Denton Taylor: "There are a lot of wannabe fashion and beauty photographers"
I stopped reading there. Why insult people that comprise a large part of your audience?
Branching out is *incredibly* difficult and I wouldn't wish to argue otherwise. And, I am very much thinking of the younger photographers who are going through the early stages of trying to make a full-time career in my area of specialisation. But you know, if I look back on how I got my first assisting job, I may have been lucky getting an early break, but I had a couple of really tough, lean years, while contemporaries of mine were still hanging on at college and thought I was mad working for so little money. And that was just the beginning of harder times to come before it all turned around and had the good fortune to really enjoy working as a paid photographer.
GMack: Interesting reading and thanks for sharing.
I sort of got a chuckle out of the models not working until midday or later, aside from the $10K to even get out of bed. An 8AM makeup and hairstylist call is way more than some can handle. Waking up at the crack of noon is more like it. Some seem to change agencies almost weekly. Maybe they flake out as "No shows" and get let go. Worse is some agencies do not update their online talent folios, but leave what they have online "forever" and keep adding to it even though some have long since left. Looks good to have 100 models verses maybe 6.
I do wonder how much longer the fashion photographer will be around though without branching out into teaching, blogging, writing books, weddings, or whatever. I find more magazines are paying less, or none at all, for any model fees and doing more CGI and computerized art stuff instead. Paying much less for articles as well since "free blogs" are prolific too. Sign of the times I guess.
Through my books I get to interact with other, younger fashion photographers and my wife is also a makeup artist and works with other photographers. Having worked in the business as many years as I have I know how hard it is to keep finding work and make a living. That's why, when flicking through a fashion magazine one should appreciate how much work goes on behind the scenes and the intense competition the newcomers face.
iAPX: Really interesting, and I agree with the recurring problem of models being late (or even don't come at all). If you plan a shoot with, says, 5 models, take 6 models, just to be sure ;)
It's certainly been my experience here in the UK, where the agencies haven't always helped in establishing good business practices with all their models. It's not helped by the fact that when a model turns up an hour late, holding up a shoot, you can't exactly let rip at them for the trouble they've caused. That has to happen behind the scenes with their agent. In the US I think things are different and New York models are far more clued in to their responsibilities and what a shoot can cost.
The thing is, we all have to start somewhere. When I first began work as an assistant, as much as I might have thought I 'had arrived', I was definitely in the wannabe category myself at that point. I wouldn't say I say I am the best fashion photographer ever, but I do know how to produce a shoot and control a budget. The article is admittedly aimed at those wanting to branch out into commercial shooting and intended to help advise people how best to navigate a typical production.