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A model's tips for UK Tours

By Artemis Fauna, written 1362332323

Where do I start?

Think about where you want to tour in the country, how you will get there and how long you want to tour for.

It's a good idea to keep a list of people who have expressed an interest in working with you in the past so you can refer back to it when needed. The PurplePort list feature is perfect for this. It's also a great idea to put a Facebook status, tweet/ tumblr/ blog account up asking where people may want you to travel to, it's easy, builds up interest and is good early self promotion.

Sounds silly perhaps but check the vehicle you are going to be travelling in. Oil, water, fuel, tyres, tax. Just to make sure everything is ready to run smoothly. Take an AA card if you have one- just in case!!

Plan ahead

Planning ahead is crucial. Keep details of everyone you are working with in a document, list, anywhere it will be safe. You may feel overwhelmed by lots going on so being organised will help you. Once shoots are confirmed and booked in the PurplePort diary get addresses, emails, links to all their portfolios and a PHONE NUMBER or two.

Keep links and addresses of the hotels you are staying at safe also. You can use Google docs for this-it’s a great tool and you can connect it to your phone too.

Use google maps street view to see where you are going and what it looks like- studio, photographers house or your hotel. This will help you feel familiar with the area and more confident, also, while on the hotel subject check if the hotel has PARKING. It's easy to forget and you might have to pay a large amount to park in a carpark a long way away from the hotel and drag a huge suitcase in a dodgy area at 10pm-scary!

When you head off on the tour print a copy of the document out and keep it with you to refer back to. Remember this document has emails, numbers, addresses, rate agreed and any other info on. Keep it safe. ALWAYS leave a copy of this document with someone you know so they know where you are, who you are with and can get hold of you if needs be.

Once you have decided on a location/ locations

Put out some well written castings for the areas you are visiting. Here on PP the castings are unlimited. There is no need to spam, but a casting for each area you will be in will hopefully reach everyone with the notifications on. Remember you can add pictures and links into castings on PP. See our article on getting more impact from your casting calls.

Don’t be afraid to mail people directly- yes it can be frowned upon, but there are those who appreciate the direct message and believe it to be a very good and productive thing for a model to be doing, after all you are running a business. Check who has added you to a 'want to work with' list who may be in the area, they might miss a casting call but won't miss a message.

When messaging never use "txt spk"- write a well written and thought out message. Don't just copy and paste! Try to find out the persons real name to make it more personal and polite, if possible of course, as a lot of people have pseudonym - but look at their references to see if their real name has been used. Remember you want to come across as best you can. First impressions are crucial!

Explain you are on tour, where you are stopping and details you feel necessary to include. There is no need for an essay. Keep it to the point, short, snappy and positive. If they want more information you can give it to them in the next email.

Use the search effectively

On PurplePort the search facility is quite comprehensive and has some really useful tools to make your life easier.

For example you can find all photographers within a small distance, say 20 miles, of where you are planning to go. You can then select to exclude anyone you have messaged in the last 30 days. You can then use the results to send photographers a message about your new availability. Even this can be done easier by moving your mouse over their name and when the mini-portfolio appears click the new message icon () to send a message directly from the search.

If you have a list of people you don't wish to work with then you can select your list from the "not in" section and they won't then be listed.

You can specifically limit the search results to only people that have said they want to work with you by selecting from the WTWW me? section.

Hotels/ accommodation

Keep an eye out for Travelodge deals. You can occasionally get rooms for £10, £12 and £15! Etap is also a good one to look at for occasional £18 rooms.

There is nothing wrong with staying with photographers while on tour and I know many models do, but it is highly recommended directly contacting at least three models who have previously worked with them to check it’s going to be safe for you to stay. There are some lovely people out there and it can be great to socialise, meet new people and make new friends but there are also those out there to be wary of so you can’t be careful enough, check, double check and check again.

If you have model friends across the UK it’s a great way to meet up, socialise and build more friendships while touring. They may be able to put you up while you tour- and in return if they ever tour your way you can also put them up.

While on tour

Studio days- It's always great to fit 1-2 studio days in on a tour (if there is a fair distance between the two locations and not a huge price difference.) You get to work with A LOT of people in a short amount of time who may even re-book you. It's also good for adding more references to your portfolio and networking.

Search studios in the areas you will be travelling too and contact them. Ask if they are interested in hosting a studio day with you. Give them links to your work and include your rates. 

Weekends tend best for studio days. Evening studio events are good too, for those that work in the day.

Money- You will most likely be getting a lot of cash in hand on tour so make sure you keep it somewhere safe. If possible pay it into the bank. Keep track of earnings and spendings.

Food- Dependant on how long you are touring for it's always good to stock up on some snack food. Cereal bars, chocolate bars, dried fruit, crisps, nuts, fizzy drinks, water, juice etc. It might not be the healthiest food but you need energy if you are going to be working every day for a few days in a row- it’s crucial to have emergency food if the Marks and Spencers or Mc Donalds over the road from your hotel is closed for maintenance-! 

Sleep and rest- crucial, long tours are exhausting (but very rewarding) you need to get enough sleep and rest as possible if you are to keep your enthusiasm levels up-! Take a bath, chill out, write a diary, have some 'me time' in the evenings if possible.

Luggage- From personal experience I always end up having about 4 different bags on tour. 

  • Suitcase- Full of shoot clothes, lingerie etc. I usually leave this in the car when staying at hotels if I feel it will be safe
  • Shoes bag- For all shoes, boots, heels etc but enough room to put make-up/ hair stuff in when shooting
  • Food bag- to generally keep in the car, but I stuff all my nibbles/ drinks in. Can take into hotels with you.
  • Travel bag- normal clothes, toiletries, hair straighteners, shampoo, lap-top if you take it, chargers, make-up. All the stuff you need to get ready on the morning of a shoot/ you will need in the hotel room

Chucking everything into one bag will drive you potty, having them neatly separate will help you find things easier and much faster, yes it’s more bags but it’s more efficient. 

Handy tips

Keep a mental or real note of the people you shoot with- so when leaving them references on your return you remember who you shot with and what they were like. Also, studios may want a reference too.

Hand out business cards- if you have them. Moo.com is superb for smart business cards.

Ask people to leave references for you- it’s a great feeling when you come back and you have 10 new references all saying nice things! :)

Keep track of your spendings and earnings- If you are self employed you can get tax back on fuel, travel costs, food etc. Keep ALL receipts to prove spendings and write down ALL you earn so the Tax man doesn't get you-!!

On returning

A nice gesture may be to mail everyone you worked with thanking them for booking you and saying how much fun you had (if you did!) it will make them feel good and show you really are making an effort with your modelling.

Leave them all references and if you like create a 'photographers I have worked with' list here on PurplePort.

Well, I hope that helps a lot of you out!

Be safe.

Artemis Fauna.

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