So I had this really good blog and thought for this week's Model Monday blog, when all of a sudden, I heard the voice of Lisa Raye, saying, "Make the money, don't let the money make you." Now, where did this thought come from you might ask? Well I was on one of the international, well known modeling, sites, and I saw a "glamour" shot of a very attractive young lady, in a swimsuit, in a shower. This shot got me to thinking, not only about "clichéd" and "overdone" shots, but about out of placement shots in general.
Now there are plenty of themes and shots where being out of place works; such as, the model in the lingerie, running down the street in rush hour traffic. The shot of the couple in a tuxedo and ball gown sitting in a ball park eating a hot dog. Maybe even the shot of cats and dogs, living together. There are great movies where out of place themes work as well. The Lady in Red, who breaks away from her surroundings in the 'Matrix.' 'Scent of a Woman' with Al Pacino, was all about being out of place. Honestly, a blind man driving a Ferrari, really? These are just merely examples of how being out of place, works. When it doesn't work, a model or photographer can get a really negative stigma on their portfolios, just by one shot. It is often said, "A portfolio is only as good as its weakest shot."
In this day and age, weak shots include, but are not limited to, Caution tape, laying across railroad tracks (illegal as well, because that is trespassing on private property, but that's another subject), in the shower with a swimsuit on, and yes, even the "falling down the stairs" shot. What do they all have in common (besides being overdone)? They are often used in glamour or "eye candy" shots, and often done by models, and photographers just starting out early in their careers… (Heck, even I DID the railroad thing… well, it was a train thing, but at that time, it was cool… ok?)
Unfortunately these shots often lead to more shots like them. And then the Photographer, who is just trying to grow in photography, ends up being labeled as a "booty" photographer or worse, a GWC (Guy with camera). On the other side, the model who was 5'10, 117lbs, perfect measurements, who started her portfolio off with "eye candy" shots, because that was the only TFs being offered, finds it hard to get a fashion shoot, because none of the fashion photographers want to give her the shot, because she has caution tape in her port.
Is it that extreme? It can be, because your portfolio is your resume. If you are going to be a swimsuit model, do a shot that suits that theme. If you are going to be a fashion model, have fashion shots in your portfolio. If you are in the building stage as a model or photographer for your portfolio, try to get the shots that will lead you to the shots that you want to do. Once you go down the wrong path, you may find it hard to get back on the right one.