all categories, fashion, photography

(#002) The Courage to Ask

It’s story time:

Today, I want to give you an example how far you can get in life, when you have the courage to ask people!

In the summer of 2013, I was still at the university studying computer science full time and 25 years old. Although I was working a lot, my earnings were only enough to cover my expenses like rent, food, paying of my camera, etc.

A little additional information on this: I financed my entire studies on my own, so it wasn’t easy, despite working in multiple jobs at the same time.
But I had the crazy idea and ambition to do my own “desert photo shoot with models and cars”, because I had seen many of them in fashion magazines.

So the only things I had to begin with were, first, my photography skills, which I had acquired by reading books and trying out some tutorials. Also at the time I had been working as a freelance photographer. Second, my very expensive camera (Canon 5D Mark II, when I bought it, the price was 4 figures …). Third, my unstoppable belief and ambition that I will get it done. In the end, I was incredibly proud of myself and the results I had achieved.
I have posted the pictures from the photo shoot below for you.

What did I need for the photoshoot?

  1. A location was needed, which looked like a desert, but was in Germany.
  2. Professional models, because I wanted to get the experience of working with professional models.
  3. A car, ideally a classic car, because it would best fit into the final look of the pictures.
  4. Professional makeup artist(s), because models need professional makeup to enhance their natural beauty and to look awesome.

How did I achieve the results with ZERO budget?

  1. Location: I researched via Google for places with a lot of sand in Hesse, Germany. So after I shortlisted the ones that not only looked beautiful, but at the same time were safe for the participants of the photo shoot. I called a few and was lucky to find one where we finally did the photo shoot. I’m still grateful for this opportunity, which were given to us by the owner of the place. 🙂
  2. Professional models: I talked to some contacts and were given the hint, that “EastWestModels” which is a big and well-known model agency located in Frankfurt had the best and most professional models (of different ages and gender) in the surrounding area. Just my opinion: This is absolutely true!

    So I grabbed my phone and dialed the number of the model agency without knowing what would happen next! But before I got to choose 2 models, I needed first to follow the official application process of the model agency. This means I had to send them my previous work and my “pitch” and the details of my planned photo shoot, so they could get an impression of my skills and could check if I could keep the high standards they had for photographers. Of course, I was soon accepted!!! 😀

    Finally, I was allowed to work with the models I had chosen. Then they used these pictures for their portfolio. The portfolio is needed for the application to new model jobs and is extremely important for models. Through this exchange, the participation of the two models in this project was free for me. They got the pictures and I was allowed to work with them. 🙂 *yay*
  3. A classic car: The classic car was also free because the owner of the car rental was the father of one of the makeup artists. Otherwise it would have been impossible for me to afford this car!
  4. Professional Make-Up Artists: I’ve already worked with several makeup artists in my freelance photography projects, so I just called a few of them and pitched them my idea and asked if they would be interested in working with me and using the final results for their portfolio. That means no cost to anyone involved. This time I also got a big YES! 😀

The conclusion for you, dear reader, is that if you don’t have the courage to ask, you won’t get the things in life that you really want!!! 🙂 This is valid for your business AND personal life! No one can read your mind, this is why you need to articulate your thoughts.
So grab your phone or laptop and write that email or make that phone call you need to make to get closer to your goal! Your chances are fifty-fifty of getting a yes or a no. Even if you get a big no, don’t give up and ask someone else to help or support your idea. Worst case scenario, you’ll get a no, but it’s not the end of the world, at least you tried.

Desert Photo Shoot September 2013

models: Florian W. & Jessica B. (agency: East West Models)

photographer & retoucher: Rabiha Ansari
location: Quarzsand- und Kieshandel Hett GmbH, Rosbach v.d. Höhe
car: Ford Mustang Cabrio ’65, Classic-Cars Krug von Nidda GmbH
head make-up artist: Agnieszka Petelak
make-up artist: Patricia Krug von Nidda

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