Skip to main content

11:30 am - The Value of Testing

Lesson 7 from: Working with Models

Matthew Jordan Smith, Yoanna House

11:30 am - The Value of Testing

Lesson 7 from: Working with Models

Matthew Jordan Smith, Yoanna House

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

7. 11:30 am - The Value of Testing


Class Trailer

Day 1


9:00 am - Introduction


9:15 am - The Model Agent


9:45 am - The Model Go-See


10:00 am - Making a Team


10:45 am - Your First Model Test


11:15 am - Testing Q&A


11:30 am - The Value of Testing


1:00 pm - Expectations of Models and Photographers


1:15 pm - Test Packages


1:30 pm - Casting


1:45 pm - Booking Terms


2:00 pm - Photographer as Team Director


2:45 pm - Conditions on a Shoot


3:00 pm - Student Casting Session: First Student


3:15 pm - Student Casting Session: Second Student


Day 2


9:00 am - Shoot: Rooftop Catalog


9:15 am - Student Shoot: Dave, Rooftop Catalog


9:45 am - Student Shoot: Agnes, Rooftop Catalog


10:30 am - Connecting with Models


10:45 am - Morning Q&A


11:00 am - Reviewing Rooftop Images


11:30 am - Challenges


11:45 am - Assisting


1:00 pm -Shoot: Jewelry with Yoanna


1:30 pm - Student Shoot: Kumi, Jewelry Shoot


2:00 pm - Student Shoot: Todd, Jewelry Shoot


2:30 pm - Shoot: Matthew Working with New Models


3:00 pm - Personal Projects


3:15 pm - Standing Out


Day 3


9:00 am - Working with Multiple Models


10:30 am - Student Shoot: First Two Students, Benetton Ad


11:15 am - Student Shoot: Next Two Students, Benetton Ad


11:45 am - Benetton Shoot Q&A


1:00 pm - Shoot: Karaoke


1:15 pm - Student Shoot: First Two Students, Karaoke


1:45 pm - Student Shoot: Second Two Students, Karaoke


2:00 pm - Discussion of the Shoot and Matthew Shooting


2:15 pm - Student Shoot: Second Round of Karaoke


3:15 pm - Your Life Inspires Your Work


Lesson Info

11:30 am - The Value of Testing

I want talk for a minute about the value of this is well beyond just your your facebook and social media I want about the value of all of this so your photographer you're shooting all these images and you're creating your history you're creating their history and these pictures become more valuable to me than the actual job. So I do occur before magazine this is if I did this year earlier I'm shooting this picture for the cover of the magazine the magazine has this picture as the cover the whole world sees this image but the team my creative team remember this stuff the team remembers the process of creating the image and this for me is more valuable as time passes on my pictures of that first tests with tyra, we'll also talk to in the morning. The behind the scenes pictures for me is more valuable then the actual picture this used because the process of us all creating together so I love these images we're all being silly creating doing some together to make the image that everybody s...

ees taking pictures behind the scenes this is the most valuable stuff to me is the creation part the whole teen working together as one unit one together we could use more team to make the image that everybody sees, I like the idea of giving your team a gift at the end of the year bring a little book together just behind the scenes pictures and seeing your team a little thank you for all you behind the scenes pictures it's a great thing and I get into you ten years from now you're really value that book for yourself because we all see this stuff but don't forget about the process and I love the process of creating images I love being a photographer I love it I breathe drinking it's one of those things in the world to do and I love the process of making it not just the picture the cameras and lenses I love it's a tube I love that process of creating something special why test? Why would you spend your time testing? Was it lead to? Well, job if you just want to go out, grab your camera, you just get open the box shooting like I think the picture I get a client you might get a client today, but will that last ten years or five years? We get a career? Maybe not. Probably not. You must know your craft inside and out on a client doesn't give you a second chance. There's no room for mistakes on a job you can make him a steak on a test it's you learning how to work given situations under pressure it's not that much pressure on a test on the job is a lot of pressure there's a lot of money being spent is the client's money being spent when a test you might spin one hundred books to her books classic winning three hundred thousand dollars or producing that job they're hiring everybody they're buying usage to run those ads or that or put the catalog or make that uh billboard or put that ad in the paper it's been a lot of money to produce it and all that pressure is on you you learn to do the pressure by first doing your tests experimenting they're not on a job you learn how to work under pressure a little by little and make your teamwork cohesive way on the test doing tests leads to doing creative work even when you're shooting all the time I still test I still test why people ask me anything what do you still tests? Because I give me a chance to all my creative work were you doing just jobs job to job to job you can pay for those jobs but you may have been to express your creative vision and I love photography I would express how I feel through my work and I've learned also for the years when I go to show my portfolios, clients and meetings I can show that publish work like oh you have seen this one, I've seen someone I've seen this one then I showed my personal work they always love seeing my personal work your creative work where you shoot for yourself what you shoot that keeps you in love with photography my tests give me that option to shoot my creative work my new ideas and then that new tests those new crave jobs images leased to new work and new jobs new clients and here's something else. My first tests in the very beginning of my career before it was officially a photographer when I was still a full assistant now is still a full assistant. I work a job on a long working as as the full assisted pulling all the gear think of all the lights on all the grunt work and then I come home and I test until late at night well, sometimes it's hard to give me the studio to shoot in after the jobs all over like if you want to contest here's a test in the evenings after the job that led to an agent, a photo agent seeing my work and calling me before meeting. So my first agent approached me based off by tests the agent was seeing all the models coming through on jobs and seeing this work and saying who's this photographer and that's how he got my number and called me based off me testing models in the photo agent called me in I met him and there's my first agent I found my first agent through testing you never know where it leads that's this entire industry you never know what leads to what as you test people out there showing your work the models and out showing your new work because like, who was shooting all this great work? Let me get david call he's great flesh of chamonix campaign or they have the makeup artist who's doing your pictures who shot this? I want you hired that photographer that's how it works one thing leads to another so I test all the time have ah like a question I'm not sure how I want to get this out but I know a lot of us are we're working and money one hundred dollars here one hundred dollars there makes a difference to a lot of people it does read all counts but I would like I would like you to talk somewhat to all of us about the big picture because we get to nit picky on oh this is too much time. This is costing us money like for a successful photographer like yourself the big picture of what we need to get over so that we can really pursue our dreams can grow it's we grow and expand our vision without getting so hung up on all the all the things this fall the smaller challenges that you can't sweat the small stuff machine and what does he do? Get caught up and you got out on a limb to get the food. You have to go out on a limb to get the food. You need to have a vision of what you want and a gulf what you want and that get corp and lo oh, it's gonna cost me this. You might have a better reward waiting for you if you just forget about being caught up in the small stuff. And I'm not saying that, you know, city now after recession, every dollar counts and I get that. But way will get past recession. He'll be good times and bad times. We've got to make sure we're set to advance our careers in a positive way. When people are over the recession, you know, we have no nelson flows up, and then they will always be up and down throughout our lives. Um, we're down, period right now in our in our history. Come out. The recession was still down there. It will come back up again. We'll be prepared for that. Can you excel, get past the small stuff and think about the big picture? I know I could get quarter been like, oh, you know, what am I getting out of this now was having now. And our our society right now is the place where we just see television what's happening right now but we're not down the road what you do right now will help down the road look at the big picture thank you for that thank you summed it up but I didn't go out on a limb if you want to get the fruit I love it I love that want to you have to go no mail for everything if you believe in yourself you must go out on them to get the fruit that's how it happens you say a few minutes ago you were shooting tests in your home when you get a studio absolutely. I think it's a matter of fact you know is uh uh the love talk first in new york where these big studios and then two thousand eight hit the recession hit they go those studios so now a lot of harper's have downsized and a shooting in small spaces I downsize and shit in small spaces but I fill shoot all the time no matter what situation ups and downs, big space, small space you work in new york, you know how they work in small spaces because small tight city uh I should anywhere it makes you be creative forces you to find a corner of the room to shoot in but shoot, make yourself shoot all the time so bookers won't feel strange when you say locations your house and you shooting in the garage if you have, if you're giving great pictures, they don't care where a shooting or what you're shooting with. They care about the picture and was a comfortable with you is fine as well. They must become first comfortable with you. I met tyra and heidi clue doing a test. I'm in tons of models with big models now first testing now the models but actors now and actresses. I met them when they were models before is a good friend of mine. Male model boris khoja. I met him as a male model. Now he's, this big actor doing tons of movies left and right and here's. Ah, vision of a test. You and some of my tests. Test shoot, test, shoot. Test test test test, first job. So here the test again, which led to this job test gets you prepared for the job. It's your investment in you test finding new faces, new models and jobs. It teaches you how to work. How you professional working with any situation, testing leads toe work and teach you how to do all these different things, so casting this is a big deal. We'll take a break but isn't questions. First we'll take a break for lunch and then we'll go into the casting because I want to teach you guys how to cast because there's, nobody in the beginning, my career to teach me how to do this, and I was thrown into the lionsden and I had to make it work if I had to learn the hard way. So I want to teach you guys nothing mistakes that I made in the very beginning because at first I was thinking it's, just not me being photographer, I didn't know that I have to know howto cast and be in charge of all these different things for make sure you guys know all that information, so you get those jobs, you are prepared to direct the entire city, someone have you guys actually casting is well, teach you how to have the casting, the questions to ask and what to look for. When you're having a big casting, it might start small with your if you're go see for your tests, I want to grow and to all of us doing big jobs to get and there's room for all was to work and have great careers, you guys are the next generation. You guys are the next generation I want share all this nice. We're all prepared to excel together and grow together. This is a question for the much bigger it was like five plunge, but some questions as well. Any questions from you guys? All right, you guys said think about it. Sure, you'll come up with something idaho would like to know should could a small town photographer fine models do a test shoot and send those images to an agency? Is there any value in that? Absolutely if you're in a small town and you're shooting models, is there any value in seeing pictures of those girls that you discovered in your town tow a big city like new york or los angeles or anywhere? Absolutely their value in that for sure as, uh, is a monetary value? I'm not sure, but it's building your career it's showing that you have the vision and you have the skill to find talent and it's very hard for tacos do require what you gain that knowledge of them to see what works the average person can't do that. They don't want to show you guys pictures of a cast, and you'll see models as they come in off the streets in new york and in new york, people address for the streets. And you know now he's the waste around not dressed like a model most of time but you're going to figure out what's there and see it on the castings in new york city they don't walk in looking like a model all the time it's a matter of fact most of time they don't look like a model you get me a spot that you see from where they have on how they're dressing how their hair is exposing the winter when am I having all this gear and you know what you do snow it all that stuff you gotta find that special thing never targets could do that after a while you you find what those features are that makes that model stand down the more you shoot the better you get three out what that special thing is right next question matthew first there was one wondering if you smile always smile this much e I guess I didn't love writing I love photography now there'll be any tougher to photographers about what I do because for a long time you know at one point I used to go to the lab and see other photographers and could talk about you know what we do we look together why go to the lab because this lab in print and in the lab I be printing my images and next door be filled locally course here um who's an amazing photographer guys know that is philip lorca coursing incredible he's in paints of making bold magazine all the time fine artists, but he'll be putting his work on one side, and then kwaku alston left are for in los angeles, pretty on the other side, and we all be there looking at our work, the german german photographer, I'm losing its name that's gonna kill me? Uh, another big time for you to be anything of its assistant, and that is a big star for his own. I'm using his name right now, I'm sorry in a man, but, uh, we'll all be there printing together and talking about what we love and now digital kind of boss that so this gives me a chance to talk to photographers again about what I love, and I just think, it's a great field agent booth location, like I didn't sunday go, and if I approach to their son's else agents, do they care where I live? Like the distance they don't care? They don't care if you get there when you get a job, they don't care. There are agents in new york who represent photographers that live in atlanta or or texas, you said that you had to be in new york, although there was a change, you could be almost anywhere if you have a great portfolio and you're an amazing photographer you could live in iowa and have asia in new york going into new york for that job will get any way you need to get for the job that book you know taking talent is talent all right? So speaking of talent carlin asks if you shoot a girl and you see great potential in her what do you do too not lose her? Um let's say you submit her photos and the agency likes or what if they shoot her for their projects without you knowing it? Is that a concern or is that not how it works and it's not how a world that's not how it works from working for the question loser if you're looking to a shoe tomorrow and have her onto yourself that's not really a mystic view it's not realistic realistic view because if the girls really talented you shouldn't want to lose her to the world but you discovered her and that's a great thing that you have discovered this model um but you should want her to succeed as well and to go out and do other great things if you have the eyes to discover a great model that's a gift not everyone could do that as a matter fact most cannot do that to see that girl was the next great model or has potential to be great model that's a talent and a skill if you had that be happy you have that talent and then share that with the world most things in life. Absolutely. And I can't hold on to a tie up. Yeah, let it go and let it grow. You want it, you kill it. So photos for tomas lambert. How much? I'm not sure the answer this how much of your time is spent testing versus paid assignment? Oh, how much time has been testing? We just pay assignments. Uh, not enough. Not enough. Um, I actually like doing the tests, but when you're when you're busy, busy, um and you can't get enough test, there have been points where I've been extremely busy. Uh, where I couldn't test and it's not good for my soul. I need to be ableto do test or personal projects to special field as photographer because we were just working all the time. You're really shooting somebody else's vision and you're in that mode of working, working, working, that's great if that's your goal. But I need an outlet because I feel I'm an artist and I want to have my my creative freedom to release the ideas in my mind. So I need that it is essential for me to do that, so instead of saying it s something you have to do yeah, now in your curse that says I have to do you want to do I need to test okay? Where shoot things for me to stay creative so maybe another question has come up earlier today as well. Just now is we've talked about agencies for models and for hair and makeup do you have an agent and good to talk a little bit to the world of agents for photographers and where did those come into play? And yes do I have an agent and talk for I have I think two agent agent in new york and agent minelli um when should you get an agent? I believe starting out. You should not have an agent there's a misconception that agent helps you get more work? Not necessarily agent will help guide your career and managed the work. They're really gets you work. Um I believe you should not have eighty two starts. You can learn how to run your business. You need to know this because you could lose your agent and then you're stuck not knowing how to run the business. So that's very important. Um you started career without an agent to learn the business and the assisting toward me the business then my first agent and I learned how the advantage of having agent so now by having an agent I can play good cop, bad cop so my first agent, I had a big job and is after my first big job, so the job came about and I'm off this job is paying a lot of money, it's my first big job when I was like, I was nervous about my oh my god, I can't ask for that for job, for picture. I'm going from making one hundred fifty bucks a day as a full assistant now getting an agent and I'm a first big job paying all this money is private paid more mind I made entirely here before for this one job was just like kind of crazy to me, like I will get the job we ask for that. I can't do that it's like matthew, I'm the agent let me take care of this, and he did, and I got the job like, oh my god, this is kind of cool. I can't help myself. I would not have asked for that amount of money for the job where agent can so I can play good call and be nice to client do the great job in my flight could be demanding and negotiate the job so that's an advantage in that way, but takes time to get to that point and she by start without an agent first.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

MJS creativeLIVE Keynote Slides.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

This was more of a collaborative course with Matthew Jordan Smith and Yoanna House, and it is brilliant. I just finished watching this for a few hours straight. I own several Creative Live courses and this is definitely in my Top 3. Matthew's teaching style is so kind but to the point and informative. That's the kind of photographer I aim to be. He puts forth his knowledge here in a way that totally encouraged everyone involved. I loved Yoanna as well. She was very direct but friendly as well. I loved watching her direct the budding models and her experience showed quite well. This part is for John, the guy who commented on June 2017. I completely disagree with you that there were too many questions and that other people were talking much more than Matthew, and that that was a negative. Matthew's whole point was not just to get straight to shooting but to talk a bit about interacting with people in general. This wasn't just about technical stuff; this was about forming that connection between photographer and model/subject. This was as much psychology as it was about actual shooting, and I absolutely loved that. So I 100% strongly disagree with you as this is one of Creative Live's BEST courses that I've seen thus far. Thanks a ton, Matthew and Yoanna, and thanks so much again, Creative Live (I'm a huge fan of you guys!).

a Creativelive Student

So amazing !! Bought this and Lara jade Fashion Workshop and the 2 compliment each other really well. If you're interested in fashion photography these 2 courses are so inspiring. I Love the Matthews passion for the creative process, its inspiring and informative.

Student Work