In the past 30 days, I’ve had roughly 75 model applications come to me. Some which were forwarded to photographers for possible shoots, others suggested they read this blog so they could understand the reality of the industry before they jumped in, many which range from the ridiculous (photos without faces) – to the weird (bearded women) and quite a lot which just aren’t what we’re looking for. The one thing they all have in common, is they all get a measured and reasonable response.
Unlike most production companies which simply dump rejections, each email should get a reply from us. If it’s a no, then we’ll try and give a fair explanation why (and mostly the applicants understand and agree) and if possible point them in the right direction to try and work for themselves or when in their transition they may be more successful in their applications. A very small few, take personal exception to the rejection and although I understand this, they just live in a world in which reality doesn’t come into it.
We run a business. Each site has a set budget and requires a set amount of content each week for that budget. We try and match the best content we can get with that budget to make a profit, so wages can be paid and we live to shoot for another week. The profit per set is actually pretty low and we work on an economy of scale. We like to try as many new models as we can, offering more work to the ones whom we’ve seen have good results. That is all we do. Run a business.
No ‘wannabe’ trans model should think they have the right to appear on our site just as we don’t have the right to expect every trans model to work for us. When choosing the models for the US/UK sites, the final decision is mine. The buck stops with me. Often photographers have a hard time saying ‘No’ in person (as do I) but someone has to make that call, otherwise we wouldn’t be coming to our 20th anniversary. I stand by every decision I make at the time – and I’ll be the one answering for it, if wages or running costs can’t be paid.
I’m choosing a model for a photo/video shoot which people are going to want to pay to see. Modeling is based on looks, there is no way around that. Great performers can enhance a scene multiple fold and sometimes a plainer girl can be the sexiest, but the models looks are her what makes her ‘a model’.
So a model contacted me this morning. I knew who she was as I’d rejected her before – and she sent in the same photos. She claimed a photographer had told her he wanted to shoot with her in person and I had the unfortunate task of once again informing her that we wouldn’t be able to place her on a site. I took the time to answer her how I thought was fairly – and then respond to some fairly silly comments she made. This is all time that frankly, could be invested better elsewhere and I hope this blog post will answer any future issues, with a prospective model who was as unrealistic as this, but then took an edited response, out of context, to social media to try and somehow embarrass me.
Here’s a news flash. I wouldn’t write an email, which I wouldn’t stand by it’s contents. It’s sad that I’ve got to post the whole conversation to show exactly how I responded – and why her posting a snippit, makes her look sillier.
I’ll have more class than to name the model – but I rejected her solely on her looks. I’ll also resist the temptation to pick her apart physically and leave it with that she just doesn’t look like model material for me. Maybe someone else will have a different opinion, and that’s totally up to them.
The response to her application:
I’ve seen your photos across the internet, on our social networks and I’ve got to give you the same answer I give the last time you asked, which is no, we don’t have anywhere I can fit you in. Please understand, this is a business for us, a one with very slim margins and budgets which are set each month. I have to make the best choices I can for spending that budget based on the results/evidence I have on what the members want, and what returns our money. It doesn’t always work but overall it’s managed to. It’s a lot more difficult to place mature girls and especially when given the amount of models that we have awaiting shoots/reshoots.
Photographers, and unfortunately especially XXXXXX, often find it hard to say ‘No’ when asked in person – or because of where they talk to models, are in an overly positive mood. I find it particularly difficult to do so myself but I’ve responsibilities to the whole company, which the photographers don’t have.
I understand it’s disappointing, and I understand you’ll feel that you are better than some of the models on there but I have to make these choices.
“You really have no idea what you’re throwing away. I am no amateur by any means.”
I never stated you were an ‘amateur’ – and we don’t discriminate between amateurs or ‘professionals’ in any way.
“No, you never said I was an amateur but you also know nothing of my abilities, talents or skills. In my honest opinion, I believe you may be making a mistake but it is your call. Remember, Decca Records once turned down the Beatles and they’ve been kicking themselves in the ass ever since.”
My response (in reflection I should have just ignored the above email – but I wanted to let her know why skills are irrelevant)
I think equating yourself alongside the greatest pop band of all time, is trying to make the connection that you could be the greatest trans model of all time, I’d have to disagree.
Unless you can fart and hatch a chicken, I don’t have that much interest in your skills, talents or abilities. We offer photo/video (mostly solos) as you know. You’ve presented a selection of photos. That’s all I’m basing it on. Your photos – because it’s your physical image which would be 80% of the shoot. I’m sure you’ve got a great personality and from your social network posts, I think you’re probably a super cool person, but it’s down to me to make an editorial choice of what I think works for my companies websites, or not.
Offering part of the above message on social media, and without the context of my previous engagements with the model, displays why this individual will no longer be on my Xmas Card List. Enlisting a couple of social network warriors (aka sycophants aka size queens aka cock bandits) isn’t really classy or cool. So I’ll retract part of my above response, I don’t think you’re a super cool person, I think you are an utter arsehole.
We have a choice on how we run our companies. We choose to run ours by spending time in ensuring every prospective model, every customer and every fan gets some sort of answer and response from the company. We also believe in laying out the facts instead of giving people false hope and expectations. Personally, I can deal with the occasional arsehole who takes exception to how we run our business and it’s not going to stop me putting myself out personally but I hope in reading this, some people will understand, we’re just running a business.