Ah, yes. The dreaded black list.
You may be wondering what this is. The black list is this wonderful thing in the world of photography, especially in the modeling and fashion genre, where photographers and models bad mouth and talk crap about other models/photographers and get others not to work with others. It’s a dreaded thing for me as I’m new into this genre and am trying to make a name for myself. And it is ridiculous.
Jealousy is going to abound when you get a bunch of people all going for the limited number of gigs and good photographers out there. But the way we, as an industry (both photographers and models) tear each other down is just downright ridiculous and juvenile. And there really isn’t anything, we can do about it because it will always be there. The most recent occurrence I have heard of is from a photographer from a different town in Colorado (let’s say further south than Denver), stating that a model flaked on a shoot and then spread it to other photographers whom she knew and work with. It got to a certain photographer and they are now cancelling shots with said model. The sad part is that the model had no shoot scheduled with this photographer. This is a long standing feud between the Southern photographer and the Denver scene. As this story got around, other photographers chimed in saying bad things. And if anyone knew this person, she is the most genuine, sweet person there is.
My ultimate goal is to work with beginning models. Too many times I have heard these newbies state that they have had a horrible time with their first photographer. I want to show them that it can be fun, and that they can be beautiful. If they move on from me to better things, GREAT! If not, at least they had an enjoyable time. My fear is to get on one of these “black-lists” and not be able to work with some of the fantastic models around town. Even though I have never done anything to warrant a black list, I am ever fearful. My stance has always been I don’t really care what group of models or photographers you hang out with; I just want to make great art. I’ve always been on time (mostly a half hour early), professional, fun and above board.
To my fellow photographers, be careful what you hear from other people. You don’t know the full story. Do your own research. Book them based off if you really want to work with someone. Who knows, it could be the best shoot of your career. If they flake, guess what? You don’t have to work with them ever. You don’t have to spread names. Sooner or later, they will stop getting booked.
And the last thing that has been troubling me is photographers telling models, “You aren’t a model. You are just trying to get free pictures and to have people tell you that you are pretty.” You have got to be kidding me right? Have you not looked at the body of work some of these ladies have produced? They may not be the models you see in Maxim or elsewhere, but they put in the hard work and effort just like everyone else out there. If you don’t want to shoot with them, fine, but don’t insult their effort and time that they have put out there. And send them my way; I can make them beautiful where you couldn’t.
This is the end of my rant on my first blog. I didn’t want to rant, but it has been bugging me for some time.