Wednesday, 12 September 2012

I am what I am...

I know the title of this post is a very famous camp song, but please try not to have that tune stuck in your head throughout this post - woops its now stuck in mine.

This is possibly a controversial'ish/ranty post, its not open for discussion - just my opinion so if you don't like some harsh words or listening to me then best bugger off now :D (just a heads up really). If anybody says "this sort of stuff will put off potential people booking me" then they can join the "buggered off camp" but please don't try to be my friend afterwords, thats just insulting - if you don't like me, my work or the things I say then do us both a favour and just don't come near me.

This saying "it will put off potential..." really irritates the shit out of me - enough to write this blog post which might go off on a tangent midway through.

Models hear this "it will put off" thing fairly often. Some of my observations over the years - (some I agree with others not so much).

- Portfolios with nice images in them - the not so great photographers are sometimes apparently intimidated by this - so even if they are not shooting you on a TF basis they prefer to wait until their work is a better standard.. Which may never happen, put it this way not one of the people who have messaged me saying "Would love to work with you sometime but..." have ever messaged me again - please note they initiated contact in the first instance so it wasn't me "cold calling them".

- Portfolios with bad images in them - This puts off many good photographers, if its teamed with the "paid work only" its quite amusing but it only encourages shit photographers.

- Proactive models - Ok so a model cold calls you, that pisses you off for some reason - she asked, all you have to do is say no and move on. If you don't want to work with her thats fine but she was only making you aware that she exists or is in your area. People will moan when a model doesn't tell them she is visiting his area but moan when she does take the time and effort to message.. What is a model to do? Posting castings often gets a "well she posts so many castings she must be struggling, I wont be booking her" type attitude, fine so how do you expect us to advertise? the silent kind where we post nothing and say nothing and wait for nobody to message us. Ps- I'm not a cold calling type but I can see why models do it.

- Working with certain people - You know the drill with this one, everybody has enemies - some photographers hate each other with a passion and if a model works with one photographers enemy then they are screwed when it comes to working with the other photographer.

- If we don't instantly reply to a message - this is offputting, understandable but if we are online for a long period of time posting on facebook or on a forum we are clearly struggling for work (not always the case) so that puts off potential clients too.

- Choosing to take on select TF work - even if that TF work is excellent, some photographers believe that we should only take on paid work, they grudge paying models who collaborate from time to time they hate models portfolio building and seem to think we can magic images out of nowhere yet they complain when a model asks for an image after a shoot or uses an image from a paid shoot.. Chances are we would get put into that "never work with this model" for paying a photographer too.. So whats the magical answer? if we only take on paid work we wont have any images, one bloke goes on about this fairly often yet he expects models to have recent images and models to be constantly updating showing they are busy modelling.. How do we do this if we are not supposed to be taking on any TF work. As is always said we should not expect images back from a paid shoot. So what is the answer to this? Mobile phone pictures - no wait that puts off potential clients too so better not do that. We could work with one of our friends but if we have to much of his or her work in our portfolio this is off putting too.

- Using facebook and having a social life - So a photographer adds you to facebook, you are a young lady who has a social life.. Apparently we are not allowed to have one, images of you on a night out are making people think you are an unreliable piss head when in reality you are healthy and doing what girls your age do - have fun on your downtime. I spotted a post recently from a photographer actually saying he deletes models from his page if he sees their nights out pictures or pictures of them eating junk food more often than they post about healthy eating or exercise, put it this way if I have a salad I ain't going to shout about it - its boring but healthy if I am about to have steak as a treat its worth shouting about.Also you have to be very careful about posting up anything personal because many photographers don't like reading about your relationship/cat/baby yet they were the ones to seek your private facebook account out, and add you. So we get two facebooks, yes this might work for some but modelling is my life. I want to share my images with models/photographers/ other creatives and my family all in the one go..

-  Having a strong opinion, which is something I'm guilty of. If somebody asks me if something is shit then I say it is (if it is)- sometimes I say it a little more brutally than other times - this is me.. Part of my personality and I can't change that. I stopped giving a crap what the local GWC's thought of my work a long time ago - The only people who matter are those who I want to impress, those who have been involved in the shoot or people who I look up to. Maybe people shouldn't ask if they don't want an answer.

- Warning other models of creeps or posting up a screenshot from a photographer asking you for sex -  Yes!! we are not really allowed to do that -  according to some that makes us unprofessional and childish, not to forget bitchy.. Thankfully I think that view is in the minority with the general public although possibly the people sending these types of messages wouldn't welcome models sharing them around but they really should have thought about that before sending them. So as an example, I go to a shoot - the person has say a video camera hidden somewhere in the studio and I discover it... To some people I should do NOTHING at all - not warn any models - never mention it again because although the photographer was the one who actually done something wrong I would be just as bad if I posted up about it anywhere. Unless somebody asks me for a reference on him I should not mention his conduct. I think the thing we need to really focus on here is the ACTION which cause the model to be upset, if the photographer thought about what he/she was doing or typing then the model wouldn't feel the need to warn other models. I welcome any negative and positive information about photographers and thankfully most other models do too.

- It ties in with the above post, if a model has experiences like this and mentions them then believe it or not it puts off other photographers - ones who think we see all photographers are big perverts which really isn't the case at all. Yes some are creepoids but the majority of you lot are awesome, if you weren't there wouldn't be many models around. When I say "zyx is a creep" its not a personal insult to you, its an insult to zyx. Just like if somebody moans about a model not showing up, I don't get on my high horse and say "well I show up, you sound just as bad as her so most models wont want to work with you" type thing. Its just really stupid.

- Having more opinions - I know I touched on the opinions thing before but again this next one is about having an opinion, you disagree with somebody about a topic, it could be who you vote for - what you think about union strikes, if you are pro same sex marriage - anything really but if a model shows a strong bias towards something enough to explain why she is belittled time and time again from those who "know better".. God forbid we dare to disagree with potential clients.. after all it will only put them off working with us.

(This one was edited in as I was checking for mistakes) - Spelling - this is another thing which some folks seem to think is a really BIG deal. I understand to a point with the text speak typing, its not professional. I have seen quite a number of people post things like "well your spelling isn't up to much so I guess you wont be intelligent and I only work with intelligent models". Look if she has an awesome look, can pose well and turns up and is able to hold a conversation with you then does it really matter if she has a degree or can pass a spelling and punctuation exam? seriously - get a life. As long as I understand what somebody is saying then I don't care if their finger presses the wrong button or they have trouble spelling the word "professional", its not the end of the world. It really doesn't make somebody boring and stupid just because they make mistakes every so often.

- The levels we work to - either in secret or not in secret. I don't do any form of adult work but if a model chooses to do some then I've seen her being told "this will put off potential..." why? unless you are shooting for M&S or mothercare? If she is a good model in whatever style you are looking to shoot her in then does it really matter if she did a leg open shot 3 years ago...

- People have even said models having blogs is off putting because its usually full of nonsense nobody is interested in (I completely disagree as does the number of postitive feedback I've had about my own blog)- sometimes personal stuff (again like the facebook) don't read it or add a model to your page if her having a life is an issue for you..

- Also we are better not to know too much about photography, just incase we intimidate a potential client - Or they believe we will tell them how to do their job and they don't like this at all. I have only ever given advice when its been asked for, I have made suggestions as to what we can shoot next if the photographer is struggling but I would hope photographers appreciate this, a model who has ideas and creativity which often leads to some pretty good images. Alas some don't feel that way, we will be interfering bags if they even suspect we might have a better eye for photography than they do.

- Images on other photographers pages, we cannot make a living and guarantee every single of image of us is flattering/ well photographed or all that fantastic - so being told that an image on someone elses portfolio puts off potential clients really piss me off.. Unless I physically do everything for a photographer I have no idea what is going to come from the shoot, I have no say in what images they use or how they edit. I can't be to blame for that - unless the photography is REALLY REALLY shockingly bad its not my fault. I was the model, I moved about and posed and they got the wrong angle or decided to do something wacky in photoshop - its out with my control. I know I worked my arse off and moved around as much as possible to get them some variety, if I was being "safe" and sticking to poses which were flattering it would be equally offputting to potential clients so again its a case of a no win situation whatever I do.

- I remember one photographer even telling me that a model who posts "had a great shoot today" on facebook annoys him.. I have no idea why but he felt quite strongly about it, yet he has nearly every model I know on his facebook.. So if we love modelling enough to be happy after a shoot that is a bad thing which is considered "annoying"and off putting.. *the mind boggles*

- Leading on nicely to my final one here - Sometimes we have shit experiences, occasionally we just had a bad shoot where nothing was working and we got frustrated with ourselves or we were out in horrible weather - even if you are working with the nicest person on the planet the cold weather does unfortunately make for an uncomfortable shoot if I post saying "it was so cold today I wish I was in my bed" that doesn't mean I hate modelling, that just means it was cold that particular day and I would have preferred to be someplace warmer. If I stub my toe on a plug socket that doesn't mean I hate electricity, I just hate the bloody plug socket until the pain eases. We cannot enjoy every aspect of our jobs, so IF from time to time we have a little moan about something in particular please don't automatically assume that means we hate modelling - I wouldn't do it if I hated it. I'm not going to lie and say I like standing in a river in December in -4 conditions for 30 minutes while a photographer uses every available format of camera to capture my frosted over/can't move/can't balance look.. I just feel like if a model posts about the negative aspects which occasionally come with the job then we are made to feel like we are not grateful for the opportunities we have been blessed with.

I could have went on a bit more with this post, its just things which have been floating about in my head for quite some time now.. Chances are I could add something else tomorrow to it but these are the main little gripes.

For me the only thing which would put me off from working with a photographer is - if they have shit pictures or if they come across as creeps/have bad references.. I really couldn't care about any of the above - seriously. If somebody treats me well and has a passion for what they do then they are good people.

So next time you think about posting the "you will put off potential clients" think... think seriously about it, it *might* put you off.. BUT would have have booked that particular model anyway? We are under scrutiny pretty much everywhere online, give us a break PLEASE. We know, anytime we breathe we might put off potential clients.. Look at all my examples above ^ thats pretty much anything we do is going to piss of somebody.... ^

& That there is the end of my rant, I hate the "serious" posts I do. I also know they will be met with "that might put off potential clients" because usually my serious posts do - but as the title says "I am what I am" and what I say are my thoughts, sometimes they come out wrong other times they stay in my head (I do think before I speak contrary to popular belief) ...


ps - to make up for my moan here is a picture of me protecting a couple of cars from a big scary branch.. Now that has to be something which any potential clients will be impressed with - or maybe not.  Thanks to Dave Hunt for sending it over, and thanks to everybody I worked with today.. I had an awesome time!


  1. Very well written, Chrissie, and I agree with everything you said here.

    1. Thank you Mark for taking the time to read my blog, its appreciated :D
      Its actually went better than I though, I guess with me being "guilty" of several of the above I'm generally quite well ignored by most of the people who do believe in when it comes to judging models.

      Its a wonder any models bother with the amount of crap we put up with - which isn't related at all to how we actually perform as a model. Ofcourse moaning about any of the above just models look worse. Maybe the people who constantly drone on about all these "offputting" things are just making excuses why they will not work with certain models - surely the only excuse or reason should be - She isn't replying to messages/ doesn't turn up on time/ expects to much from me/ looks bad or cannot pose.

      If models were half as judgemental as the small minority of the photographers you would all be screwed! ;-P Thanks again x