Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My First Model Experience With a "Professional" Photog

Today I'm going to discuss something very un-cute and I have tried to be very patient but I think it's important to warn others.

Earlier this year I found a post searching for models by a lady named Joy in the Midwest Model & Photographer Talent group on Facebook. I PM'd her and she was really nice and easy to talk to.
The shoot was TFP (so free, I just get the pics too) and the pics were intended to be used for bookcovers as she is in a network of authors who use her work for their books.

She showed me a page with some examples of her work which were basically heavily photoshopped photos but the photoshop was pretty good--looked basically like what you see on the covers of adult fiction at Walgreens or Walmart. So I thought, yeah she seems talented and of course I'd love a chance to be a book cover. Her FB pages are here and here.

My first photoshoot was on 03/02/14. She lives in an unincorporated area so the only GPS that I could use was MapQuest, which not only was confusing but also had me go through tolls even though I turned them off. It took well over an hour to get to her house.
I brought my own clothes and did my own makeup which was fine.
She had a setup in her basement, a green back drop and the basic lighting. I had nowhere comfortable to do my makeup.
I thought the setup was pretty basic and expected more, because she made it sound like she was pretty experienced and not an amateur.

I spent about 5 hours there. Only about 3 of those 5 hours were spent actually shooting. There was a lot of chit chat and life story telling, and then a lunchbreak. In the end I also signed a release of which I could not get a copy because they are "for her". Ok.

The shoot:
-She gave posing pointers
-She used onboard flash nonstop
-Several breaks between shooting to talk
-Her father would come to watch and chat too, distracting and unnecessary

She showed me some of the unedited photos a couple days later, most looked washed out but I figured they were compressed by FB and not edited so it was normal. I never received edited shots. 

On the 4th of March I spoke to her on the phone; she said that an author she knew saw my photos and wanted me to model for her bookcover. Of course this was exciting and I agreed to it. The shoot was a "couple shoot" which would include a random male model and though I stated that I would not agree to any touching at all, she kept acting like she was disappointed about it and kept trying to make it happen.
The photoshoot was on March 22nd. This time there was an MUA and she did a nice job with my makeup. I requested to be done with the shoot by 5:30 but again it dragged on. It was cold outside, and the almost the entire shoot was outside. She made no mention of this to me before, I would have dressed warmer if I knew. Again, spent several hours shooting, etc, and I never received any photos (she said that it took loads of time to photoshop me and the male model in ways that looked like we were touching). I saw a couple shots on her FB photog page. Again, washed out looking and unedited, from bad angles, and as if taken with any P&S camera.

When I asked her several times for my photos, she said I was demanding and that most professional photographers had up to a 6 month turnaround. She also said that I could never make it in the modeling world if I refused to do any touching with male models when I previously made it clear that I never intended to make modeling a serious career.

So to this day I have not received any final photos whatsoever. She deleted me from Facebook and after I responded to her long message to me about how "demanding" I was (end of April, while mid-April she said she's send some that night and of course she never did). She accused me of constantly asking about my photos, when I only asked at most 3 times over several weeks. She also tried to guilt trip me more or less by saying how she's one of the only female photographers near me (I will only shoot with females) and that I was making unrealistic demands. Meanwhile she was posting on FB looking for more models for more shoots, and she did other shoots for which photos were posted on her fb, but mine weren't.

The last time I heard from her was April 21st regarding any of this.

I guess what I'm trying to say is: DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME! Not only are her photography skills mediocre at best, but she is unprofessional and you will not see your photos possibly ever.
She does not keep her end of the deal, and doing basic edits like making a solid background does not take several months to do, which I can say for a fact as I do have another friend who is a photography student and has higher quality shots that she has finished editing in a week.

She does not understand how business works and believes being nice and friendly is all she needs, but I did not drive 120miles, paid for gas and tolls, and lost 12 hrs of my life to have friendly chit chat with a stranger. I came to have a serious photoshoot, and to have photos to add to my portfolio as was agreed upon.

I'm really disappointed with her work and her behavior. I would not recommend her until she figures out how to provide a more professional service.

Joy if you read this, don't ask me to delete it because I will not. I don't care about your personal life. You posted looking for models and I answered the call for the photoshoot. I came to your door at your convenience, brought the things you asked me to, and you never held up your end of the deal. That's NOT acceptable. If you'd like to make amends and actually provide the edited photos and work with me on which photos I'd like to have, I will update my review, but until then, I will change nothing. Don't try to turn this on me like I'm impatient when I'm not the only model you haven't provided photos to.

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