#writerswednesday: Inspiration, Muses and Impulses

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#writerswednesday: inspiration, muses and impulses

Hey my dears,

one of the frequently asked questions I get asked is:
“What inspires you?”
or
“Where do you find inspiration in a phase when you’re absolutely not creative?”

Cliché would say: I find inspiration in everything, the world is full of wonders, you just have to open your eyes.

And although there is truth to it, I’m not cliché enough to let it stand like that without any additional information.
Besides that I think it’s time to give credit to those that spark inspiration and help me write.

So, yes, this life, this world offers so much that you can draw inspiration from, starting with a fresh wind in the morning transporting smells to you that set your memory in motion and make you think about an event, a person or a moment of your childhood for instance that you then reflect upon. Your cat jumping elegantly onto the sofa and moving in a dainty way and you observing her to learn. It can be the weather, a flower, the news, something you see, hear, touch, perceive with one or many of your senses.
Yes, the list would get really really long and the human mind is complex enough that probably you yourself won’t be able to trace back each and every spark of inspiration that just lit the lamp in your head, you know.
But sometimes you can determine exactly where the inspiration came from.
And I’d say there are several elements that quite frequently touch upon the creative corners of the mind:
* people
* overheard conversations
* emotions
* surroundings
* social observations

We’ll take it step by step: People

There are people that with their worldview, their attitude, their physical appearance and presence just make you stop whatever you’re doing and draw you into a sphere full of ideas and creativity. You just want to listen, to observe, yes, you want to inhale them, take a bite, devour this energy.
There is this notion that creatives are like vampires that suck out the creative energy from people and their surroundings.
Or these sweaters that state “Careful. You may end up in my novel.” (I always wanted to have one of these tbh, haha)
And it’s not too far off to say that oftentimes we draw inspiration from the encounters we have with other people.
What I don’t like is the idea of vampire in the sense that we take away from another person. We do, kind of, but I personally try to avoid leaving the table empty, so I make sure I bring something myself, that way, an exchange and a fruitful mutually inspiring place is created for both parties.
I’d like to take this moment to express my gratitude towards the people I was allowed to encounter that moved my mind and made me think, feel and explode into creative ecstasy.
I’m grateful and I want you to know that you are special.

Little excursion:
Oftentimes there would be two kinds of people: Those that think that what they bring to the table would never inspire anyone. And those that think they are so inspiring that you should have written a whole book for them already.
Let me tell you something: To those that think they don’t bring enough, when an artist sends you a poem, a text, a picture, they created because of the fire you or the interaction with you ignited, don’t take it as a compliment. Take it as the truth that you are special, inspiring and that you harbour more power within yourself than you probably know.
To those that think they’re giving so many great impulses: When you watch the works of an artist that you encountered, stop trying to read yourself into it and claim it yours, it will only end up in frustration once they tell you that it wasn’t you but someone else who lit that idea. And if you ever inspire an artist, know that this is something special.
I’m sorry to say that, but sometimes this cockiness drives me mad and raises another question: Would you also claim the inspiration for an artwork if it was ugly, rough, hurtful, nasty?
Everybody wants the flowers and the blooming blossoms of beauty, but you know what? Even if you encounter a critical, nasty poem full of pain, that was based on you, it’s an honour, cause you moved their emotions enough to make them write about it.
(I know it sounds weird, but let that just sink in for a moment.)

Back to gratitude: Are there specific people that you can always go to and be sure that you’re gonna go home with new ideas?
Yes and no.
There are people who have the tendency to inspire you again and again. These are the ones I’d call a muse. And I’m more than grateful to have been allowed to meet people like these.
Not many, one specifically, but it’s a precious treasure that I value a lot.
But it wouldn’t make me try to exploit that person for the sheer sake of inspiration.
Either it comes naturally or it doesn’t.
At least that’s my attitude towards it. And it is also connected to valuing and honouring your muse by not squeezing them like a lemon and leaving them empty.

Now, does that mean if some of my close friends don’t inspire me, that I love them less?
Obviously, yes! What are they good for if they don’t lit a lyrical lamp?!
Just kidding, of course the amount of poems I write for, to or about you does say something about our connection, but it doesn’t necessarily say anything about the intensity of love I feel for you or about the love I feel for others.
There are a million reasons and a billion ways to love someone, and yes, it is a special connection you have with your muse, but none of it takes away the love my heart harbours for someone I’ve never written a piece for.
Just like the saying “The beauty of another woman doesn’t take away your own.” or however it goes, it’s the same with inspiration.
So there is no need to compete or to compare yourself and the amount of works someone produced for or about you to the works someone else inspired.
It’s a process set in motion that sometimes the artist themselves can’t describe in every detail. It just is.
Nevertheless, don’t take it for granted, but also, don’t feel bad if there’s is none or just one piece of art you inspired.
This doesn’t mean you have no meaning, and it surely doesn’t mean you’re not loved.

There is this saying that you can learn from anyone, even if it’s only what you don’t want or how you don’t want to be or want to behave.
So, inspiration can be drawn from “positive” encounters, as well as from “negative” encounters.
But often we’d prefer the feel good vibe of the word inspiration than reflecting upon the possibility that even moments and people that don’t makes us feel like cakes and cherry pie can lead to a spark of inspiration. We like this idea of being a positive impulse for our surroundings, and true, it’s nice. But let me tell you something: De Profundis by Oscar Wilde would have never been written, had he not been betrayed and sold by someone he loved and thought of as a partner.
Does this now mean we need to search for struggle and suffering in order to be great artists like Oscar?
Well, we could discuss that and I have many thoughts on this topic, too, but this would rather be dealt with in a separate post or in an additional format.
Would you like to talk about it? Well, my answer is yes.

Now, before this post gets too long, I recommend you join me on my balcony to continue this chat.
I’ll announce when the random rambling and prolific ponder is on.

How about you?
What inspires you? What inspires you in people?
Can you pinpoint it down and put a finger on specific traits, expressions, movements that ignite inspiration in you?

Please let me know in the comment section below.

So long, my dears.

xx

#modelmonday: Communicating with Models – #1 Finding the right model: How and where?

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#modelmonday: Communicating with Models

Every now and then, especially when I’m booked on workshops, I get frequently asked where to find models and how to approach them.
So, I thought it might be a good thing to write a blog post about this topic.

As this topic is quite broad and long blog posts don’t get read as much, I’m going to split the topic into several sections.
* finding models – how and where?
* approaching them / written communication
* behaving on set
* communicating after the shoot

Today, I’m trying to keep it short and simple concerning the first two points.

Well, times have changed and the formerly well frequented online platforms like model-kartei and modelmayhem are less and less frequented and experienced a fair drop in quality of the work portrayed there.
Which is also why several of the great ones that used to present their work on these platforms now deleted their accounts. Nevertheless, it’s worth keeping some pictures up there and checking now and then for some good job offers or for interesting workshops, model sharings, and of course models from your region for example.
Before the decrease, these platforms where a good option to pursue your hobby or passion or even job.
Now, today Facebook and Instagram are more and more present and I consider it fair to say that basically if you’re not present on these platforms, you rarely exist on the internet.
Nowadays only few people go and search for websites if they search for a photographer, respectively a model. (Unless your SEO content is of such a major quality that your website is one of the first three ones popping up when I google “photographer in [insert area]” for example.
I know that especially certain generations have a critical opinion towards social media and that even having a Facebook account is a nuisance to them. And by the way, I completely understand that!
But, I think it’s just fair to say that you should consider the option.

Now, wherever you search, here some general points:
Instead of searching directly for models, here’s another option: Find photographers whose style you like and click through their portfolio. Mostly the models are linked (as they should be, credit to those who deserve it, huh) and then you can check out their portfolio and see whether it matches your wishes and needs. If you’re unsure whether they are the right choice and whether they have the right work ethic, check for their rating or even ask one of the photographers that worked with them.
Read their sedcard text!!! Normally, if not totally devoured by nowaday’s crippled communication, the models show all important information, like range of work (fashion, portrait, nude, etc.), availability (full-time job or student), prices, special features (freckles, tattoos, etc.), impairments (allergies, short sightedness, etc.), measurements, skills (needs a MUA or can do make-up themselves) and so forth in their profile text.
Make really sure that your interest in working with this model is genuine, otherwise you do not only waste their, but mostly your own time as well.
Then write them a message in which you already include parts of the concept you’d like to produce with them.
If possible, have a mood board ready and/or save and like the pictures of the chosen model that you really appreciate and like.
Include pictures of the styling you’d like from their portfolio or in your mood board or if you offer the option of getting the desired clothes, tell them. (nothing more annoying than getting a request for a bridal shoot and three messages into the convo you mention that the model should bring their own wedding dress – which not every model possesses, just saying –)
Let them know, if they need make-up skills or if you provide a make-up artist.
Most importantly: State within the first three sentences if it’s a TFP or a paid shoot!
Make it easy for both you and communicate clearly. No, you don’t have to write a novel, bullet points are fine, but brief them correctly, it saves a lot of time on both sides.
And respect your potential model. If the box for “nude” is not ticked… guess what? It means they don’t do nude shoots!
(I know it sounds obvious, but believe me, you can’t imagine how many people don’t seem to pay attention to the basic info on the sedcard.)

If you visit workshops, ask the photographer who is giving the workshop whether they can recommend models.

If you are a beginner and you want to focus on technical stuff, let me give you an advice: Don’t shoot with a beginner model.
Be willing to pay! Pay for an advanced and experienced model who knows how to act in front of the cam, so you can focus on light, lens, aperture, ISO and all the other things you need to focus on.
You save yourself a lot of energy with that, because it can put pressure on you, if the model doesn’t know what to do and asks “like this?”, “should I do this?”, etc. because they feel just as insecure as you do. (same goes the other way round, but I already talked about that in another blogpost on building a portfolio)

So, once again, in a nutshell:
* search on model/photography platforms
* search on social media
* scroll through other photographers’ profiles and check out their models
* ask the leading photographer at a workshop for recommended models

* read the model’s sedcard text and check their portfolio and their range of work
* communicate your concepts and ideas clearly
* put all relevant information in your message
* state if it’s a TFP or paid shoot
* state what you provide and what they should bring
* as a beginner: be willing to pay for an experienced model

I hope my ideas provided some impulses and inspiration for you.
Let me know what you think or if you have ideas that I missed, shoot me a message.

For the sake of self-advertising:
Yes, you can book me as a model, if you wish to work with me 😉
Just scroll through my portfolio and hop over to the contact section and send me a message.

So long, my dears.

xx

#modelmonday: Kommunikation mit Models – #1 Models finden: Wie und wo?

Read in English

#modelmonday: Kommunikation mit Models

Immer wieder, besonders wenn ich auf Workshops gebucht bin, werde ich regelmäßig gefragt, wo man als Fotograf Models finden kann und wie man am besten auf sie zugeht.
Deshalb dachte ich, sei es eine gute Idee, einen Blogpost darüber zu verfassen.

Da dieses Thema recht weit und umfangreich ist und lange Einträge nicht so viel gelesen werden, teile ich dieses Thema in verschiedene Subthemen auf.
* Models finden – wie und wo?
* Auf das Model zugehen / schriftliche Kommunikation
* Benehmen am Set
* Kommunikation nach dem Shooting

Heute versuche ich kurz und knackig auf die ersten beiden Punkte einzugehen.

Die Zeiten haben sich geändert und die früher bekannten Plattformen wie model-kartei und modelmayhem werden nicht mehr so häufig frequentiert und haben zugegebenermaßen auch qualitativ einen Abstieg erfahren, wenn man sich die dort ausgestellten Werke mal anschaut.
Das ist unter anderem auch der Grund, warum viele von den “Großen”, die ihre Arbeiten dort zur Schau stellten, mittlerweile ihre Profile dort gelöscht haben.
Nichtsdestotrotz ist es ganz nützlich, wenn man ein paar Bilder dort lässt und auch ab und zu neue hochlädt und sich ab und zu mal die angebotenen Workshops und Jobs anschaut oder diese Plattformen nutzt, um zum Beispiel Models aus der Region zu finden.
Vor diesem Rückgang und Abstieg waren diese Plattformen eine gute Option, um dem Hobby, der Leidenschaft und ja auch der Arbeit in diesem Feld nachzugehen.
Heute sind da Facebook und Instagram wesentlich präsenter und es erscheint schon fast legitim zu sagen, dass man ohne ein Profil dort quasi im Internet nonexistent ist.
Heutzutage suchen recht wenige Menschen mit direkten Suchbegriffen in Suchmaschinen nach Fotografen oder Models. Und selbst wenn sie es tun, bleibt die Frage, ob sie ausgerechnet euch dann finden. (Außer ihr seid solche SEO-Spezialisten, dass eure Seite zu den Top 3 gehört, die bei der Suchanfrage “Fotograf in [Stadt oder Region einfügen]” angezeigt wird)
Ich weiß, dass besonders in bestimmten Generation ein gewisses Misstrauen und eine Abneigung gegenüber Social Media herrscht und allein die Idee einen Facebook-Account zu haben schon als lästig empfunden wird. Und ich kann das vollkommen verstehen.
Aber leider muss ich sagen, ihr solltet es als Option in Betracht ziehen.

Nun, wo immer ihr auch nach Models sucht, hier einige generelle Punkte:
Anstatt direkt nach Models zu suchen, gibt es noch eine andere Möglichkeit: Findet Fotografen, deren Stil euch gefällt und klickt durch deren Portfolio. Meistens sind die Models dort verlinkt (so wie sie es sollten, Ehre, wem Ehre gebührt, hm) und dann könnt ihr die Portfolios der Models durchstöbern und schauen, ob sie eure Wünsche und Bedürfnisse erfüllen. Falls ihr unsicher seid, ob dieses Model die richtige Wahl ist und die richtige Arbeitsmoral mitbringt, schaut euch die Bewertungen an oder fragt Fotografen, die bereits mit diesem Model gearbeitet haben.

Lest den Sedcard-Text!!! Normalerweise, sofern nicht vollends von der heutigen verkrüppelten Kommunikation aufgefressen, geben die Models alle relevanten Informationen, wie Aufnahmebereiche (Fashion, Portrait, Akt, etc.), Verfügbarkeit (Vollzeit-Arbeitende oder Studierende), Preise und besondere Merkmale (Sommersprossen, Tattoos, etc.), Beeinträchtigungen (Allergien, Kurzsichtigkeit, etc.), Maße, Fähigkeiten (kann sich selbst gut schminken oder benötigt MUA) und so weiter und so fort ihrem Text an.
Stellt sicher, dass euer Interesse an einer Zusammenarbeit echt und ernst gemeint ist, ansonsten verschwendet ihr nicht nur die Zeit des Models, sondern vor allem eure eigene.
Dann schreibt eine Nachricht, in der ihr schon einige Eckdaten eures Konzepts präsentiert, das ihr gerne umsetzen möchtet.
Wenn möglich, haltet ein Mood-Board bereit und/oder speichert die Fotos des Models, die euch besonders gut gefallen.
Schickt am besten Bilder mit, die das Styling zeigen, das ihr euch für das Shooting wünscht, entweder aus dem Portfolio des Models oder im Mood-Board und falls ihr anbietet, die gewünschte Kleidung für das Shooting zu besorgen, teilt es dem Model mit. (Es gibt kaum etwas nervigeres als eine Anfrage für ein Brautmoden-Shooting zu bekommen und nachdem man drei Nachrichten hin und her geschrieben hat, stellt sich heraus, dass das Model das Hochzeitskleid mitbringen soll – welches nicht jedes Model im Schrank hat, nur mal so nebenbei –)
Stellt klar, ob das Model eigene Schmink-Fähigkeiten mitbringen soll oder ob ihr einen MUA bereitstellt.
Ganz wichtig: Stellt in den ersten drei Sätzen klar, ob es sich um eine Anfrage für ein TFP- oder ein Pay-Shooting handelt!
Macht es euch beiden einfach und kommuniziert klar und deutlich. Nein, ihr müsst keinen Roman verfassen, Stichpunkte sind völlig in Ordnung, aber macht euer Briefing so klar und deutlich wie möglich, das spart auf beiden Seiten immens viel Zeit.
Und respektiert euer potentielles Model. Wenn das Kästchen für “Akt” kein Häkchen aufweist, dann kaum zu glauben, aber dann macht das Model keine Akt-Shootings!
(Ich weiß, es klingt offensichtlich, aber glaubt mir mal, es ist unfassbar, wie viele Leute anscheinend die Basis-Infos auf der Sedcard nicht wahrzunehmen scheinen.)

Falls ihr Workshops besucht, fragt den leitenden Fotografen, ob er Models empfehlen kann.

Falls ihr Anfänger seid und euch auf Technik mit allem drum und dran fokussieren wollt, lasst mich euch einen gut gemeinten Rat geben:
Fotografiert nicht mit Anfänger-Models!
Seid bereit zu zahlen! Bucht ein erfahrendes und fortgeschrittenes Model, das weiß, wie es sich vor der Kamera bewegen muss, sodass ihr euch auf Licht, Linse, Blende, ISO und all die anderen Dinge fokussieren könnt, auf die ihr euch fokussieren müsst.
Ihr spart euch eine Menge Energie damit, denn ein unerfahrenes Model, das euch fragt “So? Oder anders?”, “Soll ich das so oder lieber so machen?”, kann enorm viel Druck aufbauen, während ihr noch all die zuvor genannten Dinge im Blick behalten müsst, denn dann ist das Model ebenso verunsichert wie ihr und das hat enorme Auswirkungen auf das Resultat.
(Das gleiche gilt im Übrigen auch andersrum, darüber habe ich bereits in einem auf Englisch verfassten Beitrag über building a portfolio gesprochen.)

Also nochmal in der Zusammenfassung:
* sucht auf Model-/Fotografen-Plattformen
* sucht auf Social Media
* scrollt durch die Profile anderer Fotografen und schaut euch deren Models an
* fragt leitende Fotografen auf Workshops nach Empfehlungen für Models

* lest den Sedcard-Text und schaut euch das Portfolio und die Aufnahmebereiche des Models genau an
* kommuniziert eure Ideen und Konzepte klar und deutlich
* schreibt alle relevanten Informationen in eure erste Nachricht
* sagt direkt, ob es sich um ein TFP- oder Pay-Shooting handelt
* macht klar, was ihr anbietet und was das Model mitbringen soll
* als Anfänger: Seid bereit für ein erfahrenes Model zu bezahlen

Ich hoffe, meine Ideen haben euch ein paar Impulse und Inspiration gegeben.
Was denkt ihr? Und sollte ich noch Ideen und Informationen vergessen haben, schreibt mir gern eine Nachricht.

Und um der Selbstwerbung Willen:
Ja, ihr könnt mich als Model buchen, wenn ihr mit mir arbeiten möchtet 😉
Schaut euch einfach gern mein Portfolio an und kontaktiert mich dann über das Kontaktformular.

Auf bald, meine Lieben

xx

#modelmonday: The Carnival of Characters

Beitrag auf Deutsch

#modelmonday: The Carnival of Characters

Helau & Alaaf, my dears!

Well, if you don’t know what that means, probably you’re not from Germany and/or have never lived in areas where carnival a.k.a Fasching (in my area we call it Karneval) is celebrated.
No prob, it’s a great festivity before Lent, with a long tradition, where everybody dresses up as someone or something else and celebrates with parades and music (and a lot of booze).
It’s not comparable to the colourful carnival de Rio, obviously, as the weather mostly isn’t as spectacular, but many people across Germany get feverish for the 5th season, as it’s also called.
[if you want to know more about this tradition, which has its roots in Christianity, let me know or ask uncle Google or aunt Wiki :p ]

So, now, Gina, is modelling like a great carnival in front of the cam?
Do you feel like wearing a disguise or dressing up as someone else when you work as a model?

Well, for me personally, my work in front of the cam is not comparable to carnival.
Although I participated in photo projects in which I felt like wearing a disguise or rather like an actress playing a role and slipping into a different character.

dw-foto-art
justyhmakeup

But in my personal case, I have to say that modelling showed me rather more of my own facets than taking me away from my own character, I’d say.
I think, the fearful thoughts of a mother, when the kid says “Mum, I’m gonna become a model!” swirl around things like “Great, now they will get superficial, compare themselves constantly to other models, take their measurements three times a day and only eat cotton pads soaked with orange juice!”. Ergo: Panic!
And by no means do I intend to diminish or belittle these worries.
The age, in which many of the girls and boys start entering the model business, is a fragile one, one, in which the self-confidence and character is not yet as stable as to deal with the constant competition, the comparisons and the many rejections without taking it personally or connecting it to oneself and one’s body.
On the other hand, we could say that youngsters don’t have to enter the model biz for that, as peer dynamics and peer pressure do the same.
That’s what I know from my instagram-free youth. Nowadays the oh so social media just adds to it.
But what I’m aiming at, is that youngsters and young adults will end up searching for themselves and their uniqueness by trial and error anyway. One day they will run around like a hippie without a bra and the next day they’ll wear fake lashes looking like a femme fatale.
I am not denying that the pressure in the model industry, especially if pursued as a professional career and not a hobby, is another dimension!
Important note here: No matter, whether it’s normal peer dynamics or whether your children, friends, etc. decide to start modelling, let them try out things, but if you detect dangerous and harmful changes in their behaviour and thought patterns, please do talk to them! That’s my humble opinion.

Talking from my own experience, I can definitely say that there were moments in which I compared myself to other models concerning height, measurements, weight, outward appearance, hair, style, body and work ethic. But probably every employee and amateur pursuing a hobby does the same.
We compare each other and our work.
And probably that’s the biggest crux in this particular field of work: To make a distinction between your work and your body when it comes to modelling isn’t as easy as in other fields, let’s say a report, a product, a text.
If I wrote a text my client doesn’t like and they say “Gina, the text you produced does not fit my requirements.”, of course, I could take it personally, but there is the text and here I am. Although I produced the text, the text is not me.
But when a photographer says “Gina, your posture is a catastrophe and your body doesn’t look like the measurements on your profile, you seem more corpulent.”, to make this distinction between my work and my outward appearance, my body, the home of my soul, becomes far more complicated.
I think you get what I mean.

But it’s not impossible. It’s a lot of hard work, as is taking critique not too personal in general and to despair and doubt oneself directly, which probably everyone of you knows, be it professional, hobby wise or in personal matters.

Fortunately, in retrospect, I can say that modelling rather helped me see and understand my own facets than pushing me into crises.
To the contrary: On days, where work didn’t go as planned or when in personal situations things went wrong and I started doubting myself, my work and wondered what the eff I was doing, a look on my colourful portfolio often gave me a kick of “I am Miss fucking Laventura, I have been so many things already, a fairy, a nerd, a fashion model, an artificial being, the powerful rock girl, the delicate one, and so much more. Why the heck should I not be able to do it?!”

helena behle

JimP4nsen

dw-foto-art
justyhmakeup

vanessa marie

sw-fotografie

norbert josefsson

But, here’s a big BUT, that can also be related to the fact that first of all I didn’t pursue a professional model career, I didn’t run from casting to casting, and quite early on my focus was put on creative, artsy productions and later on on expressive pictures that I could combine with my texts. Maybe that helped me a bit to escape the pressure of the mainstream. (And I say that with all the love, I mean the popular fields of beauty, fashion, lifestyle, commercial).

By the way, I don’t mean to sugarcoat anything here. I received so many rejections that I can’t even put all the frustration, disappointment and doubts into words right here.
Agency after agency rejected me because they didn’t see good placement chances with their clients, because either my face was too special or not special enough.
So many jobs slipped through my fingers, although I fulfilled all the requirements, etc. etc. etc.

But through all this experimenting one can learn what feels natural and what doesn’t, where is the line between a facet of me and a role I play?
There were shootings in which I wore clothes and styles that couldn’t have felt more strange to me and I can say, it was a role I loved playing.

christian becker
visahamm

What counts then for me is: Did I play the role well? Does it come across as authentic?

Likewise, there were shootings that set out as a role, with which I couldn’t identify at all, and during the shooting itself I discovered that it was an unknown or even neglected facet of myself.

norbert josefsson

This playing and experimenting has the potential to teach you a lot about yourself, which can also contribute positively to self-confidence.
After a while, it becomes clear what feels natural and what feels like a role, which role is a role that I can identify with and which one goes completely against my natural disposition.
Likewise, it teaches you to reject projects that don’t fit you, no matter how versatile and flexible you are, because if it’s a role that you cannot bring across authentically, it doesn’t serve anyone.

And sometimes it’s just great fun to jump into a different character and to be someone you’re normally not.
Like on Karneval: You’re a princess, a king, a clown, a childhood hero.

The most important thing is that you always take the core of yourself with you.
And that means mostly and foremost to know yourself and to get to know yourself. Of course, laughing about and with yourself, too.
And in an ideal case it’s fun and enjoyable to be yourself.
With all the facets, crazy attitudes and quirks.

manufaktur lichtbild
andreas trnka

Did/do you celebrate carnival?
If so, what’s your disguise today? Who are you?
I’m sick, so I go as a bottle of cough sirup.
And you?

xxx
Gina.

#modelmonday: Der Karneval der Charaktere

#modelmonday: Der Karneval der Charaktere

Helau und Alaaf, meine Lieben!

Eigentlich war für diesen #modelmonday ein anderes Thema vorgesehen, aber da heute Rosenmontag ist, habe ich mich spontan umentschlossen.
Wer seid ihr heute? Als was habt ihr euch verkleidet?

Gina, wenn du ein Fotoshooting planst und umsetzt, fühlst du dich dann verkleidet?
Bist du dann auch jemand für den Moment, der du eigentlich nicht bist?
Ist Modeln wie Rosenmontag, nur vor der Kamera?

Ich persönlich würde meine Arbeit vor der Kamera nicht mit Rosenmontag gleichsetzen, aber ich kann definitiv bestätigen, dass ich mich bei einigen Fotoshootings verkleidet gefühlt habe, bzw. wie eine Schauspielerin, die die Rolle eines fremden Charakters einnimmt.

dw-foto-art
justyhmakeup

Allerdings ist es in den meisten Fällen für mich persönlich doch eher so, dass ich durch das Modeln meine eigenen Facetten besser kennengelernt hab.
Ich denke, die Befürchtung einer jeden Mutter, wenn das Töchterchen (oder auch der Sohn) sagt “Mama, ich werd Model!” geht so in die Richtung “Oh nein, sie wird oberflächlich werden, sich nur noch mit anderen vergleichen, drei Mal am Tag ihre Maße nehmen und nur noch in O-Saft getränkte Wattebäuschchen zu sich nehmen!”. Ergo: Panik!
Diese Befürchtungen möchte ich hiermit auch keineswegs herunterspielen, da sie leider leider oftmals berechtigt sind und das Alter, in dem viele Mädels (und auch Jungs) mit dem Modeln beginnen, ist oftmals eins, in dem der Charakter und das Selbstbewusstsein nicht so gefestigt ist, dass man dem Vergleichswahn, dem Konkurrenzkampf und den vielen Absagen standhalten kann, ohne es auf sich persönlich und den eigenen Körper zu beziehen.
Allerdings kann man auch sagen, dass die Kids (Teens, Twens) dazu nicht unbedingt ins Modelbusiness einsteigen müssen, das schafft Gruppenzwang und Gruppendynamik auch ganz von allein.
Das kenn ich noch aus meiner instagramfreien Jugend. Heute kommen die ach so sozialen Medien als Faktor noch obendrauf.
Worauf ich aber eigentlich hinauswill, ist, dass die Jugendlichen und jungen Erwachsenen so oder so in einer Findungsphase landen werden, in der sie sich ausprobieren werden, in denen sie durch die Gegend titschen und heute ohne BH im Hippielook und morgen mit angeklebten Wimpern als Femme fatale durch die Gegend düsen werden.
Dass der Druck im Modelbusiness, vor allem, wenn es sich um das professionelle Business und nicht um ein Hobby handelt, nochmal eine ganz andere Dimension annimmt, will ich hiermit absolut nicht in Abrede stellen!
Wichtiger Hinweis an dieser Stelle: Egal, ob durch allgemeine Gruppendynamik oder weil eure Kinder, Freunde, etc. sich zum Modeln entschließen, lasst ihnen etwas Freilauf, um sich auszuprobieren, aber wenn ihr merkt, dass es ihnen nicht gut tut, ihr gefährliche Veränderungen im Verhalten und in Denkmustern erkennt, sprecht unbedingt mit ihnen! Das nur als meine eigene bescheidene Meinung.

Aus dem Nähkästchen geplaudert kann ich sagen, dass es definitiv Momente gab, in denen ich mich mit anderen Models, was Größe, Maße, Gewicht, etc. anbelangt verglichen habe, Körper, Ausdruck, Haare, Arbeitsweise. Das tut sicherlich jeder Arbeitnehmer, ebenso wie Amateure, die ein Hobby ausüben. Man vergleicht sich, bzw. seine Arbeit.
Und genau das ist in diesem Bereich vermutlich der große Knackpunkt: Die Arbeit vor der Kamera ist nicht so einfach von dem eigenen Körper und Aussehen zu lösen, wie vielleicht eine Arbeit, die ich produziere, ein Bericht, ein Produkt, ein Text, eine Aufgabe.
Wenn mein Auftraggeber sagt “Frau Laventura, der Text, den Sie da verfasst haben, trifft überhaupt nicht meine Vorstellungen.”, dann kann ich das natürlich persönlich nehmen, aber da ist der Text und hier bin ich. Auch wenn ich ihn produziert habe, ist er nicht ich.
Wenn ein Fotograf sagt “Gina, deine Körperhaltung ist eine Katastrophe und nach den von dir angegebenen Maßen siehst du nicht aus, du wirkst fülliger.”, dann wird es definitiv schwieriger, diese Kritik von meinem Äußeren, von meinem Körper, dem Zuhause meiner Seele, zu lösen.
Ihr versteht, denke ich.

Aber unmöglich ist es nicht. Es ist Arbeit, genauso wie es Arbeit ist, Kritik nicht immer persönlich zu nehmen und direkt an sich selbst zu (ver)zweifeln, was sicherlich ein jeder von euch kennt, egal ob nun im Beruf, im Privatleben, im Hobby oder sonst wie.

Was ich glücklicherweise sagen kann, ist, dass rückblickend betrachtet, das Modeln eher zum Erkennen meiner eigenen Facetten und meiner Vielfältigkeit beigetragen hat, als dass es mich in heftige Sinnkrisen gestoßen hat.
Im Gegenteil: An Tagen, an denen ich aufgrund anderer Arbeiten, die vielleicht nicht so rosig liefen oder aus persönlichen Umständen, an mir selbst, dem, was ich tue und sonstigen Fragen des Lebens verzweifelt bin und nicht wusste, was ich tun sollte, half sogar manchmal ein Blick auf mein buntes Portfolio um mir den Kick “Ich bin Miss fucking Laventura, und ich bin schon so vieles gewesen, eine Märchenfee im Wald, ein Nerd, ein Fashion Model, eine Kunstfigur, die starke Rockige, das sanfte Mädchen, und so vieles mehr. Wieso zur Hölle sollte ich das jetzt nicht packen?!” zu geben.

helena behle

JimP4nsen

dw-foto-art
justyhmakeup

vanessa marie

sw-fotografie


norbert josefsson

Aber, ganz großes Aber, das kann natürlich auch sehr stark damit zusammenhängen, dass ich nie eine professionelle Karriere im Modelbiz verfolgt habe, nie von Casting zu Casting gerannt bin und mich schon recht früh auf den künstlerischen Ausdruck und späterhin sehr deutlich auf ausdrucksstarke, mit Text kombinierbare, geschichtenerzählende Darstellungen fokussiert habe, und damit vielleicht sogar dem Druck des Mainstreams (und das sage ich ganz liebevoll und meine ich absolut nicht abwertend! Ich meine damit die gängigen Aufnahmebereiche im High Fashion und Commercial Bereich wie Fashion, Lifestyle, Beauty, Kosmetik, Werbung, etc.) etwas entkommen bin.

Beschönigen möchte ich hier im Übrigen gar nichts, ich habe so viele Absagen bekommen, dass ich den Frust und die Enttäuschung und die Zweifel, die mich manches Mal dadurch einholten, gar nicht in ein paar Zeilen fassen kann. Agentur um Agentur hat mich abgelehnt, weil sie keine oder zu geringe Vermittlungschancen beim Kunden sahen, mein Gesicht mal zu speziell und mal nicht speziell genug war. Jobs, die mir durch die Lappen gingen, obwohl ich alle angegebenen Voraussetzungen offiziell erfüllt habe und und und.

Aber und dennoch kann und muss ich sagen, dass durch das Ausprobieren der verschiedenen Rollen, einem auch klar werden kann, was sich natürlich anfühlt und was nicht.
Es gab Shootings, in denen ich Kleidung und Styles trug, die sich fremder nicht hätten anfühlen können und ich kann sagen, es war eine Rolle, die ich absolut gern gespielt habe.

christian becker
visahamm

Und dann ist für mich relevant: Habe ich sie gut gespielt? Kommt der Ausdruck authentisch rüber?

Gleichfalls gab es Shootings, die für mich als eine Art Rolle begannen, weil ich mich zunächst so Null Komma Null damit identifizieren konnte, wo ich aber hinterher feststellen musste, dass es sich so verkehrt gar nicht angefühlt hat. Dadurch habe ich dann eine bislang unentdeckte oder ja vielleicht sogar verdrängte oder vernachlässigte Facette an mir selbst erkannt.

norbert josefsson

Durch dieses Experimentieren kann man enorm viel über sich selbst lernen, was wiederum sogar einen positiven Beitrag zum Selbstbewusstsein leisten kann.
Im Laufe der Zeit, wenn die Erfahrung sich häuft, weiß man auch, was eine Rolle ist, die man unbedingt spielen möchte und was eine Facette von sich selbst ist, die an diesem Termin nach vorne gekehrt werden soll. Ebenso lernt man, gewisse Projektideen kategorisch abzulehnen, weil man sich in dieser Rolle wirklich absolut nicht einfinden kann und egal, wie offen und flexibel man ist, wenn es dem eigenen Naturell absolut entgegengesetzt ist und einem widerstrebt, dann werden die Bilder meist auch nicht authentisch, expressiv und toll. Was im Endeffekt bedeutet, dass niemand der Beteiligten wirklich etwas davon hat und nur das Projekt an sich leiden würde.

Und manchmal macht es auch einfach nur Spaß, sich in die Kleidung eines anderen Charakters zu werfen und einfach mal etwas oder jemand zu sein, der man sonst nicht ist.
So wie heute, ihr seid heute Könige und Bettler, Prinzessinnen und Monster, Drachen, Polizisten, Verbrecher, Clowns und Kindheitshelden.

Wichtig ist wohl, bei allem, was man tut, dass man sich selbst im Kern immer mitnimmt.
Und dazu gehört wohl, zu allererst sich selbst zu kennen und kennenzulernen.
Und natürlich, dass man über und mit sich selbst lachen kann und im Idealfall, dass es Spaß macht, man selbst zu sein.
Mit all seinen Facetten, verrückten Attitüden, Eigenheiten.

manufaktur lichtbild
andreas trnka

Als was seid ihr heute verkleidet? Wer seid ihr heute?
Ich hänge mit einer Erkältung in den Seilen. Ich bin also heut das kleine grüne Männchen aus der Hustensaftwerbung.
Und ihr so?

xxx
Gina.

#modelmonday: Building a Portfolio

#modelmonday: Building a Portfolio

Building a Portfolio

As there are many aspiring models and hobby models out there who’d like to take a step into modelling as their profession or passion, but often don’t really know how to start, I thought about sharing some experiences, insights and my personal opinion, based on what I have learned during 10 years of standing in front of the camera myself.

I’d like to start modelling but I don’t have good photos

Now, first of all I recommend you ask yourself whether you’d like to pursue a career in this business or whether you consider it more a hobby or passion.
This is not to say that once you decided, you have to stick with that decision, you might as well turn your professional desire into a passion or make your passion your profession.
All I’m saying is that depending on your answer, the approach might be different.

1. If you’d like to pursue it as a career I recommend you get some good digitals (basically shots with no make-up, face front, face profile, sometimes front with a smile, whole body shots, often in tight clothes or bikini so your shape becomes easily visible) and directly apply to agencies.
But beware, getting good digitals isn’t always as easy as it sounds as a wrong angle might eff up your proportions completely and looking at them you’ll wonder why you ever thought you could apply to a modelling agency.
Believe me, I know what I’m talking about.
The other option is you check for open castings provided by your agency of choice, sometimes they offer open castings where digitals are also taken, but it’s always a good idea to already have some pictures with you.
And yes, that might mean you’ll have to invest. Check for photographers that offer sedcard (or setcard) photo shootings, they might help you get a good base to get a foot in the biz, and yes, as it is their profession, they want to be paid.

2. If modelling is rather a hobby or a passion for you, it’s not a bad idea to have good digitals, too, but this doesn’t necessary have to be the first step.
What you want to do is get some photos of you that show your versatility.
What do I mean by that? I mean that you want to get pictures of yourself that differ in style, styling, location, facial expression and mood you portray.
Maybe you’re lucky enough to have friends who are photographers or you know someone who knows someone, etc. to get some pictures that you can start with at least to register on platforms in order to find other creatives to collaborate with.
If not, you might consider paying a photographer for a first session in order to get a base.
Then you can for instance register on a platform that offers a space for photographers, models and make-up artists to collaborate for joint productions, free projects or even paid jobs.

digital face front -dermagdans-

I’d like to build a versatile portfolio, but how?

1. Even if you decided to pursue modelling as a career, registering on a platform where creatives meet or setting up a Facebook page or showing some pictures on Instagram might help you get attention from some amazing photographers that would like to work with you. If an agency accepted you, they often know photographers and you start off by shooting some free projects with them, which adds to your and their portfolio.

2. No matter whether additionally to your career or for your hobby or passion, checking said platforms for Tfp projects (free projects intended to broaden the portfolios of photographer and model where none earns money but the photographic results serve as compensation) is a good idea to get involved into different projects set on different locations in different outfits and styles and to work with different photographers who produce pictures in different looks.

3. Another option, which many don’t like to take into consideration, is search for photographers whose style you adore and whose work would level up your portfolio and then, yes, guess what, PAY THEM ! I know, unbelievable. Thing is this: Often times the top ranking photographers you’d love to work with don’t offer Tfp shoots. Or at least not to amateurs. And yes, darling, according to many people’s definition we are amateurs. So, if you really crave getting pictures from this photographer, save your money and go for it.
By no means do I say that you can’t ask them whether they’d be down for a Tfp shooting with you, please don’t misunderstand. I’m just saying that often times they do free projects either with very experienced models or with promising new faces. And whether you’re a promising new face or not is unfortunately not up to you to decide.

.

Should I invest into building a portfolio and if so, how much?

1. If you’re registered with an agency, they normally take care of test shoots to broaden your portfolio, so you shouldn’t pay a photographer in order to take pictures from you if your agency got you this test shoot.
Never ever should you pay for the registration with an agency or for a casting! Never ever! If you read about a casting where you should pay for the establishment of a setcard or for the photos taken by a professional photographer or anything like it, leave it, drop the idea, don’t do it, it’s not serious!
You might tend to think “but I’m not an experienced model, of course I have to invest before I earn” and well, the approach is more than true in various fields of life, but consider this: If you sent your pictures to an agency or went to a casting and they decided to add you to their list of models, then it was because they saw potential in you. Potential to get jobs, earn money, and as they earn from what you earn, it’s also the potential money they see you bringing back. So, don’t ever pay for setting up a profile or setcard for your agency. Serious and professional agencies don’t do that. They might take a certain charge from your first fees in order to compensate the expenses they had for getting you those jobs, yes, but: You don’t pay in advance!

2. Different when you’re not registered with an agency. Of course you still have the chance to participate in free projects, but there is no one providing you options like these, but you have to find them yourself, for instance on creative collaboration websites or if you follow photographers and make-up artists on Facebook and Instagram and they are searching for a model. If you only find Tfp options that don’t really add to your portfolio because you already have a million pictures in this style or because they all go into a direction you don’t aim at, there is still the possibility to search for jobs you have to pay for, but sometimes these are special offers for a specific topic. So, sometimes you only have to pay the make-up artist or it’s just a small fee you have to pay for photographer, make-up artist and post processing. And with small fee I talk round about 80 €. That’s a mofo deal!

3. So yes, I understand that you don’t want to or can’t invest a fortune into building a portfolio, but saving some money and putting it into a well spent shooting that gets you extraordinary results, is worth it. It raises the tendency that great photographers, yes, even those ones you stalk on a daily and that mostly work with very experienced models, see you and see your potential and that you get asked by cool creatives to collaborate with them.
Does this already land you jobs where you earn a lot of money? Well, if you’re really lucky, yes. In a normal case, rather not. But it gives you the chance to collaborate with other creatives whose portfolio might be broader or of high quality on Tfp, which then adds to the attention you gain, which offers you more chances for more free projects, which eventually might lead to you getting paid jobs. (Oh, and paid jobs rarely come to you via email in the morning post, while you’re drinking coffee and painting your nails or grooming your beard, if you’re a male model, you actually have to search for them and apply. Unless you just ate a fortune cookie that serves you luck 24/7, then your inbox might explode in 3,2,1….)

.

So, talking from my own experience, I can say that building up a portfolio which enabled me to work with the great photographers that I had been stalking often enough before, dreaming to work with them, thinking “they will never work with me” etc., wasn’t an easy task, but you learn a lot on the way and that’s amazing, too.
I started off with having some Tfp shoots. I was lucky enough to have caught a photographer’s eye on an event who then gave me his card and asked me to come around for a free photo shoot. That was pure luxury and I’m really thankful for that. With those pictures I registered on platforms and browsed through the Tfp jobs and applied.
And guess what: I’ve been rejected a lot. Like… A LOT!
Then I saw some jobs where you had to pay, but I watched the pictures of the make-up artists and photographers working on the projects and thought “I’d love to work with them!”. Well, round about 100 other girls thought the same, so even paying for it wouldn’t give you a guarantee to be part of the project. So, I took some of my saved money and invested in different jobs of this kind. And it WAS SO WORTH IT!
I picked them wisely and did my research well before throwing my money out of the window, but it instantly raised the level of my portfolio. It’s really important to choose wisely and to consider the quality of the photos, the uniqueness of the project etc. before you invest.
We’re talking inVESTment, not inWASTEment, huh.
It must have been round about 5 photo shootings I paid for, each of them ranging somewhere between 40 € and 100 €, so yes, I invested something between 250 € and 300 € of my hard earned and saved money into great pictures of extraordinary kind back in those days.
And they gave me the chance to work with so many great photographers on Tfp later on that now I can count several Tfp and paid shootings to my portfolio, because yes, later on, I also landed jobs where I got paid.
The way wasn’t easy, but every step was worth it!

dermagdans

I hope my recommendations and coffee chat like rambling helped you and gave you a little insight.
Feel free to share your own experience with me and let me know if you still have questions. Let me know in the comments below, shoot me an email or send me a DM on Instagram.