I might have addressed this in the past through other blogs, but let me drill it some more. Nothing good (professionally speaking) comes free. You pay either with financial investment or a life time commitment. I had a model approach me recently and asked for pictures to overhaul his portfolio. He was signed to a big agency, that was his big secret weapon and selling tactic.
I told him that we could shoot great images. He was excited. I told him my rate, well I was about to let him know. Before he even heard what my fees were he stopped me and said, “Oh…I don’t pay for test shoots dude, I’m signed to major agency”.
Aside from his ego, which usually kills my mood instantly, he said something that struck a nerve with me. I said, “I just saw your book. You’ve booked 2 campaigns, that’s it”. Then I continued, “…until you are booking multiple campaigns a week, you have no room to think you are above paying for a good product. And WHEN you book several times a week, you will not need test shoots because images will come in weekly to your agency.”
His response was only that photographers on ModelMayhem approach him for free shots all the time. Hmmm….so not only do you have an ego, but you have a sense of entitlement. Good luck with that. Here is the thing about free pictures:
1. Sometimes a photographer is blown away by your God-given good lucks. He/she may want to try something out and it’s mutually beneficial. For established photographers that is rare but still done. And in the case of free pictures, please wait patiently. They have paying jobs that always take priority.
2. Sometimes models sign-up for Model Mayhem. Photographers come from the wood work and offer free pictures. Sometimes they are great, sometimes they are not. In fact, a good amount are near soft-core porn. Don’t believe me? Stroll through the site for a few moments. The website provides a great resource, but allows anyone to join and that lowers standards on the site and results in sometimes pornographic material. I’ll let you decide where that cut off line is between art/porn.
3. You can pay for good pictures with a great photographer. You can come out with 10 great images. Those 10 excellent images will take you further than 1000 mediocre images ever could.
Please invest in your future and yourself. You are a business. You are a product. Every product on the market spends a lot of money on their logo, on their label, on their packaging design and their placement. There is a reason why they use certain colors and shapes. They send powerful messages. The same applies to models. Like it or not, you are a product. You were genetically gifted and born with good looks. Companies will pay top money to have you wear their clothes and represent their products. Sell yourself expensive. Give them the best pictures. Give them the BEST YOU that you can afford, not mediocre pictures because they were free.
Finally, drop your ego please. There is a certain beauty in youth, and youth is fading. Drop your ego, because when pretty exterior fades, your undesirable interior will shine brighter than ever.