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Author Topic: Do you ask strangers if you can photo them and sign a model release?  (Read 6979 times)

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« on: January 25, 2009, 18:04 »
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Do you ever approach a stranger and tell them you think you could make some quality photos with them? If they agree would you ask for them to sign a release in exchange send them some of the best pictures?


« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2009, 18:56 »
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Do you ever approach a stranger and tell them you think you could make some quality photos with them? If they agree would you ask for them to sign a release in exchange send them some of the best pictures?

One time only. About 20 years ago I saw a young Asian man with a mustash that hung down about 5 inches below his face, I though his face was unique and would make for some great shots. I offered him $20.00 and photos for a release. I was with my wife at the time and he flatly said, "hell no, I'm not gay are you?" I never asked another stranger before or since.

 ..... and I never will again!  ;D

-Larry

« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2009, 19:32 »
+1
No, I wouldn't want people bothering me out in public, so I don't bother them.

« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2009, 19:51 »
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Perfect teeth, clean fingernails, ironed clothes, be on time, and sign the MRF before the shoot. Strangers? Never. Acting is much more important than looks. People usually don't act on a bus.

« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2009, 21:26 »
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I don't approach them in public either .. not saying I wouldn't do it .. I just like to evaluate a models portfolio and potential abilities before contacting them ... I prefer working with models who have a clue what they are doing LOL

avava

« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2009, 12:24 »
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Hi Klapamos,

 It is known as street casting in the industry and it is used by major motion picture companies down to little guys like myself. I find a woman offering the flier is the best approach, it might sound sexist but people generally don't feel as threatened by a woman approaching especially if the potential model you are approaching is a woman. We keep it brief and hand out a flier and ask if they would please give us a call we would love to pay them for some modeling ( our fliers always show a couple of our images and then have links to Getty and other agencies to show what work we do, we want them to realize immediately that we are legitimate ). Most people don't mind being stopped for just a second to be told they are attractive. I think in this upcoming economy you will find more people calling back just for the extra income. Very important to watch for the extroverts, people that are animated in public and draw attention to themselves these people are your best chance. If they say no thank you do not push just say thanks and move on there are billions to choose from. One place we have had good luck is gyms. A lot of gym junkies love they way they look and are flattered by the opportunity that someone else feels the same way. Always 18 and over unless accompanied by a parent.

Best,
AVAVA

lisafx

« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2009, 12:28 »
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Do you ever approach a stranger and tell them you think you could make some quality photos with them? If they agree would you ask for them to sign a release in exchange send them some of the best pictures?

I've heard of people doing this successfully.  I don't have the nerve to try it.  

What I have done, though, is given my business card to people who are extremely appealing looking and suggested they should model.  I tell them if they are ever interested in modeling I will be happy to photograph them for free in exchange for using the photos in my stock portfolio.  So far everyone I have asked has seemed extremely flattered, but nobody has taken me up on the offer yet.  I should probably offer money, but I don't want to pay an amateur model before I see if they are any good.  

lisafx

« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2009, 12:34 »
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Ah, just read Jonathan's post.  Looks like money is the crucial sweetener I have been lacking :)

avava

« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2009, 12:45 »
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Hi Lisa,

 Yes, money always sweatens everything a bit ;) But I think some time you can find some younger people especially ( 18-25 ) that might want some prints in trade for the work so they can build a portfolio or just have a fun adventure ( Make sure you have a few of your best images with you. People love to see what you are talking about and some photos help break the ice ). You could always start with that approach especially the extroverts.
 It is also important that you are the kind of person that comes across as warm and trustworthy, I don't think that would be a problem for you Lisa. ;D I know a photographer that hires a professional street caster because she is so good at getting great people and the photographer is an old man know one would stop to listen to.

Best,
Jonathan

« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2009, 17:47 »
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Great topic!

Too many timid Tims and Tinas out there.

If you don't ASK you'll miss out on fantastic shots and experiences. I'm not talking microstock although most who've posed would have signed a release. One that I asked actually did. Let me recap a few portrait shots from my web site: http://www.louoates.com/HTML-NEW/contemporary_portraits.html

I just asked all these folks. Some I knew. Some were just strangers (for a short time). The top picture is the president of the Copper Valley RR in Arizona. I just flat-out asked if I could do his portrait. Just drove up to his RR office, saw the face, and asked. This shot was in one of the tunnels on his railroad.

In the 3rd row was a homeless guy with all his worldly goods attached. I just saw him in the shadows off a downtown Phoenix street and talked with him for a few minutes. I asked if I could shoot a few of him. He readily agreed with the proviso that HE tell his own story. And after digging into his plastic bags for about ten minutes he produced a nub of a pencil and two scraps of note paper whereupon he wrote his biography.

Several of the other shots were from a indie movie set. I just asked the director if I could shoot between scenes of the characters in their film persona. He agreed so I ended up shooting for three days on the set.

The last portrait is of Roy, a motorcycle fan I met in Superior, a small mining town in Arizona. He agreed to pose on Main street next to a US flag on the local VFW hall. He signed a release, I uploaded it to several sites and have generated small but steady sales.

Interesting note that day I shot Roy: The director of the film I described above asked me to be in a bar scene that day. I guess I looked sufficiently like a scruffy bar-fly type. I had other plans so I suggested Roy for the part. Not only did he get hired, he played a rapist in a major scene!

So if I didn't get out there and ask I would never have had these portraits. And I would never have so many interesting stories to look back on. I paid zero for all these shots and hundreds more.

Go ahead and ask next time you see something or someone interesting.

My only regret was not having that bar scene for my resume.


avava

« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2009, 18:19 »
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 Hi All,

 I have a friend that spent one of his days while in China in a big square where their were lots of people doing there daily shopping and milling about. He hired a Chinese wrangler and set up a seamless right there in the square with just daylight and a fill card. I have seen some of the photos they are beautiful. I think they got over 200 portraits from their day. He is one of the most out going stock photographers I know and has an unquenchable thirst for shooting.

Best,
AVAVA

« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2009, 18:24 »
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Avava,
    Great idea to set up in a public place. I think that would work just about anywhere large numbers of people are.

avava

« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2009, 21:14 »
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 Just make sure you have permission fro the city usually just a $25-50 dollar pass call the city ahead of time to acquire it. Just in case the police pull up if you have your pass they won't bother you, they might even pose for you. :D

Best,
AVAVA ;

« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2009, 21:18 »
+1
If you don't ASK you'll miss out on fantastic shots and experiences. I'm not talking microstock although most who've posed would have signed a release. One that I asked actually did. Let me recap a few portrait shots from my web site: http://www.louoates.com/HTML-NEW/contemporary_portraits.html


I think there's a difference between saying - "Hey, you're an interesting guy, mind if I snap your image?" and "Hey, you're an interesting guy, mind if I snap your image, and sell it for up to $30 a shot, possibly making me hundreds of dollars, by the way, you could be on a viagra ad, would your mom mind?"

avava

« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2009, 21:32 »
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 Hi All,

 I think SJ is trying to make a good pint here.
It is important to educate all your models that you use as to how or where their images might end up. That they will be used for advertising and we cannot control the buyer or buyers that might use them to represent their company. From McDonald's to Viagra. I've been doing this for a while and have had only one experience where a buyer used an image of ours inappropriately and Getty had them remove it immediately. Still unfortunate as it hurt a neighbor of ours back when we were first starting out.
   But it will bite you if you don't really make it clear where they could end up. I feel especially  so when shooting children that you should be careful not to place the model in a pose that might receive negative placement somewhere. Only smiling happy kids for us. Well I did shoot one crying baby but it was my wife's best friends child and she insisted we use the shot she thought it was so funny. Hopefully he doesn't run for president someday or that pic will pop up I'm sure. ;)

Best,
AVAVA

« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2009, 21:57 »
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Avava,
   I would never ask a city for a permit for such shooting. As long as I am not obstructing anybody and am on a public sidewalk or such I've never had a problem. Have I been hassled? Yep, several times by private security personnel or guards of some type or another. I've been courteous but firm in pointing out my rights to be there and photograph as I see fit. That's been the end to it so far.
   You do have to be mindful of local laws as they pertain to certain special locations. Chicago, for example, requires special permits to set up "professional" style equipment -- including a tripod-- in Millennium Park on Michigan Ave.


avava

« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2009, 23:22 »
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 Hi Louoates,

 Every city park or gathering point in Seattle needs a city permit of approval to shoot professional photos. Even our beaches need a permit. Again it's not very expensive and it keeps the shoot hassles to a minimum. Lots of people don't pay them here but in Seattle you are rolling the dice that someone won't come along and ask for your parks permit for professional photography.

Best,
AVAVA
« Last Edit: January 26, 2009, 23:24 by avava »


« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2009, 17:50 »
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What about someone like me who is experienced in shooting landscapes but has no model photography experience?  I don't feel confident enough to ask someone to model for me because I don't have any real experience except with shooting my son who loves to have his picture taken.  How does a person break into this area of photography in the first place? 

tan510jomast

« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2009, 18:03 »
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I assume that it depends on where you live and / or who you meet, isn't it?
Last summer,  I wanted to take some shots of a schoolbus. Naturally, you thought a person driving a bunch of kids would be the nicest and most approachable . I walked up with a smile, wished the fella driver, introduced myself with my business card, explained I needed school bus photos. He threw the card in my face  :o
saying , "what.. go f...o...!"     
Oops, wrong assumption. Next time I'll ask a gangster !  ;D
Hope you enjoyed my anecdote. Proverb says NEVER JUST A BOOK BY ITS COVER  ;D
(have you get better luck )
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 18:10 by tan510jomast »

« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2009, 18:12 »
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Very important to watch for the extroverts, people that are animated in public and draw attention to themselves these people are your best chance.

We call them the camwhores. All my current models come from my Friendster. I just browse my 2nd and 3d order friends and I pick the ones with 200 self-photos (mostly cellphones) or more, and those who are local.

It's also very culturally dependent. If you'd try to shoot kids in the West, you'd probably get busted as a potential pedophile. If you shoots kids in the Philippines, the parents are totally flattered and they beg for more. The problem is getting a MRF signed, as people think they are selling their house  :P
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 18:24 by FlemishDreams »

avava

« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2009, 18:13 »
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Hi Paul,

 I also have more trouble than say my wife does who is a real out going person. I try to look at it the same way as dating in high school. If I asked only one girl out the chances where slim to none that I would have a date to the dance but if I asked 5 or 6 girls now my odds are better ;). All they can say is no if you are not intrusive and kind I find most people are flattered to be asked to model even if they don't accept. If you sense you have disturbed them just apologize and move on. Many fish in the sea again look for the out going ones they seem to respond the best.
  I will say the more confidence you can muster the more at ease the person you approach will feel, people can sense you know what you are doing and that relaxes them more than a newbee does. Also remember we were all newbees at one time. One of the first models I approached in a coffee shop here in Seattle about 10 years ago is now one of my wife and my best friends and now lives in Germany and produced a shoot for us there last summer. Just ask, you never know where it will lead.
 You might start out with your friend and neighborhood base to get comfortable, good luck.

Best,
AVAVA

avava

« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2009, 18:18 »
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Hi Tan,

 Sorry about the jerk on the bus. You have to have your armour on you never know who you'll meet and what they have already experienced that day. He might have lost his job that day or something or he is just an ass. Move on to the next. Also when dealing with something like a school bus talk to the school district first and go through the proper authorities there is a good chance they might need some promotional kids on a bus for their district promotion on a trade and will show up with a bus when and where you want it. Just another approach.

Good Luck,
AVAVA

avava

« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2009, 18:20 »
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Good Idea Flemish,

 Have to add that to the bag of tricks. Thanks for sharing.

Best,
AVAVA

graficallyminded

« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2009, 18:47 »
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It's too hard to explain it all to someone - and you come across as a weirdo to some, or a jerk to others.  Some people just don't want to be bothered in public.  Once I had success with one of my mother's clients, but that's sort of leveraged.  She's a hairdresser, and was doing a color on this client she had done since the girl was an early teen.  She didn't mind at all - she had no problem filling out the model release either. 

I've approached kids at skate parks with my business card, but they never contact you back.  I just find and book my models through online networking sites now.  I have friends that would make great models, but they don't really want their pictures floating all over the internet to end up in ads or billboards they probably will never even know about.  I could care less...my mug is probably all over the place by now. 

« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2009, 19:31 »
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Paul, when you pay someone, they show up and do what you want.  You can work on taking photos and not so much on making lifelong friends or worrying about what they want.


 

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