From time to time I see someone, either a model or a photographer, ranting about one site or another. It usually starts with “all the people on this site are…” and then proceeds to generalize about every site member. Well, I’m not inclined to take stock in many statements that begin with a phrase like that. Take the instance of no-shows for example. It happens to all of us, but there are ways you can avoid no-show models, and I’ve written about that.
That’s Not Their Job
Most sites do minimal screening of their applicants and members. Most modeling sites are a free-for-all where only spammers and other unruly individuals are denied membership. Even modellocate.com which claims to do a good job of weeding out people who shouldn’t be there, and which has a built-in feedback system, contains flaky models. The modeling site is just the conduit for social networking, and it’s up to you to use your knowledge and effort to find good people to work with.
Look Before You Leap? Really?
To take the issue more broadly, let’s say you were hiring a cleaning service. You open the yellow pages and look for a nice looking advertisement. You immediately hire them, not bothering to get past references, ask your contacts if they’d heard about them, or even prepare any interview questions. You then discover that they do a lousy job and conclude “The yellow pages are terrible!” — Although this seems laughable, this is exactly the approach some take to using modeling sites.
You need to do your homework before hiring a nude model. I’ve written about this topic in a separate article.
If you learn how to spot a conscienceless, hard-working model, it stands to reason you’ll have better success booking models who give you a great shoot.
Even if you are very careful, you’ll still have bad experiences. But you will also have good experiences, and the more you learn and apply that knowledge, the more you’ll be able to sort the flakes from the real models. Even the crazy modeling sites have some good models on there. I’ve even found good models on regular social networking sites like Myspace.com, though many photographers will say “All the models on Myspace are…” well, you get the point.
Meg is a model I found through a modeling site and who yielded a good shoot. She was on time, had posing ideas of her own, and didn’t hesitate to try any pose I suggested.