Put up a casting, wait for the overfilled inbox of paid shoot offers? Sit back and relax, and rake in the fortunes of the internet modelling world?
Didn't think so.
So here we will take a look into the castings area, and some casting etiquette that may help with your future castings. What are castings for?
Well, that depends on who you talk to on these modelling sites. Some will say a way to help fill those free spaces. Some will use it to fill last minute cancellations. Some will use it regularly to advertise for paid work. Some will offer discounts. The list goes on. It only takes a flick through the castings on any modelling site to see the wide range of castings placed.
So, what should castings really be used for?
Again, that is up to the member posting the casting. As a model, it should be seen as more of a shout out area, than advertising your constant availability. After all, if you was never available, or you was taking a break, this would ideally be noted on your profile notes. In the same way, your pregnancy, wedding or other big life moment will be noted on your profile notes, and does not need constant castings for the same type of shoot.
Want to find a photographer in your area? Then use the castings or the search facility.
Want to bring together your amazing idea with a team of photographer, MUA, stylist, location? Then castings are for you as well.
Want to advertise discounted rates?
Then you may want to read on... Photographers are not silly
Yes, I will repeat that, photographers are not silly. Or MUA's for that matter, or most members of these sites. Don't use castings to offer something that's not really on offer. If you are offering discounted rates, then explain the discount. What was your original / normal rate (should match that stated on your profile notes....) and then say what the discount is. Let the photographers or whoever may pay you decide if it is a good offer or not. Advertising discounted rates, but not mentioning the new rate, or the old rate, will lead to one of two options.
1) The photographer, or any other member will contact you to play message ping-pong to try find out your old rates, new rates, and to work out the discount.
2) Your casting will be by-passed as a 'look at me' plea for paid work. Some members don't want to play ping-pong, and you may find your casting being over looked.
Of course, there will always be a third section of the members, who will pay regardless. They may even offer you more than your current rate, or discounted rate. But, relying on these kind folk of the internet modelling world, is like trying to build with ice cream. It may work on some attempts, but not all. Eventually your repeated discounted castings will sound less tempting to all members, the same as the melted ice cream... How to draw the audience in.
First, and foremost, give your casting a location, or locations.
This will help members to identify castings local to them, or within their chosen travelling area. Just in case any members over looked the location at the top of the casting, repeat the location, or location choices within the casting details too. If you are choosing your home, or local area as the location, make sure that when they reach your profile notes, your location is also noted there. Having read a number of forum threads on the debate on locations, it's safe to say, having a location on your profile notes and castings, is always better than none.
Give your casting a title.
Nothing too long, but something to summarise your casting. Maybe mention of the theme or level, a tempting titbit, like 'I've found a new location!' Draw their attention in, and make the members want to find out more about you, and your casting.
Make your levels clear.
Just the same as your profile notes, make the levels for this casting or shout out clear. 'I will be shooting - fashion / make-up / hair / swimwear / lingerie / boudoir / nude..' Don't leave the other members guessing, especially if it isn't the same as your normal levels stated on your profile. Make it clear, to avoid that dreaded ping-pong again, and any confusion later on.
If you want to be paid.
Then make your rates clear for this casting. As above, discounted rates should state what the discount is. If you are willing to be part paid, or do TF, then also make this clear in the casting.
TF doesn't need to be just 'Time For Print'.
If there is something else you would TF for, whether that is clothes, latex, heels, a fab MUA, heck even driving lessons, then as with everything else, state it in your casting. You never know who will read your castings, and might be able to offer you what you are after.
Finally, you want to stand out from the hundreds of other 'I want to be paid, I work up to x level.' type castings, so.... Have a USP and milk it!
What makes you different as a model? What's unique about your casting? Do you have a height that makes catwalk models look small? Sell it. Curves that Marilyn Monroe would of been proud of? Say it. That long Rapunzel hair down past your bum a hair stylist would drool over? Swish it about on the casting girl!
Whatever it is that makes you a great model, say it, repeat it, and repeat it again. If it's your extensive wardrobe, say what you can bring to the shoot. Every model has a USP, and anyone could model if they found their USP!
Doesn't matter about size, or height, or levels. Not every model will suit every level or genre, but when you find what you're good at, repeat it in the casting you're making. We will cover USP's in more depth another time.
If you already have a great MUA, location, theme you can bring to this casting, shout out about this bonus.
Castings can, and do bring together a range of members, across all the levels and genres, paid, and TF, including all those part paid arrangements in between. Sell yourself, sell your idea, make it clear..
Because 'That shot' might only be clicks away if you use it to connect with other members wisely.