Friday, May 20, 2011


Model: Sandley Jonathas
Model:  Sandley Jonathas
This blog was originally going to be titled: “Sabotage Yourself, Not Me!” and as I thought about it, I realized that it may seem like a regurgitation of my previous blog (Self Sabotage - What Models Do Best, and in some ways it is, but now it’s coming from a different point of view.

I don’t like to do a lot of testing of models. Firstly, it doesn’t make me any true money, most often it usually isn’t anything I am going to use in my book and lastly, when doing test, as a photographer you don’t have complete control over the shoot.

Let me repeat that again. As a photographer, you don’t have complete control over the shoot.

An agency would hit me up and they will tell me what they need for a model. I comply. If I am inspired by the model, sometimes I may push their limitations and boundaries, because you see, if this is a business you REALLY want to get into, just how bad do you really want it? Most often if I can get the model to come out of themselves and push them out of their comfort zone, the agency is ultimately pleased.

When you live in a fashion capital like New York, or Paris, or London, or Japan and you are a model from some rural part of the world, you have to realize that when you come to these places it is a different ballgame when it comes to modeling. Things you may have done in let’s say Memphis or Michigan or even Philadelphia may be considered “hot” in those locations won’t hold a candle to what is happening in the real world of modeling.

A lot of would be hopefuls make the trip to the Big Apple in hopes of becoming a star and quickly realize that the thing that may have made them “hot” in their hometown means nothing to us in the big cities. There isn’t too much we haven’t seen, done or experience, so when you bring your closed minded, hillbilly ways to us to try to mold you, you allow your upbrining and beliefs to hold you back.

Let me repeat that again. You allow your upbringing and beliefs to hold you back.

So you go into a photoshoot and the well known, well established photographer says get naked, you, the model panic and reluctantly get undress. The well known, well established photographer tries to photograph you, you come across stiff, scared, nervous (for whatever preconceived reasons you may have). If you are lucky, you produce some stellar images (again, IF you are lucky). They are beautiful, they are tasteful, they blow away anything you ever shot before, and guess what you do with them? Nothing. Because you are afraid of the backlash of friends, families and loved ones (please read: Who Are You Modeling For?

So we the photographer know our job and knows what it takes to get you where you need to go, but now we can’t. Why? Because YOU are afraid to go there. Well here is a dose of reality: the next model WILL go there. The next model WILL take the necessary steps to do what needs to be done. The next model could care less what their friends, families and loved one thinks. The next model WILL book the campaign but guess what you will get?

A bus ride back to Bubblefuck USA.

Think about it.

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