People Photography as Hobby

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ElNico, Aug 10, 2017.

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  1. ElNico

    ElNico TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone. I'm not sure if this is the proper sub-forum to be asking this question in, but it seemed like the closest match. Basically I'm looking for communities that share my interests. If I should be posting this elsewhere let me know.

    So, I've recently decided I'd like to get into "people photography" at a hobby level, as opposed to a professional level. ("Professional" for my purposes here means being skilled enough that you can expect to charge money for the service based on the quality of your work.) Not looking to make a career out of it or even make any money, just as something to do for fun. I figure I can't be alone in that interest; surely there are people interested in human-subject photography as a hobby, just as there are people who enjoy photographing landscapes or wildlife or fruit as a hobby. But while those other types of photography are things you can just go out and do, people photography requires people interested in having you take pictures of them.

    Now, for most hobbyist activities that involve or require people getting together, like climbing (which requires two people) or flying model airplanes (which can be done alone but which people evidently like doing in groups), there are communities for that. The difference though is that this is an asymmetrical activity, and so requires two groups of people with two different interests to meet. Now again, I figure I can't be alone in this interest, and I know that there are people who enjoy modelling just for kicks (for a variety of reasons). So I'm here looking for places where these people can find eachother; or some other way of facilitating the former interest.

    For that matter, I see no reason why these two demographics shouldn't overlap; people who enjoy being on both ends of the camera. Either that and/or just the meeting of the two would be fine.

    Does what I'm describing sound remotely like a thing that exists?

    Sorry if that was a bit of a long-winded explanation. I've been into photography for a long time but this is my first time trying to connect with other photographers, so I just have no idea whether this is a thing or not.

    Thanks! :)


     
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  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hi, and welcome!

    I'm interested in portraiture, but I have no models. When I visit my grandchildren, the oldest one likes to pose, but that is about it for me. I'm about ready to hire a model off the street.

    Yes, there is a thing called "trade for portfolio" or "trade for prints" so the photographer doesn't have to fork over cash. The aspiring model is willing to pose in exchange for some prints that he/she can add to his/her portfolio. The photographer needs to make some prints, but that's not a tremendous cost.
     
  3. ElNico

    ElNico TPF Noob!

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    Sounds good, but here's the thing: How good do I need to be in order for my work of her to be worth adding to her portfolio, worth it enough that she's willing to pose in exchange for it?

    I'm asking that because I don't know. I feel intuitively that the answer is "Good enough that I COULD be charging for my services, but in this case I'm not," but that's just my gut. Am I wrong?

    I don't mind having to prove that I'm good, and I don't mind investing in improving my skills, including investing money in taking courses. What I don't want, is to have to meet a standard of skill or "professionalism" such that not having a portfolio containing paid work is taken as an indication of falling short of that standard. Does that make sense?

    Put another way, I don't want to attempt to do what you describe and get shot down in response for "not being a real photographer." Because I don't want to be a "real photographer," I just want to do this for fun as a hobby. But I don't know to what extent that criticism/distinction is even a thing; it's just my gut again.




    What's more, you referring to the person as an "aspiring model" sounds more restrictive that what I have in mind. Photographing an aspiring model would be great, but I know women who have had professional glam photos taken of them just because it's fun, not because they plan on having an actual career in modelling. I was hoping to find a way for people who like having pictures taken of them just for fun to connect with people who like to take pictures of people just for fun. Failing that though, what you describe would do, just so long as I can actually do it without having to show paid work as proof of my legitimacy.



    EDIT - Case in point, this article describes the concept in terms of professional photography; either you get paid for what you do (photographer or model), or your goal is to reach that point someday. Is there an equivalent concept in hobby photography?
     
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  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Modelmayhem.com

    ISO Connection on Facebook.
     
  5. ElNico

    ElNico TPF Noob!

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    ModelMayhem appears to be primarily if not entirely professionally-oriented (correct me if I'm wrong), and when searching for models it does not allow you to sort by level of experience. (Actually, the search parameters seem very scant compared to the amount of information on a model's profile; is there an advanced search or something?) Finding a model on that site who is willing to be shot by an amateur photographer seems like it would be very difficult, no? Or am I missing something?

    EDIT - Alright, so I did a search for models in my city, and it didn't take long to find at least one person listed as "no experience" and "Compensation: Time for print." So apparently it is a thing on there. However, I still can't see how to search for those parameters, and I feel like I should be able to. Is it possible? Thanks! :)
     
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  6. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Model Mayhem is largely a dead community. The site has major technical issues on a good day and it's attendance has dropped like a rock.

    Check out Facebook groups. In my area it's called "buffalo area models and photographers" and TFP work is traded constantly.
     
  7. TheLibrarian

    TheLibrarian TPF Noob!

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    It's been a while since I've been on model mayhem. Looking at the browse section it doesn't look like you can filter by payment type. A trip to the movies can cost you $50. Pay your models It isn't that bad. Then it doesn't matter if you're good at photography or any of that.

    To add something new to the discussion street photography is all about candid shots. you are entirely allowed to photograph anyone in a public place... now personal interactions wise plenty of street photographers have been threatened or even got in fights or had a camera smashed. Personally I'll go up to people and ask rather than try to be sneaky or just brazen and not caring. Depends what you look like and how personable you are but I don't think anyones ever said no to me maybe once or twice or i get the vibe that they are annoyed before I approach them.

    Most girls have been flattered, one mildly scared. There's a undefined loose etiquette to the whole thing. A couple pictures is usually fine when you ask first. They start to get a little skeeved if you try to turn it into a whole photoshoot but sometimes thats ok too you have to read them and it can turn to uncomfortable quickly for no real reason. Not a bad way to meet people tho and have a little chat.

    It can be embarrassing just as going up and talking to any stranger is but fun as well and varying results. Total cheese but you can go up to girls and give them your card and say you want to take their picture sometime.

    Plenty of people not after inappropriate shots but still aware of the sensitivity of it all do have a host of tricks to get their street shots without people knowing what they're doing. Shooting off the hip or aiming for one thing then quickly turning slightly and getting what you want. That's your own moral decision.

    Busy city streets obviously have more opportunities. I feel like festival type atmospheres are more conducive but not like a ballon fest or flower fest where those are the main attraction. Great opportunities are dress up events. NY comic con, or mermaid parade. You can get a photo pass to go to the staging area at the mermaid parade early and everyone is more than willing to get their picture taken. Protest events where you might be mistaken for press though I feel protest today are less of a party atmosphere than in the 90s when it was just an excuse to see Phish.

    Comic con has been getting a bad rep for oogling all the scantily clad girls. i feel bad for a minute but once I'm into it the shame fades and I'm like a 12 year old getting Cinderellas autograph at Disney World.
     
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  8. ElNico

    ElNico TPF Noob!

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    So far I've found a dozen-odd TFP profiles (and nowhere near running out of search results), and all are "Last Active" within the past few months if not weeks or days. Seems active enough.

    I'm basically wading through the search results Ctrl-F-ing for "time for print." It's yielding results but it's a pain in the ass, and I really wish you could just narrow the search that way. Seems dumb to have so few search parameters when there are so many fields on a model's profile.

    I'll attempt to find some Facebook groups later. Thanks for the tip.

    Dude, what movie costs you fifty bucks? Yeah there's transportation and everything, but that also applies to going somewhere to do a photoshoot, so I'm inclined to compare it to just the cost of the entertainment itself.

    Your city's evidently grossly overpriced cinemas aside :p - Yes, I had already thought of comparing the cost of hiring a model to the cost of a typical night of generic entertainment. Tell me, then, how much can I expect spend paying a model for an hour or two of time? (Obviously the scale can go very high; I'm asking about the cheaper end, most likely a less experienced/established model.)

    Candid photography isn't really what I have in mind. In the past I've done basically the equivalent of photographing people as if they were wildlife, and while that has its appeal I'm looking for a change of pace. I'm interested in having some amount of say over what the model is doing and/or wearing, as well as it being a mutually enjoyable experience rather than the other party considering it work or being oblivious.
     
  9. ClickAddict

    ClickAddict No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    From my experience, a lot of models put "Paid assignments only" but are willing to do trade work.
    Most people I talk to though get much better results with Facebook groups. usually more active and many have group "get together"s to shoot. These would be ideal for you as they are great places to improve your portrait skills and more importantly to make connections. Many "models" in smaller cities towns know that they will never be full time models to pay rent and are there because they love the art and activity. For these models, many are very accommodating to new photographers.
     
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  10. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Your lack of self-confidence is something you'll have to work out. If you are up front and honest about your own experience, the models can decide if they want the job or not. Yes, there will be some who just won't take the job because a bad portrait may actually harm their modeling career.

    If you are not offering at least $20 an hour for two hours, you won't get any model, even a newbie, and for someone who knows how to present herself, you might be in the $50 per hour range with a two-hour minimum. Plus transportation, hair and makeup, refreshments, etc. If you can't afford that, keep looking for some amateur who is willing to kill half a day for no pay at all.

    Try your local camera club or community theater for free models. You'll still need to provide something, even if it's only bottled water.
     
  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Yes...

    MM and various modeling Facebook groups, both have plenty of active models.

    Movies here are $12.50 per ticket at one popular theater. Large sodas are $5.50 each,with free refill. Large popcorn, $8.50 with free refill.
     
  12. ClickAddict

    ClickAddict No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You mention not being able to search on "Time for Print" on Model Mayhem. I haven't used much of the search criteria because quite frankly I search my entire province for all models/photographers/MUA each time as the results are so small, it's easy to view them. But I thought you could search by pay type. Are you a member or just browsing as a guest. If not a member, become one. Some profiles cannot be found unless you are a member (You have that option to keep your account hidden from just casual people browsing) and I believe it does add search options. (I cant check it here so not 100% sure on that)
     

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