Instant Modelling Gig
I recruited strangers on the street to a modelling gig.
By Rob Cockerham |
Running little pop-up table events, like the Smoker's Age Project, Compliment Exchange and the Guess your Blood Alcohol Level game, I've met a lot of people that really don't mind having their picture taken.
I've also noticed, while wearing the paparazzi costume, that people embrace an opportunity to strike a pose (and ham it up) for the cameras. This gave me a thought: Would people on the street model for me?
I thought I'd give it a try!
But what to have them model? My clothing item had to be easy, like a hat or a necklace, but it couldn't be some high-end jewel, because I'd (hopefully) have every sort of character posing with it.
And I figured I might as well have them model something that one of my friends is selling, like band t-shirts or Future Shades. Then it hit me, bullet proof vests! I know a guy who sells bullet proof vests! He runs BulletSafe vests, so I gave him a call.
He was IN!
In five days, I got a package in the mail containing not one, but five different sizes of vests.
I usually set up at night, close to bars and restaurants, so that the average passerby has some alcohol in his system. For vest modelling, I'd have to set up in the daylight, and sell this idea to sober people. I needed to be at the top of my game.
I set up next to a busy sidewalk in Old Sacramento, and at first, I got no interest at all. A dozen groups walked by without comment, and I was worried that this project was going to crash and burn.
But about 20 minutes in, I got my first model! This guy, Justin from San Francisco, took the plunge and was my first model! He looked great!
Of course, as soon as one person tried it, the $1 modelling booth looked legitimate, so others quickly followed. This guy was IN!
He gave me a few poses while his family took pictures of him in action. He's a natural!
My third model was a young woman. I was hesitant to get up close and personal with her, and she had no idea how to adjust the size of the vest, I didn't get it fit very well. I made a note to do a better job fitting the right size vest to a model's frame.
Well, I guess when I was re-arranging the vests in the box, getting the small and the medium and the large into order, it must have looked like I was about to pack up and leave. A big group of young people trotted across the street to get in on the action!
Hooray! I love it! I knew this was going to work! Look at this energy!
They were in Americorps, and they were all good looking!
The men wanted to look tough.
Modelling bullet proof vests.
Yes, some of them had the idea that they were being pranked, and asked if they were going to be shot once they put the vest on. No, no, that's a terrible prank. This is a modelling shoot.
One of the girls put the vest on like a skirt, stepping into it and pulling it up and over her hips. It was adorable.
The women with tank tops looked great bulletproof!
I really struck modelling gold with this group! After the posing, I gave them each a single dollar bill. Professional models!
I was concerned that having model releases would throw a wrench into the "Let's do this fun thing!" vibe, but it was no big deal. Everyone signed it, or their parents signed it.
You have to be careful with kids wearing protective clothing. They tend to want to punch each other in the vest.
This guy was up for anything. His girlfriend wasn't impressed, but he was a natural in front of the camera.
This model has a great smile!
Some people walk around ready for an impromptu modelling shoot, and here he is. This young man was in Old Sac walking his dog. I was a little surprised he wasn't already wearing a bulletproof vest.
These were my two "stage mom" kids, who had a mom who was more excited than they were about their first modelling shoot. They were great and great at taking direction!
Most of my pictures were head-on. I should have got more profile pictures like this one.
It's good to have confidence, even if it bleeds over into over-confidence.
Another natural. This is the guy who I'd probably actually hire if I was looking for a vest model.
Here's my last model of the day, a waiter on his break who stopped by to try on a vest. It might seem like overkill to some, but servers deal directly with the public, so it is always a good idea for them to wear bulletproof vests.
I hired 19 models for $19 and got a hundred great photos. Next time I'll bring a green screen!