In 2008, the SlickforceStudio team and I started ModelKamp. For years, models had been asking us not only for help with their portfolios, but also for magazine referrals and tips on how to navigate the often-intimidating modeling industry. As with nearly every spin-off of the Slickforce brand, the idea for a modeling camp was sparked when countless aspiring models came to us after being scammed by shady producers of “super-shoots,” which ultimately over-promised and under-delivered. We’ve always prided ourselves as being the most professional photography studio in the world, so the “model-camp-to-end-all-model-camps” seemed a logical step, especially given our unique position in the magazine and modeling industries.
This October we held our 6th ModelKamp, which sold out a full two months in advance. The three-day workshop began on Friday, opening with a panel of industry guest speakers. First, I spoke with the new models about building their portfolios, how to work with photographers and styling crew, and tips on magazine submissions. Then, 20-time Magazine cover-model-turned-actress Vida Guerra spoke to the ladies about her career, avoiding the pitfalls of the modeling game, and not losing yourself in Hollywood. After Vida, SHOW publisher Sean Cummings spoke about his magazine, what he looks for in models, breaking in to the business when you’re brand new, and the payoffs of persistence. Finally, the models did fittings with their wardrobe stylist, selecting their outfits for the next two days of shooting.
On Saturday, the girls arrived bright and early for a full day of shooting at SlickforceStudio with myself and magazine-photographers Christian Arias & Cherry Gardner. Cover-model Brittany Dailey then arrived on set, so the models could watch a professional photo-shoot first hand. Brittany and I then coached them on poses and facial expressions while they shot fashion, glamour, and headshot looks.
On Sunday, the models were ready for their final exam. We met at 5:30am, hopped in passenger vans, and carpooled out to Slickforce’s Ultimate Graveyard location in the beautiful Mojave desert. There, the girls experienced a large-scale supershoot, usually reserved for celebrities, as they shot fashion and glamour looks with our three top photographers. It’s always a treat for me to take people to the desert for the first time, because watching their excitement reminds me of the awe I experienced when I first fell in love with the California desert.
As we wrapped at sunset, one of the models, Yvonne, threw her arms around me for a tearful goodbye, saying she never felt so good about herself, and that she was sad to be leaving her new family. I reassured her that she would always be part of our ever-growing Slickforce family, but it was still a warm reminder of why I take so much pride in our company.
All in all, our models left with a minimum of 6 looks, over 700 photos, and free retouching. To date, we’ve had 11 models land spreads in various magazines, two of them covers! Registration for ModelKamp 7 opened this week. Get more info and hold your spot at ModelKamp.com!