Yes, I am a Pittsburgh Model and got my start on Model Mayhem. True story. I used to do photoshoots without being paid (TFP anyone?) and walked in fashion shows with no compensation. In fact, I still do those things, if not as often. Going through old albums on my laptop the other day for some #ThrowbackThursday material, I found many images from old shoots and had a hard time not deleting every single one. That gave me the inspiration for this post though. I thought it best to share with you all a few photoshoots to avoid when you book photographers on Model Mayhem. Let’s start with:
1. 1980s Backdrops
[ LINK TO PHOTO ]
These sponge painted backgrounds top the list of photoshoot props I wish I had avoided. Yes that is me in all my pigtail glory. Even if I erased my hard drive, the photographers I made connections with on the Model Mayhem website would still have copies. More importantly, no other aspiring model would be able to learn from the mistakes I made doing so many of those shoots. I tried to keep the photographer anonymous but he fought with me about it so, it and the ones at the bottom have been linked to my portfolio where they are legally able to be displayed after working a TFP photoshoot.
2. Lingerie and Sports Cars
I had those shoes in 8th grade too, no offense. Also this is definitely someone’s mom though I have hidden all retina’s in this post to protect the model from any Internet Shaming.
3. School Girl Outfit
This girl is actually adorable, but I’ve done a shoot in this car too. You can’t tell what the car is from the pic. It isn’t a hot rod, or anything expensive. How is this turning a guy on? Most guys won’t let anyone in the driver’s seat unless it’s on their lap!
4. Naked on Floor with Guitar
Hope you scrubbed the grout before you took this pic! Again, another attractive model but chipped tile and the visible oven/dishwasher kind of kill it for me. If I were on the receiving end of this photo, I would say to my girlfriend, instead of lying on the kitchen floor “Can you please get up and make me a sandwich?”
Cosplay can be hot. This isn’t it.
6. Bikini in the Snow
At least she isn’t wearing Uggs.
7. Straddling a Railroad Track
Choo Choo….. My problem with this picture isn’t the model or even the quality of the shot, I just don’t think any pictures that instantly bring the term “running a train” to mind are a good idea.
8. Gothic on a Grave
Please don’t go chasing these public fountain waterfalls.
10. Mop Bucket
Lastly, don’t EVER get into a Mop Bucket if a Photographer asks you.
Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone though right? Oh I have many pictures worse than these, so here are some examples before you think I am on any type of high horse.
Skimpy outfit, check. Dirty stairwell, check. Upskirtsdotcom angle of the photographer showing the crotch of my underpants? CHECK! Personally, I’d rather post my amateur pictures here, before anyone else can post them to make fun of me. I’ll own the Pittsburgh Model title! Yes these pics are super terrible but how else will new models avoid making these mistakes? If you don’t think it is a serious issue, search #PittsburghModel on Instagram for an example. The pictures you will find might resemble these
Wrap yourself in tulle? I ribbon-danced with it too, at the suggestion of the photographer. “I can’t EVEN”- said every white girl after viewing. If you weren’t aware, the “Pittsburgh Model” term is often used in a derogatory way. It does not just refer to the area in which a model works or resides in. They way I hear it used around the city is to label an unattractive model who thinks they are hot, but can’t get paid work. If a model can’t do her hair and makeup well, doesn’t know poses, and then might have any physical flaws; which photographers do you think are going to go after her for no-charge shoots? The same ones that went after me. I would never make fun of someone for inexperience with a willingness to learn. Most photographers I met on Model Mayhem offered their photography services for free in order for both of us to build our portfolios; a great idea in theory. However, the photos included in this post are from some photographers who have done countless shoots yet consistently show off the same lighting, technique, and editing years later with new inexperienced models.
THERE IS A ZEBRA IN THIS PICTURE WITH ME. I can’t EVEN. It’s hilarious but also sad to see the same backdrops and similar outfits in my friend’s Model Mayhem accounts and old modeling photos that are in mine. You know how to step up the sexy of a photo right? Drop that bra strap over the side.
I think of it as the Amateur Model Gauntlet. You have to go through a bunch of unprofessional shoots (and spend time learning poses and networking) in order to improve and get to work with Great Photographers. You may have recognized the styles, props, and/or backgrounds in this post. However, I’ve not named any times to maintain a level of professionalism but I WILL disclose the info to any model who asks my advice on shooting with a particular photographer that I may have shot with. Any Photoshoot is not always better than No Photoshoot! Do lots of research and networking before you ever get in front of a camera unless you want photos like this haunting the internet for eternity. Everyone else, cut us Pittsburgh Models some slack, we all had to start somewhere. I appreciate the time and effort of many photographers, who genuinely want to learn the craft. THANK YOU for putting up with my terrible poses. So do you have any horror stories from photoshoots or advice for new models? Comment below!