Test requests & portfolio shoots update

I receive so many test requests that I decided to post something just to explain how I approach testing now and also give some news on what I'm planning to do with regard to my paid tests and portfolio shoots. How many models actually read my blog I don't know but this posts to Facebook & twitter so I'm hoping it reaches at least some that may have contacted me in the past.

Test shoots
So firstly as far as test shoots go, yes I test, we all do, I love nothing more than to shoot great models without constraints, to try out ideas and keep sharp. I used to test a lot, sometimes with a plan, sometimes just a raw shoot without any preset ideas but as I've become busier so the testing happens less and less. I'm now at a point where the spare days I do get to test need to be more focussed & specific to updating my book, that means generally we (the team) will source the best models we can from agencies, models that suit the concept and look we are trying to achieve perfectly, with beauty being my focus the choice of model becomes even more specific as bone structure, good skin etc. makes a huge difference. I'm likely to get one day a month to shoot 1 or 2 strong beauty stories so everything from the model to the styling has to be perfect, anyway you get the idea, tests for me are now much more specific than they used to be. I'm sure I will still get the odd unexpected free day here and there & then i may well shoot something last minute, I hope so as I do enjoy it so much but for the most part this is how I need to approach it. If I were to win the lottery tomorrow it may be a different story but until that happens we all need to earn a living and in between improve by shooting the strongest work possible.

Portfolio bookings and paid testing
I've lost count the amount of these I've done this year but quite a few, some are half day portfolio updates while others are more raw and natural agency style tests but sometimes even the natural shots need a little basic editing, all of which takes time on top of the actual time spent shooting. I don't want to become a production line portfolio photographer, I still want to be able to keep on top of the editing without compromising on the quality, I don't use shortcut filters or quick fixes when it comes to retouching so I've decided to limit the amount of bookings I now take in a week (most likely 3 at the most), I'm also looking into the possibility of running paid test days for the agency standard natural style shoots, I can shoot more models in one day in this style and the rates will also be more affordable, more on this as I start pulling the idea together... Watch this space as they say!

Shooting for submission
I used to get asked to shoot speculative submissions all the time, not so much now, I think that craze has died off a little but again it's not something I do unless it's a particularly good magazine or online magazine that will be seen by the right people. You can spend so much time pulling a team together on a submission basis and find that the story doesn't even get used, there are so many online magazines out there now, some are very good but so many are not consistent in the quality of photography or design that it can actually be counter productive to your work to be included in any case.

Abi demonstrates the simple, natural, unretouched look perfectly
(yes it's true, you don't need to look plastic in photographs!)

So that's it really, if you're a model or dancer looking to test or update your book then a paid test or portfolio booking will guarantee you get your shoot, otherwise it's more of a lottery, even if I like your look, which is often the case, I may just not have the time available to test. No harm in asking mind you, one model contacted me in the Summer and got lucky as I had a job that was postponed, she had a perfect look for beauty and we were both free so shot that same week.

If you've not worked with me before and think I must be too expensive then just drop me an email for more details, you may just be surprised!

Email contact@brianrolfe.com for all booking enquiries.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad