Sunday, April 13, 2014

Jonesing for Pretty Girls

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Jonesing: To have a strong need, desire, or craving for something.

That's what I've been doing lately: Jonesing for some pretty girl shooting. I haven't shot anything in a while and it's starting to get to me. Don't get me wrong, I've got many, many photo sets in my stored archives to mine for this blog and for other uses. But still, I jones.

I suppose I could log onto Model Mayhem or One Model Place and search out some models who might want to collaborate for some shoots but, like many other photographers, I've been flaked-on, pissed-off, or my inquiries ignored by too many "models" who claim they're interested in shooting but really aren't. Apparently, many of them are in love with the idea of calling themselves "models" but not so much with actually doing it, modeling that is.

I need a muse. Some model who truly loves getting in front of a camera with a skilled photographer at the controls to make some pictures. I've got tons of ideas for creative shoots. Many of them ideas that my clients never had me shooting because, well, because that's not what they needed for their pretty girl photos uses. I don't blame them. It's not their roles to be my art patrons, paying me to shoot whatever I want to shoot and how I want to it.  It's not personal. It's just business.

I'll probably still check out MM and OMP and have a look but, as pessimistic as it sounds, I'm confident I'll be disappointed. 

I forget the name of the pretty girl at the top and I'm too lazy to spend time looking for it. The gratuitous pretty girl pic is about 95% or more SOOC.


Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog for a while now and, Boy, did you hit that nail on the head. And to add to it, the scores of "models" who want to shoot with a given photographer yet can't strike a pose or have a sultry or seductive facial expression. These same "models" also do not put any effort into learning their craft as in they don't practice in front of a mirror. They shoot with unimaginative photographers and feel as though they are now Pro material. The frustration of trying to get a model actually be productive during a shoot or actually showing up is sucking the enthusiasm out of me. I agree with you in finding that muse, that one girl who brings as much to the shoot as you do and helps create that magical image that makes others say WOW. Keep on trucking!

Manny said...

I hear ya Jimmy. Things have changed significantly since the heyday of Garage Glamour (and not necessarily for the better from what I've been seeing).

You essentially have a couple of different types of models that are on OMP and MM nowadays.

a) The artistic ones that are in it because they love doing it. These are the ones that you are probably looking for in a muse. I've had several muses that fall into this category and I not only got some of the best shots in my port from them, but I had a great time working with them too.

b) The narcissistic type that all their life has been told that they're gorgeous, has never had to work for anything because they've been given everything they ever wanted based on their looks (ie: the prettiest girl at the bar never has to pay for her drinks), was the most popular girl in school, etc. They really don't have any interest in modeling other than to make money at it. There's nothing really wrong with that but once they realize that they have to actually WORK at it though... well... they either work towards being a type c model or they usually disappear quickly into history.

c) The type that loves having their photo taken but recognizes that this is a business and conducts themselves accordingly, takes the time to improve themselves so that they have something to offer clients/photographers/etc. They're usually easy to spot by looking through their portfolio; it'll be diverse and have a lot of high quality work in it. To a degree too you'll find them busting their asses traveling around the country looking for work. I'm generalizing with those details there but these are the ones who you usually see who go on to become something in the biz and are well respected too.

If you're looking for a muse you need to find a type a. The problem is that the modeling sites are overrun with type b's to the point it's tough to find not only type a's but type c's too.

Then there's another problem that's unique to people like yourself, McQ, and me too. We're essentially victims of our own success and desire to keep improving our work.

To understand a type b model you have to think like a type b model. Keep in mind that their only real motivation is money, so when they see what they view as a successful photographer contacting them offering them a chance to work with them for trade, they see it not as an opportunity but as a loss. They figure, why should they work for free when it's obvious that they're making bank on the images. They usually have a small following of mostly family members parroting in their ears that even though they have zero experience, they're pretty enough so they should be getting paid for whatever they do.

Thing is a lot of this has nothing to do with the experience level of the model believe it or not. I've worked with completely green models before who've put pros to shame, showed up on time, and were great to work with. Over time I learned how to weed them out. I've been trying to teach this to my bud McQ but it's a skill that takes a lot of time to master (and you'll never get 100% good at it). At a high level you basically need to not only see who've they've worked with (if anyone), but pay attention to how they write and how they conduct themselves.

There's more to it than that but if it sounds like a lot of work to go through all that... well... that's because it is. :( Personally, I've pretty much given up on the type a and b models. If I have a creative itch that can't be scratched by going to models that I've worked with before I've resigned myself to just hiring an experienced professional model; usually a traveling model. It's less headaches overall and I find that I don't spend days afterwards editing images to give to the model on a TF basis that I either don't like or will never use myself.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful image Jimmy. Can I ask how you lit her?

jimmyd said...


My go-to three point lighting. I used a 5' Photek Softlighter, on axis, for my main and a couple of small Softlighter (knock-offs) either side from behind. I cheated the model into the the small Softlighter camera left for this pic. I do a lot re-orienting my models to the various lights I'm suing so the lighting looks kind of different in different shots. Instead of turning up the power on one of those lights, i.e., when I want a stronger light coming from behind, i have the model move a step closer to the light.

Anonymous said...

>I do a lot re-orienting my models to the various lights I'm using so the lighting looks kind of different in different shots. Instead of turning up the power on one of those lights, i.e., when I want a stronger light coming from behind, i have the model move a step closer to the light.

Thanks Jimmy. I like your clever idea of simply moving the model rather than your lights.