10 Modeling Industry Pet Peeves
Everyone has their list, here is mine! This should be interesting to clients, other models and fans alike. Enjoy! :)
1. Rudeness and arrogance:
Often I get inquiries about modeling or hosting gigs where the client is a big-talker, always talking himself, his business and achievements up. That is fine with me, I know the fine line between confidence and arrogance, but if you talk down to me as though you are better than me or try to argue me about my successful business operation, that pisses me off. A little antic-dote: When I first started modeling I had a guy contact me and treat me like crap saying I "need him to make it big" and I told him straight out I did not appreciate his attitude and that I would not work with him. A year later when I had built a successful business, brand and a name in the industry he contacted me again almost begging to work with me. When I politely declined, reminding him of how he treated me previously, he went on a 1000-word rant about, again, how I would never make it further than I have without him.
Bottom line: I will treat professionals and amateurs alike, I will respect you and your work, so please give me the same respect and try to be humble, it'll get you farther. And remember; if you have to tell people you've got "it" you probably don't.
2. Soliciting me for a free shoot without offering incentive:
Many photographers and videographers seem to think it is okay to contact me asking me to work for free. I am very rarely interested in working for free and when I am, there is some very nice incentive attached. Some reasons I would shoot, promote or host without monetary compensation are as follows:
- For high-end photographers in genres other than glamour (swimwear, lingerie, etc.) that are willing to abide by my trade rules. Trade rules include: burning all the images, preferably high-res, onto my external drive (or on a DVD), allowing me to choose a good amount of edits per look, allowing me joint rights to images and allowing me to add my vision to the creation process, chances of using a make-up and hair artist other than myself is very slim.
- Mass exposure. If you can prove your website views are in the 10's of thousands or that you have a huge client and fan following that will return a lot of traffic to my book or website then we may be able to work something out.
- Guaranteed Tearsheets. If you can guarantee me a spot in a well known magazine, or can prove to me it's highly likely, and you also have high quality work.
- Charity is another option. I will only work for animal rights or animal welfare organizations (other than PETA). This includes The Human Society of the United States, The National Humane Society and the ASPCA.
- Guaranteed revenue from the project. Calendars, posters, etc. are examples. A legally binding contract is required and I must see previous successful revenue reports from other projects or a high-traffic product venue.
- Portfolio updating and website content. Although I already have a large amount of quality photographers whom I trust that I turn to when I need a book refresher or content for tarababcock.com, I am always looking to work with new top industry professionals. I usually contact photographers who I am interested in for this type of work, but do feel free to give it a shot. As long as you are respectful of me, my work and my final decision, I am happy. Please know that if i decline I am not putting down your work. I have a very specific style and many of my ideas may clash with your artistry. Nothing at all personal.
Working for free really is an oxymoron. I do love what I do, but as I have achieved success I also have the burden of business and a lack of extra time. Some people, even some models, have time to shoot for fun as a hobby. I wish I did, but I do not and my time is money. It is often stressful trying to fit in all my bookings and responsibilities and it is even more challenging managing my own brand and business. Please be respectful of my time and business. Also, there are many clients who feel that once they pay me to shoot, all consecutive shoots will be complimentary. I go to the same hairdresser every month, we even have a personal friendship, but I would never ask her to work for free and lose money, maybe even have a lesser quality of life, just because I "made a new friend".
Bottom line: I don't ask anyone to work for free, so please do not ask me to do so. I lose time and money if I oblige you. If you want to work with me, find a paying client who needs a model and photographer (get us BOTH paid!) or have one of the aforementioned incentives in mind. New photographers: if you want quality images, a boost in your business and help with marketing you'll want to invest in the best! If you have something different and extraordinary in mind, feel free to contact me. :)
3. Sexual advances in a professional setting:
I am well aware that models are "hot" and I am not one of those girls who pose near-nude and expect men to be "looking into my soul" rather than making comments about my body and beauty. I welcome comments about the things I have worked so hard to achieve, and spent so much money on. I even appreciate the occasional amusing, yet respectful, sexual innuendo, but I do not condone photographers (or models alike) who feel I will sleep with them or let them fondle me, etc. If I am working in a professional setting, I expect professionalism from all parties. Jokes, stories and harmless comments are fine, I am far from a Feminist, but I do not mix business with pleasure. I am not concerned with how good you may look, how rich you may be or how much you can "do for me" in the industry. Were I to ever have a sexual relationship with someone I met in the industry, when it comes down to work I am all business. I would insist on having no special treatment and all people on set will be treated equally. I am not a fan of "sleeping to the top".
Bottom line: Keep it professional at work. Fun is fine, but please do not cross that line. Respect me and your business.
4. Disrespect regarding my assistant:
Occasionally, (much more rare now than when I was a newer model) some potential clients may treat me or my assistant in a patronizing manner. Here is some information on him for any client to review:
I have a professional assistant who accompanies me to most projects. He is an experienced former photographer's assistant who is familiar with lighting set up and use (reflectors, soft boxes, anchors, stands, parasols, strobes, etc.), proficient in heavy lifting, carrying large or numerous items and helping with wardrobe and styling touch-ups. In addition he has experience in crowd control during public shoots and model/photographer personal protection. Besides his role as my assistant he is an employee of Boeing with a Bachelor's Degree in Electronic Engineering and a Master's in Business with a focus on Project Management in progress. He is working on a career in bodybuilding on the side. He is a very good friend of mine and a prospective business partner; we plan on opening a gym together down the road. I have many excellent references on him and I have never had a client complain about him or his performance, professionalism or mannerism during or after the project. Most clients ask him back again and some even hire him as a photographer's assistant for later projects not involving me at all! We are not romantically involved.
Some clients seem to either insinuate that he is my "boyfriend or escort" and that they do not allow these escorts because one reason or another. I completely understand where they are coming from and, were I working with a lot of new models, I would not allow those models to bring anyone either, but when you work with someone who is very well known with many references and a successful brand and name in the industry it is very disrespectful to suggest that they would do something like bring a friend who may compromise the professionalism of the project. I take all such comments as personal attacks against my business and I will not tolerate people putting he, my business or myself down. I take pride in honesty and professionalism. Refusing to allow my assistant for these reasons raises a red flag about your intentions and I will discontinue any affiliation with you or your company. Please know that I would never compromise a project by bringing non-professionals. My life is so much easier with an assistant. I carry 40 lb duffel bags and numerous make up train cases. I would not be able to manage alone.
Bottom line: Professionals have assistants, amateurs make stupid mistakes. Please do not disrespect me or my assistant by assuming we are liars or by questioning our professionalism.
5. Posting, using or distributing misrepresenting or slanderous content:
It is frustrating when I am booked for a normal glamour project and I find the images all over the internet looking nothing like me or being connected to an incorrect title like "pornstar Tara Babcock". I have even had my head posted on a semi-nude body.
Content Editing: I do my very best to make my glamour, beauty, fashion and even fantasy shots true to how I look in real life as I hate misrepresentation. I would hate to book a model and get someone who looks differently than in their book so I do not do that to my clients. That being said, I understand in the glamour and fashion industry editing must be done in order to get the right feel and look to the image. Lighting fixes, slight softening of the skin, minor removal of imperfections, removal of distracting objects (even a slight changes in my body to remove any bumps or wrinkles from awkward posing) is fine, but changing my body and face excessively really bothers me. I don't want people to book me based on a look I do not represent and I don't want to get less bookings because people think I am something I'm not. If you have a fantasy, extra editing intensive idea in mind, you must let me know there will be a lot of editing beforehand. That way I know what to expect and we have no problems!
Slander: This includes posting my images on pornographic or sleazy websites, claiming I do, or have done, something I have not and saying, posting or doing anything that jeopardizes the integrity of my business or professionalism. Editing my head on a nude body, or a body that is not my own, even with good intentions is not a good way to get on my good side.
Bottom line: I take pride in looking as I do in my images. Please respect that and do not take away from my flawless track record through editing or slanderous behavior. My law affiliates and myself have constructed a new agreement all clients must sign to deter such behavior. You may download the Tara Babcock Media and Brand Agreement here.
6. Models, etc. who are unprofessional:
Now, don't get me wrong, I have worked with a number of beautiful models and some of them are talented, sweet, intelligent business-minded young women (and a few men!) that I would recommend to any of my clients and contacts, but there are many who are extremely unprofessional. Types of unprofessional models I have come in contact with are:
- Models who party, drink and act promiscuous on the job. I have worked a lot of conventions, workshops and jobs where partying and drinking is an option. I often see many girls, mostly amateur, but some well-known, who get really drunk and flash fans and photographers and act like idiots. Some have even left before the job is over with a drunken spectator. It is my prerogative to avoid partying and drinking or doing drugs at all times for my own health and career as well as to focus on more important (and in my opinion, more fun!) parts of life, but EVERY professional should refrain from being a fool on the job. Part of being professional is acting the part! Not only does doing these things harm your images, they make you look older, weathered and less like a model anyway!
- Bitches. Nothing pisses me off more than a model who puts down her fans or coworkers. How could one disrespect the people that got them where they are? I have seen many a model be rude to her patrons' faces and then continue to be even more cruel behind their backs. Some girls need to get over themselves! Badmouthing other models is another thing I have seen a lot of. It's one thing to not want to refer a model because they fit on this list, it's another to comment on how fat, ugly or whatever he or she is.
- Models who bring boyfriends, parents or their giggling friends or other unprofessional people on set. Come on guys! This isn't girl's night out or boyfriend's sexy phone cam session! Be professional!
- Flakes. Enough said. Be where you say you will be when you say you will be there. If being there is impossible, make it a priority to let others involved know as far in advance as possible.
Amazing models like Rali Ivanova are few and far between. Hold on to them TIGHTLY!
There are many models I will not refer to anyone because of this behavior... in fact there is a whole company I will not refer to anyone for similar reasons. If you would like to know who and why, feel free to ask.
7. Potential clients who insist on booking via social networking sites and fans who contact me through booking venues:
I understand it is easy to search a model's name on the internet and get her Facebook page. These sites are designed to be easy to network with other people, but they are NOT
in any way a place to book a model for many reasons. Reason number one, and the most important reason, is it could be a fake profile. Many well known models have dozens of fakers using their images and pretending to be them. How terrible would it be if you booked "them", paid "them" and no one ever showed up? Terrible day for you, bad reputation for me. Another reason is it is just not a professional or official setting. Those sites are not set up to take official bookings efficiently. A model's official website or a monitored model networking site like modelmayhem.com
is a much better choice. I always direct my clients to my official site's booking section and form
. The last reason is that I use my social networking sites to keep up with my tens of thousands of fans and personal friends. The messages pile up and your booking message for next month will end up being read 2 months from being sent because of the high volume of fan mail, spam and personal messages from my friends and family. I like to keep organized, professional and productive. I would hate to not get to you on time! I'm sure everyone can understand this. For those same reasons I like my fans and friends to contact me through my "e-mail me" feature on my site or my social networking personal page and fan sites. My booking forms and portfolios are for professional use and reference only!
Help me stay organized by placing inquiries and fan mail where they belong. Avoid looking unprofessional when booking me by contacting me on Twitter and avoid being ignored as a fan by placing a personal message in my booking inquiries section! Never book one of the many impostors on MySpace! It's all so logical!
8. Phone-only bookings:
Technology has evolved for the better making it much easier to keep your contacts, appointments and e-mails organized and easy to access and refer back to. Some clients feel it is necessary to travel back in time and insist on exchanging all
of the booking info via phone. Don't misunderstand me, I would never ever suggest you finalize and go through with a booking without confirming via phone. The phone is a great way to hear that I really am myself (if that makes sense, haha!) and to call-in a quick changes in plans or to let me know you're running late, but when it comes to getting all the basics and details down beforehand, such as: time, date, address, nature of work, your long professional biography and any other important or minor details please understand it is more efficiently done via e-mail. Try put yourself in my situation for a moment: I get tons of bookings and inquiries. I can't be expected to remember all of the details of each shoot when I am so busy!
Phone call 1 was Rob Photo on Saturday at 2pm in LA for Cool Magazine. Phone call 2 was Wow Media looking to shoot video on Wednesday at 12:30pm, while phone call 3 was Ashley, my BFF of course (duh!), asking if we can go shopping tonight. Last call, number 5, was Jason who is looking to expand his Glamour book tomorrow at 7pm and a make-up artist will be one set. That is a fraction
of the info I have to remember for each unique project and even with that little amount detail, by the end of the day my recollection will be: Ashley wants a make-up artist to shop with Rob Photo at 2pm for a Wow video shoot... or was it Magazine... book... or was it 7pm? It all becomes an unorganized blur which leads to me looking unprofessional and details being lost. One other reason I don't give out my number right away for bookings is I often get fans trying to book me or booking inquiries that are just not right for me. I have had to change my number before, I like to limit access solely for professional clients.
I like to be able to refer back to the hundreds of bookings I have in order to get the details just right for you and your unique booking. I even sometimes print out the info you sent and bring it with me to avoid misunderstandings! (and then recycling the paper afterward, of course!) Some people suggest writing things down or typing while on the phone, but I end up typing too slow, losing track or not listening to the person on the phone all together! It's just not practical or easy.
Please understand that I am busy and I like to keep my bookings on record and organized efficiently for myself and for the quality of your own project. By all means request a phone call to go over details or confirm
if that's the only way it works for you, but please allow me to conduct business correctly by keeping a record first!
9. Poor spelling, punctuation and grammar in a professional setting:
I'm not talking about using the popular abbreviations like OMG, LOL, etc. when typing on hard to use devices like cell phones, I'm talking about a blatant lack of knowledge about the basics of the English language when you've lived here all your life! When I am contacted by a webmaster asking to feature me on their site and I go to the link and see sentences like, "They're photo's
are extra hot dont
forget to check out it's
sex appeal. Better then
ever!" I just can't oblige with consent. I know one of my only educational strengths is writing, and I am not asking everyone to be a professional author, I just want you to show me you have the intelligence to prepare your professional documents and webpages decently. Typos are one thing, and are a common part of life. My posts are probably riddled with them since I don't always have time to proof-read, but I know that "they're" is a contraction used in place of "they are" and that "its", like "his and hers" doesn't have an apostrophe! One of the most annoying things I see many people do, even when trying to be professional, is add an apostrophe to all plural words like "photos". That drives me insane!
This is the only pet peeve listed on here that may not be logically justified, but I cannot put my images or name on a publication or website that lacks simple knowledge of the English language. You don't see Playboy doing these things... or any publication on a news stand. It's simply not professional. If you can't write in English, have someone else relay or read over your thoughts!
10. Industry pros who don't think Ben Affleck is sexy:
I mean, cuh-mooon! How can you deny it? Since I couldn't think of a full 10 industry pet peeves I thought I'd throw an obvious one in there. This is just... duh! I mean, Pearl Harbor!
Never deny the obvious and remember; this silly pet peeve shows you should never be too serious
. I love having fun and making fun of myself once all of the boring technical crap is out of the way! :)
Bottom Line of this Post:
Be professional, courteous, never take yourself too seriously, be logical, put yourself in others' shoes, have fun and e-mail me Ben Affleck's number and you should do well in this industry, life in general, and you'll be especially good with me! Ben's number can be sent to my social networks OR my professional bookings pages... hey, there's an exception to every rule! Haha! Mrs. Tara Affleck... a much less functional and relevant last name, but it sure will boost me up there a few spaces in the alphabetically ordered lists!