July 06, 2011

Shoot with Max Ho (MM#9074) - I Do Not Recommend Working With This Photographer

I would absolutely not work with this photographer again, and wouldn't recommend him to anyone else.

We originally scheduled the shoot for 6 hours, and about a week he shortened it to 4 hours. Thank god he did that. I don't think I could have handled any longer. This is the first shoot that I almost walked out of without getting paid for it.

He told me to bring a lot of stuff and that we'd pick clothing from what I brought. So, I didn't bring anything specific for the shoot, but I always have a TON of stuff with me for shoots. He looked at my suitcase of clothes and told me "Why don't you just lay it all out so that I can look through it and see what you can wear." I started to lay things out on the chair and couch he had in the studio, but immediately he said. "Stop! I don't want you to put anything on there. I'm trying to keep the leather clean. Lay it out on the floor." So, I laid everything out on the dirty concrete floor of his studio. When I finished I let him know and he turned around and said "Oh, I didn't mean literally. Why did you do that?!? You can just move it if you want." The amount of things I take to a shoot isn't easily moved once it's all spread out, and I don't know where he would have wanted me to put it since the other option was the chair and couch, and he'd already said no to that. So I had no choice but to leave it on the floor.

He then spent 10 minutes complaining about the wardrobe that I brought because he didn't like the style. I would have brought different clothing if he had asked, but since he said that he had no preference and that we'd choose from what I brought, I didn't bring anything else.

When he finally decided what I was going to wear for the first look I put it on and asked him what he wanted me to do with my makeup. His response was "clean". I had to ask for clarification about that because that can mean many different things. This is exact conversation, word for word:
"Clean.""Can you be more specific? Would you prefer a more natural look, or do you mean 'clean' by clean and straight lines but darker makeup? I've had people use that term to describe both before.""I don't know. Clean. You know.. clean."(laughing) "Well, I wasn't planning on putting dirt on my face. What colors do you want? I can figure it out from that.""Not Marilyn Manson makeup."At that point I stared at him and was really confused as to where he pulled that from. I ended up just doing a natural look and he seemed perfectly fine with it. The entire time he was getting more and more frustrated. I wasn't trying to be difficult, I just wanted to know what he wanted. Apparently that was a problem.

When he first walked in he had this huge tub of water. We hadn't discussed doing any images with water in it (and the studio was cold), so I asked him what it was for. He responded "Oh, for a shot I'm doing." I left it alone and about an hour and asked again. His response was basically the same. I finally asked if it was a shot he was going to do with me. He didn't respond. I let him know that I hadn't prepared for a shoot involving water and that I like to know beforehand so I can warn him about a few things. I let him know that if he got me wet that my hair would bleed and stain his backdrop and concrete floor, so that would cause him problems, and I told him that it was too cold for me so he would need to either heat the water or heat up the room. I have severe back pain issues, and cold water is the easiest thing to set it off, so I avoid it at all costs because I end up passing out and not able to function for at least 24 hours. He got very frustrated about it at this point and just dropped the subject.

When we started shooting he kept having to go back and read the instructions for a film camera he had set up. This would have been fine with me except for a few things. He would have me pose in a physically strenuous pose, focus the camera, and then walk away for 5-10 minutes while reading the instructions. At some point my back would start to hurt really bad or I would need to breathe, so I would relax a bit. He would then yell at me about how the image wasn't in focus now and he didn't want to take the time to refocus it and how I was creating a problem for him. I can hold a pose for a long time, but asking me to hold a difficult pose and then walk away without saying anything for 5-10 minutes is crazy. Because of this mixed with my health problems, I almost passed out twice.

When he asked what kind of music we wanted to listen to, we told him that we listen to pretty much everything so it was up to him. He said something to the effect of "Well, I don't listen to Marilyn Manson, so I'm not putting that on." Neither of us said anything about Marilyn Manson the entire shoot, but he kept bringing it up and using it as an insult. It was incredibly annoying.

Throughout the entire shoot he insulted me and treated me like I had no idea what I was doing. He would put in against a blank wall and would tell me to have a blank expression. I would do this and then he would get mad and yell at me for "not having enough emotion or movement" and "not having a conversation with the camera". He then asked me how I got work and insulted my abilities as a model. Then when he had an emotion that he wanted me to portray, he would use 4 words to describe it that contradicted each other. (One time he said "look happy... like sad and innocent but joyous.") When I would ask for clarification he would go back to insulting me. He would also say "add motion, like you're dancing", so I would do exactly that and he would say "stop looking like you're moving." And go right back to insulting me.

Some other word for word conversations from the shoot:

"I don't like this. These colors don't match your hair. Change into this one."
"Ok-""Red and black don't work for you. Don't wear it."
"So, you want me to take of this, that's red and black, because it doesn't match my hair...and change into something else that's red and black?""Yes."
"Ok then."

"Don't wear that. This doesn't match with your hair. The texture of lace just doesn't work with your hair."

There were other things, but those are all I can think of now.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what a nutjob!

    I'm surprised you didn't walk out after he started insulting you.