Exposure for work?

Hate to rant but there is a trend going around where people come up with an idea to use cosplayer photos for a product and then start a kickstarter to get it paid for, with the intention of making money and only offering “exposure” as payment to all the people that did the work of creating the image.

What would happen if you tried to hire someone or buy something and told them you won’t pay themĀ but you will tell people about them? People tend to put low value on creativity. “You’re an artist that loves to do art so it’s easy for you so why should I pay you.”

Or the brainstorm idea, “With all these popular cosplayers, if we can create something using their pics, all their fans will buy it and we’ll make tons of money.”

Awesome idea, what do we pay the cosplayers that made the costume, posed in the costume and the photographer that took the photo?

“Nothing. We offer these people that already have thousands of fans, exposure.”

How would you feel if you raised the money on kickstarter, had the product made, brought it all to a con and set up a booth and every customer came up and said “I won’t pay you for it but I’ll give you exposure.”

This doesn’t apply to everyone i’m sure but cosplayers work harder than you think. They can easily spend a few hundred making a costume, hours building it, then paying for a photographer to shoot the pics. The photographer can spend hours of their time as well adding effects and polishing up the image to get it right. This is a job we love but it’s still a job and it’s kind of insulting to say, “Give me your work for free so I can make money off it.”

Rant over.

Posted in Model Advice, Photography

Model Warning and Lesson to be learned

I love working with models and I work hard to earn their trust by acting in a
professional manner. After every shoot I let them look through the images. One, it
let’s them pic their favorites so I don’t spend hours on an image they don’t even
like and two, it lets them know I haven’t been zoomed in on certain body parts or
trying to shoot at revealing angles. And I respect their space and never touch them
or say anything that makes them feel Uncomfortable.

If you think buying a camera is a way to meet women, it’s not. They are
professional and expect you to be the same. If you’re a model, PLEASE research the
photographer. Google their name, look at their images and talk to people that have
shot with them before and always bring an escort to a first shoot until you are
comfortable (if ever.)

The reason I bring this up is the message I recieved earlier today from an awesome
model I’ve worked with, asking my advice about a recent shoot with a scumbag that
enjoys coercing women into revealing clothing and then trying to pull their dresses
up himself. Read message below:

“Awhile back, I was introduced to a photographer and I joined his group, on
Facebook. We talked about shooting several times and yesterday we finally did, prior
to shooting, on Facebook messages I told him I had no problem with being sexy but
there is a limit, and he said no problem don’t want you to do anything your
uncomfortable with, I got my outfits together and he came over to approve them
before the shoot and then said I have tons of lingerie for you to look at and I went
and looked and none of it I was comfortable with, but he kept pressuring me and
pressuring me about them, I finally chose 2 dresses and those I weren’t even
comfortable with and we shot photos in those.

While shooting he constantly was trying to pull the dresses up to show more skin and
I would try and pull them down when he turned around, he then asked me to sign a
model release, which I was very skeptical about and I made him put in the release I
will review the photos before publication but I’m pretty sure the way he worded it
means nothing, and will not protect me and on top of that he tricked me into signing
a second release with that statement not on there.. I feel so violated.

Is there anything I can do?”

Modeling is a business and as a model you are the company. Protect yourself and
never do anything you are not comfortable with no matter what the person with the
camera says. If you’re too nervous or scared to say anything, that’s what an escort
is for. Pictures on the web can be around forever and a model release form not
properly read can be even more trouble. Nobody cares how many photographers you
shoot with, only that the images in your port are awesome, so don’t take chances and
shoot with people that you trust and are comfortable with. No exceptions. This
shoot she is talking about happened in a safe place, imagine if it was in the woods
or some other place.

I’ve become friends with a lot of the models I shoot with and I hate reading stuff
like this. Be smart and be safe.

Posted in Model Advice, Photo Shoots

Using copyright images in compositions

Model warning. If the people that Photoshop your images are just stealing images from the web and placing your pic over the top of it, there could be copyright problems or even lawsuits in your future. Wouldn’t be good to finally get published in a magazine and then have a lawsuit over copyright infringement thrown at you.

I’ve seen quite a few pics lately where the model was shot at a convention and then the picture just placed on a full image grabbed from the web. This is the designer or photographers fault, whether they don’t know enough Photoshop or are just in a hurry and not thinking. Then the model starts selling prints of these images placing themselves in a legal bind if ever discovered.

Photoshop users, if you are grabbing pics from the web, at least combine pieces and use Photoshop to distort or manipulate these images into something original. Or start building your own stock library of images you take when you are out and about. These people spend a lot of time and money on their costumes and deserve more than stolen images slapped in the background. And nobody wants legal problems for selling a copyrighted image.

Take the time to learn composition tools and view the hundreds of video tutorials out there. If you are charging cosplayers and doing this it is really wrong. They trust that you will deliver original images, not hack jobs. Regardless of talent or reason, nobody wants legal problems. If you insist on doing this with your images, at least let the model know so they will understand the possible problems they could face by selling or promoting these pics.

Once you start selling images and services, it’s no longer an innocent hobby, it’s a business surrounded by laws. Be careful.

Posted in Design, Model Advice, Photo Shoots, Photography, Photoshop