This is a question I often ponder. Should models shoot with amateur photographers? What is an amateur photographer and should they expect to be shooting say, agency models, or fashion models? Food for thought. Here are five points I’ve come up with.
This article is designed to receive your thoughtful comments on this subject.
1. Does it help or hurt the model?
This is the question I’d like answers to in general. Some models I’ve known have been very picky about photographers they work with and some want to shoot with as many as is humanly possible. Some models take into consideration the money being offered and some would rather just consider the quality of the photographer’s work. Another factor that is often considered is if the work will get published in any high profile publication and also if the photographer has good connections.
2. Is it worth the trouble of screening an amateur photographer?
When being solicited and contacted by an amateur or hobbyist photographer, does the model have a way to screen out the bad guys? A model should at least be educated by senior models on this.
3. Will the photos be good enough?
Who wants bad images of themselves out there? The model has to trust that the photographer will use the best images and not embarrassing ones. Models don’t have money or time to use legal action so trust is the only option. Some models don’t seem to care if the photos are good, or bad. I’m not sure the reasons different models have, but there are many personalities out there in the modeling world.
4. Are the terms clear and defined?
Some models have contracts they must get signed before a shoot. These contracts are useless without a lawyer I would imagine, so they are better thought of as a handshake agreement rather than a legal contract. Remind me to look further into “handshake agreements” online because i bet there are websites dedicated to managing those as an effective alternative to a legal contract, but having both seems practical.
5. Is the photographer reputable?
Hearing “She shot with so and so” might not be a good thing in some snobby or elite circles. Shooting with Terry Richardson for example might be amazing for publicity but will it also hurt your options with other agencies? Perhaps not, but that’s just an example. Terry may or may not be an amateur. I’m not even sure about that one since he tries so hard to appear amateur.
If someone wants to be a commercial model, they should go to an agency. That agency will point them to some photographers. The “model to be” may or may not have to pay that photographer. Prospective models should just pay once if any in my opinion. If that photographer is any good, and the model is any good, it will be enough to lead to paid work for the model. Leave me your thoughts.
I’ll keep this short so your comments can have a chance to shine.