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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 06 Jun 2011 (Monday) 11:29
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Public Service Message - Model Mayhem

 
Bilsen
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Jun 06, 2011 11:29 |  #1

Hi all,

From time to time I see threads on here regarding Model Mayhem, particularly questions from newer members who are confused by the flakes, ozones (MIAs) and non-responders. Over the course of my 3 years or so offering TFP/CD shoots to Mayhem models I've gotten fairly good at smoking out what shoots will actually happen. I say that having been totally fooled just this past weekend, so this isn't exactly foolproof LOL.

First, accept that, at best, you'll actually shoot 3 of 10 contacts, and that's a hot streak.

In this thread I invite ALL veteran Mayhem members to list their "Red Flags" which give you a heads up of the probability of a shoot actually happening. C'mon guys/girls, let's help the newbies a little.

My Experience

The first thing to know is who to NOT bother to contact for a TFCD shoot. If a models port has Maxim or Playboy quality images, there's very little chance that she needs anything from you. You can contact her as a long shot but don't get upset if she doesn't respond. Likewise, if a 20 year old model with four cellphone frames in her port says "Paid Assignments Only" it's better to just move on. Even if she agrees to shoot with you, she's delusional enough to be either a flake or a real pain in the butt.

Flags, Clues and Hints (keep in mind these are all just indications of probability, not hard and fast guarantees).

Assuming you see a model in your area (I use 50 miles) whose port is relatively equal to yours, the first contact fairly reeks with clues.

1) Does she respond at all -- No response is a response -- move on.

2) How long does it take to respond-- This is a 2 part assessment. If you see "Message Read" in your message and it takes her longer than 4 days to respond, it's a yellow flag. If it takes up to 2 weeks, the flag gets more red. After 2 weeks, the shoot isn't gonna happen and she just wants you to beg a bit.
HOWEVER, if she answers 6 months later and apologizes for taking so long, that's back to a 50/50 probability that the shoot will happen.

3) When was her port last updated -- If her last frame was posted in 2008, she probably doesn't shoot, she just likes to be asked. It feeds her ego without requiring any actual work.

4) How does she respond -- I don't know why, but the more she tells you how awesome/ great/ terrific you are, the less likely the shoot will happen. If she's "dying to work with you" the probability is it ain't gonna happen.
The best response is "I like your work and I'd like to shoot with you, here's my e-mail/cell #"." Simple, direct and professional.

5) Will she move to email -- Once contact is established and we agree we want to shoot, I always ask to move to e-mail and give my address first. If after 4-5 messages back and forth she ignores the e-mail and stays on Mayhem, it's a bad sign. The longer she refuses, the worse the probability.

6) Response time in general -- Once contact is established and she knows you're trying to set something up, there is no excuse for making you wait 2-3 days for responses. The probability of shooting drops greatly with each day of delayed response. It's a bad sign of her not taking you or your time seriously.

7) Inability to set a firm date -- No later than the third exchange, I always give a set of shoot dates (both weekend and weekday) and ask what works for her. If she ignores the dates or can't pick one, it's a serious red flag. Saying "I'll check my sched" is fine but if you don't get an answer the next business day, the probability is really bad.

7A) - How far out is the shoot -- IF she tells you she'd LOVE to shoot with you but not until some unspecified date more than 2-3 weeks away,
the probability is really bad. If she says "How about the 2nd week of July" the probability is better but still not great. If she says " I'm busy until September but contact me then" move along. Send her a message in September if you like, but don't count on it.

8) Failure to exchange contact numbers -- unlike everything above, this one is a 100% indicator. A week before the scheduled shoot, I always give a model my cell # and ask her to do the same. If that doesn't happen, she's not gonna show. Period. I don't leave the house without a cell # for contact and I tell models that.

9) How does she cancel -- Life happens and legitimate models do need to cancel on occasion. If a model cancels more than 48 hours out, with an apology and suggested other dates, the shoot will probably happen. However, if you wake up on shooting day to an e-mail at 3:00 AM saying she can't make it, move along cause it won't happen. At best, I tell her to message back when she's serious about shooting. At worst, I just put her in the "No Way" file.

Now none of these things are airtight (except # 8). These red flags deal with probabilities, not certainties. However, the more such signs you get, the worse your odds. It's like watertight compartments on a ship. You might survive one or two flooded but 3 or more is telling you the ship is going down. In these situations, your best friend is the word "NEXT".

With all that said, I use Mayhem all the time and it is still the most productive site that I have for shooting models. I have met some tremendous women on Mayhem and several have actually become friends with my wife and me. About 50% are now repeat session models for me. Just don't take things personally and stay with it.

Now how about other veterans? What are your flags??


BILSEN (the artist formerly known as John Galt NY)
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jeppoy
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Jun 06, 2011 11:40 |  #2

I still update my modelmayhem but never really got any shoot out of it. I've gotten tons of contacts and friends but nothing that really fell through. I get shout out and comments once a while, though.


No I'm not a photographer, I just shoot with Canon DSLR with those lenses with red thingy...;)

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scroller52
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Jun 06, 2011 11:41 |  #3

good writeup and thanks for the tips John!


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samueli
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Jun 06, 2011 11:51 as a reply to  @ scroller52's post |  #4

Yes, thanks for spending the time! I've been thinking about trying MM, and this is helpful.




  
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BoneJj
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Jun 06, 2011 14:15 |  #5

lol, these are all pretty much spot on.


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dsmPhotoCompany
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Jun 06, 2011 18:44 |  #6

- Won't meet (or is "too busy) for a consultation prior to scheduling a session (we only schedule sessions with an in-person or at worst phone consultation)

- Doesn't want to pay, only wants TF* (which we don't do)

- Has camera phone type snapshots on his/her profile

- Has only worked with photographers that always shoot for free (sorry, but it's a good red flag to filter out those that are not serious)


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Bilsen
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Jun 06, 2011 19:03 as a reply to  @ dsmPhotoCompany's post |  #7

Glad to help guys.

BoneJ, glad to meet another veteran of the Mayhem wars.;)

DSM - Even though it sounds like I'd be insulted, I'm not. That's actually a pretty good tip. Reminds me of Grouchos' "I'd never join a club that would have me as a member".:lol:


BILSEN (the artist formerly known as John Galt NY)
Canon 600D/T3i; 70D & 1D Mk2
24-105 f4L IS; 70-200 f4L IS; 50 mm 1.4; 18-55 IS;55-250 IS; 85mm f1.4 Sekonic L-358; 580EX & (2) 430EX
Model Galleries: http://bilsen.zenfolio​.com (external link)

  
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Bilsen
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Jun 07, 2011 10:44 as a reply to  @ Bilsen's post |  #8

Seriously people???

Nobody else has hints for the newbies?


BILSEN (the artist formerly known as John Galt NY)
Canon 600D/T3i; 70D & 1D Mk2
24-105 f4L IS; 70-200 f4L IS; 50 mm 1.4; 18-55 IS;55-250 IS; 85mm f1.4 Sekonic L-358; 580EX & (2) 430EX
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nathancarter
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Jun 07, 2011 11:09 |  #9

I'm just here to read the hints, and try to decide whether I want to make a MM account. Sounds like too much drama for me.

I don't know if my portraiture portfolio is varied enough yet; most of my portraiture is simple white seamless background. And, my post-processing is just mediocre; I can get the job 90% done in Lightroom but I'm still missing that extra little "something" that you see in a well-retouched portrait.


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bior
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Jun 07, 2011 18:17 |  #10

Do you feel like Model Mayhem overall has been worth your time? From the way it's discussed on PotN, it seems mostly a source of frustration. Have the good experiences outweighed the bad? Have you felt you've been able to do projects you couldn't have otherwise?

Thanks for the thread!


Branden - amateur photographer for hire / bored systems administrator probably posting from work
Weapons of choice: 5D2 and a T3 / website will return soon

  
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BoneJj
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Jun 07, 2011 22:03 |  #11

bior wrote in post #12554138 (external link)
Do you feel like Model Mayhem overall has been worth your time? From the way it's discussed on PotN, it seems mostly a source of frustration. Have the good experiences outweighed the bad? Have you felt you've been able to do projects you couldn't have otherwise?

Thanks for the thread!

well, model mayhem has some major problems, like lack of even bothering to screen models...

but it does give you access to models that you may not have had access to previously, which is a major bonus. You just have to weed out the ones that are there for just an ego boost and those that have major cold feet problems... lol.


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dsmPhotoCompany
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Jun 07, 2011 23:05 |  #12

bior wrote in post #12554138 (external link)
Do you feel like Model Mayhem overall has been worth your time? From the way it's discussed on PotN, it seems mostly a source of frustration. Have the good experiences outweighed the bad? Have you felt you've been able to do projects you couldn't have otherwise?

Thanks for the thread!


IMO, it's knowing going into using the system there will be good and bad. It's also how you use it - and your ability to recognize red flags.

We treat MM as just another avenue for marketing - but in no way our sole method for displaying our work to clients.

IMO, most of the reasons for complaints revolve around misunderstanding what MM really is and taking people's internet personas at face value.

I also believe if you're going to complain, rant, whine and throw a tantrum about something that is free - it reflects more on the person and not the thing they are complaining about.

Models have just as much reason to complain about idiot MM photographers too.


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PhotosGuy
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Jun 07, 2011 23:18 |  #13

Here's a 2009 thread: Advise about models


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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Picture ­ North ­ Carolina
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Jun 08, 2011 06:35 as a reply to  @ PhotosGuy's post |  #14

Excellent article. I don't shoot models, and probably never will (wife won't let me). As a result, I'm not interested in MM.

So why did I read the article? Because I was pulled in. It is well-written, succinct, compelling, helpful to those who do, and not rant-like. This is what POTN used to be, and should be. Good job! It should be a sticky (and NOT appended to another MM sticky where it will be lost and forgotten forever).

I will keep it bookmarked should my wife ever relent. (Not holding my breath, tho. ;) :) )


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whuband
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Jun 08, 2011 10:49 |  #15

Having never contacted anyone on MM I may be way off base here, but I do have some educated beliefs on the situation. I suspect that most models on MM have very limited paid modeling experience as most photographers on MM have limited paid model shoots under their belts. Nothing wrong with that. Many photographers like to shoot models, and many models just like to pose in front of a camera. If it's not a business and no money is involved, then the professionalism is removed from the meeting. In other words, if nobody is getting paid or nobody is paying, then it's pretty easy to blow off an appointment to go to the beach.


1D4, 6D, 7D2, Sony a6000 with Sony16-70, Rokinon 12mmf2, Canon lenses: 17-40L, 17-55 f2.8, 10-22, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 70-200mm IS 2.8, 300mm 2.8 IS, 580EXII (3), 430EX, Alien Bees.

  
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Public Service Message - Model Mayhem
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