Forums > General Industry > TF shoot gone bad? Would love everyone's opinion


James Doherty

Posts: 1

San Diego, California, US

I do not give all the photos from a shoot. If I shot 400 images, I'm quite sure many would make it directly into my trash bin. If I am doing a shoot as TF, I will try and give 1 or 2 strong images from each outfit/look. Personally, my choice is to give the llama a Low Res watermarked image as many just end up on the web such as Facebook. I also give the same images in High Res and not watermarked so she can print. All images are retouched and converted to jpegs.

Remember, even though you state you don't care about the unedited images you give to the llama because they do not have your name on them, her friends will ask who the photog was and your name will be attached to those images verbally. Even if you are not getting paid, you are representing the photography industry. Start protecting your reputation now as it will follow you later on.

I think you mean well and you obviously are very kind to the llamas you work with, but you may want to take some of the advice you have received in this thread and re-evaluate your process while working with llamas.

Keep shooting and have fun!

Feb 08 13 10:22 pm Link


DG at studio47

Posts: 2365

East Ridge, Tennessee, US

Dear OP, I guess that you have noticed by now that who gets what is a hot topic here on MM. After 8 years and literally trying EVERY combination of 'sharing' images with models [I'm not going to list all that here], I settled on sending a CD of the edited images, Jpeg and sized for the internet-800 on a side. Basic reasoning? Models did everything imaginable with images mailed to them or shared with them after the shoot. They posted unedited images. They edited the unedited images themselves [or had a 'friend' do it]. They resized them to horrible sizes. Crazy crops. Convert to BW, etc. I also discovered that some of them never even looked at the unedited images! The basic idea is this: the model does her thing and you do your thing. always keep a grip on your thing! best wishes!

Feb 08 13 10:25 pm Link



Posts: 6377

Antioch, California, US

Orca Bay Images wrote:

Why is that phrase almost always misspelled?

Because spell check wont catch it and most folks dont know the difference.

Feb 08 13 10:25 pm Link



Posts: 355

Auburn, Alabama, US

I'd say give her a disc with jpegs. test them on another computer and let it go. If she can't use RAW you don't want to leave her hanging and it costs you 10 minutes and a blank disc to be the bigger person.

Feb 08 13 10:31 pm Link



Posts: 2647

New York, New York, US

EbbysTouch wrote:
Just A Suggestion:
--Model Release completed before shoot even begins
--If you have an iPhone/iPad or Droid consider going paperless with your model release using  the Easy Release App
--Shoot and be deliberate with your shots, 400 frames is a lot unless she had a kazillion looks to be captured.
--Try giving 2 images per look(or something similar)
--place TRASH (the images you don't value) in the TRASH BIN
--Decide whether YOU are going to choose the finals or whether the model will choose from your final selections--get a system. Giving all the images is not beneficial to the model OR to you. ONLY show the best of the best.
--Give Jpegs. Convert.
--If someone cancels ...shake it off, move on. Next!

hope this helps.

^^ +1    and let me explain a bit further why everyone is telling you not to give out RAW files. Being you are new to photography in general, there is a good chance that you have never shot film in your lifetime. Back in the day the equivalent to a RAW file was the film negative. If one were to say shoot a roll of film (that was paid for), develop film (again with materials that are paid for), print prints (paid for), and then hand over the prints and the negatives to a model or anyone else, they are essentially giving their work away.

Now, this might be less common these days for some in a world where digital technologies have over saturated the market to the point where anyone can purchase a DSLR and call themselves a photographer, but there are those of us out there that take this stuff really seriously. You mentioned that you just want to shoot "pretty girls". I mean this with no disrespect, but to you and all of the GWC's on this site, please grow up!  It is pretty obvious that both you and the model are very new to shooting from your replies. I mean this with the best possible constructive criticism too when I say that the biggest mistake new photographers make is to undervalue their work. I am not sure what you do for a day job for example, but imagine if you went to work and did your job all week, and then your boss said "whoops, we're not going to pay you this week". This is the same deal with doing a photo shoot. While I understand that you are learning the craft of photography at this point, no one ever needs 400 images of themselves, and no photographer ever needs 400 images of the same look from a model either. If you are serious about learning photography, go take a couple workshops from reputable photographers that know what they are doing, or go take a couple classes at your local college to see if it is something that you are interested in doing. You will save a lot of time and effort for both you and models in the long run by having that experience.

In reply to your original post also, always get the release signed before the shoot starts. No release = no shoot simple as that. The number of images that you give a model should be 1 or 2 per look plain and simple as others have mentioned. Anything more unless it is completely mind blowing and amazing should be scratched as repetition does nothing for your port or your models port. and if the model comes back cold like that after everything was fine originally, it is not your fault, there are other political issues at play (ie. boyfriends, husbands, families, someone told her they didn't like the way she looked and she is too insecure with herself, she found religion and decided to stop modeling, etc..etc..etc.). In this case, simply thank her for her time and say next. There are a million and one people that want to "play model" just like there are a million and one people that want to "play photographer".   and I agree that it is also the photographers responsibility to convert the few images that they do give on trade so that a model can use them for his/her port. Just convert them to web res .jpg files unless you agree to provide physical tangible prints.

aside from this, go take some workshops or classes as I mentioned. It will get you a lot farther a lot faster. It will also save you many pitfalls and learning curves from the get go. good luck!

Feb 08 13 10:31 pm Link


Kelli Sweet

Posts: 123

PLAYA DEL REY, California, US

John Choi wrote:
My edited work is precious to me and I think of them as a gift to anyone who worked with me.  The unedited files I think of as basically trash that I want my models to look at for their benefit to improve their modeling skills.  Also, they may actually like some of those pics more than the ones I liked.  Who am I to say only the ones I like are the ones they'd like?  If they want a different picture to put on their portfolio, Id like them to pick and have me edit them.

Although a model can certainly improve by looking at the unusable files, I think it would help her more if you gave her some guidance and direction during the shoot and BEFORE you press the shutter.  There's nothing wrong with putting the camera down, walking over to her and gently delivering some specifics on how you think she could move, pose or emote to improve things.  If it's still not working for you, then go ahead and show her a shot from the LCD so she can see what's happening and give her ideas.. "See we were doing this? .. Let's try doing THIS instead..".  That should give you many more "keepers"..

And since you're a nice guy and like to give the model the option of choosing from proofs, you can also take your best ones (that you absolutely wouldn't mind being shown in her port as a representation of your work), batch them with a light opacity PROOF watermark and then let her choose from those on a proofing site.

I agree with the consensus also on handing out JPEGS! 

Stay positive and remember photography is a constant learning experience.  Take all your critiques, good or bad, with a grain of salt and learn from them.


Feb 08 13 10:42 pm Link


Bobby C

Posts: 2693

Kathmandu, Kathmandu, Nepal

my thoughts on being "too nice" :
after "having gone around the block" of life a few times I have learned that being too nice is actually detrimental. People will see you as weak ( and maybe being too nice is coming from a weak place in you ) and will not give you the proper respect as a human being. you should be nice but not "too nice."
working with models is a two way street. you want to take photos and the model wants photos of him/her self. no need to bend over backwards ( unless it's a flexi model ).
BTW, Soju FTW !

Feb 08 13 10:52 pm Link



Posts: 102

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

John Choi wrote:
I'm still relatively new to MM and also to fashion photography. But I've been doing it for over 6 months an have done quite a bit of shooting. Generally, I like to do a TF shoot where after I shoot with a model I give them a DVD or two of the entire shoot plus several edited photos. The number of edited photos varies but roughly it's about 2-5% depending on the number of images. For instance a typical shoot will have about 400 images and I will edit around 10-20 images. Furthermore, I usually will tell the model that if they like any of the non edited images, I'd be happy to edit or retouch a few of them. The images are in NEF format as I shoot with a Nikon camera.

Ok, so recently I shot a model and thought the shoot went great. When I emailed her some images she replied with "OMG I love these!"  So I was happy. We even scheduled a second shoot.

Then a week later she abruptly cancelled the shoot via text and wanted to know when she would receive the DVDs. This was about one week after the original shoot and I had already emailed her about 8 edited images. I told her I'd be happy to hand over the DVD if she meets me with a signed release which I gave her and forgot to get signed. I was planning on giving her the DVDs when we met for our shoot. An the tone of her texts were very cold and felt very different than previous correspondence.  We met a few days later and exchanged DVDs for release.

Now a few weeks later (original shoot was I think over a month ago) she texts me saying why can't she open the files. I advised her downloading a free software like Picasa an she should be able to view the files. I've sent dozens of these DVDs to different models and i have never heard of a problem.  I also advised her that she should get used to handling RAW files as I believe most photogs shoot in that format (please tell me if you guys agree).  Then after several texts she said something about it being not her job to convert files. She's the model and I'm the photographer an I'm waisting her time.  If she asked nicely, I would have actually gone back and converted all (I think over 400 images I think) images to JPEg but thought she was being so rude that I told her lets just go our separate ways.

Am I being unreasonable?  I really feel like I am not being unreasonable. I'd love to hear from models and photogs and anyone else who had an opinion.

I think you are very very generous, too generous! Different photographers work in different ways. I've worked with some that just load them all onto my USB straight after the shoot and others that give me 5-10 retouched images.

In saying that.... I will only ever use the very best 1 or 2 images from a shoot. While yes I have received over 400+ photos there is no way that I will use all of them and I don't expect them. I've had photographers who have sent me 5 of the best retouched images from the shoot (and I happily sign model releases and receive image license to display any image online to be low res and watermarked, and the high res for personal print portfolio only). And I am pretty happy with that. Because honestly... I have no real use for 400 different angles of my face and the same sets of clothing lol

In saying that, while JPG is easier to deal with and you probably should have given her those, if she didn't sign a release and that was part of the agreement you don't owe her anything as she didn't hold up her end of the deal smile You're allowed to be a bit stricter imo!

Good luck smile

Feb 08 13 10:52 pm Link


Caitin Bre

Posts: 2687

Apache Junction, Arizona, US

John Choi wrote:
Thank you Caitin, it's nice to hear that from a model.  The only other model who responded if I didn't overlook anyone said I was an idiot and misspelled "you're". 

I feel much better.  But based on I think a majority of the posts so far, I probably should have done more to prevent the misunderstanding in the first place.  So no more mr nice guy?

No! stay Nice! don't ever let others issues become yours and change the special who you are.
Not everyone is going to understand each other. this probably isn't the last time it will happen. You just brush your knees off and learn something from it.
I would say maybe one small thing as hard as it would have been(with her attitude) would have been to ask what file format she is used to working with. Maybe that is the one thing to always ask in the future.
As far as her flaking and getting a little weird it could have been a number of things not related to you at all. Someone might of been filling her head with crap. maybe pressure from a boyfriend that was jealous of her modeling. Who knows, but one thing is for sure its not you. So don't beat yourself up over it. Be good to You!

Feb 08 13 11:02 pm Link


Patrick Walberg

Posts: 44518

Salinas, California, US

John Choi wrote:
I also advised her that she should get used to handling RAW files as I believe most photogs shoot in that format (please tell me if you guys agree). Then after several texts she said something about it being not her job to convert files. She's the model and I'm the photographer an I'm waisting her time.  If she asked nicely, I would have actually gone back and converted all (I think over 400 images I think) images to JPEg but thought she was being so rude that I told her lets just go our separate ways.

Actually I disagree.  I don't believe "most" photographers shoot in RAW (I don't!)  and especially ... NOT ALL photographers are going to give her RAW files anyway! 

We've already had some heated threads regarding shooting RAW vs. JPEG in the Photographers section of the forum in the past.  It's not worth going over that territory again, but the assumption that "all" photographers would shoot RAW and give the model those RAW files is more than a stretch.  I give the model JPEGS that have been corrected, reduced and watermarked.  I don't often give "all" the images either ... that depends on the agreement I have with each individual model.

Some have called you overly generous ... I say that is your business what you give the model.  I'm just telling you that not all models are going to want all the images and/or in RAW.  Better luck next time.

Feb 08 13 11:45 pm Link



Posts: 13051

Atlanta, Georgia, US

John Choi wrote:

I suppose I should stop giving out all the pics.  My main reason for doing so is to help the model really see herself in a photo to help her to become a better model.  And since I don't have my name on it, I don't really care that it gets out even though it's not my best work.  I am only protective of my edited work.  I don't know, it's just a bunch of data bits.  I guess I should be more protective.

I understand that, that is why a booker may review a set with a model after a test shoot.  Still it's not every image and there is someone there to explain it to them.  I realize not every model is agency signed but I don't think a brand new model will get much from a few hundred images.  Sure she may pick the obvious bad ones but without the aid of an expert mentor or booker the review is going to be hit or miss.

Feb 09 13 06:13 am Link


Mikey Yan

Posts: 379

La Habra, California, US

I see no wrongdoing done by the OP. What you (OP) have done is pretty generous, especially knowing that you gave her the RAW files, which is pretty much equivalent to giving her the negatives of your whole shoot. The others who posted though do have a point, wherein you could have just converted the RAWs to jpgs. I always just assume the worst that models' computers won't be able to read the RAWs so I just convert them. That is if our agreement is giving the model all the images, which isn't always the case.

But I have to say that the model could have said things in a better way. I truly wonder why the mood of your correspondence with her changed after the initial shoot.

Feb 09 13 10:09 am Link



Posts: 7286

London, England, United Kingdom

WOOOOW, Way too nice dude... Since you are new I wont go nuts on you... But honestly what do models need 400 raw photos for?

I give models I shoot about 5 photos (jpg) from our shoot. And thats about it.

No need for DVD, raws, or so many photos. You are spoiling them! Have a back bone, and change the way yo deal with your TF shoots.

Good luck!

Feb 09 13 10:31 am Link


Darren Brade

Posts: 3313

London, England, United Kingdom

John Choi wrote:
My main reason for doing so is to help the model really see herself in a photo to help her to become a better model.

It still doesn't make any sense to give the RAW files. Are her poses better in RAW-Res that couldn't be gained from a smaller more manageable JPG?

And maybe the reason the other models haven't had problems opening them is because they had help from someone else?

Feb 09 13 11:50 am Link


RKD Photographic

Posts: 3265

Iserlohn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Unless you agreed in advance to supply all the images to help her de-construct her posing technique, then don't supply them in any format.
Just supply what you agreed-to before the shoot.

I have on occasion done this for newbie llamas, but they are supplied as lo-res, monstrously watermarked and unretouched JPEGs:

But good enough to see if the pose worked or not, which is all that's required.

And if as a result the llama asks for shots that you'd be unhappy with - don't.

They carry your name, not hers - people won't look at a bad image and say "oh look at that terrible pose by the llama", they'll say "look at this terrible photo - why didn't the photographer correct that pose?"

Feb 10 13 04:15 am Link



Posts: 1655

Grand Rapids, Michigan, US

I'm going to jump in here with my experience as a llama--please don't hurt me. tongue

Usually when I do TF shoots, wherever in the world, the photographer will (but not always) elect to provide me with a way to see all the photos from the shoot, since he/she won't want to edit extra stuff, you know? That way, we can choose together, and both be happy.

Anyway, some of them will give a disc of the unedited images, and then I can email back with image numbers, but other times, it's done in a private group on Flickr. Either way, they are always in a format I can understand--either on Flickr, or in .jpg formatting on a disc. I've never been given RAW files, nor would I want--or feel entitled to--them.

That being said, if I were given a disc with a file I didn't understand, including RAW, I'd behave like an adult and A. figure it out, B. ask someone around me to help, or C. ask the photographer NICELY if he could *please* explain how to do it, *if* he had the time.

Of course, you can't expect all llamas, especially from MM, to act with any sense of decorum.

I'm sorry that you had the experience that you did!

Feb 10 13 04:46 am Link



Posts: 70

London, England, United Kingdom

The only time I would ever hand over a RAW file is if I'm shooting for a client with their own in-house retouching and even then I would probably colour-grade them first and export a TIF or PSD for them.

Why would you give a model every shot from a shoot?! That's madness.. Edit them down to the good ones first.

I do an edit first, then send the client a web gallery (so easy to do in lightroom for example) for them to make their final selection.

I'll retouch 2 or 3 for them depending on the number of looks plus any that I do for myself they can also have for their book.

Some people seem to think that more files means for value for them. That's not the case. Who wants to trudge through a thousand photos?! It's a photographers job to not only shoot but edit down to a manageable number of images.

That's my opinion anyway.

Feb 10 13 05:08 am Link



Posts: 42707

Houston, Texas, US

John Choi wrote:
When I emailed her some images she replied with "OMG I love these!"  So I was happy. We even scheduled a second shoot.

If I had a nickel for every time a model said they loved the images but never put a single one in their port or talked of a second shoot that never happened, I could afford a lot more gear,

Feb 10 13 05:18 am Link



Posts: 2513

Newton, North Carolina, US

True experience with a newbie:

KK: Here are the 20 best photos from the shoot, and the link to the album.

Newb: No! I want to see them ALL. I know I had better ones and I want THOSE. I can come over and we'll go through them together!

KK: I selected the best 20 from the shoot. This is taking into account composition, expressions, blah blah..

Newb: No! I want them all!

KK: Alright. I've uploaded every photo from the shoot, here's the link.

Newb: Omg. I guess those 20 really are the best. OK I'll take those.

Feb 10 13 05:26 am Link

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Rays Fine Art

Posts: 7307

New Orleans, Louisiana, US

FWIW I give the model a disk of JPEGs for study only (very specifically spelled out in our agreement) and edit what I consider usable which I subsequently give sized both medium res for printing and low res for the web.

I can't imagine why you'd give a model RAW files--indeed her initial upset is likely to be because of her frustration at being unable to use them.  She probably thinks you're trying to put one over on her.

One other observation on reading over some of the responses, I think that some (not all by any means but some) newbie models have heard so many horror stories that they think we lie awake nights trying to find ways to screw them both literally and figuratively.  I don't know what we can do about that.

All IMHO as always, of course.

Feb 10 13 06:38 am Link


Pantelis Palios

Posts: 252

Birmingham, England, United Kingdom

why wouldn't you ever give out raw unedited files?  I would guess it's to protect your property?  I guess I'm just not at that stage yet.

Show the world your very best* as artists and writers the world over do.

Show the world everything and you look like a Facebook Friend.

*Selected and edited jpg or two.

Feb 11 13 03:21 am Link


Loki Studio

Posts: 3437

Royal Oak, Michigan, US

I only provide small jpegs watermarked with "proof" across the center in a web gallery for the model to choose, and never provide raw camera files. 

Model's interest and passion for photo shoots can sometimes change quickly.  Stay focused on your own portfolio, find rewards in your own work, and avoid the drama of others.  Everything else is a distraction to get where you want to go.

Feb 11 13 05:34 am Link



Posts: 1655

Grand Rapids, Michigan, US

Loki Studio wrote:
Model's interest and passion for photo shoots can sometimes change quickly.  Stay focused on your own portfolio, find rewards in your own work, and avoid the drama of others.  Everything else is a distraction to get where you want to go.

This. It's true for everyone in the industry, to a certain extent, but mostly those who do not have to actually invest a tooon of money in what they're doing, in order to get started... like young, newbie models. (Photographers need an expensive camera. MUA/hair people need expensive kits... and schooling. Models need.... themselves... maybe something out of their closets.)

Feb 11 13 08:09 am Link


Moore Photo Graphix

Posts: 5288

Washington, District of Columbia, US

There's a saying that goes give someone an inch, and they'll take a mile. OP, this is one of those incidents where sticking to the original agreement would saved both parties the grief. As much you wanted to help this model, you need to have some quality control in your work. Having bad images with your name attached floating around in cyberspace isn't the best form of marketing. Don't mistake quantity for quality! Hopefully, you'll from this incident what to and what not to do in the future.

Feb 11 13 08:11 am Link



Posts: 5987

Memphis, Tennessee, US

Chuckarelei wrote:

Yes, you are being unreasonable. Many people do not know what RAW format files are. Just like if she poses for you in a corrugated box, you have to read her mind and figure how to decode the visual puzzle in order to see her without the box.

Make sense?

Well said.

Feb 11 13 08:11 am Link