Why I Don’t Need Every Photo

I really don’t want every photo a photographer takes of me and I’m going to tell you why in this post.

There is this seemingly new trend where newer models want every photo shot of them unedited (aka raw files). I’m not saying it’s wrong. We’re all free to try to negotiate what we want, but I want to let you know why I don’t do that myself.

Let’s Jump In…

Photographed by Clever9Design

First of all, I have well into the thousands of photos of myself. It’s getting to the point where I’m having to buy more storage devices to back them up. I wouldn’t mind that if it was actually needed, but it’s really not.

In general, I think you really only need maybe 2 to 5 photos from a look if you’re using them for social media and especially for portfolio use. The rule of thumb tends to me one photo per look (outfit, set, etc) for portfolio. If you are publishing sets for monetization the number will go up, of course, but that is something that should be made clear when you schedule the shoot.

My Expectations

What I personally expect in terms of photos from a trade shoot are photos I can use. Sure, I do post galleries to Patreon so that’s 15 to 50 photos depending on how much you edit, how much we shot, the concept etc. I do have a few photographers who send a lot more, but I don’t expect that. I do prefer that the photos I get are all “usable.”

To me, “usable” means they are ready to go. I’d rather not have to sort through and dig out the blinks, unflattering poses, accidental motion blurs, etc. I can, but I think most photographers prefer to cull photos themselves anyway.

Now what about proofs? I don’t mind those and I can go through photos and choose a set or my favorites. However, I don’t demand it or expect it any more. Most of the photographers I work with are perfectly capable of doing that themselves. I was doing it more when I was shooting for Zivity because I had a better idea of what my fans liked. Now that Zivity has closed, that’s not a factor and I don’t mind the photographer making the choices at all.

Photographed by Kiran Bhat
Photographed by Kiran Bhat, MUA: Raquel Cohen

Sometimes a photographer does want to send me all the photos, unedited, so I can edit them myself. I can do that, but quite honestly, that’s not something I push for. It’s a huge amount of file space. Unless they’re just not comfortable editing them, I usually encourage them to edit as they see fit and send the edits.

What If?

Now, what if I don’t care for the edits or there is some pose I think is missing? I think this is the time to politely contact the photographer and express my concern. However, I haven’t had to do this nearly enough to warrant some kind of demanding policy. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I did it. I choose photographers to collaborate with based on their work so there are very rarely surprises in how they edit.

Summing It Up

So, in summary: I trust the photographers I work with to cull and edit photos, I don’t feel I need every raw file, and I don’t want to spend a fortune on unnecessary file storage. I’m sure these feelings partially come with my experience, both in modeling as a whole and in choosing who I work with. I also think they also just make sense when you think about it.

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