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Worst photoshoot casting ever !!!

November 5th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in article, photography

A few weeks ago, I got some changes in my life, and I decided to travel a little bit more than usual. I deciced to move for a few weeks in Australia, because I have a good friend there, she’s a successful Wedding Photographer in Sydney, and I m more active in Photoshoot and photography work.

I was so interested to make a few photoshoots with models of different countries, various reasons for that.. I have the time, it makes me work in english ( directing, giving instructions ), the weather and place to make outdoor photo session are amazing, with symbolic building ( sky tower in Auckland, Opera House in Sydney ) and lovely beaches.

How to find models when you are not from the country ? It was especially frustrating for me as I m managing a Facebook group of Photographers, Models and Make Up Artist in Toulouse, with more than 600 members now. so I have already my own network.

So .. how to find a models when you are photographer coming in a new country or new city ? I knew ModelMayhem to be an international directory, so for a few weeks, I tried to browse and request proposal to Models in Sydney. With a quite low read confirmation level ( when you post a message to a ModelMayhem member, you can check if he/she reads it. Fair enough, I didnt have myself the most professional portfolio even if my recent session were quite good. I finally succeeded to make 2 photoshoots ( one as a Paid Assignement , and another as TFP ) in Sydney.

What is a TFP ? 

TFP is a new vocabulary in english than I didn’t know. it means Trade For Print. You exchange your time as a photograph with the time of the model, and in exchange, you are providing the pictures of the session ( edited, sorted etc.. ). Actually it doesn’t mean you have really to print the pictures, only provide them to the model. so the both parties can add new pictures in their book and portfolio. Of course TFP ( free photoshoot session ) doesn’t attract the best models who has already some work paid, and will not need extra pictures… UNLESS.. you can provide some style and pictures they don’t already have. So if you are good, ( or famous ) , you could get some interest even for better models. In my personal case, I like more the portraits, and close up also named headshot. It’s something models rarely have, as more photographer prefers artistic, nude ( of course ) , or fashion shoots. the kind of shoots which doesn’t reveal the true “face” of the model. Anyway, it’s another article.
In Short, TFP is free job for both parties, and sure you can expect less replies and less motivation.. we will confirm this later but not only.

ModelMayhem vs StarNow !

I didn’t know ModelMayhem very well but I had an account in 2009, I find the directory and web site very ugly, but at least, the directory and database is big. My concern is the email notification, I had the feeling people weren’t receiving my messages. The quality of the directory is uneven some very good profil and some very lame .. but it is like that for any directory. For my short trip in New Zealand, I was using for the first time the travel notice, and I got an answer in 30 minutes, I was just amazed… at the end, this person didn’t show up, we were txting and whatever at the end the result is the same.
Now, about Starnow.com the website looks more modern, with a better looking model profil page, and a good casting management. Actually once I launched my first casting (with some strategic mistake as any first time ). I did it for New Zealand ( Auckland ) and for Australia ( Sydney ) , I got in a few hours 40 applications, ( I reached in total 65 applications ) , what a difference. I was really happy and started to select models and communicate. I got some unbelievable request for my casting about http://www.the-smiling-project.org ) , for exemple from Miss New Zealand 2012 !

In a casting in Starnow, you can define different roles, due to the number of requests I received, I quickly add a new role as TFP ( my first guess was to make paid assignement , that’s what I put in my project description )
Whatever the models receive the notification I got some request in the TFP category too. so I decided to focus on the free collaboration for sure. I got some exchanges with some people, but my first conclusion is : People don’t read !

As it looks like a casting and contest, people just apply. some of them add a description which shows they read about your project. but they just don’t follow up, or too slowly ( more than 2 days for a casting planned for a few days later , it’s just toooooo slow ! ). I don’t know how it works for girls and teenagers in NZ ! but they don’t seem to be concerned to have their email and notification on their phone.. while I got a micro sim at the airport for a decent price.. I still don’t understand.
At the end, I tried to organize 2 photoshoots session, one sunday ( for people which have their week end ) and another monday just before my departure.
I received a total of 23 applications for the NZ ( around 500 views ) , I selected half of the participants, and try to focus on a few of them. I didn’t have a crush on a single one, or at least it wasn’t a person interested in TFP. I selected some beginners, just to be kind, and because I was sure to be able to help them in their portfolio ( my exchange spirit.. )

Whatever Starnow is a wonderful platform for the contacts ( at the opposite of ModelMayhem, you have really a good visibility and volume of models ), the result is the same.. even with phone number and txting to be sure they will have the message, I got 2 times 2 models .. and at the end.. nobody came. Some of them just gave some lame excuses before ( a couple of hours and because i was doing a follow up before the session ), some just didn’t reply.

Models stood me up

In french we have an expression “poser un lapin”, when someone is not coming, it could be badly translated as ” put a rabbit ” that’s why I added a rabbit picture in the article.
I m mad, I never seen such a result, on 4 models who confirmed to come. none came.. and even one was promised to be paid. it was only 2 hours photoshoots, in the easiest part of the city to access ( close to the downtown with all the train stations and bus stations )  in Albert Park. The weather was better than expected in the 2 days with wonderful light. It was planned for the end of the afternoon and even people working could have come after their work or the school for the students.
So I was like an idiot waiting for a while, then I left.. I paid the parking, came from 30 km away for nothing… 2 times in a raw ! I m cursed ? well. At least I got the 100% success rate in Sydney, models were on time, professionnal, sweet, no issues on this ( only some problem with the follow up to choose the pictures and validate the best one to go public )

Why they didn’t come ?

Some reasons ( and I won’t have the truth )  :

– Too young
– Too Lazy
– Cursed and unlucky
– no Free job
– Intimidated
– Idiots

all the reasons would need to be developped, it could be a little of several factors. at least, one of the models was paid, and she didn’t came either, so… the money wasn’t the limitation.

And what about a model agencies ?

Well the funny part, before starting to use Starnow, I was looking by google if such my facebook group equivalent was existing, or any other models group )
I ended up with a model agency, so I placed an enquiry.
Well, I got a reply but it wasn’t very fast and it was like if my english wasn’t good. with a minimum of 3 hours at  85$ NZD ( around 50€ per hour ) it wasn’t so bad. but I was thinking it would have been fine to use Starnow with 20ish requests received  in a few hours. The guy wasn’t responsive enough to make it happens. 2 or 3 models he sent me , would have been good for my project. The web site was : www.nzmodelling.com

Definitely in a next trip I would try this option again just to be sure to have at least a model from the agency.

TO BE CONTINUED.. with the Sydney casting, trying to learn from the mistakes, but what mistakes I did :) that’s the question.

Conclusion  : well, too soon, i will continue to investigate.

 

 

 

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How a new idea is born : THE-smiling-project.org

September 30th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in article, emarketing, photography

I m doing a lot of things, business, entrepreneur, neuromarketing, network and event  organizer, but I m also a photographer, and single since a few weeks… what’s the point to mention this ? .. you will understand. it’s rare to find some storytelling about how the idea came and what people are thinking at the time they just got the idea. so I m writing down all the details I have think about, during a walk trip around Manly Beach around Sydney.

Fact 1 : I like portraits. the thing I prefer is taking portraits. not because of the technical challenge of the photo, but just to be able to please people, and especially the ones who never had a real professionnal photoshoot before. Actually I have dozens of friends or contacts which are using my shoots for their profile pictures, and I like this, I like to have this new relationship with someone to receive his confidence, and allow me to have the intimacy to be the first.. the first photographer I mean :)

Fact 2 : Photo Battle software available .
Part of my business is software, software for end users, photo tagging for mobile, and recently with new projects, I m involved in decision making platform, using neuromarketing but also with simple solution. One of these software is a photo battle platform, ( such hotornot, or facematch a long time ago ), it’s easier and so “mobile” to show 2 pictures side by side and to choose the one you prefer, and so, I have this plateform available, but I needed a test project of my own to make some test with more people. ( contribution, validation, upload of new pictures ). I have the technical backoffice ready for this idea, that’s why the project is possible in a short time.

Fact 3 : how to make people discuss in the real world ?

That’s the problem and the solution, I m single and photographer, I want to meet new faces, but I m also shy. how to find a way to discuss with someone you don’t know ( for exemple this morning a group of 3 teenagers which were the perfect subjects for the project ). I don’t mean this project could be the solution to find a date but a way to be at ease to discuss with new people. just a way to exchange, obtain a little “yes”, because the request is rather easy. and so the confidence will come with the time and experience.

Fact 4 : a good idea, is a simple idea,
a simple idea doesn’t need a lot of explanation, it’s easy to expose. Part of my thoughts today was to find the best pitch to expose the project, the key sentence to explain it ( the tagline ) and how to justify each part ( that’s what I m building in the same time in this article )

Fact 5 : Ignore the competition, maybe this idea exists ( because it’s a simple idea ), but I did some research with the first name I had in mind, and only 2 web sites are using it. so it will be easy to be referenced in google search engine in front of the 2 others references I found. Also, this time, the exact domain name I wanted is available. ( let’s hope it’s a correct english one )

Fact 6 : there are always some persons who are inspiring you

Actually, I need to dedicate the project to 2 persons, one than I don’t know in real yet, and another one I meet only a few weeks ago, but than I appreciate for her support. Sometimes it’s when you have new friends which doesn’t know you since a long time than they can bring you a new point of view about yourself.

Fact 7 : some people like contest.

Because once you have collected plenty of pictures, you still need to show them off ! and because of the portrait orientation of the shoots, I think the best way to entertain people to watch pictures, is the photo battle view ( so 2 pictures by screen , one click to select the “best” smile and it will load another 2 pictures side by side. this way , it can also turn the platform into a contest for both models and photographers, an option would be implemented to see the best results of the last months ( new entries ) and ALL time ( to keep the best pictures forever accessible )

< screenshot to add soon here >

What is the project then !!!!! ??? 

THE-Smiling-project.org 

Instead of explaining the project with sentences, I m detailing it with a real sample and dialog ! ( with scenario of what could happen and what to do )

me ( a photographer ) : Hello, my name is Fabrice, I m part of  THE-Smiling-project, could you smile for me ?

Case 1 : reply : no sorry, I don’t smile, I m not a nice person, I will call the police, go away
in this case, that’s fine, she is not a person you want to discuss with anyway, that’s not your fault.

Case 2 : sorry, can you tell me more ? what is this project ?

the-smiling-project is a web site when we publish a lot of photos of people smiling. just because we think it is important to share happiness moment, I asked you because I saw you are a smiling persons, so I thought you would agree to participate. We take picture all over the world just to show we are finally all the same when we are happy!

( a lot of arguments can be used, depending on the persons, but once you have the dialog opened, even if you don’t have the shoot, you have discussed with someone new ! ) and it’s better approach to just claim to be a photographer and you like the smile / face of this person.

Case 3 :

the person replies :  Yes sure, ( person smiling ) …shoot … done !

if she doesn’t ask question back, that’s not a problem, you can always give a business card, and suggest to contact you to share the picture, or ask her contact.
and after the shoot  ?

you will need to upload the picture, and it will be added in the general contest , the contest is a front page with some links to explain the project, but mainly it’s the battle view with the sentence : which smile do you prefer ?

Requirement : 

You could benefit to use a good digital camera, to look really like a photographer, but it could work with an iPhone too.. if you have the legitimity of a “THE-Smiling-project.org” business card ! ( that’s why we consider to do that , as soon as possible )

Projet summary :

web site :  http://www.the-smiling-project.org

a photo web site which connect people with a smile.
Volunteers all over the world collect happiness photos

TakeAways : 

– project to meet new persons
– platform for photographers to show their work
– social experience using crowdrating to understand people preference
– personal ( real user case of PhotoBattle  platform )

Problems still to be resolved :

How to get the contact / email / name of the persons ? if they don’t follow the project from the information of the business card.
How to not scare them if they understand they could be published online.
How to deal with moderation and allow people to tag themselves.
What business model  ? :)

More reading :

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/HumBeh_p043.shtml

http://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongbeauty/tp/smiling.htm

 

ARTICLE IS UNFINISHED YET… public just to let some helpers to review it and helps to correct or give first feedback. more content to be updated ( logo, tagline etc.. )

 

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How to design a logo – real case study for Light Image Reziser

December 17th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in article, emarketing, photography, SEO, software review

The identity of a product starts with his logo, but for a software, it will be daily seen by the users as a .ico icon on their desktop. for this case, it is a software for Windows, which will impact a little bit the choice of the design

The software name is “Light Image Resizer”, a PC program to resize photos and pictures. The light could be interpreted as not-very-powerfull, but easy, but I opt in for that risk. Also “light” is making sense for the photo market, as the photo is the art of using lights :-).
Finally it can remind of LightRoom from Adobe, without being used by popular competitors such as VSO Image Resizer, or PowerToys Image Resizer for Windows, Mihov image resizer

Before entering in deeper analysis of the choice of the design, let’s expose the current variation of the logo, there are 8 differents ones, which is too much, but it is also a way to show why you shouldn’t put too much different ones.
Despite there are 8 choices, it is all from the same graphic designer ( Fred from Beasty Design )

Vote now on http://twtpoll.com/i8dq1a

Here is coming the common mistake, you need to make sure the logo has the same size , at least in this case, they are all fitting a square of 96×96, it is very important. Of course, you will learn from the experience the only fact to have a vivid logo, will make it more visible to your user panel.

Don’t forget the past

if it is NOT a new product or version, don’t forget to include the past logo, so whatever the users voting are new or already know the product, it will be interesting to let them compare to the old logo. If the old logo still win, and the % of users voting is a majority of the past product. You will have to consider to keep the old one. And think about why you would really need to change the logo.

Take care of the layout

If it is technically possible, make the voting sheet elements perfectly even and numbered. here we have 2 lines and 4 columns, so there is always a doubt about the numbering ( I would prefer a flat single line or column layout, but it is not technically easy with the width of the article.
If someone say the number 2, which one it will be ?
so the suggestion is really to put a number clearly visible for each logo, so whatever the way they will see them, they could refer to the same logo. If you forget this detail , you will waste an incredible amount of time, as people will say, I prefer the blue one with the arrow, and you won’t be sure at 100% about which one is referred.

The art to ask the question

Now, My public question will be :

Which draft desktop icon you will prefer for Light Image Resizer software for Windows ?

I mention the kind of product it is, the draft status, and the name of the product which could influence their choice, and create a link between the name of the product and the logo itself.

I edited the poll and the question using TwtPoll, so you can easily post the poll wherever you want.

http://twtpoll.com/i8dq1a

Don’t think about it when you will vote, just select the one you see the most, and you prefer, without thinking about details.

that’s the real fast and basic recommandation to get feedback from users, in another method we will discuss the thumb up & down methods to choose the final version.

Best Portrait photographers link collection

October 10th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in article, marketing, photography
Morgan Freeman by Andy Gotts

Morgan Freeman by Andy Gotts

Out of usual topic, but because I m doing some personal research ( and it is not far of the usual Neuromarketing approach ) about the best way to build a corporate identity and a personal branding approach by investing some time and money in a good portrait completed by a good photographer

I found these links because of the Elinchrom web site ( a manufacturor of flash light units I am using )

Marco Grob
http://www.marcogrob.com/

Andy Gotts
http://www.andygotts.com/

Martin Schoellers
(read interview in Smithsonianmag , Art to buy and google his name for photo sample )

Jeff Vespa
( Google it, the web site is raising a security issue )

Les Studios Harcourt
http://www.studio-harcourt.eu/50.php

Peter Yang
http://www.peteryang.com/

Mat Szwajkos
http://www.szwajkos.com/


http://www.isabelsnyder.com/

http://www.markusklinko-indrani.com/fashion_portfolio?p=1&s=UA-17253553-1#83

A good sample of different style for Portrait lightning options
http://blog.davidgiralphoto.com/2010/08/23/10-portraits-10-different-lightings-and-10-reasons-why-i-love-them/

Photos Fabrice Meuwissen

October 6th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in emarketing, photography

Get photos and picture of Fabrice Meuwissen. This post isn’t supposed to be read, I m just checking how fast Google will index my own photos, as I have only a few available , it was on my point of view a nice topic to do a personal branding experience.
Of course, I hate to see my own face as a lot of persons, so please close this page as soon as possible :) , it sounds so weird and narcissic but for SEO I have to repeat again my name : Fabrice Meuwissen

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the Golden Ratio rule, Applied on Twitter

September 29th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in article, emarketing, photography, twitter

As a photographer, I know and use the rule of third. but I may admit I never seen before a so easy-to-understand application of the golden ratio

New Twitter design apply the golden ratio rule

this Article on Petapixel contains several interesting links to the golden ratio rule, and how it could impact and improve your web site design. Have a good reading…and if you have more sample like this, drop me a message or a comment.