Shoot Me! – Avoiding Bad Photoshoots

July 16, 2009 at 5:04 pm (Shoot Me) (, , , , )

I was going through all my cds of photoshoots and I came across a special envelope I made that reads “Utterly Useless” on the front. I totally started laughing because I knew exactly what it was. When I first started modeling almost a year ago, I didn’t know how to tell a good photographer/make-up artist from one that was not so great. I was on the grind for photoshoots, I just wanted to do as many as possible so I could get better at posing and angles, so I would often find my self working with a not-so-great team.

Also, I will use this blog entry to provide some advice to anyone out there chasing the same dream I am, so you don’t waste your time with pictures you cannot use. Observe.


Diagnosis: Bad lighting, bad styling, bad make-up, bad photography angles, just bad bad BAD!!! and not bad in the sense of really good. This is just horrible work and I can’t even comment on the wig lol.  Not gonna lie, I kinda look like a prostitute. The make-up is super heavy and just not working at all, especially the multiple eye shadows.  A good way to tell the skill level of a face beater is how they put on eye liner. If it’s straight and clean, it a go! But if it’s crooked, skipping, and they poke you in the eye, it might not turn out that great.

Ways to avoid a mess like this is to see the work of the photographer and make up artist before you agree to shoot with them. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the concept of the shoot, walking in blindly can lead to disaster. If you are working for TFCD (trade/time for cd) then you need to benefit from the shoot as well. For example, if you want to be a commercial model, the styling of the pic above will do you no good. It is unnatural. The photographer you work with should have a varied portfolio with different looks. Pay close attention to the lighting and angles they shot, and also to the retouching details.

Also be leary of any photographer who asks you to meet them in their home, especially if they are a man. Now, some home studios are nice and legit, they have proper lighting equipment and ample space. But others are just someones dining room cleared out for the day. With the proper equipment anywhere can be a studio, but I highly stress with the proper equipment.

Shoot hot women all day? Heck yes some guys will get into photography just because of that. There are some photographers that are just guys with a camera, so be careful, and if you feel uncomfortable, bring an escort to the shoot with you. I had this one photographer who said he wanted to shoot, but he would constantly call me and hold hour long conversations with me that were really just him talking to himself and me saying “uh-huh” every 5 minutes.  Needless to say, we never shot. You have to keep things strictly business.

 Also, don’t be afraid to speak up at a shoot if there is something you don’t like. At one shoot (to be blogged at a later date) I thought the make up was too heavy. I needed a commercial look and it just didn’t look light and clean. Everyone at the shoot, the photographer and even the stylist, said it looked great, so I went along with it. When my agency saw it, they did not like it all! I should’ve went with my gut instinct. Like  I also should’ve done with this picture below.



While I loved working with this photographer, the make up again was way too heavy for my face. The backdrop was a curtain tapped on the wall. Because it was wrinkled, retouching needed to be done, and you can see how the photographer crossed the lines into blurriness. It makes the backgroud look non-existant, like I’m coming out of a brown cloud lol. I could not use this photoshoot in my portfolio as well.

When a shoot is over, inquire about when you will  receive your photos. Every photographer is different. Some will burn you a cd of all the pictures from the shoot right after it’s over. Others will just send you the retouched images. Ideally, you should get them within two weeks. But it’s been two months since I did this shoot and I have yet to see any photos. Everytime I call the photographer she tells me it’s in the mail. SMH!!

Luckily, these were the only two slip ups I had and I learned my lesson very quickly. When you spend all day shooting you want to have pictures you can use in your port, and when it doesn’t come out great, it’s like you waisted your time, and that’s not a great feeling at all. Hopefully by looking at my mistakes (I can laugh at them now) you won’t make the same ones.


1 Comment

  1. Jessica said,

    AHHHHH!!! Those pictures are off the chain! So glad that you were able to learn from your experience and give advice to others in the game!

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