Test shoot before the shoot?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by Cinka, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. Cinka

    Cinka TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone, I have a pretty important shoot coming up and have placed ads on various sites in search of models. I've gotten a good response and have narrowed it down. However, since I've never worked with these models before, I'm wondering if I should ask them to test shoot before the big shoot? Does anyone else do this?

    Thanks!

    ~Kristen
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Not my area of expertise, but I would say it sounds like common sense to me if you can. The more prep work you do before hand, the better off you will be; you could find that one of these models can't/won't pose the way you want, or doesn't work for your particular scenario. Better off to know that ahead of time than to have to worry about it the day of.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Are you more worried about the model or about yourself?

    To a professional model, it might seem unprofessional if you need them to help you 'practice'. But if you are willing to pay (or compensate) them for their time, I don't think that most would care.

    Would it be enough for you to use a friend or family member to test with?

    If it is a really big/important shoot, you will probably have back up equipment, in case something breaks or stops working. You should probably have back-up models. Or at least some cross over, in case one (or more) don't show up or don't work out.
     
  4. Cinka

    Cinka TPF Noob!

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    No, I'm concerned about the models. Since I haven't worked with them before, I want to make sure they're what I need, right sizes, look either. I've found that models may look great in their potfolios, but less so in person, especially when you post ads you run the gambit of good and bad models. This shoot could mean alot of future work for me and I just want to make sure the models are great.

    I guess, rather than a "test shoot", I could call it a "Go See" - would that work?
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It certainly would be a good idea to at least meet them first, maybe even take a few test shots at that time.

    Remember that professional shots (like you would see in a portfolio) might have had a lot of benefits like professional hair & make up...not to mention post processing. You can't expect them to just show up and look like their portfolio shots, but if they do, that's all the better.

    Also, you could always hold auditions or something like that. Bring in as many models as you want, then call back the ones you want. That's what would typically happen for a big job etc.
     
  6. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Testing is not the norm for trade work. Testing is the norm for agencies, and casting for professional gigs with paying clients.

    For trade work, I would simply meet them ahead of time for coffee and go over shoot ideas and get to know them. You'll get a better idea of what they look like outside of their online portfolio, have a chance to discuss the particulars of the shoot, and evaluate their propensity to flake.

    That said, flaking can be a real problem sometimes. Not as big a deal if it's just you and the model doing TF* work, but if I booked hair/makeup/wardrobe and had a model flake on me there isn't a snowball's chance in hell I'd work with them again.
     
  7. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Hmm, I wouldn't care what the "norm" was. If I wanted them to come in for a screen test they would either do it or sacrifice the privilege of working for me. That said I'm such a nice guy I would pay transportation and supply lunch. ;)
     
  8. Cinka

    Cinka TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone! Very helpful. I think I will go ahead and at least meet the models beforehand. Yes, they're getting paid for the shoot, so I'd say it's part of the job. Agency models do casting calls or Go-Sees with photographer and clients, so there ya go.
     

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