photo story of a model photographer in washington dc
this young ethiopian girl contacted me directly on the phone to tell me about her desire to get some modeling headshots. we had a brief discussion about availability, prices and such. at the time, I was occupying a studio in takoma park and business wasn’t booming. so my rates were fairly reasonable. and I appreciated it that she was willing to pay. a lot of girls at the time wanted to do free shoots if they didn’t ask to get paid outright. to get started, you had to have at least something to show: a portfolio. she’s a very beautiful young lady with some delicate air of loneliness on her face. she didn’t have any sophisticated makeup, just lipstick. like most ethiopians, she had a nice brown skin, beautiful hair and slim build. only thing was that she was a little short and had large hips. for modeling, to paraphrase designer tom ford ‘no one wants to have big hips’ because in the fashion industry, the requirement is to be as close to a stick figure as possible. those two things could be an issue if she wanted to do runway modeling. but aside from that, if she could get enough gigs in washington dc to keep her busy and make some money, it would be perfectly fine.
we did about an hour’s photo shoot during which I took headshots, full body shots as well as half body shots. she didn’t bring any clothes except the stretch striped blue and white dress that she was wearing. after a while, she undressed to change into a bikini and wore a hat. I took as many pictures as I could to show variations and also changing the lighting set as we went along. we came up with some good pictures that were valuable at the time. I sent her the selection and tried to connect her with people looking for models. I think that she contacted a lady who wanted to do a fashion show. since she was unproven, I believe the lady didn’t want to pay. some people kinda think that aspiring models are brainless chick with big dreams easy to manipulate. we kept in touch for a little while after that and she brought a friend to also have a starter modeling portfolio. but then she disappeared. I’m not even sure if she’s still staying in the dc area.