Sunday 6.7.09

Making money modeling.

As I shoot person after person all sorts of discussions come up about why they do it. Some feel they will be the next big thing for some reason. Some model because someone told them they were “hot” and should do some modeling. Some do it to be creative and have some outlet for their creativity. Some model for fun, some for pay sites or sets to submit to various paysites for money. Some simply for the art, whatever the art might be in their mind at the moment. Some are great, some are not. There are a variety of reasons why people model and why they model in a certain way, for a certain reason. Some are represented by an agency and need images to use as promotional tools. Some of those may go on to make some money in other ways… promoting things perhaps.

Some though are quite innovative and seem to work things in a more thoughtful way. Jill started shooting with me in the spring. She is one of the more intelligent people I have met in my course of taking pictures. A college grad, now in grad school, she also has an interest in photography from behind the lens as well as in front of it. She is athletic, able to pose, hold a pose and has gained much experience in a short amount of time. She is available to model for a reasonable fee. Her experience considered, her fee is more reasonable than many of the others I have seen. She markets and promotes herself. Anyone that works with her will gain knowledge, experience and come out of it with images and/or an education that you won’t get in photography class. I can’t recommend her enough.

Her specialty is nude modeling. For an experienced photographer she will be someone very easy to work with. For an inexperienced photographer, she is someone that will improve your skill by leaps and bounds. Jill is a great deal for anyone involved.

I like what she is doing and the way she is going about it. No need to be ANTM. In my mind what she is doing will benefit the photographic art world many ways. At the same time, she is being compensated for her work. It is work and she is skilled at what she does. She plans, communicates and for me has always been on time. She offers many great ideas and can pull off a variety of poses and expressions. She probably has more to offer than a novice photographer needs.

So why do I mention this and seem to blatantly promote one person? Jill is simply a great example of what I think local modeling can be for some people. Maybe not for all people and maybe she will move on to some other adventure in the future. So many times over the last few years there have been models that I have worked with that have had larger dreams than I thought were realistic. The people that do it for the adventure, or the art, or to make a record of how great they look at this moment in time, or to provide someone with steamy pictures… or the worst – to have better Myspace images – they are one thing or one group of people. Those that come in here thinking that they will be the next big thing or that they will land a spot in some hot hip hop music video… most are a flash in the pan. I do not know if they even flash, maybe just twinkle for a few moments and then only in certain circles. Many tell me they never make any money at it. They want to and post some kind of rates but still there are very few takers. I think some become much less interested and move on with their lives.

I’m always very interested in how someone can be successful at something. Even if only doing it for artistic reasons and not monetary gain, money plays into everything. Everything costs money, even doing it for free. In this economy and in every other economy things like rent, mortgage payments, food, health care should always come before spending money on things that are more trivial. People will always have to have their fun things to do or hobbies… or their non real life related items that they want, plan for and wait for. Trips, vacations, a nice dress or suit or pair of shoes perhaps. Maybe investing in an old car with hopes of long term restoration, not to profit but for the love of the work and the result as well as preserving some history.

In reading about doing business or selling a service or items to people you find the line about finding a need and providing for that need. Sometimes you create something and then inform people of what you have and why they need that thing that YOU provide. Maybe it is a better value, better built, faster, easier or just something that you can’t live without. Convincing you of that idea is key. Perhaps you convince yourself. There are things that we do need to survive and a whole lot of other things that we really do not need but are willing to spend the money to get it.

Along with all of this is the concept that one thing leads to another or one door opens another. I take pictures of a great model, show someone what I can do and perhaps they want to pay me to take their picture. A model takes pictures with me and if I can provide them with something striking they may use some of those images to promote themselves and land a paying gig. Maybe. Sounds pretty simple in the broken down version when in reality there are a great deal of other things involved to get there. Time, practice, equipment, more practice, exposure, more exposure, talking to the right people………… finding that market that is willing to spend money on your service.

In the end of this entry these are all just some random observations. Jill is a good example of someone able to work her craft and generate some revenue for herself. I believe that there are a lot of others out there that could do the same thing.

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