Disclaimer: I'm NOT a professional; these are my opinions and my opinions only and based on my own experiences in model photography. I am NOT a professional writer, these written format pieces are meant for purely and primarily shared knowledge from my experiences as a model photographer. It is not my intent to have a perfectly written article, if you don't like my writing please report this article to the nearest college to make corrects (or yourselves) and send those corrections at Chris@ChrisAdval.com and I'll make those changes if they do not interfere with the content. My focus is to give the content as soon as possible by any means instead of not giving the content at all (tips). Again I am not a great writer but I get my points across. The following tips are NOT meant for everyone for every situation, take the tips that you know that would work for YOU and anyway you choose. This is only a guide of tips, not strict rules that every or all persons should follow, these tips are meant for serious, business aware and pro-efficient people.
What Makes or Breaks a Model’s Success in the Freelance Modeling World? PART 1: Work Ethics
When I say “in the freelance model world” this is when compared to the prime time model world which is agency modeling world which the following doesn’t applies this only applies to freelance models (any level models).
Here it is in the simplest terms if you understand numbers based on priority… After the following numbers I’ll go over them each of them to fully explain thoroughly.
60% - Work Ethics and Professionalism
5% - Photography Knowledge and Artistic Eye to make a good and educated judgment of yourself in the work you’ve helped create
5% - Ability and positive attitude to learn from peers in the industry, and being open minded to trying new things.
In this article I’m going to first talk about Work Ethics.
Work Ethics and Professionalism
Work ethics and professionalism goes hand in hand, they both somewhat mean the same, if you have good or better work ethics you will be known to have good professionalism.
Work ethics that the common person who has a regular day time job and is a good worker would have. Being on time, not late, if you know you will be at the shoot/meeting/etc late contact person in charge (in this case the photographer) of the production as soon as possible you know you are going to be coming in late, being 5-10min is not a big deal but being 1+ hours late is generally a big deal. Generally for me (when I don’t have MUA/Hair Stylists/etc) if you know you are going to be late more than 1+ hours and let me know its ok and we’ll reschedule or continue the shoot at a later time that day if possible for all parties involved.
Bring all proper supplies and wardrobe that were asked by the photographer, i.e. makeup if you are doing your own makeup, hair spray, paperwork (if possible), identification, pen/book, etc. Check, double check, triple check EVERYTHING before traveling to the shoot location.
Having a negative attitude and behavior makes a major impact when modeling in the freelance world… Why? (you may be oddly asking) Because bad and negative attitude is just like a virus… it spreads to others. One, it will affect the results of the photos to being low quality instead of high quality. And two, it will guarantee all persons involved to not want to work with you (the person with the poor attitude and behavior).
What is poor attitude/behavior? First, “Diva attitude” you can have that attitude once -if- you get represented by an agency cause they don’t care, as long as the cash is rolling in they’ll keep employing you, but in the freelance world all persons involved will only want to work with people they enjoy working with. And second, immature behavior which should be self-explanatory but of course it’s not in reality because I see it too much in the freelance world. For some examples, “I need permission” for X to do X, if you an adult you don’t need permission unless it’s using someone else’s property i.e. car. Another example, if you act “exclusive” in the freelance modeling world but in reality you are not agency represented, and you tell the interested photographer to ask trusted photographer of your choice for permission to speak to you (the model) that is plain and simple immature, mature adult models just don’t do that. If you need another photographer’s opinion on another photographer simply provide your trusted photographer with links to that photographer’s work and site(s) it is not difficult to do that. Acting like this will cause you to only stay with a very small number of photographers or just one photographer and eventually you will stop growing as a model because as I’ve mentioned in another article about “Marketing, Freelance, and Making Cash…" and mentioned you need to work with a lot of different photographers in order to be successful in modeling. When you are in the freelance world you are supposed to be independent act like it and be a mature adult about it.
Now the best for last in this section on work ethics… Communication! Communication! Communication!!!! I can’t say it louder over text format. This will make or break all form of freelance work anytime working in freelance modeling. And it’s not generally just the models it’s all parties involved with the production to go smoothly and actually get started from pre-production to a completed production stage. When I say communication I don’t just mean any communication I mean efficient communication than no communication. Myself I prefer only efficient communication and I don’t deal with any models who are not willing to communicate with me via phone or/and texting.
First, you need a working and reliable cell phone that accepts texting (unlimited preferable). (side note: texting because generally people who can text well can multitask much easier and efficiently when texting instead of actually talking on the phone, but personally I prefer to talk in person than talking on the phone and most of the time for all parties that isn’t possible for many reasons so texting is best for me and for many other business people)
Second, EMAIL style messaging is extremely inefficient in the business world and this to me is a business and for many other photographers as well, hence is why I avoid this as much as possible and give my phone number out as soon as possible and encourage persons of interest to text me as soon as possible. For example, if we’re meeting up at a certain location for pre-production or shooting how can I or you communicate without a cell phone? It’s like going to meet someone while being blind and I don’t like doing things blind I like to plan and ensure know what going to happen in the future, just like most smart businesses that plan strategies and tactics of situations that happen before they actually happen. And when I say “EMAIL style messaging” that means not just email, it means anything that sends a message and one persons waits for a response i.e. model mayhem messaging, facebook messaging, etc…
When you’re unsure, confused, or just need more information on anything related to the shoot or working together do not be afraid of asking questions anytime to the persons in charge (photographer). Ask as many questions as you can or want because it will only ensure you do a good job and make all parties involved come out with a better end result. Take notes as much as possible during pre-production or when communicating before a shoot and talking about the shoot that you are going to be involved with. If something is bothering you in any way you must let the photographer (person in charge) know, in the real professional world we don’t assume, read minds, or speak “hint,” we speak straight forward as I mentioned in "Straight Talk" article.
Disagree or Agree to the above content? Make comments here with questions, comments, concerns, etc. or send them to my email at Chris@ChrisAdval.com and I'll respond to them as soon as possible. Thank You and much appreciated!
Like this article? Did you learn anything, want more? Check out related articles in the following blog series articles... Photographer to Model Tips and Models and Photographers Tips
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