One of the things new models should be doing in order to start their career is to build a portfolio that showcases what they can do. Over the years I’ve always preached that in order to take yourself to the next level in modeling you have to treat yourself as a business. That means being selective about who you work with and conscious about how they will effect your brand.
This is especially crucial when it comes to your pictures. When I started modeling, I was trying to get in front of anyone that had a camera, and unfortunately it led me to encounter a few photographers who were GWCs (I’ll explain what that is later in this post) or their work with me ended up being a waste of my time because the images were unusable. I want to set the record straight for all models, professional and aspiring, on what to look for when evaluating if you should work with a photographer or not.
Here I go!
Get to know the photographer’s previous work
So you’ve found a photographer online or you met one in person and they would love to work with you. Of course you are very flattered and excited they are going to help you build your port but what kind of work have they done in the past, and how will their style/talents work with you?
Ask for a link to their past work. If they have it and you see their work is along the lines of the types pf looks that you are going for (glamor, fashion, commercial, etc.) and it looks professional or it looks like you could see the same quality in a magazine then I say go for it. Shoot with that photographer.
If they don’t have examples of their work or the work they do have is sub par, you may have a GWC on your hands and you need to move forward carefully.
Beware the GWC
The GWC – Guy with camera, is not a professional photographer. They usually do photography as a hobby and/or they just thought it would be cool to take pictures of beautiful women. their work can be the equivalent of a Cat that just learned to use a camera and their “editing skills” are limited to the blur tool on Photoshop.
GWCs tend to use photography to meet Models and attempt to keep in touch with them for reasons other than professional ones. They know an aspiring model is looking to get pictures done and will be willing to pose for pictures to add to their portfolio. The question of if its going to be quality work is up to you to determine.
Here’s a few questions you can ask to tell if a photographer will be worth your time:
- How long have you been shooting models/doing model photography?
- Do you have any examples of your work that I can see? (No work or the work they have looks like they took it on instagram with 3 filters? They may be a GWC)
- What are you looking to shoot? Is this a shoot for a client, mag submissions, or is this for your portfolio? (They arent sure, they might be a GWC)
- Where will the shoot take place? In a studio, on location, in your home studio? (Home studios are okay, just make sure that you don’t go alone. If at anytime you feel uncomfortable, LEAVE!)
- What do I need to supply for the shoot? (Hair, Makeup, Clothes, props, etc)
- What editing can you do the pictures and how soon after the shoot can I get them. (Minimal/No Knowledge of editing, They might be a GWC.)
- When do you want to shoot? (No projected time frame, Might be a GWC)
- Are there any models that I can contact about their experience with you, or any notable work that you have done that I can reference? (None? Might be a GWC)
- Do you mind if I have an assistant attend with me? (If this is just for portfolio building, you should be able to have someone attend with you at least to make sure you get there safe and back. they shouldn’t be involved with your shoot in any way. If this is a shoot for a client,expect that a chaperone will not be allowed unless you are under the age of 18.)
Just a few things I wanted to blog about regarding the subject. I hope this helps someone…
I wrote this post while on the move with my Android.