Tag Archives: models

Sloppy borders

I see them on Instagram, on Flikr, and on Facebook.

You’re not fooling me. I know, because I’ve used sloppy borders since 1989.  Real ones, not overlays generated by an artist who maybe has never been in a wet darkroom in their life.

REAL sloppy borders are achieved in the darkroom using roughened and oversized negative carriers.  Each negative creates a unique border as it reflects the image along the highly reflective surfaces of the mangled aluminum negative carrier, this reflection appears in the print.

Filed out Beseler negative carriers. (Not actually mine, mine are in a box somewhere.. but you get the point.)

Filed out Beseler negative carriers. (Not actually mine, mine are in a box somewhere.. but you get the point.)

I first started printing B&W with these borders soon after my arrival in Los Angeles in 1989, upon moving into a cool loft near downtown. A neighboring kid, a photographer, was moving over seas and had an old Beseler enlarger he was selling, so I bought it and a bunch of other stuff.

He had filed out one of the 35mm negative carriers, and these were the older ones with bright aluminum tops, not the newer solid black carriers. These created a unique border. A huge border, but this didn’t work for all the images I was printing.

Since there were 3 35mm carriers, I grabbed one and went to work on it with a file. I made one with a smaller gap, but really rough.

Wow.  It printed beautiful borders.

Mirror Mirror, beautiful REAL sloppy borders. Click to enlarge (electronically, tho)

Mirror Mirror, beautiful REAL sloppy borders. Click to enlarge (electronically, tho)

So I went on a spree of printing all my 35mm in full frame centered on the printing paper.

Then in the mid-90s, back in Austin, I started scanning slides and along came a plug-in for Photoshop called PhotoFrame. This also allowed me to customize the frames and I scanned a large print, cut out the photo to leave the sloppy borders. I then took to placing these around color slides or negatives I’d print.

Now, with apps, you can try to fool people into thinking you shot with film, processed the film and scanned from a real print.

But I still have that border file. I’ve located it and will start using it. It creates a border frame unlike anything provided by Instagram or XnRetro.

Marissa in the old studio. Notice the way her legs are reflected in the border? Doesn't happen in Apps, people...  (click to kinda enlarge)

Another REAL print with sloppy borders.. Marissa in the old studio. Notice the way her legs are reflected in the border? … (click to kinda enlarge)

Go hit my gallery and look at the older Glamor stuff. 90% of the B&W images were scanned from an actual B&W print. Sloppy borders being the real deal there, folks.

Posted in Advice, photography Also tagged , , , |

Head shot special

To celebrate getting a studio space opened up – I’m running a head shot special Feb 25th through March 2nd.

More info here:

 

Posted in Models, photography Also tagged , |

Model Search in Progress

You might have noticed it on the home page, the menu item “Models”… here is where I lay it all out for potential models who want to work with me in any project I have up my sleeve.

I’ve changed my business model a bit. I’ve decided it’s not ethical for me to try and charge models for test shoots or portfolio shoots. I’ll be photographing models for their portfolios ONLY if its someone I wish to photograph.

I’m also deciding to include some of my milder nudes into my online portfolio as soon as I can lock it against minors viewing it…

Anyway, back to the search I’m running….

During such searches, I always have to deal with the GWCs* who love to wade into the modeling waters and take a nice, long dump upstream form where the rest of us have to drink.

(* GCW= Guy With Camera. Not a true professional photographer. Closest to being a professional photographer they’ve gotten us buying a camera that didn’t already have film loaded into it… )

I’ve fielded a few possible replies already – but there was one which tipped me off there are several GCWs trolling the free ad sites right now. Several ads are tipping me off. It’s the ad which doesn’t come right out and say they’re looking for girls to get nude (naked) but it’s their intention. They often run scam ads to attract models hoping to “con” them into posing nude, usually without stating he’s wanting nude models. Watch for terms like “comfortable in own skin” as a tip-off. These guys only serve to scare off what may otherwise be a decent model…

One could, I supposed, list with the BBB but they really do not police photographers except those who do weddings & portraits.

I’d use a site like One Model Place except I feel they charge a bit too much for the responses I typically get. There I usually get models contacting me but they wish for me to pay for the privilege of photographing them.

I only pay models when I have a paying gig myself. I only use models I’ve shot with before, and I shoot only Trade For Prints with models now. If I need some models sight unseen, I’ll call an agency.

So, if you are a model reading this… what can I say except I have 30+ years as a working pro. I’ve dealt with editors and art directors and had my work actually published in magazines. I’m also a writer with lots of published work. Also, having to go through editors and end clients.

“Publishing” isn’t worth spit if it’s just your own website. Get a set of images past an art director & editor.. THEN you are published.

If you are a model reading this, PLEASE do not contact me for only paying gigs, I will not use you unless we’ve shot before on a TFCD(*P*) basis.

Yes, we have to make a living, but I’m in business and I have to make a profit and I simply will not shoot a model and pay her unless we’ve shot before.

-30-

Posted in Advice, Models Also tagged , |

Chloë Schama Reviews Ashley Mears’s “Pricing Beauty” | The New Republic

The greater supply of models has prompted a contraction in rates—even for high-end work—to shockingly low levels. The average magazine shoot, for example, pays about $100 a day. For appearing on the cover of Vogue a model gets an additional $300. “Many magazines,” writes Mears, “pay nothing at all, though lunch and snacks are often provided.” (I’m guessing that most models don’t gain real compensation through snacking.)

via Chloë Schama Reviews Ashley Mears’s “Pricing Beauty” | The New Republic.

Here’s a more direct review of this book.

I’ve dealt with my share of wanna-be models, and potential supermodels and, in one case in LA, a true model who was *almost*… Marissa.

Marissa was picked up by LA Models, and we shot and shot… producing a lot of fantastic images. LA Models was one of the top agencies in a top market.

After a few months of pimping her portfolio around, she started doing modeling in the fashion mart as a commercial model. She started making more money than as a fashion model. She was smart (one of the smarter models I worked with in LA) and went to where the odds are better at making a decent living versus going after the glitz and glamor.

What baffles me today, are all the internet models who are simply not willing to shoot or test with photographers. They upload a few “MySpace” type of images and figure to start making 100+ an hour.

I’m always meeting models who don’t even have printed portfolios.

These are the kids who go nowhere as a model.

I”m still looking for the hard working types who have a printed portfolio and are willing to do shoots on a trade basis.

 

Posted in Models Also tagged , |

Ashley Mears’ “Pricing Beauty”: What a sociologist learned by moonlighting as a fashion model.

The title of Mears’ book, Pricing Beauty, refers to her scholarly efforts to understand who or what determines a given model’s chances of success in a field glutted with gorgeous people. How does this winner-take-all market produce winners? Why does one tall, underweight, astonishingly beautiful young woman become the face of Chanel No. 5, while another languishes, doing minor magazine shoots that pay little and never catapult her to fame? Those in the industry like to imagine that there is something inevitable about the outcome. When Mears asked how they knew what made a winner, industry tastemakers explained that such models had an ineffable quality, a je ne sais quoi, that elevated them above the rest. “You know, you just know!” a stylist told Mears.

via Ashley Mears’ “Pricing Beauty”: What a sociologist learned by moonlighting as a fashion model. – By Libby Copeland – Slate Magazine.

It’s a rough world when a girl chooses to pursue a career as a fashion model. Although the author points out that commercial models make more money, the lure is the glamor…

I’ll have another post on this book – a must read for anyone pondering such a career or pushing their daughters in that direction.

Posted in Models Also tagged , , |

16 x 20 is the new 11×14

Yeah – that’s right.

I usually make 11x14s as my biggest display print, but after uncovering some saved art paper in 16×20 size, it’s time to get back to printing in that size, which is some 40% larger.

Yeah – since 50 is the new 40 (in age) I guess I can say now that 16×20 is the new 11×14.

Model search still progresses… video at 11.

Posted in Models, people, photography Also tagged , |

Model search… and bozos

There’s an old country saying which goes something like this… “Some people insist on pissing in the water they’re drinking from…”

I am referring to some other “photographers” in this town who are advertising for models everywhere, but their intent is not to produce art images for galleries.

These people actually shoot for adult websites but they do not have the balls to come out and say so, they prefer to hide behind the façade of pretending to be artists. But the possible models do not know this, and respond to the other ads only to find out the projects are anything but art.

So when I do start up a very rare model hunt, I get lumped into the same niche as these jackasses.

So they’re pissing in the well water, screwing things up for everyone who is legit, artists needing models for real art.

This isn’t anything new. These folks have been doing this since the 1990s, in one instance actually copying my ads word for word, except changing the telephone number.

It had gotten so bad, their bait & switch that two local newspapers changed their ad policy requiring ALL photographers use only one section of the paper (which costs 3x the usual rate), not the usual casting section. This changed only two months ago, and sure enough, one guy is already polluting that section with his ads for models.

Once they get a few complaints, I’ll bet that ad policy is changed again.

Posted in annoyances, dementia, Models, morons Also tagged , , , |
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