Sometimes I hand my photographer card to a woman that I don’t know that I find to be photogenic. I did so this afternoon at the Safeway I shop at when I am not shopping at my favorite grocery store Rainbow Coop.
I used to be terrified to approach women I would like to photograph.
I would be so nervous that most of the time I didn’t approach them at all. But then I finally mustered the courage to approach someone with my card. The first time I approached a bicyclist standing across from me on BART, the regional train transit system in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I live. She had wild red hair, and a crazy bike messenger ensemble put together from thrift store treasures. She was so eclectic and compelling that I forced myself to say hello. I remember her telling me to ‘spit it out,’ referring to my proposal that I photograph her. I think she could see I was having difficulty and she wanted to encourage me to speak my mind. We spoke for a while and it turned out she was moving to San Francisco that very instant, as we were headed into the City at the time. She said she was busy settling in to her new apartment but that I would be hearing from her.
I never heard from her, but that’s OK, because I have been asking more and more women I meet in public if I may photograph them. Not once has a women reacted badly. To the contrary, I sense that the women are flattered to be approached with such an offer. I wonder if they rush home and tell their friends?
My photographer card carries a link to this blog, so I make it easy for potential models to check out my work. I link from this blog to my primary blog at Kevin Warnock. I also link to my extensive online portfolio hosted at Model Mayhem, the leading such site in the United States, with over 600,000 models online.
I am easy to research since I share so much of my life online. My Facebook page contains lots of public status updates, as I now by default make my updates viewable to everyone, friends and strangers alike. I usually accept Facebook friend requests from strangers, so feel free to friend me before you potentially meet me again.
Sometimes, like today, I have only a short window to introduce myself. I said very little to the woman I met today as I was standing in the checkout line, which was moving quickly. I simply asked her to have a look at my portfolio because I thought she was photogenic. I did not ask her name or to photograph her. I did not ask her for her number or email address.
In the event that she’s reading this, this is the offer:
I do trades with people I find photogenic. I’ll photograph you and give you all the results at the end of the shoot, by direct transfer to your laptop or on DVD. In exchange, you’ll model and sign a model release allowing me to use the results, including on my portfolio and on my blog. A shoot typically takes 3 hours, and I can shoot at my house/studio, at your location or on location. I have a USD $6,000 camera outfit, so the results will be of very high technical quality. Your friend with a $500 camera can not replicate the results that we will get. I have a degree in professional photography, but I am a computer programmer by profession. I do photography for fun, which is why I don’t charge and why I don’t pay. I have photographed hundreds of women, and dozens of them have never modeled before, including Nicole and Cayleigh found near this post on this blog.
I have been doing this since 9th grade so I can guarantee that the results will be among the best photographs you have ever had taken of you, unless you are a professional model already and have been photographed by more seasoned photographers.
I recognize that being approached by a man you don’t know might be concerning. To reduce your worry, I meet models for coffee first. We’ll talk for 15 minutes and look through more examples of my work on my laptop. If we’re both comfortable after this meeting, we will continue to the shoot. If not, we part ways then. I will note that no model has ever declined to shoot with me after having this introductory meeting.
You may bring a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, parent or relative to the meeting and shoot. You may even bring more than one friend if you like. You will be safe and you will feel comfortable. You can look at my ID if you want.
I have lots of references. If you are interested, even if you don’t consider yourself a model and have never been photographed by a stranger in your life, I encourage you to send me an email. You don’t need to send any pictures, as I have already seen you and made a determination that I would like to photograph you.
With regard to the style of photographs, I imagine they will be similar to what you see here and on my portfolio. I am not interested in pressuring you to wear outfits that are too revealing. Whatever you feel most comfortable wearing is what I want you to bring to the shoot.
I hope that explains everything you need to know for now. I promise you’ll have fun at a shoot, and you’ll likely be introducing me to your friends after the shoot you’re likely to be so happy.