Frequently Asked Questions for Photoshoot Models

Lyndsay, Hamilton, June 2012.LyndsayHamilton, June 2012

Here is some important and helpful info for new models or models working with me for the first time.  It's essential that you review and fully understand it.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. :)

Note that the info here is primarily for portfolio photoshoots on a trade/TFP basis.  When a model hires me on a fee basis, some of this info does not apply.


F A Q   T O P I C S 


T I M E - F O R - P H O T O S   ( T F P )

How does TFP work?

The model and photographer each give their time without fees, and both obtain some photos from the shoot to use in their portfolios.  While full photographer fees are usually higher than typical model rates, many photographers "call it even". This helps make the TFP system work, so that both photographers and models can collaborate to expand their portfolios and experience, and simply enjoy making beautiful images.

How much time do you dedicate to a TFP shoot?

A lot!! :) For a typical shoot with 4-hours of shooting time:

  • about 4-8 hours selecting and booking models, MUAs, and locations,
  • about 4-8 hours of planning and preparation
  • about 2-4 hours pre-scouting new locations,
  • about 2-3 hours transporting gear and models to/from MUAs and shoot locations,
  • about 1-2 hours to download, catalogue, and backup photos,
  • about 4-8 hours reviewing photos to select the very best,
  • at least 8-16 hours to retouch photos (usually 6 photos or more at up to 1-2 hours each),
  • about 2 hours to print, post, and/or archive the final retouched photos.

Total about 30-55 hours, or 4-7 work days.

Do you require a deposit for a TFP shoot?

A deposit may be required to cover the booking of a MUA, studio, etc., in case the model cancels.  Short notice cancellations are serious problems for photographers—see previous question to understand why.  

Some/all of the deposit is refunded at the shoot, depending on the cost-sharing arrangement.  

Models with very limited experience/references to show their reliability are more likely to require a deposit to reserve their booking. Also the more timely/reliable a model's communication, the less likely a deposit will be required.

Will I need to sign a model release?

I have a relatively simple TFP model release and we each keep a copy.  Briefly, the release permits us both to use the images for personal and portfolio use, gallery display, and entry into photography competitions.  It does not permit either of us to use the images for commercial use, business advertising, photo sales, etc. (although that can be negotiated later if needed).  If you require that kind of usage, then hiring me for a non-TFP shoot is the best approach.

What can/can’t I do with the photos?

See previous question for usage restrictions, and also see the last question of the Photos section, below.

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Blythe, Cumberland, Ontario, July 2009BlytheCumberland, Ontario, July 2009


Will I receive all the photos from a TFP shoot?

For a strong portfolio, we want to show only our very best images.  I carefully select and retouch a limited number. Retouching photos from the raw camera photo to the finished image is time consuming and a huge portion of the creative work for me, so the number of images I process is limited.  (Each image is 1-2 hours or more of work.)

How many images will I receive?

This depends on the length and success of the shoot.  The variety of wardrobe changes, poses, and backgrounds is a big factor—we don't want repetitive photos.  A minimum of six retouched images is typical for a shorter shoot, and usually more than a dozen for a longer shoot. 

Do I get to pick the photos to be retouched?

I try to coordinate the selections to ensure that we each get our favourite photos from the shoot.  Many models are happy to let me select for them because of my experience, or because the choices are not always easy! I may retouch a slightly different photo from a model's choice for technical or aesthetic reasons. 

Can I get unedited or unretouched photos from a TFP shoot?

I provide only final retouched images.  I may provide a few unedited "proof" photos in special circumstances, but this is rare.  These proofs are small, low-quality, and have "Un-retouched Proof" stamped across them.

What format do I receive?

I provide models with digital JPG files of the final retouched images, which are sized for use on sites such as ModelMayhem™ or Facebook™. 

In addition, I can provide a model up to two high-quality prints (any size) for her model book or personal use.  The model chooses these from the retouched images.

Will the photos have logos?

The digital files feature a subtle watermark as a deterrent to on-line theft and unauthorized use (very common), and to credit me as the photographer.

Printed photos generally have a subtle signature.

Special arrangements can be made for models requiring images without logos for comp cards, etc.

Will I receive the full-size digital files or camera "RAW" files?

Like most photographers concerned with the appearance of their work, I do not release full-resolution images or "RAW" files for a TFP arrangement. 

How will I receive the images?

I generally email the digital files directly to you. I can also provide them on-line for download from a password-protected gallery on my website.  Prints are usually delivered in person or by mail.

When will I receive the photos?

I aim to provide the images as soon as possible after the shoot although due to my part-time schedule it may be 4-6 weeks or more before I have them all available. I try to get you at least one image within a few days of the shoot (a "teaser"), and then provide the other images one-by-one as I produce them. 

Who "owns" the images?

By law, photographers own all copyrights and moral rights to the photos they produce.  Thus the images may only be possessed and used for purposes that I permit.

Also by law, people own the right to exploit their own likeness. Thus nobody can exploit/market/sell the images without the model's permission.

These photographer and model rights are the basis for the model release that I use (see above).

May I modify the images, such as give them to a "Photoshop Wizard"?

As the copyright owner of the images, and to protect the appearance of my work, images may not be modified in any way without first obtaining my permission.  This includes cropping, adding/removing logos, and any other editing.  Please contact me if you need something like this.

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How long is a shoot?

To avoid being rushed and to allow adequate time to build a comfortable rapport and rhythm with each other, longer shoots are better for producing the best images.  I usually aim for 4 hours.  For outdoor shoots, weather and light are the biggest determining factors. Shoots with more complex concepts and varied locations require more time.

When can you schedule a shoot?

I usually need 1-2 weeks to set up a shoot if I'm not already booked.  I often have a waiting list. 

Shoots are usually weekday evenings, sometimes weekday afternoons or on weekends.

Will we meet before the shoot?

For models with limited portfolios/references and with whom I've not yet worked, we'll have a pre-shoot planning meet.  We review portfolios, shoot details, contact information, and the release, and satisfy ourselves that we're happy to work together before committing.  Hissyfit-free photoshoots!  :)  The pre-shoot planning meet will be at a public location and you may bring someone.

What if I need to cancel the shoot?

Grrr.  Okay, sometimes "life happens" beyond our control.  The absolute most important thing is to let me know as soon as possible, and be honest about the reason.  That gives us the most time to adjust the schedule, or re-schedule, and to find an alternate model if necessary.

Be aware that any short-notice cancellation within a few days of the shoot (a "flake") may cause me to doubt your reliability and/or seriousness about the shoot, and I may be reluctant to re-schedule with you ("blacklisted").

What if I can't arrive at the start time for the shoot, or need to leave before the scheduled end time?

Tell me this as soon as possible while we are scheduling the shoot.  If it comes up after we have already booked, let me know right away.  Depending on how much time we will lose, I may cancel the shoot.  See previous question.

What about weather?

Depending on the weather and the location, we may need to post-pone the shoot at short notice, switch to an indoor location if available, or reschedule. For "rain-or-shine" shoots, there is usually outdoor cover available to permit us to continue regardless of the weather.

Yulia, Ottawa, March 2011YuliaOttawa, March 2011 Back to topics



Will a makeup artist (MUA) / stylist be available?

I often include a MUA in my shoots. I also find models are usually very resourceful with their own hair and makeup preparations when scheduling a MUA is not possible or cost-effective.

What clothes should I bring to the shoot?

For each shoot I'll indicate the type of clothing and accessories, and you can bring items that fit in those themes.  If you are unable to bring certain items, just let me know and we'll come up with other ideas.  

What should I be wearing when I arrive at the shoot?

Whatever you feel comfortable in  :) Avoid arriving in very tight constrictive clothing (shoulder straps, waistbands, etc.). These can leave marks on your skin that may be visible when you change into the shoot outfits (particularly a glamour outfit).

When you arrive at the shoot we'll review your wardrobe together and pick which outfits to use, based on the location, concept, weather, etc.  I may do some initial photos with your arrival outfit, usually for headshots/portraits as a warm-up. 

Kristin, Phoenix, Arizona, May 2010KristinPhoenix, Arizona, May 2010

What items should I bring?

  • Items to touch up hair or makeup as needed.
  • Comfortable walking shoes or flipflops to wear between sets.
  • If outdoors, sun protection and insect repellant.
  • Water / snacks.
  • Your wardrobe.
  • Smiles  :)   (cheezy, I know!)

May I bring someone to the shoot with me?

Only the working members of my shoot team are permitted on location.  Others generally divide the attention of both the model and I.  The best results are generally from one-on-one shoots, and we want the best. 

Someone may drop-off/pick-up the model at the photoshoot, but not remain during.  Uninvited guests remaining with the model may result in cancellation of the shoot and forfeiture of any deposit.

I may make rare exceptions for a model's "personal assistant" (PA) if they're a qualified specialist (MUA, Stylist, Designer, Model) and I pre-approve their participation.  The following must be respected:

  • Bring only one PA.
  • The PA should be both willing and able to assist with the shoot.
  • The PA should be polite and respectful of everyone at the shoot.
  • If the PA's presence is disruptive or stressing me out, I may end the shoot.

You may bring someone along to the pre-shoot planning meet; see above under Scheduling.

I have a friend who'd like some photos taken, may I bring her along?

See previous question.

If your friend is interested in modelling, have her submit her details here.  No guarantees—I select the models I work with based on compatibility of their look/style/experience/personality with my vision/tastes.  I usually have a waiting list. 

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T H E   S H O O T

Where will I change clothes for outdoor shoots?

I carry a portable changing room that I can quickly set up anywhere. My models love this!

What if I have little experience modelling?

On the set I'm your director.  :)  My vision is to sculpt you into flattering and alluring poses that highlight your feminity and personality.  I provide relatively specific/detailed posing instructions for each shot, so even without experience we can produce attractive images.  Previous experience is certainly helpful to make this easier and more creative, and for models who are comfortable with assuming their own poses I aim for a combination of directed and ad-libbed poses.

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A B O U T   M E

How much experience do you have?

I've been shooting as a serious hobby since 2004, and began studying portraits/photoshoots in 2006.  I have worked with dozens of models and makeup artists in Canada and the USA.  Almost all of my past photoshoots are available here on my website, and my photoshoot profile on Model Mayhem™.

Are you a safe photographer?

I take photoshoot safety and comfort level very seriously.  A model must feel safe and comfortable working with her photographer, MUA, shoot concept, and location.  The same goes for me, I'm also concerned about my personal safety and protecting very expensive photo equipment, especially when travelling to unfamiliar places and meeting strangers. 

Models are encouraged to consider the following to satisfy their comfort level that I behave professionally:

  • the pre-shoot planning meet described above under Scheduling (bring someone along if you like);
  • the quality of my portfolio and the considerable effort put into my webpages (including this FAQ);
  • the relaxed expressions of the models in my photos;
  • my references from models, MUAs, and other photographers (I can provide, and you can check those credited in my portfolio on Model Mayhem™);
  • my web address is on the vehicle that I drive;
  • my day job at National Defence requires a security clearance with regular background checks.

What style of photos do you do?

My photos are usually portrait style, with a flavour of mainstream glamour, fashion, or lifestyle. I aim for appealing combinations of natural beauty, sexy, classy, playful, and sensual. I much prefer location shoots, especially outdoors, to studio shoots. I don't do "alternative" styles such as goth, rockabilly, or extensive body mods (tattoos, piercings, etc.).

Diana, Toronto, Aug 2011DianaToronto, Aug 2011

What type of models do you work with?

I work with female models who are healthy/fit, attractive, enthusiastic, dependable(!), and suitable for the above styles. As I'm not a commercial photographer, I do not work with minors, and my models are usually 20-35, quite a bit more mature than the fashion industry standard.

At this time I'm not focussing on male models, family/children, group photos, weddings, or events. 

Can you get me tearsheets/published?

I am not a commercial photographer, nor do I submit my work to publications at this time.  The photos we make, however, may help you gain the interest of other photographers who can get you published.

Do you do nude photoshoots?

I currently do not ask models to pose nude.  For glamour-ish images, I strive for sexy yet classy appeal without nudity—tasteful lingerie and "implieds" are the boundaries—and always within the model's comfort level.

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All text and photographs are Copyright ©2010 Kyle D Jackson; all rights reserved. No copying or reproduction without permission.