Recruiting Diaries: Kimberly C.

Kimberly contacted me with the message “I have some experience in the world of modeling but would love to expand on that. There isn’t a style of modeling that I prefer above any others, so I’m pretty much up for anything. A talent for taking direction and being a hard working individual has always been my strong points as well as keeping an open mind.” On her ModelMayhem page she listed a number of genres she was interested in, including fashion, erotic, glamour, and lingerie.

I booked her along with Vera R. The results speak for themselves. Kim stands 5’8″ and made a great model.

Recruiting Christy

Christy had never modeled before meeting me. She was a bit of a tomboy and at twenty had just started wearing makeup the year prior. A slender 105 lbs., size 2 and 5-foot 8-inches, she sported statuesque abs and unforgettable bone structure.

Tia, one of my models, recruited Christy while we were out searching for talent. Tia was quite familiar with my style of shooting and my processes, so she was a capable advocate.

Tia and I were at a bar known for female bartenders dancing on the bar. It was not the one you may be thinking of, but a local version of the famous one. We intended to use a decidedly soft-sell approach. If we met someone who would eventually model for me, that would be marvelous; otherwise, we had a bit of fun and nothing was lost.

It was at the beginning of the evening, so there were not many patrons in the bar. Several of the bartenders were practicing their moves on the bar. I was sure to glance at the dancing bartenders occasionally, but I was careful not to come off like a fascinated newcomer. You may meet prospective models who are professional club dancers, ballet dancers, or dancing bartenders. When watching a prospective model perform, you should not act like you’ve never seen anything like her before.

Although there was almost no business, Christy was intensely energetic and stayed active, doing things in various parts of the establishment. Sometimes prospective models appear busy to stave off boredom and other times they have a pressing agenda. Remember that being rude and interrupting someone who is busy hurts your cause. In this case, we judged correctly, as she jumped at the opportunity to engage in something different and exciting.

Tia decided she was going to have to go up to Christy if she was going to get a chance to speak to her before the bar began to fill up with patrons and noise. As Christy headed down a stairway toward the front door, Tia scurried after her. I am sure Tia’s smile and innate charm helped steer the mood toward intrigue on Christy’s part. A few minutes later, Tia came back and said, “She’s going to do it,” and gave me Christy’s contact info.






Recruiting Mallory

When I first met Mallory, she was a server while I was having brunch. I explained that I was a photographer who sometimes employed models and that I wanted to know if she would be interested in hearing more information when I had a future opportunity. She immediately said she would. We introduced ourselves, and I asked how to get in touch with her. She gave me a phone number, and I asked her to write her e-mail address down for me as well. I handed her my card with my website address and phone number on it and told her that it would be a day or two before I called her. This gave her time to review the work on my website.

A couple of days later, I called Mallory, confirmed that she’d looked at my portfolio, and asked if she could model on a specific day later that week. She was remarkably excited about the prospect. She said she had to get back to me about changing her work schedule, but that she would do everything she could to make it work. I explained to her that if she had plans, I did not want to inconvenience her. She said it was not a bother and that she really wanted to do it. She expressed some concern that if she did not book with me right away, I might not give her another opportunity. This was probably not the case, but I did not belabor the point. She was excited about doing a shoot, and that was promising. The conversation also left me with the impression that she was wonderfully conscientious-an important trait for a model or anyone who wants the most out of their work.

Our shoot was amazing, and we had a second shoot exactly a week later.

You can read Mallory’s shooting story in my model-recruiting book, Up to My Eyeballs in Nude Women.

Recruiting Diaries: Hope

Hope at the interview

Hope responded to a classified ad I placed on a popular free classified website. I had posted ads once or twice a week for the previous few weeks. The ads stay up for a couple of months, so there were about ten ads up. Hope responded to all ten, so I assumed she was probably hitting all of the ads she could find, what I call shot gunning. A model appearing uncommitted can be a yellow flag, so I needed to determine how deep her interest was. I responded quickly to Hope, knowing she was eager to get started and might soon be busy with other photographers. Here is the e-mail she sent me:
“Hi, I am interested in being the nude model for your photography. I am an artist myself and have painted some nude portraits so I understand. I would like to meet beforehand and maybe know a little about you before. I will attach one or two photographs of myself in semi-nude to see if I might be what you are looking for. I will check my email often for a reply. Thanks, Hope”

As it occasionally happens, Hope’s photos were not large or clear enough for me to determine her suitability for my projects. It was obvious that she had some attractive features, and the photos she sent me were unusually creative in their lighting and poses. This was substantially encouraging. Nevertheless, I still had some questions about her appearance that were difficult to answer via an e-mail exchange. From the small, dim shots, I could not see if her skin was smooth or if her muscles were toned. I was also concerned about her apparent shotgun approach. I decided an in-person interview would solve these uncertainties, as well as verify her interest and commitment. My reply to her first e-mail read, “Hello, Hope. I like what I see. I’m pretty flexible with time this weekend. If you send me your number and tell me when you’re available, we should be able to do something.”

I called her, and we agreed to meet at a coffee shop that was convenient for both of us. Hope was on time to the meeting and lively when she got there. She was, in fact, easily identifiable as the most attractive woman in the shop. On that note, I typically do not worry about how I am going to spot a model at our first meeting; if I cannot find her in a crowd, she’s probably not what I’m looking for. I introduced myself to her while she was standing in line. I bought coffee for both of us, and we sat. Hope reiterated that she was an artist, and concerning nudes, she said, “I get it.” She was emphatic, and I could sense she had zero qualms about creating images with me. After a few minutes, I suggested we step outside to see how well things worked with her, my camera, and me. We walked into the parking lot, and I retrieved my camera from my car and snapped a few quick shots, one of which appears on this page.

I did two shoots with Hope before she unfortunately had to move four hours away. For months, we did not do any shoots. I kept in touch with her through Facebook and we have continued to work together. I have traveled up to work with her over a weekend and she has come to me on occasion. When visiting her, we traveled to some of her mountain haunts, including some amazing waterfalls. She has posed with classic cars and at an abandoned Buddhist monastery. Hope is good at making a single prop work, whether it is a rope, chain, scarf, or bottle filled with water. I have photographed Hope at least eight times, each with spectacular results.

More about Hope and additional recruiting diaries appear in my book Up to My Eyeballs in Nude Women.

Question and Answer with Nude Model Sara Right

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Disclaimer: This post is shameless self-promotion of my third book. See the end of this post for details.

Can you introduce yourself?

Hey y’all it’s Sara. I’m 21. I have been modeling for two years, just about. Yeah it’s fun. It’s easy. It’s exciting.

What inspired you to start?

Well yeah, my mom was in Playboy [magazine] and ever since I heard about that, or she told me about it, it’s kind of been a goal of mine. I was 18. Well actually I saw the Playboy ad. I was like Oh my God, mom, nice job! It’s the biggest sex symbol magazine known to man.

How many shoots have you done?

I’ve done a[t] least a hundred nude shoots. And I’ve shot with probably about the same photographers. I’ve shot with several more than once. I’ve attended lots of workshops. Like lighting workshops, posing workshops, all kinds of things. Workshops are really hectic sometimes. It just depends on where you go. It depends on how many photographers there are, how many models there are, the ratio between them. How much space there is. How many setups and rooms there are. It’s really hard if the dressing room’s really small. But other than that, it’s a good time. You get a lot of experience. You learn how to be directed. And you try to figure out which way works best for you.

I remember the last one I went to. I think there were 29 photographers and seven models. It was pretty crazy.

What makes for a good shoot?

You have to be confident on how you look naked. Otherwise it shows in your pictures. If you’re going to be afraid of one little wrinkle or one little, you know, line or crease, you just have to get over it. You have to kind of just man up and be comfortable with yourself. As soon as you’re confident it looks better on camera.

After all those shoots, do you still ever get nervous?

Sometimes I get butterflies, yeah. But I think that’s just, you know the brink of almost there. Almost ready.

Nude model Sara Right

BookSara appears in my upcoming book: Up to My Eyeballs in Nude Women, Techniques to Recruit Models, Direct Shoots, and Build Working Relationships.

I wrote this book after working with hundreds of models. After each shoot I often talk to them about modeling and am always interested in ways that photographers can improve their relations with models. I’ve also begun video recording the interviews. Additional model interview videos and other bonus material are in a reader’s section accessible through a link and password mentioned at the end of the book.
Take some time to visit Sara’s ModelMayhem page.