When you find yourself in the middle of publishing a newspaper and you are out trying to showcase--be it the sunny or the seamy side of Birmingham--you have to rely on model citizens to cooperate. That takes both management skills and constant education when dealing with amateurs and professionals alike.
If you don´t already have agency representation, just think of yourself as an extra on a movie set, just dying to get in the picture for a crowd scene in Stay Hungry. Yes, for us it can be like herding cats. Some undiscovered Lana Turners are mercenary and want to be paid. Others are a little too anxious to mug for the media, which has to make you a little suspicious.
But there are a few basic lessons that would help the public cooperate with our efforts. Take the models as we found them at Break ´n Bread. First of all--who does their punctuation? I think it is supposed to mean Breakin´ Bread (as in breaking bread together and give us this day our daily bread). But the way they officially punctuate it, it more likely would stand for Break and Bread. Does that mean we are supposed to play billiards together as we share a crust? Or is it supposed to rhyme with break some heads? Which is what some of the bootquaking vendors seemed to believe about the tightly run ship.
But I digress (not that models cannot stand to mind their grammar, at any level of professionalism). Back to modeling techniques for the masses.
First of all, when a photographer shows up to give your business free promotion, don’t cover up the banner that could burn your name into the minds of the beholders And if you are a hand model, make sure you don’t cover up those tiny labels.
Otherwise, don’t try to look too serious-but no silly grins either. If you don’t think you can carry the modeling freight yourself, add a prop. Sunglasses can help, and a pretty girl will usually work if one just happens to walk into the picture. You know even the other girls dig them.
And just as important as who is in the picture, is who isn’t. Even if you get just the sexy smile you want, there are unschooled citizens unaware of the giant modeling panoply going on about them. They will wander behind your subject, cluttering up the background. Or even worse, wander in front of your lens between you and your subject. That is when it useful for other bystanders to be ready to set a pick or even throw a good body block.
It just goes to show, when it comes to the Weekly, anyone could become a model when they least suspect it (check out the publisher’s date to the Western Fall Wine event at the zoo (LINK TO SEPT 29 COVER). Or a photographer’s assistant, in the case of the mise en scene boundary enforcers--clear the set!
If you feel you have untapped model potential that is hindered by your unkempt coiffe or clothing, and have a sense of humor about it, let us know and we will find a good samaritan like Cindi Horton who can fix what´s broken. (See here) Just get in touch with us at email@example.com.
To the rest of you bystanders who could become models: Thanks for your cooperation!
Makeover candidates, get ready to sign the release and send a photo and a short statement why you can most benefit from a model citizen makeover to firstname.lastname@example.org with model citizen in the subject line. We will turn you over to our panel of experts for a decision.