Years ago I used to hang out occasionally with a friend and at the end of our time together, I might say something like “I’ll give you a call sometime”. The next time I ran into her, she would say “You said you’d call me but you didn’t call”. Apparently, she took it a lot more literally than I did.
One of the repeating topics in modeling forums is the tired rant from mostly photographers who complain it’s unprofessional that a model didn’t reply just to say no thanks. Of course, it happens both ways but most of the complaints come from photographers because it’s usually photographers soliciting models for shoots. Interestingly, traveling models regularly solicit photographers for paid shoots and probably get ignored but they rarely rant about the professionalism of the photographers’ lack of response.
Let’s be clear, I’m not talking about a reply to a casting call response or a personal email among friends or colleagues in this article. If a model gets an email from a photographer after she has responded to a casting call, she should certainly respond. But the reality is that many models simply run through all the casting calls and post interested in the comments section. Those are not the models you want to work with anyway because it’s a sign of a flake. This article is about the majority of situations people rant about which is unsolicited emails. What is an unsolicited email? Well it’s sometimes called a cold call in sales. The photographer has not corresponded with the model on a regular basis. He/she is simply making the first contact and offering a paid or unpaid shoot, collaboration or who knows what else. It does not matter if it’s paid or unpaid. If the model is not interested, she has no obligation to reply. Just like if a photographer is not interested in hiring a traveling model, the photographer can simply ignore that offer. Another point often made is that people shouldn’t burn bridges by ignoring unsolicited emails because there’s a one in a billion chance that internet modeling site photographer from Montana who has 4 shots of models on railroad tracks may indeed have a very lucrative job for that model in the future. Well I guess that’s just a chance everyone has to evaluate on their own terms.