Model Mayhem isn't a waste | Collab with Kelly Wood Photo
Im sure you have heard the horror stories of Model Mayhem. So your mistrust and avoidance of the website as a new model are completely understandable. However, let me show you first hand why Model Mayhem isn't a waste.
Exhibit A: This recent fashion photoshoot I did with photographer, Kelly Wood. Go ahead, scroll down and check out all these gorgeous images (that I really wanted to share) then come back and let me tell you why finding photographers from model mayhem to work with is not a waste of time.
I've had a MM account for almost 4 years now and YES the creepers you have heard about have come into my inbox multiple times trying to convince me shooting with them was what I needed for my modeling career. Don't fall prey to these people. Often all they want to do is exploit you and entice you into doing shoots you would not be comfortable with. STAY AWAY from these people, unless that is your prerogative!
I use MM to come in contact with great photographers who can add something great to my portfolio. Agency suggested photographers can be expensive. Some times you can't afford to pay half a grand for 7 photos. So I make it a point to strictly use connect with photographers on MM who truly have amazing work and can add something of value to my portfolio.
Most photographers on MM are looking to do TFP shoots However, don't shoot with a photographer just because it is free. Make sure these shoots have a purpose to your brand as a model.
Kelly contacted me through MM and right off the bat I felt she was worth my time. She respectfully messaged me explaining who she was, what concept she wanted to shoot with me, the desired location, details about clothing and accessories, compensation and most importantly a multitude of LINKS to check out her work!
When a photographer contacts you on MM, it is important to take how they approach you into consideration. As listed above, Kelly approached me very professionally and left a great 1st impression. Sharing additional links to her website and social media was super important.
CHECK OUT THE PHOTOGRAPHERS WORK BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO WORK WITH THEM. I repeat look at the photographers previous work. As a starting model, you will be trying to build your portfolio, but don't fall into the trap of shooting with whoever contacts you because it is free. Look at their work and check if they have shot real models before or if they have experience in the genre of modeling you want to work in. Don't be so quick to shoot a fashion photoshoot with a family photographer.
It's not hard to steer clear of the creeps on MM, just use common sense and be specific about what you want in a photographer.
Kelly Wood's previous worked showed me what I could expect from her and I obviously was into it. Kelly provided the clothing and accessories from a collaboration with the awesome headpiece designer What A Betty. That's more effort than some agency suggested photographers will do, which I really appreciated.
Everything, from the location to the clothing, was very enjoyable. Kelly was a sweet heart and we got along so well. The shoot went very smooth and felt quite natural. I could tell that Kelly was not some inexperienced person with a camera. She gave great feedback during the shoot, came prepared, and had a lot of concepts in mind. We shot from probably 2 and half hours and time flew because it was a lot of fun.
Not only was it fun, but because I took some extra care deciding who I wanted to shoot with on Model Mayhem, I have made a great connection with a awesome photographer I am sure I will shoot with again. Not to mention I got some beautiful fashion photos to add to my portfolio and that was my goal.
Moral of the story is, if you decide to use model mayhem to make connection with photographers, designers, MUAs, etc. take your time and be sure to scope out who you decide to work with. You can find amazing people on MM, they're not all creepers.
Model Mayhem is a great resource for new (or broke) models. However, don't rely on it and if you are under 18 or really fresh to the game do not go to photoshoots alone, be smart and safe.
Hope this helps and share some of your experiences with MM below! :)
Photographer: Kelly Wood
Model: Amber Rosario
Agency: Willow Model Management