I have recently had a couple of women contact me about getting photos done. Although we accept photo submissions, we are not photographers and we don’t at this point recommend particular photographers. I thought it would be good to provide some advice on the site for women looking to get some photos done on finding a photographer. I asked experienced model, Dame Lebeau, who has previously been featured here, to write something for the site. Not every woman has a positive experience modeling, so hopefully the advice here helps avoid some stress or even distress. If you have further questions please leave a comment. Thanks and respect to Dame Lebeau for this piece. Be sure to check out her various spaces on the web (links below). Over to Dame Lebeau …
The Very Sexy Dame Lebeau … Photo Credit: Robert Henry
I got into modeling 8 years ago when I had only a very tiny tattoo on my right shoulder blade. Since then, the popularity of being tattooed and being a model has risen. Like in all modeling it is easy and necessary to be cautious about who you work with. I personally do nude/erotic/fine art modeling for local photographers and on www.toxicgoddess.com. I have been pretty successful in doing so. This is not always the path for tattooed models. Retro, pin-up, punk and everything under the clothed sun is possible as well.
The best networking site I have found has been Model Mayhem, although you are still at the mercy of being contacted by some creeps on the site who just want to see a pretty girl get naked for them.
That is the point of having references and it’s your job to not only ask for those references but, to check up on them. The photographer may ask the same of you, especially if you are new and starting out. Speaking of new and starting out, this makes you easiest prey for the most eager photographers looking to be the first to shoot you for his/her portfolio. Please by all means not only view their portfolio and see if they are worth the time and energy you will put into doing a shoot with them. From my experiences, it is the least talented ones that jump on you first.
Search portfolios. If you see a models page whose photographs you like, look at the photographer credit and see if they are near you. You can also do a localized search.
Something to be aware of. If the guy/girl feels like a creep in their emails, they probably are. So, be polite but, don’t work with them. Trust your gut.
If you do find someone you are very interested in working with and vice versa, it is not insulting to ask to meet before planning out a shoot if possible. I found that the ones that took offense to me asking were the ones that most other models had issues with. Get their number and real name! Most names used on Model Mayhem are screen names. Also, meet at a public place such as a local coffee house that you are familiar with. That way, you can see if your personalities vibe and get a feel for what the photographer wants to shoot.
Dame Lebeau with Sreple (male model) … Photo Credit: Robert Henry
With me, I am also a photographer so I judge someone I am working with by quizzing them their photography equipment. This is not necessary but, it is not a bad thing to ask what type of camera they shoot with and how many years they have been shooting models. What’s their motivation?
Setting up shoots, most photographers will want to work with you on a TFCD (Time For CD) basis. This means that you will not be paid in cash. This is not uncommon for models starting out and is usually at the model’s discretion depending on the negotiation of the shoots. Once you have built a strong portfolio, it is not insulting to ask for monetary compensation for photo-shoots that involve nude work. In receiving money for a shoot, getting a CD of images from the shoot is like getting a bonus.
Most models are 18 years and plus. This helps with liability on both parties as you are expected to sign a model release form which may release you completely from ownership of your images but, allows you to use them as the contract so states, often without you being able to alter the images. You will also be expected to have a valid photo ID with date of birth. You will receive a copy of the model release form after or before your shoot.
Best advice! Use your head. Get out there and see what other models are doing, chase your dreams, know where you want to go with it and do not get yourself easy manipulated into something you do not want to see years down the road because, once it’s out there, it is out there for good.
If any of you readers want to friend me via Model Mayhem you can find me here:
This is like a big ad for Model Mayhem and I swear I am making no money for it! But, for those of you wanting to start a profile there and you have no images. A good head-shot with your digital camera is a place to start or some pictures you took of yourself that you are happy with. This is just so we can get an idea of what you look like! Everyone has MySpace pictures. Just make sure they feature you and are clear.
Laisses les bons temps roulez!
Thanks again to Dame Lebeau. Check her out online …
18 + Website: www.toxicgoddess.com
… and on Tattooed Women: Stunning Toxic Goddess Dame Lebeau