This is my new editorial from Crush Magazine out of Paris France.
To be successful, a fashion photographer must be an exceptional problem solver. As with most professions, to be at the top means one must roll with the punches and become a creative problem solver, overcoming obstacles both seen and unseen. We have learned that this is no longer no mans land and that our clients and team expect this quality from us.
Being a professional means you can consistently create an exceptional result, in any condition – not only when conditions are exceptional. We must shoot, sometimes, when we are feeling less than artistic.
Many times, whether on location or studio, problems must be expected. I know what you are thinking, “what a negative thought process”. I would think that too except I have been a professional photographer for more than two decades and I can tell you, either you are prepared or you are not.
Many of my clients come to me and ask me about why I brought so much equipment or why we didn’t use a certain piece of equipment. Just like I have many lenses and camera bodies I have modifiers, scrims, reflectors and an entire myriad of stands and configurations. Most of these are not for use in optimal conditions; quite the contrary. In Florida, as well as many places I seem to shoot, inclement weather can pop up at a moment’s notice. Also sun can end up not being where I want it or the intensity not what I need for a certain shot. Theses are the circumstances you must prepare for. As the leader of the team you are expected to solve all of life’s little problems.
Do you have some hairpins, duct tape, 2 sided tape, clamps of all shapes and sizes, Velcro, extra swimsuits, etc.? There really is no telling what can and will happen on a shoot. If you don’t cover it you better make sure someone else will. Much of the well being of the shoot depends on your team and talent feeling great and that you are in control makes everyone feel warm fuzzies. This is one reason I try to find out what everyone likes to drink. Even something that small can make someone really feel like you care and in return they will give you their best.
The other day, I was on a remote location in Key Biscayne and my model had to be up against this banyan tree, which was infested with bull ants. Well I didn’t have any repellent but my makeup artist did! It takes a team, a trusted team, to make things happen and everyone must go beyond their expected duties to be prepared. I call this professionalism and this all goes into the final product of these types of shoots.
The following day, we had another amazing day in Key Biscayne. This day ended up being one of the hottest and most miserable days I have ever been on location. I was sweating so much that I feared changing lenses for the sweat getting into the camera body. My makeup artist and myself, as well as the crew and models had to make adjustments in our normal protocol to successfully negotiate the obstacles at hand. The heat was unbearable, sandspurs and ants, painful, and the tide was exceptionally high but we made it work.
Make certain that your team and you have collaborated before and you all know each other’s propensities, shortcomings, and idiosyncrasies. It makes the shoot go smoothly and gives you the best chances for a magical result.
I recently followed a discussion in Model Mayhem launched by a “freelance photographer” who needed assistance with shooting a model portfolio for an aspiring model he had met recently. The supportive and caring response to the question was thoughtful and complete to the extreme. It really was a tribute to the professionals that are part of this group that shared without reservation even though I sensed a unspoken consensus of incredulity that a “photographer” would be unfamiliar with posing and lighting techniques.
In the end, I suppose anyone who has ever taken a picture is a photographer and if you can get someone to pay you then you are a pro. Likewise, I know of no pro who didn’t launch their career doubtful of their readiness or worried that they would be revealed as a charlatan soon after taking their first polaroids(sorry for the reference but many of us started before the advent of digital and LCD screens).
I want to make it clear at the outset that my intention is not to demean anyone who considers himself or herself a photographer. I have had many assistants who taught me and have been willing to share techniques I may have never found in any other way.
That being said
I would really like to know how it feels to the pros out there who see aspiring photographers present and market themselves as “photographers” not to mention “professionals” when by any reasonable measure such a claim is at best a benign stretch of their own imagination,(of course, I don’t mean to include Ashton Kutcher in this set of “photographers”).
I can hit some tennis balls on the tennis court and look like I know what Im doing but I wouldn’t call myself a professional . So why is the word “photographer” bandied about so easily by so many with little more than a Coolpix and a website?
Am I just having a bad day or is this ever a minor irritation to anyone else too
BEWARE of Gina Triolo Karlsson Platinum Magazine and Simply Elegant Platinum Weddings Magazine and Simply Elegant Linens and Platinum Weddings Gala and The Couture Linen Collection and Platinum Weddings Group. She has shown her dishonesty and lack of credibility in so many ways I don’t know where to start. She and Platinum Magazine owe me and my team more than $3200 for the editorial shoot we were contracted to perform. She has also effectively stolen that drive from me which is valued at more than $400. They have yet to pay anyone for their work although I over-nighted ,via UPS, a Lacie portable hard-drive with all of the images from the photo shoot. She has become a ghost by never answering phone calls and hiding from emails and texts from both my hair and makeup artists as well as myself.
I was first contacted by Gina Triolo to photograph her “new” magazine Platinum Fashion Magazine. I found out she works out of her home at 32 Colonial Farm Rd Haverhill, MA 01832. She contacted me initially on Facebook and then it moved onto calling me on her caller id blocked phone. When I asked her about this she told me that she was being stalked and harassed by models who wanted to be on the cover of her magazines. She talks way too much and way too fast all the while patting herself on the back. However I have met editors like this in the past so I simply appeased her. She constantly talked to me about all of the people she knew and how much money she had. She talked with me over 20 times in the weeks prior to the shoot, many times 10pm and later, about the look she was wanting, locations, models, agencies, hair and makeup artists and rates for all of them. I could clearly see, many times, she was a novice at these types of shoots. However I just thought I knew so much more having been in the fashion editorial business for nearly 30 years. I helped her and suggested multiple model agencies, did card pulls, called and booked hair and makeup artists, all on my credible reputation. I let her book a hotel I suggested, The Mondrian in Miami Beach. Thank goodness I did so I wasn’t stuck with that bill.
Gina has the following know aliases.
Known Aliases: Gina M Durgin
Gina M Sgarano
Gina M Karlsson
Her birthdate is October 6, 1973
About a week prior to the shoot date Gina Triolo Karlsson requested invoices from the hair stylist, makeup artist, and myself, the photographer. She told us she wanted the invoices early so she could get them to her accounting department so we could be paid a few days after the shoot. Of course this sounded very good to all of us so we complied to her requests and got her the invoices immediately. The invoice I sent her was on June 18 2014, a few days before our shoot. The makeup artist and hair stylist both sent their payment information a few days before I sent her my information.
On the day of the shoot, I arrived about 45 minutes early, a practice I have always done since the beginning of my career. After all I wanted to make sure I had ample time to scope out locations throughout the hotel since Gina told me that we had open access to the hotel. When we arrived she was hesitant to tell us the room number since she was not even out of bed yet. That was the first bank of lies she told me to my face. After the models and hair and makeup artists congregated in the lobby Mrs. Triolo – Karlsson arrived, full of many excuses. My opinion is that of excuse making and lies are her MO and you will see this throughout this story. Gina Triolo Karlsson has given me many different names of people that don’t exist. The last person she has made up is Kathleen Humphrey but she has also used the alias Linda Ellis as well. They are supposedly at the same phone number(781-526-1906) which always goes directly to voice mail. I have never spoke with anyone other than Gina. I have left messages and have never received a voice call back. Usually what has been happening is a day or 2 later I get a BS email from her.
As I usually do, my assistant and Gina Triolo Karlsson walked around the hotel looking for shot locations. Once again she told me that she had full run and authority to shoot anywhere in the hotel. This was another lie that was uncovered during the shoot.
As I have demonstrated Gina Triolo is a scam artist masquerading as a magazine editor and multiple business owner. She claims to have been in business for many years all the while what I have learned is that she preys on those who don’t do their research or have no research to glean info from. This is what I hope those who find this on-line will get from my experience. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate calling me. I will fill in the blanks for you.
As for Gina Triolo Karlsson, my attorneys have been alerted and are in attack mode. I will get paid!
Choosing the Right Photographer For Your Modeling Portfolio is not an easy task. The first thing one must identify is results. There are many people claiming to be professional photographer today. With the accessibility of digital cameras and $100 websites it is easy for models to get lost in a world of mediocre people claiming to be professional photographers only to find themselves with bad images and hundreds of dollars gone from their pockets. The first thing I would tell you to do is check their work out. Does it look like the work you want to get. Does it look like the pages in a magazine or does it look like something your mother could have shot. Do the models in their portfolios look like professional models or like a kid they shot from a mall. Is the lighting flat or harsh or does it exude the qualities of the top photographers whose work is showcased each month in magazines and advertisements. Has any of the prospective photographers work been published and where. Published works are called “tearsheets” and are very important indicators of true professionalism. They show a concept was agreed upon, conceived, and completed in an exceptional way. Finally chosen for publication. How long they have been shooting has some to bear but I have seen photographers who have been working for 20+ years whose work is no better than someone who picked up a camera 2 weeks ago.
Your common sense usually can tell you all you need to know when looking for a photographer but beware, there are many more salesmen out there than talented photographers. Many of which should be selling used cars since they could sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman wearing white gloves in August. Look at the work and that should tell you volumes. Also look at the quality of their website as this is generally the most important showcase they have for their work. A Model Mayhem post or One Model Place does not count. Having those isn’t bad but need to point you to their “real” website. If they only have a Model Mayhem or OMP site BEWARE!!! Most of the talented photographers I know really aren’t salespeople. They are artists and love and are passionate about what they do and take tremendous pride in making beautiful images. They also know the elements that must be present to create beautiful images consistently.
Have they worked with top model agencies and if so which ones. Top model agencies include IMG, Next, Elite,Mega,Ford, Wilhelmina, Women,MC2 ect. Look at the work! You should be able to tell of they are shooting top talent. How is the styling?; how is the hair and makeup? Did the model do their own or was it done professionally. That is another big clue for you who are looking for great results from a photo shoot. Top hair and makeup artists will rarely work with inexperienced photographers since they won’t receive anything for their work. Top stylists generally want to work with great photographers and talent so they can upgrade their books with new images of their makeup and hair styles on beautiful people.
Don’t fall into the trap of free photographs or TFP(Test for Prints) or TFCD(Test for CD of the images) These photographers are starting out and unless you are willing to waste much of your time for the hope of a few “maybe” images you should pass. This really is a place where you get what you pay for. I do photograph some models for free but I am generally trying out a new concept or new piece of equipment or maybe just trying out a model before I use them on a big job. Low prices can mean much of the same as a free photographer. Photographers, in general, know what they are worth in the marketplace. Most of the best photographers will charge by the “Look” which means per outfit. I charge between $450 and $550 per three look test. The price variance is based on location. I ALWAYS use professional hair and makeup artists and they will charge $150 plus depending on their skill level.
Ask other models of their dealings as well. Was the photographer polite, on-time, prepared? Did he problem solve easily? Did he give you what he promised? Ask them about the effectiveness of their images with this photographer they recently shot with. Any new jobs since the new photos? Any new client interest? Has anyone in the fashion business made mention of them(wow those are really beautiful ect)? It is very important to have a barometer on how the new images have helped or hurt your book. Does the agency like them and put them in your book? I have had the pleasure of shooting models from every top agency in the world and am proud to say that my images have been used to promote them successfully.
Be careful out there!!! With all the kids running around with cameras they bought off Ebay of got as a gift from their parents, it is hard to separate the real from the pretenders. Hope I gave you some ways to do so. Feel free to call me directly for a quote or any questions you may have. My cellular number is (954)529-1390
Miami Agency Models Stop Wasting Time! That is the most important asset you have and it is your youth. Time is your enemy in this business and therefore you cannot afford to act as if you have all of the time in the world. You don’t! There is a shelf life on you and you will get to a point where you cannot model anymore. So doesn’t it make sense to fast track your self buy getting the best photos done by the best photographers available to get you book in the best shape immediately?
Too many girls and guys come to me wanting me to shoot them after spending a year or two on free photographers only to continually be let down when your agency doesn’t like what was produced. Another day wasted shooting and this affects not only the look of your book but also your self esteem. When you continue to shoot pointless and bad images with those free photographers who prowl around sites like One Model Place and Model Mayhem , you start to question your involvement in the industry and ask yourself questions like “can I really model” or “maybe I am just fooling myself. I see it all the time! I also see the look on their faces when I shoot them and see how “stunned” they appear when I am shooting beautiful and sexy images of them. They tell me often “I really cant believe that is me”! That is because they are so psychologically beat down after wasting all of that time that I must spend time building them back up.
To me this is probably the best thing about digital imagery. The model can receive immediate feedback and see the results thus bolstering their self-esteem. I noticed this when I started working digitally out in 2001 in Los Angeles and the celebrities knew about LCD viewing before I really did. I would shoot an image and they would say “let me see that”. Digital cameras have flooded the market and with many newbies picking up a camera for the first time it may be difficult to tell if you are talking to a photographer or a salesman. The work ALWAYS tells the story. Look at their work and style. Can you see yourself in their images? If so ask pertinent questions such as agencies they have worked with, published work, website?, and references either from other models or agents and also parents. I have no problem giving references and anyone else who is legitimate shouldn’t either. Do your homework or you will get burned. Remember in this digital age, There are many who will call themselves “photographer” but all they really are is a salesman.
The really good photographers charge you because they know their results are proven. They are not experimenting like the “free photographer” or really cheap one who is just hoping the shot will turn out. A really good photographer has tried and true ways of working, has a team of hair and makeup artists, has his locations he has used many times with outstanding results, and has his lighting down pat. You are in good hands with them whether you are a seasoned pro or just starting out. They know what poses look best and light that looks best on face shapes and garments you are shooting.
This is why the very best models always have the best photos. They leave the freebies behind and know they get what they pay for. Therefore, also, they will sequentially get the best jobs and get paid more money. And the most important thing they are gaining is time, longer time making a higher rate in the modeling business.
Matt Dunn ,Top Model Photographer, in Orlando Florida. Top fashion, advertising, and celebrity photographer will open another studio in Orlando Florida. His work is associated with clean fashion imagery as well as slick advertising campaigns for such famous clients as Walt Disney World, Everything But Water, Ron Jon Surf Shops, and ABC Television to name but a few. His slick fashion editorial spreads have been published in Vogue, Harpers’s Bazaar, Marie Clair, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour in many countries and his work has been published in 86 countries. His stock imagery is in the libraries of Corbis, Getty, and Super Stock. He has been photographing celebrities and supermodels for three decades and is available for assignment world-wide. Still working in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, and Miami, he will be also available for model development, model agency consultation, select weddings, portraits, and advertising work in the Orlando Florida area. Please feel free to contact Mr. Dunn at (954)529-1390 for consultation.
New “Dangerous” Fashion and Beauty Story by Matt Dunn Photography!!! We came up with the idea for a woman “James Bond” type story. The beautiful model is Carolinne from Next Models Miami. I was the stylist and weapon wrangler(all of the weapons are from my arsenal. They include my crossbow, Marlin 60SS, Sig Sauer P220, and Windham Weaponry AR-15 with an Aim-Shot HG-Pro reflex sight and 4X magnifier. The camera is a Nikon D300 with a Nikon 70-200 2.8 AF-S lens. The amazing makeup and hair was done by the incomparable Sherilyn Segal and many of the makeups were custom-formulated by her on the spot for this shoot.
A big thank you for all concerned in this shoot including Guess Clothing, American Eagle, American Apparel, and Kohls.
Here is a new fashion editorial I have half completed with the beautiful Brazilian bombshell Carolinne Rossi from Next Model Management in Miami Beach. As usual, Ron Gerard supplied me with a great casting for a different client where I found Carolinne. We hit it off immediately and had this project a week later. I think she pulled it off beautifully. I think I am going to call the editorial spread “SHOOTER”. The fabulous and spot-on hair and makeup was done by the amazing Sherilyn Segal. She always makes me look good. Also a very special thank you to artist Michael Perez for letting us use Gallery 212 in Miami as a deco backdrop for our story. He had a blast playing with all of my guns. His hospitality is beyond reproach! Should wrap up the shoot this coming Monday.
How Did I Forget These Images of American Apparel Silver Swimsuit! These are the icing on the cake of a beautiful shoot culmination with a very beautiful “golden hour” in Virginia Key off of Key Biscayne in Florida during late January. You be the judge if we nailed it! The fabulous makeup was done by the incomparable Sherilyn Segal and the golden tresses were tended by Vanessa Varela. Sexy, simple and beautiful!
A special thanks to the American Apparel on Lincoln road for their help in this photo shoot.