Studio Advice- From the Models Point of View
By Rara Goes Roar, written 1459771667
Recently I've had communications with multiple studios and in the last few months, I've noticed a couple patterns appear. I am writing this mainly for advice but also for studio owners to understand models and what we often need/require.
I have had some bloody good studio days where the studio has understood completely what a model needs and understands them so this is not me slating every model day at all as I've had SOOO many good ones!
I completely get that not every studio has a space completely dedicated to where a model can get changed. There is not always the space, and for that I understand. But please can there be a space where 1) a model can get changed where no one can disturb here. This can even be a room of the studio or a couple blinds up in part of a room, so at least no one is watching them. 2) try not to make it the toilet that everyone uses. I've had a lot of studio days where I've tried to get change in peace for people to bang on the door asking me to hurry up as they need to use the toilet. Its not pleasant.
When a model is getting changed, they can often like their privacy. In this time, we will often be checking our make up and hair too. Therefore walking in unannounced isn't acceptable in the slightest.
This is vital. I have had so many studios book photographers without even telling me anyone has booked slots/times. This doesn't help. Not all models care, but I know quite a few, including myself, who really do prefer to know who is booking us. Even if they aren't on purpleport, just give us a name and maybe a link to their website or other portfolio. Just so we know and get a look at the images that person has taken as well as see as what they tend to shoot. It helps us greatly.
Please keep us updated as to what is going on. This includes if there is any changes going on to the studio or even who will be around on the day. I have had two studio days where I found out the owner of the studios wouldn't be there, instead their mate would be instead. I didn't find out till the day. And it was only when I asked that I found out. If YOU as a studio owner will not be around on the day, TELL US! WARN US! That isn't a lot to ask and it means no unexpected surprises on the day. That way, everyone is in the loop!
Yes this is very important. Some studios refuse to help advertise a studio day/group shoot. For me and many others, this is where team work happens. Both need to advertise to help sell a studio day. Telling only one party to do it doesn't help. Especially if its the model. If we have never been to a particular area before, we don't know many of the people and not everyone may have seen our casting. You, as a studio owner, may know more or have regulars who you can ask if they are interested in booking a slot. Helping each other out is the best way. I know some will disagree and that is there opinion, but this is how some models feels.
When it comes to adverts, make sure that if a slot gets booked, to tell the other party. Double bookings are always hell and you could end up losing that booking.
When making adverts, please use up to date photos of the models. I had a studio day book me and use images of myself when I had no tattoos. This became an issue as I have quite a few and people asked what I actually looked like. If you can use a newer image, it means everyone knows what the model looks like.
Where you advertise it is also important. Advertise it on appropriate levels, such as photography groups and pages. Don't advertise it on Facebook's "sexy babes" page, you will attract the wrong attention and could put the model at risk.
This maybe a surprise to a few but as a model, I DO eat. I love my food. So a lunch break is a pretty important part of my day as well as for other models. This could be the time where they not only eat, but also sort through admin, take medication if required, redo hair and make up etc. We are pretty busy people. Therefore please don't expect a model to give up their lunch break to do a shoot with you. This came up recently with a model and I then discovered this is happening frequently on studio days. If I am shooting for 8 hours that day, I expect a lunch break. As you would expect in any job. If you're working for a day, you are entitled to a lunch break. The same goes for modelling.
So many studios are bloody cold and I do understand that. But I have shot in studios where it is ridiculously cold and there isn't a single heater there. I am then expected to do a 2 hour nude shoot. This isn't fun and I will end up getting ill. A couple small fan heaters really do make the difference. You may not feel cold, even in summer, but there is a difference when you are wearing clothes and when you are not! The same goes for rooms that are too hot, couple light fans really do make the difference. In the peak of summer, being under all those lights can be bloody hot and make us feel unwell. We can be too focussed on getting the right shot that we may forget to say we don't feel well/ we are too hot/cold. This isn't on purpose. This is what happens when we focus on the job at hand.
Nobody wants major drama on the day so have a laugh. Us models often have a bloody good sense of humour! We all want a good day so a good atmosphere is always good! Whether that is with music, offering of a drink, asking if we are ok. Those little things make the difference!
These aren't rules but more guidelines
Maybe advice to those who are just opening up a studio or doing their first studio day. This has all come through my own point of view as well as chats with models, photographers and studio owners. I hope this may help some people and that nobody takes this in the wrong way!