Hello fellow photographers and welcome to my my weekly blog.
Today, I’m going to talk a bit about finding great models, and how having a smaller portfolio will make you shoot better models.
Now, just to be clear about this, when I say “model”, I don’t necessarily mean a fashion super model, but I mean any girl or guy you shoot on a hobby basis or a professional basis, although this is the same principle for almost everything you do.
A thing I hear a lot when people go through my work is “oh, I wish I could shoot girls as beautiful as yours, but they never say yes to me”
But a fundamental thing humans forget way too often is that everyone had a start, and we’ve all been the exact same places and had the exact same thoughts.
The only difference between us is how we handle these thoughts and progress.
I’ve written a blog about that here.
When I first started out,
I was shooting a looot of models, like 3-4 a week. I would find them the strangest places, and I’m fairly sure that I seemed like a creep while doing it.
Facebook, the streets, parties, friends
The girls I would find would be fairly … different from the girls I shoot today. They were still beautiful, but … more on the inside.
Okay, I shot a lot of people that I would never shoot today, but it was all practice, and that’s just the way it’s supposed to be.
But when I was done with a shoot, I pick one, sometimes two pictures, and work on them really hard. I would only show these photos, because I was proud of them and could stand by them.
Sometimes the model would want more photos because they wanted to spam their Facebook friends with photos of the same pose or setup, but then I just wouldn’t work with them anymore.
I’m kidding, of course I’m not that cynical. Almost.
So how would I ask them?
I would write a formal message if it was on Facebook with a link to my portfolio, if it was outside I would make sure to have Business Cards ready. They cost next to nothing and will remove a part of the “creep factor” from you.
I worked a lot on the premise of practicing together. We call it “TFP”, or “Time For Print”. I get nice photos, and they get nice photos, everyone is happy. You can also save yourself the trouble by investing a bit of money into a good model, but you will still have to convince them that they will not degrade their reputation by working with you.
What I see a lot of start up photographers doing is photo dumping;
They will show the good photos, but also the bad photos from a shoot.
That’s like baking cakes and saying “I got a great cake here you should try, and this one is okay, and this one tastes like dead rats but I still think you should try it. What? I couldn’t throw it out, are you crazy? Here, taste it!”
Why would you ever do that? No one is going to buy from your store anymore and you’ll lose all the good customers. Yea sure your family will still drop by to support you, but you won’t progress.
And that is where my point comes in. Only show the best you got. If a great model looks at your portfolio and sees a few good photos but tons of mediocre or bad photos of maybe not the most talented models, she doesn’t want to be put in there next to them.
So clean up!
Look at your portfolio and start deleting stuff. Maybe the photos were good when you first took them, but they’re not anymore. Start being critical towards what you put on your portfolio. It’s a new day!
And trust me, if you start doing this, I assure you that more and better models will agree to cooperate with you, and it will be easier and easier to make photos you can be proud of.
Next week I will be launching some free actions on this site so be sure to subscribe to get them!