One of my first goals as a new shooter was to start shooting with some of the modelling agencies in Los Angeles. When you start as a photographer it’s hard to determine a metric for what makes you “legitimate” (which for our purposes let’s say means getting paid $). I aspired to shoot with the agencies because that would allow me to transcend from pure internet model photography to actually working with brick and mortar businesses. While I did finally achieve that goal, it is not all it is cracked up to be.
Crystal T (above) says, “I’m an agency model, shoot me!”
One thing you realize when start working within this industry is that people will try to take advantage of you in every way possible. Everyone wants something for free. The distinction is that in this world, some people have a far better chance of getting something for free (exchange) than others.
Take for example, Crystal above, a tall beautiful woman, signed with an agency here in Los Angeles. If she wants to shoot, she (or her agency) WILL find someone to shoot her for free. Probably someone pretty good. Why? Because tall beautiful people are advantageous to photographers for THEIR OWN portfolios. So, many photographers who have just gotten their portfolios to a decent quality will JUMP at the opportunity. For better or worse, it’s a fact of the industry.
The good news is for photographers is that, by dramatically improving your portfolio with beautiful models, paid clients are more likely to hire you as opposed to the next guy who just has internet models. Since shooting with the agencies, I’ve gotten many more 2nd looks, responses, and paid jobs. Has my photography improved? Yes, but not dramatically. It’s astounding how much the quality of model can seemingly improve the quality of a photograph.
Giving this one a shot. We’ll see how it goes!