I got an awesome message today from a beautiful model in Montreal- http://www.modelmayhem.com/phylactere
She wanted to know some things about me and modeling. She had some great questions, so I thought I would answer them here (as well as post them on the traveling models blog). Bonus- some never before posted by me pictures for each question! YAY!
-Usually photographers, mostly in Montreal where I live, think that it is normal to exchange "time for print", When I say that I just accept paid assignments, they sometimes get very angry! So, do photographers really pay for free-lance models, from your own experience?
Yes, "time for print" is normal in some circles (especially among hobbyists), but they shouldn't be getting angry with you when you tell them that you only accept paid assignments. It took me a while to get a polite wording down as to not irritate anyone. I often respond with something along the lines of "Thank you for contacting me. However, I am not accepting trade work at this time. If you would like, I would be more than happy to work out rates with you."
Photographers do pay freelance models. There are quite a few photographers that will kick and scream saying "I don't pay models- the client pays models!!", but they refuse to accept the fact that sometimes the photographer IS the client, especially for nude work.
-Do you really spend a lot of time answering castings and calls for models? Or do photographers ask for you most of the time?
At first, I spent a lot of time on responding to casting calls. After I started becoming more visible in the internet modeling circles, I started doing more advertising of myself and the locations I was traveling to and less answering casting calls. I still check casting calls on MM everyday. I'll check craigslist on occasion if I don't have much to do that day.
-When you were a semi-pro model, at what moment did you consider yourself as a professional model?
The day I started doing modeling as my only job is when I began to consider myself a "Professional Model", which was about a year into pursuing modeling seriously. However, it was always my goal to behave and conduct myself professionally. Some people will argue that the minute you get paid you're a professional- my first shoot was a paid one, so I do tend to disagree with that. I feel that when you as a model are confident in your skills and ability to go and do what is necessary to get the job done (paid or not) you become a true professional.
-What do you think makes you special? Is it your mind? Creativity? The way you move?
I think my commitment to my work is my strongest trait. It drives me to create new art at every shoot and always seek new inspiration to continue to do so. My body awareness and movement are very much a selling point me as a model as well. Years of dance, gymnastics and cheerleading have given me that. I was blessed with the look I have which is what got me into modeling, however that can only get an art model so far. Drive, passion and commitment will keep you working for the long haul.
Thanks so much for the message, Phyli!
(Photographs by- JP Dawson, J Henry, Wet LTD and Mobius Photo)