Just last Spring I was still shooting out of the living room of my apartment, a few months before Sincere (@sincere_williams_) relocated to California. Fast forward approximately 365 days and she's now a full year California resident and I moved on to shooting out of a legitimate photography studio.
What a difference a year can make when you're focused . . .
One out of several positive things I can say about Sincere is from the first time we collaborated in 2016, despite not having a model coach or represented by an agency --yet, she has always conducted herself in a professional manner that honestly a lot of freelance models struggle with, mightily. To go along with being an amazing model, she's always been mindful of my time and her own and she communicates very well. I honestly believe she would make a great mentor for -- and I hate this word , 'aspiring' models. (Read Sincere's interview with Voyage LA here) This is one of many reasons why I wanted to make sure I killed this shoot.
She visited from California for 2 weeks and had she given me the green light I would've traveled to Illinois to shoot with her each of those 14 days but of course, she had plans with friends and family so I took the 4 hours I could get. The goal of this shoot is to get a few of the photos published. We decided to submit the best ones to Vogue Italia. Whether or not we're successful, this shoot helped me realize a few things: 1. I'm not quite where I want to be, skill-wise.
2. I'm not where I need to be, market-wise. Don't get me wrong, I love the turnout of the photos but I'm also my biggest critic. I'm my own Skip Bayless. I've yet to have a shoot where I didn't find something that I could improve on and now that I'm closing in on reaching the level I want to be I've become even more critical of myself. I don't think people understand just how much time, obsession and quality of work it takes to master your craft. Sure, I could settle for my current skillset, make a lot of money and focus on accumulating thousands of Instagram followers but, as stated, I would be settling. Most would probably view that as success but to be quite honest, I'm not most people. I am an artist . . . This was our nineteenth photoshoot together, the first seventeen coming in less than 2 years. Within that time we've both made tons of progress. We collaborated so much that a few models became jealous. All I can say is, we put in the work . . .