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In a previous blog, I addressed the Top 5 agency Blunders that can get an agency-talent agreement terminated faster than a same-day rush casting call for Chicago Fire.

Yes…please read that blog (if you haven’t already) to avoid making some of the worst mistakes in the industry!

I’ve put together a list of the most common mistakes I see agency talent make when they first sign to the agency. While these rules may not be quite as harsh as the others, they will certainly hinder your potential and should be avoided at all costs:

1. Thinking you have more time to apply to castings

Follow up with your agent quickly. And I mean QUICKLY. DO NOT assume there will be more time simply because a specific deadline date was not mentioned in the casting notice. Many times, an exact deadline isn’t established. Why? Because the moment the casting or booking agent find the right person for the job, the job is booked.

2. Being unwilling to travel…even a little.

Traveling: Good. Stepping outside your comfort zone: Better.

Especially if you live in a Midwestern or predominately rural demographic, it is important to be able to travel outside of your hometown. Where are the jobs? Mostly in the larger cities. Milwaukee and Chicago are our primary booking cities. A close second place would be Madison, followed by Green Bay and Appleton, WI. If you aren’t willing to travel into the city for opportunities, we will question how much this interest really means to you.

3. Not communicating professionally

Have a question for your agent? Email him/her. Unless you know your agent outside of the agency, it is impolite to start funneling legal questions, booking inquiries, or invoice follow ups via DM on Instagram or Facebook…not to mention, speaking to people across many different platforms gets insanely confusing when it comes to following up with people.

“Hmm…did I talk to them on Instagram, Facebook messenger, snapchat…”

Anything–and I mean anything–business or agency related needs to be addressed by your agent’s preferred method of contact. For me, that is EMAIL. Which also means…

FOLLOW UP QUICKLY!!!!!!

Even if you are not able to do a job/event/show, it is important that you take a second of your time to email your agent to say, “Thank you for the opportunity but I am unavailable for the event.” Otherwise, I’m holding out hope that you will respond saying that you can do it.

…I’d rather you squash my hopes right away.

Following up quickly shows that you care. It shows respect and really goes a long way.

I appreciate you followuppers!!! <3

4. Not turning in vouchers, or leaving fields blank.

If you are booked for a paid job (not volunteer work) your agent will email you a talent voucher beforehand. Talent vouchers serve as extra proof of your hours/day working at a job. Types of jobs that require vouchers are: Fashion shows or hair shows, promotional events, extra work on film or commercial, and paid photo shoots. Once you are finished working the job for the day, make sure you have your voucher signed off by the client. Then, snap a photo of your voucher on your phone and email it back to your agent ASAP.

Forget to have your voucher signed? Let your agent know ASAP so they can confirm and verify your hours and rate with the client before too much time passes.

5. Not being EARLY

Make an entrance in agency-standard runway attire.

In this industry, on time is LATE. You must always be 15-20 minutes early for every booking.

When you are an agency talent, you will be traveling to all kinds of venues that you have never been to before. Always leave earlier than you think you need to in order to allow time for navigating, parking, and unexpected traffic. If you are running more than 10 minutes late to a booking for ANY reason, call your on site contact (that was given to you by your agent.) THEN…let your agent know you are running behind ASAP.

We would much rather here from YOU that you were running late, as opposed to finding out later by the client.

6. Not being prepared ENOUGH for auditions.

DETAILS. DETAILS. DETAILS…

If this is a runway audition, make sure you are dressed in COMPLETE Standard Runway Attire with the best RUNWAY SHOES. Your make up is minimal/natural. You have your Comp Card with you, and you know all of your measurements. But most importantly, be sure that:

You have researched this particular show/event, you understand the product or brand, and understand how the client wants the product to be showcased. You will need to deliver a solid runway walk that correlates to the style and brand that will be featured. And yes, you must do this with unquestionable confidence.

7. Being TOO EAGER or not being patient enough

Do not pester your agent for work. When we are notified of a position or opportunity, you will be notified. Understand that bookings tend to slow down before the holidays, and typically won’t pick up until a few weeks after New Year’s.

Also, please don’t go and sign up for every casting service imaginable just because you are desperate for work…many of these NON AGENCIES provide casting services in exchange for your personal contact information…which is then sold to third parties. Don’t be surprised if you start receiving all kinds of emails from other companies offering promises that are too good to be true.

Speaking of too good to be true, it’s just about that time of year again:

**Cue bumping club music**

“Does your child want to be a Disney Channel or Nickelodeon TV Star? WELLLL…NOW IS YOUR ONCE IN A LIFE TIME CHANCE! AUDITIONS WILL BE TAKING PLACE AT (INSERT HOTEL LOCATED IN A SUBURB OF MILWAUKEE HERE)…”

Okay, let me be the one to say it:

Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel do not need to host talent scoutings in the surrounding suburban cities of Milwaukee Wisconsin to scout talent…

THEY. JUST. DON’T!!!!!

Please steer clear of all of these radio and TV advertisements this time of year. THEY ARE NOT AGENCIES!!

BUT…

They DO know that you probably just got your taxes back and are therefore more likely to drop larger amounts of money on a perceived pursuit of your child’s hopes and dreams…

Instead of embarking on fictitious “New-Year-New-Me pursuits”, let’s pause for a second to reflect on what actually WILL boost your marketability and opportunities to be cast in local work. It starts with having MARKETABLE photos:

8. Not having marketable photos

Always have RECENT professional photos that have been approved by your agent uploaded to your digital modeling portfolio. Your agent needs natural looking photos of you that are applicable to your age bracket and market in order to effectively market you.

Do not dress inappropriately for a photo shoot and then expect your agent to use those photos to market you because: We won’t.

Your photos must adhere to the Agency Standard in order for your agent to utilize them for marketing purposes. Be sure to read, “How to Dress for a Comp Card Photo Shoot” so that you are completely clear on the expectations of outfits and styles to obtain marketable photos from your next photo shoot. Your agent’s job is to market only the strongest photos of all the agency’s talent.

In short, wardrobe should be:

  • Age appropriate
  • Well fitted and NEW looking attire.
  • ABSOLUTELY NO LARGE PRINTS/PATTERNS OR BRAND LOGOS
  • Ironed/steamed, with ZERO stains or unintentional holes/tears
  • CLEAN shoes. No scuffs. No dirt. No exceptions.
  • Neatly styled hair. (No “messy bun” or bedhead looks” because they do not photograph well. All flyaways need to be tamed with hair spray and bobby pins. This silkening oil changed my photo shoot life. <3
  • The most marketable photos will depend on your location and local market.
  • For more details on how to obtain your basic agency photos, read this blog.

This really shouldn’t be a problem, as you have entered this field because you are probably passionate about it for the right reasons: You like having your photos taken, so you prioritize photo shoots and shoot regularly and frequently with a variety of photographers.

9. Not knowing how to take digitals

Front View Digital: Model & Singer, Nick Montag

Digitals (aka snapshots) are “non professional grade” photos that can be taken from your cell phone, and they are just as important as your professional photos.

Digitals serve a variety of purposes in the modeling and talent industry. When a prospective agency or casting director wants to see what you look like naturally–without the professional make up artists, high powered lighting, and photo edits, they will ask for digitals. But just to be clear:

DIGITALS ARE NOT SELFIES.

To learn how to take digitals, read this.

10. Not knowing how to download your resume as a PDF and attach it to an email.

This is such a vital skill for so many different last minute opportunities!! Not to mention, if you plan on applying to an agency (or any job for that matter) it is a basic necessity to be able to send your resume and head shot as attachments in an email.

I’m no videographer, but I did make a two minute tutorial on how to do this. Check it out on IGTV here.

Okay, I have one more. Consider this a bonus one:

Putting all of your hope into ONE audition

Learn to go about living your life after an audition!!

So much easier said than done, this is a skill that requires time and experience to master. The best thing you can do is to submit for as many castings as possible, and be pleasantly surprised if you receive a callback. This industry is filled with rejection, and you must learn resiliency if you are determined to persevere.

Learn to get in the habit of auditioning for things, and then forgetting about them and moving on with your life. You should have other hobbies and interests that keep you balanced while you are in between gigs.

Find this article helpful? Have any other questions? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Photo credit⬆️: David Bernacchi

Digitals (or “snapshots”) are JUST as important as your professional photos, if not even more so important. Often times, casting directors or agents want to see what you look like naturally, without all the fancy lights, professional make up, and photo editing. In fact, we don’t even want you to pose in your digitals. We literally just want to see your basic body shape, height, and overall look in the present moment.

Digitalsin addition to your professional head shots and portfolio photos–are used for all kinds of things:

  • Extras castings for TV, Film, & web series
  • Fashion Shows
  • Promotional events
  • Applying to an agency or mother agency
  • Fit modeling

Digitals do not require professional photography. They can be taken from your phone, however…

DIGITALS ARE NOT SELFIES…

THEY ARE ALSO NOT MIRROR SELFIES.

Your digitals should be taken by someone else, or by having your phone set up on an awesome phone tripod. I highly recommend getting one BEFORE you actually need it.

This one ROCKS. And for $20, you can’t go wrong.
Click photo for details.

Okay, now let’s get into how to actually take great digitals…

1. Wear a well fitted, simple outfit

Avoid patterns and graphics–they are too distracting. Avoid hats, sunglasses, and excessive jewelry. If you have been asked to wear specific attire, wear it. Otherwise, stick to the basics. Standard runway attire would work perfectly for your digitals.

Girls & Ladies: Wear black leggings, a black cami, lightly padded bra and age age appropriate runway shoes. In some cases, your agent may ask you to stand barefoot. ABSOLUTELY NO JEWELRY.

Keep your make up simple (daytime/natural). If you are submitting for a top level or exclusive agency, they will probably be very strict on not wearing any make up at all in your digitals. When in doubt, ask your agent or corresponding casting director.

Boys & Men: Well fitting jeans (nice jeans without much distressing) and a well fitted T shirt will work perfectly with runway shoes. Take off all wrist bands or watches. Oh, and take your phone, wallet a & keys out of your pockets.

*Cue Adam Sandler’s, Phone Wallet Keys*K

2. Consider your background & light

Remember, the focus should be on YOU…not your messy bedroom. Find a solid color wall to stand in front of that is in a well lit area. Your light source should be directed at you to avoid shadows.

3. No need to pose

Stand straight up with tall posture with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at your sides. If you have long hair, make sure it is out of your face. Your face should be relaxed–no need to smile.

TIP: The camera should be in line with the center of your body (about belly button height, instead of being aligned with your face.)

4. Snap 4 photos: Front, Back, and two side profiles.

Stand directly in front of your phone/camera for your front facing shot:

Model & Singer, Nick Montag

Notice how Nick stands straight up with great posture. Hands are relaxed and at his sides.

Next, you will want to take your Profile shots. Profile means “side-view”. They will want to see profile/side views of you from each side:

Profile side LEFT
Profile side RIGHT

Along with a back view:

Back view

5. Upload your digitals to your talent account within your agency’s database

And be sure to keep them updated. Your agent will need to have access to them at a moment’s notice for any last minute casting opportunities!!

TIP: I always appreciate when our talent email me to let me know that they have uploaded new digitals 🙌

Special shout out to Nick Montag for his awesome digital modeling! Nick was booked on the set of Chicago Fire (thanks to his awesome digital!) The episode is set to aire February 6th at 8:00PM on NBC! Nick is also the lead singer in our pop cover band, Down 2 Dance.

Still have questions? Let me know in the comments section below–I’m happy to help!

Want to know a secret? It actually isn’t just all about your look or acting capability. When you are signed to an agency, you take on a new role of responsibility. Being signed to an agency is an honor, as your agent has decided that you possess qualities that–with consistency and determination–will yield to success in your local market.

Agency talent are held to a higher standard of professionalism, reliability, work quality, and communication. Whether you are modeling brands on the runway or advertising a product in a commercial, it is important to know that not only are you representing yourself, you are representing your agency as well. Agency work is a complete team effort: be good to your agency, and your agency will be good to you.

1. Quick follow up

In a fast paced industry like this one, prompt communication is essential. Often times, there is not a lot of lead time on auditions, so you need to be checking your email periodically. If you are selected for a call back, we will need to confirm your audition or self tape audition ASAP. You should also know your schedule a few weeks out so that when we touch base, we can confirm dates for auditions or bookings.

2. Professionalism. Professionalism. Professionalism.

Cheetah print bodysuit: A wardrobe staple this year! You need one in your life–Click photo!

There is a reason clients come to an agency to hire talent for specific jobs instead of taking a chance by hiring people off of Craigslist. Clients will happily pay for the added “polish” that an agency talent is guaranteed to provide. That said, the way you carry yourself, how you dress, how you write your emails and how you speak are all important factors that separate agency talent from the rest. Make sure that you emulate professionalism in all tenses. Check on this blog to understand the specifics and expectations of Agency standard professionalism.

3. Being flexible & willing to adapt to change

Totally in love with this blazer. Click photo for details<3

Sometimes the runway choreography changes. Sometimes your outfit changes. Sometimes the venue changes. Please keep in mind that the directors do everything they can to minimize changes, but sometimes they are necessary. Have a willful and collaborative spirit in light of unforeseen circumstances. DO NOT COMPLAIN or carry a negative or resentful energy. People will notice, and the odds of you being hired by that client again are extremely slim. This is a very competitive industry, and everyone is replaceable. Stay humble, work hard, and be pleasant to work with.

4. Have Integrity

Your agent works for YOU. Never trash talk your agency. If you are displeased with your agency, there is probably a misunderstanding of expectations, and you should contact your agent to discuss any questions you may have. If you are still displeased, simply ask if you can terminate your contract early, or wait for your contract to expire and simply choose to not work with them again. It makes you look unprofessional when you start trashing your agent. Other agencies will not want to take you on if you have been known to trash previous agencies.

Another case when integrity is important is when a situation arises when you notice that you are being “poached” by another agent or client:

If a client is trying to “pay you directly” by trying to avoid paying agency fees by not having your agent involved, that should be a red flag to you as a talent. If your agent isn’t involved, who is holding this person responsible for your payment? And, how will you know if what they intend to pay you is even fair compensation? Not to mention, if something goes wrong…you’re totally on your own.

As if that wasn’t enough, if your agent finds out you are working with one of the agency’s clients without their intervention, your agent can terminate your contract. (Yeah, we’ll fire that client too) But think to yourself…is it worth losing all of the opportunities provided by your agency by trying to go around them for just one job? All to avoid paying a 15%-20% Agency commission?

If you think you are being poached by a client, politely tell the client that you work closely with your agency and you honor your Agency Agreement.

And then tell us…we’ll need to know!!

5. Understanding the talent-agency relationship

Gold chain belt. A subtle way to tie the look together. Click photo for details!

By now you probably know that your agency (or the agency you will have someday) has your back. Agencies don’t make money unless you work, so we want to get you booked for as many things as possible!

It is also important to have realistic expectations going into an agency. You should understand Where You Fit into the Model Market, Understand the Importance of Reliability, know how to Dress for a Comp Card Shoot, know what to wear to a runway audition, as well as how to audition for runway. Trust your agent’s feedback on your photos, and let them help you. They know what will book as opposed to what won’t!!

Your agency will provide you with the materials you need to be successful, as well as groom you for optimal marketability. Your agency will do their best to market you and put you in the best light to potential clients and casting directors. You will be notified of castings and opportunities by your agent, and it is your responsibility to follow up promptly when those opportunities arise.

It is your agent’s job to keep you safe and away from low-value opportunities. (I hate the word “scam”–it’s too vague.) If you are offered a collaboration via DM through Instagram to “collab”…send it to your agent. We’ll tell you right away whether or not the opportunity is worth pursuing.

Your agent networks, supports your endeavors, and always has your best interest in mind. I strive to be my talent’s personal cheerleader, mentor, and booker.

You should have a solid, team-driven working relationship with your agent. Do your part to help us help you, and you will find the most success in all your endeavors!

Hey models! I wanted to do a quick recap of what you should always come prepared with to your photo shoot. As we know, full preparation is key to a successful photo shoot. (Yes, this blog is going to cover things for men, women, and kids!) I’m putting together a list of things you should ALWAYS pack with you to ensure you will be camera ready! I’ll also be linking my favorite, most affordable photo shoot cosmetics and hair products.

Want more info on photo shoot preparation? Click here to read “The Pre Photo shoot Discussion all Models and Photographers Need to Have”, and make sure you become familiar with the “Photo Shoot Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts”

Okay, let’s get into it!!

1. Basic Photography Make up

Now, if this shoot is for a paid booking, you are probably going to have a make up artist. While you won’t have to pack all of your make up, it is still a great idea to bring the basics. If this is a student photo shoot or a trade shoot you will want to bring ALL of your makeup. Adults will need the following:

Oil-free Moisturizer

Not only will the moisturizer hydrate your skin, but it will prep your skin for a nice even layer of foundation. This SPF 15 moisturizer is my absolute favorite because It is the only one on the market that provides SPF protection against both UVA A and B rays, and works wonderfully under make up. It’s non greasy, PABA free, and is great for sensitive skin. #WIN

TIP: Use a sweatband to hold all of your hair back while applying your make up

Under Eye Corrector

Note, THIS IS DIFFERENT FROM CONCEALER. The under eye corrector will be slightly pigmented to neutralize the red, purple, or brown circles under your eyes. You will want to get an under eye corrector pigmented to suit your under eye situation:

GREEN=redness under the eye

YELLOW=dullness (medium/olive color skin tones)

PINK/PEACH=blueish/dark purple color under the eye (This is my absolute favorite under eye brightening corrector)

ORANGE/RED=Dark circles for medium to dark skin tones This one will last all day and give you the perfect matte finish!

BLUE=Yellowish tint under the eye

Use your finger tips or beauty blender sponge to lightly apply the corrector in an inverted triangle patch underneath the eye and onto the side of your nose. Be sure to blend up close to the water line (lower lash line)

TIP: Make sure you always wet the beautyblender/sponge before using it, or it will absorb all of the product and not blend very well.

Concealer

Hide the pigmented corrector by concealing it. Choose a concealer that is your same skin tone, or half a shade lighter. Tip: you can also use the concealer to highlight the inner areas of your face. Concealers come in different forms (solid stick or liquid). There are definitely fancier concealers out there, but I find that when paired with the right corrector, this $6 option from Maybeline works just fine.

TIP: Pat blend with a dampened sponge or beautyblender.

TIP: DO NOT USE HIGHLIGHTING POWDER unless discussed with the stylist/photographer. Highlighter will drastically change the lighting effect, and it may not fit the aesthetic of the shoot. They way the lights are positioned for studio/print photography will already add highlights to your face. Don’t make yourself look like a rookie. Leave off highlighting powder for head shots & print photography. READ THIS BLOG for more on Photo Shoot Etiquette.

Foundation

You will want a full coverage foundation that matches your skin tone perfectly. While there are plenty of high end options out there, the product doesn’t need to be on your face for that long, so an inexpensive option will suffice. I recommend the Stay Matte shades from Rimmel. This one is full coverage and works great. It comes in multiple shades and is super mattey…perfect for photo shoots!! The best part? You can get it here for under $5.

Translucent Face Powder

Time to set all of those liquid based products on your face. Opt for a powder that matches your skin tone, or that is neutral in color. The one I use has been on the market for about 100 years and I love the way it smells. Get it here for about $6.

Other

Aside from my mascara, eyeliner, contour, and lip color, I’m always sure to bring extra bobby pins, scissors (for loose threads/tags) eye drops (for redness/irritation)  and chapstick. Oh, and you’ll definitely want to bring a lint roller!!

2. Hair Products

While you will want your hair to stay in place, too much hairspray (or cheap hairspray) can make your hair look wet or stiff. While it’s totally okay to use less expensive cosmetics (they won’t be on your face for that long anyway) I definitely advise getting a great hairspray that will give you a soft, touchable hold. My go-to hairspray is this one from Rusk. It provides all the hold I need and doesn’t make my hair look stiff or stringy. And, by now you guys probably know that I’m kind of a sucker for anything that smells good. I am happy to report that this one definitely passes the #smelltest.

I actually think it smells like roses…

Also, I personally think “texture” sprays are kind of a waste of time. Most of them just end up weighing my hair down. Instead, try using some dry shampoo to maintain volume. Be sure you get one that matches your roots! There are a few options from Batiste: Blonde dry shampoo and brunette dry shampoo. They also offer a white/neutral color option as well.

To tame frizz, add shine, and retain moisture, I highly recommend this silkening treatment. One drop for all of your hair is all you need. Seriously. This product changed my life. I love the way it makes my hair look and feel, and it’s especially great for color treated hair like mine! I swore to myself that I would only use it on photo shoot days, but…I don’t know how to not use it every day. IT’S THE BOMB!!!

Bottom line:

When it comes to hair, you definitely want to be neatly styled. The “Messy Bun” or “bed head” looks do not photography well. Tame all baby hairs and fly aways back with bobby pins.

3. Nude & Strapless Undergarments

Okay dudes, you can skip this one. But only this one!! (And only if you promise to take your phone out of your pocket–we’ll be able to see the rectangle impression it will leave in the photo!)

Ladies. It kills me when I see a gorgeous girl with an elegant dress on, only to have the whole look cheapened by lime green bra straps peeking out.

#detailsmatter

Do not let your undergarments be an afterthought! If you are wearing a strapless dress, you are going to want a strapless bra or some nude inserts. Plan ahead of time, and clean up the details!

4. Clean, New Looking Shoes

Your shoes need to look new. No side scuffs. No salt stains. New.

Think about this for a second. Would you EVER see scuffed up shoes in a clothing advertisement? It is your responsibility to own a couple different pairs of shoes that you take excellent care of so that they always look new.

Once again: Details Matter.

5. Small Accessories to Compliment or Enhance the Look

Purses, belts, yoga mats, tennis racket, etc. If the shoot is for a comp card or digital modeling photo, you will definitely want to read, “How to Dress for a Comp Card Photo Shoot.” It’s a great idea to bring in a prop that compliments your outfit/style. Leave pets and babies at home–you want the attention to be on YOU.

6. Composites

To learn more about Comp Cards and other important modeling materials, read “5 Model Marketing Materials YOU NEED.” Think of composites as your modeling business card. While you may want to keep a few on hand, your digital modeling portfolio and social media are even more important to keep maintained.

Well, I’d say that just about covers it! Now that you know what to bring, it’s time to make a checklist before your photo shoot day. Be sure to read, “The Ultimate Photo Shoot Checklist”.

Know someone who will need Senior Photos soon? You may want to have them read this.

Have a question? Drop it in the comments section below! I’m happy to help 🙂

⭐️CYNTHIA

Listen up all MODELS, PHOTOGRAPHERS, AMATEURS & PROFESSIONALS: We need to have a LIFE CHAT about photo shoot etiquette in today’s ever changing world of photography.

First thing’s first: We all know there are so many different types of models, bloggers, designers, musicians, artists, etc. That said, there is no difference when it comes to photographers. Each one has their own angle (literally!) But in all seriousness, this art requires a high level of collaborative spirit rooted in equality and creativity from both the model and photographer. So let’s get into it:

DO: Discuss details ahead of time

If you haven’t read, “The Pre-Shoot Conversation all Models & Photographers Need to Have”, READ IT. You will want to make sure that you understand the scope of the project in full detail, and know what questions to ask.

DON’T:

Assume that you will just discuss details “as you go”. Not being aware of the details pertaining to wardrobe, location, shoot duration, photo terms/releases or even compensation will add unnecessary stress, and may cause problems in the future.

DO: Prepare Accordingly

Carefully select an outfit that will compliment the venue. The photographer will have ideas in mind as to what stylistic goals they are trying to accomplish with the photo shoot. Make sure that you discuss all of this ahead of time so that you are fully prepared. Be sure to bring everything you will need to your photo shoot. Read: What’s in my modeling bag

Part of preparation is being on time…which means being EARLY. Should any difficulties arise, contact the model, photographer (or corresponding agent) immediately.

DON’T: Show up in your favorite club dress “just cuz”

Or any outfit that doesn’t flatter the shoot location or venue. Discuss all wardrobe and venue ideas ahead of time, and work together to determine the desired theme or aesthetic of the photo shoot. Not caring about the photographer’s vision and simply wearing whatever you feel like is not only disrespectful, it shows that you only care about your vision. This is a TEAM EFFORT.

DO: Communicate kindly

Sometimes an idea just doesn’t work, and that is OKAY. Whether you are the model or photographer, if something isn’t working, calmly and kindly explain that you need to modify what is being done, or simply change directions. Do not pretend to be comfortable doing something you are not. Chances are, it will show in your face, and ultimately…the photo.

DON’T: BE RUDE OR CONDESCENDING

This really should go without saying, but showing patience and kindness in a moment of frustration is the only way to maintain professionalism and mutual respect. Do not make passive aggressive comments about the model’s look or photo movement. Models, don’t ask the photographer to see the photo in the preview screen every third shot. If there is something you do not understand, kindly ask the photographer to clarify, or even demonstrate.

DO: Freely create & explore

That said, when you establish a respectful, effective working dialogue, the creativity is limitless. Set a tone that is kind and open. Inspire the model to feel comfortable and explore new ways to showcase their personality (and fashion!!) When both the model and photographer take an equal role in creating, the final product will be much more vibrant and captivating!

DON’T: Feel like you are not “allowed” to do certain poses.

I’ve styled so many photo shoots, and often times the models will ask if they can raise their hands, jump, sit down, etc. You can do whatever comes to mind. Your photographer is open to capturing your on the spot creativity.

DO: Reflect and discuss

Did you love the way your photographer was able to catch you in mid air while you were doing a back flip? SAY SO! Compliment your photographer’s adaptability and expertise. Think you need to work together to develop a better way to communicate or plan? Also let them know. It is also helpful to mention anything that you feel that you did well with, in addition to mentioning things you could improve yourself.

DON’T: Pretend everything was perfect if it wasn’t.

If there was something that ;made you uncomfortable, tell your photographer. Many times, it may not have anything to do with the photographer. For example, letting your photographer know that you don’t feel comfortable shooting in front of strangers is something he or she should be aware of.

DO: Say Thank You!

Thank your photographer/model for their work on the project. It takes a TEAM to accomplish the vision, so be sure to extend your sincere gratitude. Take a selfie together and post it on Instagram! This is a great way to let your following audiences know that they can expect some awesome photos yet to come!

Don’t: Bolt out as soon as the last photo is taken.

Help clean up and load up the photographer’s supplies if needed. This is a kind gesture and shows that you care.

DO: Review Details

Discuss when the photos will be available, how you will receive them, and ask the photographer any questions you may have regarding their release form before you sign it. (Read this blog for more details)  Also, leave the photographer with a couple comp cards. This is a great way to leave a reference of yourself. The photographer may pass along your comp card to other awesome photographers. Click here to learn more about Composites, or, “Comp Cards”, along with other standard modeling materials.

DO NOT: Harass the photographer for photos the next day

Chances are, your photographer has a TON of other projects going on simultaneously. Do not expect to receive the photos that week! By this point, you should have already discussed an approximate timeframe of when you will receive the amount of photos that were previously agreed upon. At a very minimum, most photographers will not offer the photos prior to two weeks. Photographers usually take an average of 2-4 weeks for a single photo shoot, or 2+months for a wedding or large event.

DO: Follow up with your agent

Definitely let your agent know how the shoot went! Your agent will want to know the positives and negatives (if any) pertaining to your shoot. Was your photographer on time? Did he/she communicate effectively? Did they facilitate a comfortable environment? Any feedback you can provide your agent is always extremely helpful. Remember, your relationship with your agent is also a TEAM.

DO: Always Value Professionalism

Even after your shoot is over, always be professional no matter what. Chances are, you are going to have a few fantastic photos!! However, if for any reason you run into problems with your photographer (or model) you need to let the corresponding agent know right away.

Unfortunately, if you are not working with an agent, there is not much you can do when it comes to a photographer failing to deliver photos, or deliver photos that matched your expectations. The best thing you can do in this unfortunate situation is to remain calm and kind. Your reaction is always a reflection of your character. Do not turn to social media to verbally bash or lash out on anyone. (Doing so only makes you look immature and inexperienced.) A true professional knows how to endure unfortunate situations calmly and respectfully. If you really were not pleased with your collaborator’s work, simply do not shoot with them again. 

Photo shoots are a blast, but behind the scenes they are a lot of work! The best artists are the ones who are confident and collaborative.

Are you ready for your next photo shoot? Be sure to read, “What’s in my MODELING BAG” (available next week!!) to make sure you are ready to go the next time you hit the set!

Did you find this blog helpful, or have a follow up question? Definitely leave a comment! I respond to all of them 🙂