What does a model hear the most? “Go See!” Go Sees are open casting calls where you go, clutching your portfolio to your chest, to see a photographer about a possible job. Sometimes you just go see a photographer because he needs a certain type model for his own portfolio, so you “go see him or her” and if the photographer likes you, he’ll photograph you and give you some spread sheets or slides in exchange. I have a bunch of slides from when I was starting out. Many have the photographer’s name on them. The photographer, if he or she likes you, will often give you extra shots that you can use for your portfolio after a job. That’s how I came to have a couple shots of me goofing off or just standing around looking bored while the photographer fiddled with lights and settings. Here’s what used to happen: the photographer would direct you to the set & make you move this way and that until he gets a good angle, the stylist would arrive and fix the background and the clothes, the assistant would dash up holding the light meter and stick in in front of your face, and then the photographer would sometimes shoot a polaroid to see if everything looked good. (This was in the dark ages, when nothing was digital, there were real rolls of film in the camera, and every shot counted.)
Here are some shots where the photographer’s name appears on the slides:
Here is a page of slides from a “go see” – the photographer needed lingerie shots for his book, and he gave me copies. Later, when he got a job shooting lingerie, he asked for me, so we both came out ahead. A lot of working as a model was getting along with photographers – so you can see why I was so upset when my job in Miami fell through because of an asshole photographer.
Here I am fooling around and being silly on the set. The assistant had come up to take the light meter measure and we started being goofy. You stand around for hours sometimes, waiting for everything to be ready for a shot. (The worst was when I stood on a wooden box while the assistant threw buckets of water at me for a “splash shot” – we started the shoot at 12 noon and finished at midnight!) And here is another shot (in front of a fabulous car – where we are standing around looking bored, because we had been waiting for ages for the light to be just right and for the set to be finished. (I’m on the right).
Here is Andie MacDowell and me getting goofy on a set. We were roommates and best freinds, but we only worked together this one time. I know it was for some hair product, but I can’t remember which one. The photographer gave us the extra slides from the shoot and I kept them as a souvenir. We can’t use these silly shots in our portfolios!
But we can use the good shots – here is one from the same shoot that I put in my portfolio:
Most of my time in the beginning was spent hoofing it around NYC, going to photographers’ studios, and posing for free in exchange for pictures for my portfolio – it’s only after I posed for Richard Avedon that I stopped going on “go sees” and was promoted to the model board. But that’s a story for another day!