Yesterday, in my "scam" report, I mentioned Model Mayhem and referred to it as "...one of my not-so-favorite modeling sites."
A reader, Jeff N, left a comment and, in it, he wrote, "So whats your beef with MM? I'm trying to build my portfolio and am using MM without any issues.(yet?) I'm sure GWC scenario's are abound in combo with flaky models, but what site isn't?"
The truth is, I have no specific, personally-experienced "beef" with MM. I also don't have a specific problem with One Model Place, or, for that matter, most any modeling site. My "issues" with these sites are more generic.
For some shooters, perhaps many, MM, OMP, and others sites of that ilk serve a purpose. I know of more than a few photographers who mine these sites for willing models. Their success rate in procuring victims, I mean agreeable models, seems to vary widely: Some do quite well and others rarely pan a nugget from these sites. I assume there are many factors for this: The quality of the shooter's work, his or her approach, geographic location, and so forth.
I've never spent much time on these sites with the intent of seducing models into gracing my viewfinder. Usually, I hire models or someone else hires me to shoot models they've hired. On a few occasions, I've logged onto OMP and MM and others and have perused a number of pics of pretty girls who've aroused my photographic interests and, because of this, cyber-sent a message with an offer to shoot them with a TFP arrangement. For the most part, the models have never responded. Oh well. I see it as their loss. I hope that doesn't sound egotistical but, generally, the sort of models who have aroused my interests (and I was willing to shoot for free) are ones who possess, in my opinion, a unique look but have posted lame images (in their ports) which don't exactly showcase their beauty or uniqueness.
At the risk of rambling, here's a short, anecdotal, true story: A friend of mine, who is/was a nationally-known, "feature dancer" in gentlemen's clubs, a.k.a., strip clubs, as well as a glamour/nude model regularly featured in many men's magazines, was performing locally and invited me to catch her show. She graciously had left a pass for me at the door and, after arriving, I went in and sat down, waiting for her show to begin. Almost at once, one of the "house dancers," a young, plain-speaking, beauty whom I've shot before, came bouncing up to me. "Jimmy!" she shouted over the club's music with a big grin, "What are you doing here?" Before I could answer, she blurted out, "You don't pay to look at p_ssy. You get paid to look at it!" I'm only telling this because her ribald comment sort-of, and in a round-about way, illustrates why I feel it's me who should be getting paid to shoot an inexperienced, wannabee, never-done-anything model and not the other way around.
While I do spend a fair amount of time on photographer forums, the forums on most modeling sites are sophomoric in terms of their content. Plus, they often seem to discuss the same, lame, sophomoric shit over and over ad nauseum.
The many GWCs and wannabees that infest these sites also perturb me. That's not to say all the members of these sites fall into those two categories. Mostly, it's the wannabee models that annoy me to the greatest extent. Many of these girls desperately need to take a course in Reality 101. Quite often, it's not that they aren't cute or hot or, potentially, have a shot at making something of themselves in a modeling career; it's their attitudes and expectations that are out of touch with reality. Sure, most of them are young, naieve, and have little experience or real knowledge regarding their modeling aspiratons. But that's no excuse for not investing some of their time learning about the real world of modeling, glamour or otherwise.
I know it's a cliché and often-heard complaint, but to post low-res, grainy-looking, lame, cell phone pics of themselves in an online portfolio and then demand to be paid for any modeling opportunity that might come their way is ludicrous. Using myself as an example, if anyone should be paying anyone they should be paying me. I'm not saying I'm the world's greatest--far from it--but I can guarantee I'll give them images they can take to any agency and not be laughed-out on their asses. And they wonder why they end up having bad experiences with GWCs? Beyond being inept at "reading" people, you think it has something to do with the fact they don't have a clue what makes a good image or which shooters, by virtue of their posted work, have a clue what they're doing?
Okay. I guess I should get off the soap box. The pretty girl at the top is Brooke. I shot this a year or more ago. I like this image for a couple of reasons: 1) Brooke is quite easy on the eyes and 2) It has a voyeuristic feel to it.