LeightonD, Photographer

LeightonD's Photographic life.

Model Monday: Is it Professional to be Friendly?

Hanging wtih the gals

Should photographers and models be friendly with one another? Does it make you feel better “safer” when a photographer/model is liked by others in the industry?

If we look at a lot of the old movies and television shows about fashion models and shoots, we often see the “diva” model, or the arrogant photographer, or the unbearable copy editor. Is this a case of art imitating life, or did somewhere life imitate art?

I ask this question, because in this age of digital cameras and social media, more and more models and photographers, are able to get a shot at “making it.” While the numbers haven’t changed in the statistics of the likelihood of being a top model, what has changed though is the road to getting there. Yes, things like portfolio and image quality matter; but is a journeyman resume now required in order to begin life as a model or a photographer? Does a model have to go to 20 casting calls and go sees to land one job? Does a photographer have to lug around another photographer’s gear for 8 months in order to get a shot as a lead on a shoot? Or can a model/photographer make it to certain levels based on popularity and being the “hot commodity” at the time?

Social media is big, and I believe here to stay. For the first time in many industries, not only are consumers and sellers in direct communication, but bosses and employees, providers and clients, and yes, photographers and models, now find themselves in constant contact.

While on the surface, this can prove to be a GREAT benefit to a starting model or photographer, especially to build comfort, deep down, it can lead to a certain familiarity that may not be the best to have in a professional environment. Personally, I am a very friendly and open person. I like having chemistry with all those on set. But my military background has taught me how to separate colleague from friend, without making an enemy. Models know that they can usually approach me for advice and tips on many levels of things in and outside of the industry. Unfortunately, not everyone is like that these days. Some photographers and models have other motives besides shooting. Not to say they are nefarious, but to say that their intent and your own may differ. So let’s start a discussion.

Some things I would like to ask you.

At what level does a potential model/photographer go from a person that you want to work with to needing a restraining order?

Does a Model or Photographer who is always dating other Models/photographers cause you to be cautious?

What are some signs that you would share with other models and Photographers to be aware of while conversing online?

I do not want this post to be an “outing” of any kind, but more so a discussion of a topic that seems to be trending in a bad direction these days. So what say you?


About Leighton DaCosta, Photographer

International Wedding, Portrait, and Fashion photographer based in Miramar, Florida. Also a Pilot and a LEAN technician.

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