Earlier this very morning I was going through the portfolio of someone that gripped my attention. 6’1” tall. In my opinion, her height simply makes her all the more striking. Height is my thing. She has a gorgeous lean figure, poised and nearly ivory skin with a physique reminiscent of the perfect stereotypical high-end runway model. I went thru her port images first and by any measure they were good; very good but not quite great. Not in their entirety anyway. It was like mediocre mixed with fantastic; light on the latter. But that’s a subjective thing. One person’s okay is another’s perfect. Then I read her self-written bio and profile information. That is when my fascination ended.
Word to word, sentence to sentence and paragraph to paragraph made me think that working with her is just a terrible idea. It was a novella of all the things she “MUST HAVE,” and things “SHE CAN’T OR WON’T DO” and how much money she has to make for it to be “WORTH HER TIME” and “YOU MUST SIGN MY WAIVER.” Who in the hell is this person was all I thought? She’s good but not THAT good. The entire novella full of vanity and conceit. All of it was negative, red light, STOP, WARNING, DON’T GO THERE and I wanted nothing to do with it. She felt entitled to these insane demands. You would think that a person making demands like this portfolio could stand up to a more critical eye but it doesn’t. If offers promise and potential but not stellar, mind blowing extraordinary work indicative of a fashion diva.
It’s amazing how one’s attitude and disposition can change a person’s perception of them. I had even directed a stylist to her pictures and after briefly speaking with a stylist about her we decided to take an even closer look. What started off with me hovering over my email send key to invite her to a meet as a candidate for a special project we are working on; a project that could very well lead to big things and great exposure for her, ended with a cancel. But as always, we paused to read what she had to say about herself. Wanna know about someone? Just read about what they’re saying about themselves and see how much unwarranted vanity shines thru. It was the greatest professional turn-off I’ve ever read. EVER! I don’t care what she thinks she looks like but she should have made sure her port could withstand all the bullshit she was throwing around. Hey no one is perfect. But suddenly, she just didn’t look that great anymore. All the potential we had for her evaporated. Then we start noticing flaws and blemishes. Then you think you see poor styling choices for her frame and how bad her teeth are or the hair with split-ends because she dyes too much. It’s a horrible thing to say about anyone because some of it may have just been our minds trying to cope with her horrible bio. A bit of it may have been imagined but you do start to notice things about a person when they open themselves up to more scrutiny. However, in our defense, she coins herself a model and scrutiny is just part of the biz.
One of the most damning things we read was “I must approve all images before they are released and you will be made to sign an agreement to my rules before the shoot starts.” We were floored. Who the hell is this person that would have the audacity to tell me what I will do and won’t do with my own images? I find it curious that anyone else would ask to approve images before they are released. I don’t mind going thru the shoot’s images while the model is there. In fact, I rather enjoy it. In totality these unjustified demands from this model makes her not a person you want hanging around after your session. She is not a creative director of a magazine or even a fashion writer or art director. She is there to model and nothing else. How about this? How about she just not take any images that she would not want released. Or maybe just do selfies because then it’s always perfect and the way she would want them to be every time. Problem solved. For example, if you don’t want nude images of you released to the Internet for all to see, how about you just not take any nude images that may be put on the Internet. Or perhaps she needs to simply better vet potential photographers, stylists or makeup artists.
I don’t know her history but I don’t know of any reputable photographer that would grant such rights - for a now what seems to be, a second rate candidate. Photography is about creative freedom with or without a financial imperative depending on your business model or why you do it. Why would anyone bottleneck that freedom? She just seems to be one of those people that you are never going to please so my advice is that any photographer, makeup artist or stylist that still chooses to work with her despite every single sign to STAY AWAY is this - Pay her! Pay her because once the pictures are taken, you owe her nothing; no pictures, no follow ups, no input no nothing. The payment is the agreement should she choose to take the job and draw up a legal contract to that effect. She has zero say on anything because the money she takes is it. Of course, you can negotiate other solutions but that’s usually how paid shoots are supposed to go. Sign here. Snap snap. Pay. Thank you and goodbye with an understanding that you may or may not ever hear from me ever again. Sometimes it’s the best way with such people you just absolutely have to work with or want to work with.
I’m not the only creative that feels this way about certain people. I’ve spoken with several photographers who much rather pay outright than have to deal with anyone again. They own the images anyway but they feel it’s just a much better solution to not have to deal with potentially overly needy talent. Services Rendered. Service Paid. Easy! After reading this person’s profile, we don’t even want to pay her or trade or anything. It’s just bad bad bad all the way thru.
It is regretful despite all that. She is wonderful if in nothing but physical stature. We will not take that away from her. She is also comparatively very attractive but that’s where it ends for us. It’s just not worth it. We encourage anyone and everyone to take care of what you say. Write about what you want to do and not bragging so much about what you’ve done. Keep it simple. Make yourself agreeable and easy to approach. If you have demands (everyone does), keep them straightforward and simple. Make sure people understand how and why these things are important to you with a phone call, an email or preferably meeting them in-person.
Our only regret is that she will likely never read this. She will never learn. We’re not sure how she stays busy or working but we hope she is doing well in her modeling. She claims to be signed and maybe her agency is feeding her this madness. We’re just not sure. If they are they’re just turning people away from a potential very fruitful and beneficial career. Despite what happens she will not be working with us. Email Draft Pending… DELETE.