that do it find it unfailingly easier to book a girl off the street ( and shove your smart arse extrapolations on that to score yourself points) as complete randoms than people that have by participation and statement said they DO want to do photo shoots??

The girl I worked with last week wasn't at all difficult to organise. Looking back at my actual emails, in summary, here's how it went.....

I sent an email- Are you interested in shooting this Idea with me? - yep i'm available Friday from then till then - Great suits me make it a confirmed booking - Where are you? - I'm here, ring me when you get to the station and I'll pick you up - OK see you tomorrow at 1.
Next contact was when I got a text to say she would be at the station in 10 min, I went and picked her up, came back and did a great shoot. 

Now explain to me why finding people who will turn up as they say, on a Modeling site, Should have to be any LESS easy than that? If I can do it with this girl and plenty of others, why should it be any harder and require more time and friging around? 
And spare me the thousand excuses and BS, lets stick to fact, logic and real world, every day standards.

When I look back at the models that I have worked with from sites, they all go pretty much like that one. Simple, easy, fuss free. 
OTOH, I can look through my messages here and see loads of conversations that went 12 messages or more with the models last words being how much they were looking forward to the shoot and how great it all sounded and they never showed or got back to me again.

From my experience, the more things go back and forth, the more likely the chance of a flake. Genuine people Don't need convincing, have to be checked on or have time spent making sure they will carry through on their commitments.
They are good to their word and honest to themselves before anyone else.

Yes, people get sick. Occasionally, but nothing like happens here or the famed monotony with which grandmothers die. If people didn't turn up for work like they don't turn up for shoots, no business could ever function. If it took as much to get people to come to work as it does to get them to shoots THEY have already agreed to, then no business could function.

If people were genuine and the piss poor behaviour of people was lambasted rather than defended on sites like these, then the standards would be different and so would these conversations.

Seems to me that the reason that people defend and try to rationalise all these BS excuses is because they are either guilty of them themselves or are scared that if they don't defend the guilty, others won't want to play with them.
If no one wants to play with me because I expect the sort of decency and reliability that is found everywhere else in the world, That's great.  Process of natural selection at work.

You seem like a very enthusiastic guy when it comes to shooting models. How many times have YOU flaked on a shoot? I'll bet about 1% of the shoots you have arranged IF that and it was for genuine reason. I'll also bet you contacted the other party ASAP and apologised profusely and made a time for another shoot.
That's the behaviour of genuine people in stark contrast to the disappearing act the flakes pull.

If I contacted you to shoot me, How much fking round would we have to go through if I said, this is what I want you to do, tell me when you can do it?
If I was a client and you wanted meetings and phone calls and 20 questions and other time wasting crap, then my clients at least would tell you to forget it. 

Ironically the decent people I do work with from sites and have no trouble organising, agree with me completely and don't have a single objection to my POV because they hold the same standards of personal morals , behaviour and professionalism.

Excellent post!   People do what's important to them and usually without a million questions and emails.   I've had models write or call me and show up the next day ready to work.   All this if you're really good, etc. and models will show up obfuscates the fact many of the models you find on-line have no real desire to model beyond a few bucks if they can get it.   Shoots should be as simple as.   I ask and they say yes or no or they ask and I say yes and we shoot.   I shouldn't have to try and get them excited about working together.   I shouldn't have to pick them up or pay for gas (unless offered) or race around to ask about them.   That said I've learned  to avoid some folks.   

Last week a model asked me to shoot for the third time.   We worked together once and she asked again but flaked.   I don't have her phone number and she didn't include it in her current email.   My feeling is she's up to her usual bullshi& and I won't take the bait.

Apr 22 13 12:27 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,481
Salinas, California, US


glumpy wrote:
Tell me with precision and detail, why it should be hard on not very easy??

People are supposedly here because they want to do this. They are not here because they want to bake bread and we have to sort those out who want to take pics from those that want to bake, go fishing or learn to belly dance or they were conscripted to. 

Why does it need to be any more difficult than a few emails if people and these sites had any real standards? Why do I and others that do it find it unfailingly easier to book a girl off the street ( and shove your smart arse extrapolations on that to score yourself points) as complete randoms than people that have by participation and statement said they DO want to do photo shoots??

The girl I worked with last week wasn't at all difficult to organise. Looking back at my actual emails, in summary, here's how it went.....

I sent an email- Are you interested in shooting this Idea with me? - yep i'm available Friday from then till then - Great suits me make it a confirmed booking - Where are you? - I'm here, ring me when you get to the station and I'll pick you up - OK see you tomorrow at 1.
Next contact was when I got a text to say she would be at the station in 10 min, I went and picked her up, came back and did a great shoot. 

Now explain to me why finding people who will turn up as they say, on a Modeling site, Should have to be any LESS easy than that? If I can do it with this girl and plenty of others, why should it be any harder and require more time and friging around? 
And spare me the thousand excuses and BS, lets stick to fact, logic and real world, every day standards.

When I look back at the models that I have worked with from sites, they all go pretty much like that one. Simple, easy, fuss free. 
OTOH, I can look through my messages here and see loads of conversations that went 12 messages or more with the models last words being how much they were looking forward to the shoot and how great it all sounded and they never showed or got back to me again.

From my experience, the more things go back and forth, the more likely the chance of a flake. Genuine people Don't need convincing, have to be checked on or have time spent making sure they will carry through on their commitments.
They are good to their word and honest to themselves before anyone else.

Yes, people get sick. Occasionally, but nothing like happens here or the famed monotony with which grandmothers die. If people didn't turn up for work like they don't turn up for shoots, no business could ever function. If it took as much to get people to come to work as it does to get them to shoots THEY have already agreed to, then no business could function.

If people were genuine and the piss poor behaviour of people was lambasted rather than defended on sites like these, then the standards would be different and so would these conversations.

Seems to me that the reason that people defend and try to rationalise all these BS excuses is because they are either guilty of them themselves or are scared that if they don't defend the guilty, others won't want to play with them.
If no one wants to play with me because I expect the sort of decency and reliability that is found everywhere else in the world, That's great.  Process of natural selection at work.

You seem like a very enthusiastic guy when it comes to shooting models. How many times have YOU flaked on a shoot? I'll bet about 1% of the shoots you have arranged IF that and it was for genuine reason. I'll also bet you contacted the other party ASAP and apologised profusely and made a time for another shoot.
That's the behaviour of genuine people in stark contrast to the disappearing act the flakes pull.

If I contacted you to shoot me, How much fking round would we have to go through if I said, this is what I want you to do, tell me when you can do it?
If I was a client and you wanted meetings and phone calls and 20 questions and other time wasting crap, then my clients at least would tell you to forget it. 

Ironically the decent people I do work with from sites and have no trouble organising, agree with me completely and don't have a single objection to my POV because they hold the same standards of personal morals , behaviour and professionalism.

That's a lot of words to simply say that "Communication is important."   You are making assumptions about me that are not true.  I exchange phone numbers and emails with models, not write pages of messages like you think.  Typically I have one short phone call and maybe a couple of text messages in setting up a shoot ... not nearly as much "work" as you think.   If what you do works for you, great!  All I was posting were some of the things I do to reduce the chances a model will flake.  It's not that much work!

I don't treat every photo shoot the same, and the planning is always different in some respects.  For example, I might exchange a couple messages with a well established model on this site ... make a phone call to confirm things and shoot.  We might car pool, but the transportation thing is usually with a group of models or models who've worked with me before.  I might meet a model at a coffee shop if the model is relatively new on the site, or I'm not sure I want to shoot with the person.  There are so many potentially different scenarios that it's not worth going into here.

Apr 22 13 01:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Will Snizek Photography
Posts: 1,387
Beckley, West Virginia, US


Photos by DeanR wrote:

Not a personal attack, but I gotta call BS on this.
I had a model bail on me yesterday.
I have done 2 TF shoots with her before, and she was happy with the results.
Yesterday was supposed to be a PAID shoot, but an hour before we were to meet she texted saying that she just remembered a dentist appointment.
Yesterday was a Sunday, you ever heard of a dentist working Sunday?

Unlicensed dentists tend to work on Sundays.

Apr 22 13 01:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Julian W I L D E
Posts: 1,800
Los Angeles, California, US


Offer them something they "really, really want."  Never fails.  ;-)   -JULIAN

PS. Not to be obtuse.  I've had 2 cancellations in 5 Years.  And I'm working with someone from Mayhem almost weekly. And I always charge, per my posted rates. So when I say "offer them somethig they really, really want," I'm suggesting you give them a level of serivce and a product they can't get easily somewhere else for a lot less money.  That's the real trick.  Best of luck,  -JULIAN
Apr 22 13 01:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,481
Salinas, California, US


glumpy wrote:
Not before I started reading modeling Forums!

Ask her for his name and number. You never know when you might have a dental emergency and need to go to one on a sunday.
Bet you $100 she can't remember his name, number or what town he's located in.

Before I got involved with modeling forums, I NEVER had anyone tell me they couldn't shoot because their grandmother died. Matter of Fact I have shot HUNDREDS of portraits of clients over the years and the only people that ever pulled out due to a dying grandmother have been models!  Amazing.

Model sites are also the only place where you can Find people who have Jesus like grandmothers that Die, apparently rise from the dead and then die again later on!

And Jesus only died twice. Some friends and I know of a model that has a grandmother that has died and risen again 4 times...
Bloody woman must be sending the family broke with funeral expenses!

They should cremate her and be done with it!

In 30 years, I've shot hundreds of weddings, and perhaps tens of thousands of portraits.   While working for portrait institutions, like Olan Mills, and PCA, typically I might shoot up to 100 in a week.  One Saturday while working for Olan Mills, I shot over 50 sittings.  For those who missed their appointments, I don't know why and I don't care ... as I was working for a corporation, not for myself.  As I shot more models, I've found much of what I learned ... for example the exchanging of information, giving a confirmation call the day before the appointment, and so on ... were helpful for my own business practice. 

It is insulting to me that you seem to think that there is some "easy button" that we as photographers should not put any effort into booking models.  You are correct that I am passionate about working.  It is enjoyable to me, and I treat everyone with the respect and courtesy I would like to receive in return.  BUT it is work!  Although I would never say that what I do is "hard" because it really isn't.  What I do has become second nature for me.   I enjoy doing the work I do, but I would never say it was "easy" either.   Go about putting the effort you do into booking models, and I'll do the same.  I was only trying to help others here.   "You reap what you sow."

Apr 22 13 01:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,481
Salinas, California, US


Tony Lawrence wrote:
Excellent post!   People do what's important to them and usually without a million questions and emails.   I've had models write or call me and show up the next day ready to work.   All this if you're really good, etc. and models will show up obfuscates the fact many of the models you find on-line have no real desire to model beyond a few bucks if they can get it.   Shoots should be as simple as.   I ask and they say yes or no or they ask and I say yes and we shoot.   I shouldn't have to try and get them excited about working together.   I shouldn't have to pick them up or pay for gas (unless offered) or race around to ask about them.   That said I've learned  to avoid some folks.   

Last week a model asked me to shoot for the third time.   We worked together once and she asked again but flaked.   I don't have her phone number and she didn't include it in her current email.   My feeling is she's up to her usual bullshi& and I won't take the bait.

I also work that quickly ... as in I don't like to book more than a week or two in advance.  I can shoot as quickly as in a few minutes time to get ready when I have a spontaneous shoot.  I am not sending dozens of messages back and forth to do that.  Sometimes we've carpooled because gass is $4 a gallon.  No big deal.  It is simple in that respect, but it still takes some effort on both sides.  I don't even give those who fail to commit a second though ... but everyone seems to show up for my shoots.  Never had a model lose a grandma before and cancel a shoot for that reason.  People who are interested will show up.

So why don't you have the phone number of that model?  I have the phone number of all models I shoot with.  Many I even have their home address and have been there to their homes.  All have my phone number and many have been to my home too.

Apr 22 13 02:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,481
Salinas, California, US


Julian  W I L D E wrote:
Offer them something they "really, really want."  Never fails.  ;-)   -JULIAN

PS. Not to be obtuse.  I've had 2 cancellations in 5 Years.  And I'm working with someone from Mayhem almost weekly. And I always charge, per my posted rates. So when I say "offer them somethig they really, really want," I'm suggesting you give them a level of serivce and a product they can't get easily somewhere else for a lot less money.  That's the real trick.  Best of luck,  -JULIAN

"Dude!  I know you!"  lol   Julian, love your work!  Heck, I'd even like you to shoot a portrait of me.  The effort and work you put into your art is what brings out the best from models.  But if they don't respond, you move on.

Apr 22 13 02:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Martin Schiff Photo
Posts: 3,055
Maitland, Florida, US


I do three things that have reduced the number of flakes to almost zero. First, I contact the model on MM a few days before the shoot. No answer, no shoot.

Second I ask them to call me when they are leaving to come to the studio. No call, no shoot.

I will ONLY shoot TF in my studio which is in my home, unless it is someone I've worked with previously. That way, if they don't show up, I don't sweat it.

-- Martin
Apr 22 13 02:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,481
Salinas, California, US


Martin Schiff Photo wrote:
I do three things that have reduced the number of flakes to almost zero. First, I contact the model on MM a few days before the shoot. No answer, no shoot.

Second I ask them to call me when they are leaving to come to the studio. No call, no shoot.

I will ONLY shoot TF in my studio which is in my home, unless it is someone I've worked with previously. That way, if they don't show up, I don't sweat it.

-- Martin

Those are very similar to what I do.  It works!

Apr 22 13 02:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Patrick Walberg
Posts: 42,481
Salinas, California, US


Photos by DeanR wrote:
Not a personal attack, but I gotta call BS on this.
I had a model bail on me yesterday.
I have done 2 TF shoots with her before, and she was happy with the results.
Yesterday was supposed to be a PAID shoot, but an hour before we were to meet she texted saying that she just remembered a dentist appointment.
Yesterday was a Sunday, you ever heard of a dentist working Sunday?

Now that is strange!  You should not take it personally.  I wonder if it was an issue of something embarrassing happening to her that she didn't want to tell you the truth of what really happened?   I suspect that honesty is often lacking when someone sends a text message like that.  It has nothing to do with you.  Sorry she did that to you on a paid shoot for her ... but it is more her loss by the sounds of it.

Apr 22 13 02:26 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
the lonely photographer
Posts: 1,875
Beverly Hills, California, US


some days you get the bear, some days  the bear gets you. I contacted a model on MM recently, she actually showed up on time, we did the hair and MU on her. Drop dead gorgeous. I decided to take her to a fashion show rehearsal right after,
She wanted to be in the show, they probably would  have placed her, but it was only a week away.
I asked her if she wanted to attend  anyway,  she said yes. The committee  asked her  to  volunteer as an usher for th event.  I texted her... seemed to balk at the idea. It was voluntary   just an excuse to attend, and hang around the backstage.

Long story short  I texted her instructions and directions to the show,
She never showed, nor texted  back.
The designers probably would have wanted her to be in the lineup for their next show. I felt like an ass trying to sell her to the fashion designers...who said no good deed goes unpunished?
Apr 22 13 02:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Kithos
Posts: 359
York, Pennsylvania, US


Would love to know how to avoid flaky photographers as well!
Apr 22 13 02:40 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Camerosity
Posts: 5,063
Saint Louis, Missouri, US


Kithos wrote:
Would love to know how to avoid flaky photographers as well!

I can't help you there, as that is not in my experience.

Apr 22 13 02:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
the lonely photographer
Posts: 1,875
Beverly Hills, California, US


Camerosity wrote:

I can't help you there, as that is not in my experience.

+1

Apr 22 13 03:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sedition
Posts: 273
Buffalo, New York, US


glumpy wrote:
Not before I started reading modeling Forums!

Ask her for his name and number. You never know when you might have a dental emergency and need to go to one on a sunday.
Bet you $100 she can't remember his name, number or what town he's located in.

Before I got involved with modeling forums, I NEVER had anyone tell me they couldn't shoot because their grandmother died. Matter of Fact I have shot HUNDREDS of portraits of clients over the years and the only people that ever pulled out due to a dying grandmother have been models!  Amazing.

Model sites are also the only place where you can Find people who have Jesus like grandmothers that Die, apparently rise from the dead and then die again later on!

And Jesus only died twice. Some friends and I know of a model that has a grandmother that has died and risen again 4 times...
Bloody woman must be sending the family broke with funeral expenses!

They should cremate her and be done with it!

Maybe you guy's were not paying close enough attention and there were grandmas AND grandpas there. Most people have 4...

Apr 23 13 12:56 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Revenge Photography
Posts: 1,783
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


The only guaranteed way I know of to avoid flakes is to not shoot.
Apr 23 13 01:19 am  Link  Quote 
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