23 min

Ep. 70 – Sticky Situations for Senior Model Teams and What to Do About Them The Seniorologie Podcast

    • Entrepreneurship

Let’s face it: no matter how prepared you are, sticky and difficult situations are bound to arise for you and your model team. While I wish I could prepare you for every single situation, there’s just no way to make that happen. But, I can tell you about the sticky situations for senior model teams that I’ve faced and how I dealt with them. I hope that my experiences help you feel more confident about your own model team! Let’s dive into a few common situations and what I recommend!

Your senior model uses another photographer.

This is a big one and something I have definitely had happen to me over the years! As a senior model for your photography business, the model should be using you for their senior photos and should not be promoting another photographer. It doesn’t make sense, there’s no way around it. While I’m all about community and promoting photographers, if you’re my spokesmodel… you should be working with me. But I have had this happen to me and it is not fun!

So what do we do when this happens? First things first, try not to take it personally! I know you’re probably rolling your eyes at me right now. It’s hard not to take it personally but they are teenagers and we have to remember that. The second step is to go straight to the source and talk about it. Try to understand the situation and avoid confrontations. Ask them what happened or why they chose to use that photographer. Then after you listen, remind them of the contract and agreement they have with you. Explain why you have that policy in place so that they understand. I have found that a lot of times they forget that part of the contract or maybe they didn’t fully understand it in the first place and thought you didn’t mean this particular situation. I recommend having your senior and parent initial by this particular part of the contract to avoid any confusion.

Your senior model edits or uses a filter on your image.

I had this happen to me – and honestly the senior became famous because of it, ha. But looking back, I realize it was 100% my fault. From the start, I failed to set out my expectations about edits or filters on images. Now, I have it in my contract that they’re not to add filters or alter the images in way. Again, have your senior and parent initial if you’re super concerned about it. Remember, your models are JUST teenagers – and they don’t do these things out of hate. They just don’t think it through!  Just like with the first example of a model using a different photographer, when I see or hear about a filter, I go straight to the source and discuss it. Open communication is key.

Your senior models come to shoots unprepared.

This is definitely something I have to take ownership of in years past when it comes to models not coming to shoots prepared. Maybe they showed up with the wrong outfit that didn’t fit the theme or they were late. No matter what the situation, I can say that it happened because I didn’t do my best job communicating to them what I wanted for the shoot! I believe there is no such thing as too much communication and especially when it comes to shoots. A lot of the shoots I do with my model team have a very specific look to them, a vision that I have and I can’t expect them to fully understand that vision unless I explain it to them!

So I started creating details shoot inspiration boards with a list of what to wear and what not to wear. I share what colors to stick with and which to avoid, as well as the kind of outfits. I encourage them to text me their outfits and I send out lots of reminders about the session, too!  And, there’s always my client closet if all else fails!

An applicant just… isn’t the right fit for your team.

This sticky situation is probably the hardest.

Let’s face it: no matter how prepared you are, sticky and difficult situations are bound to arise for you and your model team. While I wish I could prepare you for every single situation, there’s just no way to make that happen. But, I can tell you about the sticky situations for senior model teams that I’ve faced and how I dealt with them. I hope that my experiences help you feel more confident about your own model team! Let’s dive into a few common situations and what I recommend!

Your senior model uses another photographer.

This is a big one and something I have definitely had happen to me over the years! As a senior model for your photography business, the model should be using you for their senior photos and should not be promoting another photographer. It doesn’t make sense, there’s no way around it. While I’m all about community and promoting photographers, if you’re my spokesmodel… you should be working with me. But I have had this happen to me and it is not fun!

So what do we do when this happens? First things first, try not to take it personally! I know you’re probably rolling your eyes at me right now. It’s hard not to take it personally but they are teenagers and we have to remember that. The second step is to go straight to the source and talk about it. Try to understand the situation and avoid confrontations. Ask them what happened or why they chose to use that photographer. Then after you listen, remind them of the contract and agreement they have with you. Explain why you have that policy in place so that they understand. I have found that a lot of times they forget that part of the contract or maybe they didn’t fully understand it in the first place and thought you didn’t mean this particular situation. I recommend having your senior and parent initial by this particular part of the contract to avoid any confusion.

Your senior model edits or uses a filter on your image.

I had this happen to me – and honestly the senior became famous because of it, ha. But looking back, I realize it was 100% my fault. From the start, I failed to set out my expectations about edits or filters on images. Now, I have it in my contract that they’re not to add filters or alter the images in way. Again, have your senior and parent initial if you’re super concerned about it. Remember, your models are JUST teenagers – and they don’t do these things out of hate. They just don’t think it through!  Just like with the first example of a model using a different photographer, when I see or hear about a filter, I go straight to the source and discuss it. Open communication is key.

Your senior models come to shoots unprepared.

This is definitely something I have to take ownership of in years past when it comes to models not coming to shoots prepared. Maybe they showed up with the wrong outfit that didn’t fit the theme or they were late. No matter what the situation, I can say that it happened because I didn’t do my best job communicating to them what I wanted for the shoot! I believe there is no such thing as too much communication and especially when it comes to shoots. A lot of the shoots I do with my model team have a very specific look to them, a vision that I have and I can’t expect them to fully understand that vision unless I explain it to them!

So I started creating details shoot inspiration boards with a list of what to wear and what not to wear. I share what colors to stick with and which to avoid, as well as the kind of outfits. I encourage them to text me their outfits and I send out lots of reminders about the session, too!  And, there’s always my client closet if all else fails!

An applicant just… isn’t the right fit for your team.

This sticky situation is probably the hardest.

23 min