ShutterFun Magazine Cover – Tancy Marie – Odette Delacroix – Bella Burke – High Key Lighting – Madison Fedorin – Ulorin Vex – Kristy Jessica – Tancy Marie – Breanna Marie – Sarah Liz – Editor: Dc Lee Creative -T0opless -nude – Writer: Kristy Jessica Layout by: Simon Dyjas www.SimonDyjas.com
WHERE ARE THE PICTURES GOING?
By Kristy Jessica, The Rebel “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
A photographer, who used to regularly submit to National Geographic Magazine, once told me “A photo of a whale’s tail arching above the water used to sell for thousands of dollars; nowadays you’re lucky if you get $500.” Is that fair? Or is this just the evolution of the competitive media industry? The new digital revolution holds the dice, and photos are now a dime a dozen!
Back in the days of film, before digital cameras were invented, photography was a niche skill involving complicated, expensive equipment that required proper training, just as electricians and mechanics. Photoshop had also not yet been invented, so a mistake would result in wasted film. To be published in the New York Times, Playboy, or any other prestigious publication was a lofty achievement! Today professional cameras are available to the general public at any electron-ics store for a reasonable price. What seemed nearly impossible for the everyday Joe in the 60s is now realistic, and many of the past’s teenage consumers and fans have the ability to emulate their photographer icons, like Helmut Newton, Ansel Adams, and Arnie Freetag. ***(sp?)
Prominent industry corporations are now being imitated by innovative individuals. The same revolution is seen in other fields: freelance fashion designers are starting their own Etsy stores, artists are selling designs on **Online custom print stores like musicians are getting discovered through their Reverb Nation p rofiles, hair stylists are going mobile, sole proprietor-ships and small businesses are hip! The same new niches are being created in modeling. Why would an independent rap artist need to hire a model from an agency for his music video, when he can find one on Facebook or Model Mayhem? By seeking models via social media, there are no agency fees or middle-man bureaucracies to complicate the booking process.
Regardless of the current changing times, the common old ideas and concepts for what a “model” is supposed to be stubbornly lingers. The image of a six foot, stick thin model on a run-way or in the pages of Sport Illustrated Magazine is still the most comprehensible definition of “modeling” to the common public. Girls who want to get into modeling often have this culture in their blood. Many let insecurity prevent them from even trying at all! The new models that do start portfolios must learn about the media market today, and how it may affect their modeling goals. Freelance photographers and artists will offer to hire them. The biggest question most speculators and aspiring models ask is, “Where are all the pictures going?” In my early modeling days, I had a tough time grasping this concept.
Letting go of that popular, pedestaled concept of professional modeling was a process that took about two years for me to fully understand. This fun, glamorous hobby was building for me! Within 1 year after attending my first group shoot, I had an 80 page printed portfolio. So much time and effort was spent going to these fun photo shoots, receiving the photos, and collecting them, but I wasn’t “making it”. What would it take for me to get a big break? Anxiety was driving me to push further. I brought my bulky, extensive portfolio with my resume to “go-sees”, attend-ed casting calls, applied for agencies Online, went to John Robert Powers, and none of them led to any success. Most of them told me I was too short, not the “look” they wanted, or wanted to charge me an arm and a leg to “start a portfolio” with their over-saturated revolving door agency. Paying gigs I found myself, and they were from local catalogs, local music videos, content web-sites, freelance photographers, and independent contractor promotional modeling. There was no “big break” that allowed me to become a full time freelance model; I just got really good at finding these indie gigs.
Different styles and personalities fit different avenues of freelance modeling. My comfort zone may be more or less extreme than another woman’s. The more open minded a person is, the more opportunities will be available to them, and comfort also comes with experience. Once I decided I was probably not going to become the next JC Penny petite runway model, I came to terms with what genre of modeling suited my personality and comfort zone the best: artistic and glamour. This leads me to explain more about that 60-70% income coming from hobby photographers.
The following information is not meant to be career advice for other aspiring models. I cannot recommend what any person chooses to do with their lives, the purpose of this article is to describe my experience. My chosen niche may be different from any other person’s niche. You may be offended by what I am about to tell you, and you may even judge me. It’s my life, and this is my experience you are reading, how you absorb this information is ultimately your choice.
After that bad first experience with the pushy photographer who wanted me to start a bare-ly legal porn site with him, I was wary about modeling for any photographer who had nudes in his portfolio, or asked about implied or nude posing. For the photographers who seemed sincerely artistic in their pre-shoot communication emails, I had a strict screening policy: meet in person at a public location to talk about the details of our shoot, our first shoot would not be nude, and only if I felt comfortable at that first shoot would I agree to pose nude for our next shoot.
These sincere artists or connoisseurs, as well as some of the pervy-yet-harmless GWCs are the paying hobby photographers who support my busy traveling lifestyle. Just as an artist needs paint for their canvas, model photographers need subjects for their projects. So where are the pic-tures going? Some are submitted to contests, posted in Online forums, shared on blogs, displayed in portfolios, sold on content sites, used in Online catalogs, or simply just collected for fun. Some folks scoff at the idea of sexy photos of a woman shot simply for the purpose of private collection or freelance hobbyists. If that thought crosses your mind, let me expose this conundrum to you: mainstream men’s magazines may pay you a one-time model fee for your nude image to be sold on their pages to thousands or even millions of viewers, making a huge profit off that one shoot! Is that more or less exploiting than an independent photographer who is willing to pay you a com-petitive hourly rate to model similar content for his own portfolio, gallery, or collection, without making much profit, if any at all?