Detroit Fashion Photographers Mary DuPrie
Metro Detroit Portfolio Photographers, we need to have lots of different techniques in our arsenal to give a model the variety they need. A portfolio is built up over time. I often have people call and ask for a “portfolio”, using that phrase I know they are just starting in modeling. You develop a portfolio over time, not in one shoot.
Artistic images aren’t normally needed when first starting but if you’re testing/tfcd/tfp/tf… you get what you get. If you were a new model paying for a shoot, fairly simple shots would be in order. The images should be about the model, not the technique or photographer.
In larger markets agencies make you test with one of their photographers and the model has to pay for that. One model I’ve photographed several times stated that her Miami Agency made her test at least every three months (which she had to pay for). They also have a list of photographers who want to break in to the business and will test for free for various reasons. Another level of testing is the model might only have to pay the makeup artist, which might even be discounted.
Basically whoever is considered at the top of the heap is in the drivers seat.
Testing in our industry is common and there are different types
1. Agency Testing, the model pays the photographer and makeup/hair person and perhaps a wardrobe stylist
2. The model only pays the photographer or makeup artist
3. The model pays no one
4. Agency Account Fee Testing. The fee for testing goes on the models agency account in larger markets. When the model receives payment for jobs the testing fees will be deducted from her account. The agency is basically fronting money. They will use a “test” photographer that works with them on a regular basis and will give the agency feedback. It could be a day where several models are testing and an agency booker will be on hand to watch their potential and receive critical feedback.
What you can receive from shooting varies
1. TFCD is Time For a CD
2. TFP is Time for Print
3. TF is Time for whatever is negotiated
With non agency testing the photographer usually sets the ground rules and parameters
I don’t like it when the makeup artist or model sets up testing as the photographer is the one who is going to deliver the prints, files, cd, prints… whatever. The makeup artist/model can not speak for the photographer as to what, when and how the final product will be delivered. If a model and makeup artist spend their time testing and receive nothing afterwards ( it can and does happen) it’s a big waste of time.
If the model is exclusively signed in a larger market, like New York, Chicago, LA, Miami, you will have to go through their agency. What and how they want things delivered to them and the model will have to be followed… whether the photographer does it that way or not. The photographer bends to the agency.
I “normally” offer testing to models that have booked me for a Two Look Agency Submission Package. If the model fits in to my needs I will put them on a list to contact when I want to practice with new lighting techniques or add to my book/portfolio in some way. I have a few lucky models who have developed wonderful portfolios this way.
In larger markets if the model is signed exclusively they will have to get permission to test with someone even if it’s for free. The agency will look at the photographers work and give the go ahead. So a photographer might not be able to “give” their work away if the agency deems their work “not at the level or type” needed by the model. This by no means covers everything about testing but it gives a good overview for models just starting out.
My best most creative work comes from testing… and testing never ends.