Building my photography skills has been and is a journey. I go on walkabouts, scout locations, join a few meetup groups, purchased books, and so much more. All to learn different aspects of photography at some point in time.
In the last few years, I’ve spent some time with meetup groups gaining experience working with different models, photographers, and using different equipment. Meetups can be really great if their ideas and goals are in line with yours. It’s not a perfect relationship but if your goals of improving aspects of your photography, this can really be a good thing.
The photographer/model meetup groups are mostly organized with a theme, a location, makeup artists, and models. The models experience is from New to Experienced. It’s very simple and easy to participate.
I have benefited from the experience and encourage people to try the meetup groups to expose yourself to the possibility. You will learn about yourself, your skills, and what you need to learn. However, I’ve had a lot of challenges with models; new or with some experience. I’ve had to literally walk away because of the unpreparedness of the model. In these situations, I don’t have time to stop and explain my reasoning but thought I share my personal tips to help get the model started. I’m not the expert of modeling, but wanted share some tips on professionalism and preparedness.
Tips for the model newbies from a photographer’s perspective from A to Z.
Arrive on time. Early is on time, on time is late. Or go home! Unless an emergency, be courteous and contact the photographer as soon as you know.
Be prepared and Ready to Go.
Carry an extra brush, comb, swabs, mirror, extra makeup with you. Unless there’s a hairstylist and makeup artist, you should always be prepared. Remember this is your portfolio, take charge of you.
Determine which type of model you want to be. If you can’t follow the first 3 steps in the alphabet, maybe you should think about exploring another career.
Earn a great reputation with a positive attitude and preparedness.
Forgo negative thoughts. Negative thoughts lead to negative attitude which leads to “no one wants to work with you.” Put a playlist of music that makes you perform the happy dance or puts you in a good place. Play this music prior to the shoot and let’s have fun!
Goals. Develop personal goals to accomplish and set an expiration date. I find that if I don’t set an expiration, it’ll take a while for me to cross off my list. Your portfolio should show your diversity.
Have a “Can-Do” attitude.
If you take your new adventure into modeling seriously, do your homework or you’ll miss the opportunity! In one of the meetup groups, I walked away from a model who had a bad attitude, I just couldn’t work with her. Very unfortunate for both of us.
Just because it fits doesn’t mean we should wear it. We can look at this in two ways; it could be the wardrobe stylist fault; the photographers fault; the designers fault. Remember, you are in charge of you.
Know your best angles. If you practice in the mirror you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t.
Live each day like a new day. Yesterday is gone, long gone. Time moves forward whether you like it or not. This effects your attitude. This effects your opportunity. Having the skill is great, but attitude is so attractive.
Meditate or clear your mind before any photoshoot.
Never turn down a challenge or chose wisely. Will this help you grow, will you gain new experience?
Opportunities are everywhere. Are you ready?
Practice in the mirror.
Quit with the excuses. Go on a No-Excuse-Campaign.
Register on model websites after building up a couple of different looks to promote yourself. After getting a few professional shots, create an account your professional photos in portfolio profile. It shows that you are serious and willing to put in the work.
Stay on your “A” game. There’s always someone better than you, trying to compete and WIN your spot. That goes for all of us.
There’s no “I” in team. Have the courtesy to work with your photographer, makeup artist, and wardrobe. This is such an attractive trait.
Unfortunate opportunity missed for you if you don’t dress appropriately for your body type; hence, theme of photo shoot.
Victim. Don’t become a victim of a chaotic photo shoot. You may be anxious about building your portfolio and that’s a great start! But chose wisely. Ask the organizer about their plan and types of shoots they are expecting. How many photographers will be participating. A good organizer will have a plan and timetable and schedule of photo shoot. I’ve seen frustrated models and photographers where there are way too many photographers to 1 model; or photographers flat out ignore models! All do to poor planning. Not Good, Not Cool!
What’s the point of the list? I want you to succeed. If you succeed, we all succeed.
X out each goal that you accomplish from your list.
Year. This is the year to start your journey.
ZigZag. The path to a career in modeling follows like a zig zagged line. Don’t get caught up in pitfalls, keep moving forward.