Jimmy's Failed Model Search 2 - The Experiments
In February I published the ridiculously long "Jimmy's Great, Fantastic, Awesome, Failed Model Search" and quickly found myself with dozens upon dozens of comments and criticisms - some simple, some rather harsh. I've tried to answer most emails directly and some fun conversations have ensued. Today I plan to answer a few remaining questions, clarify a few others details, and update readers on some additional searching and testing myself, and others, have done in the past six months.
The most frequent comments I received after the February post was something along the lines of "What a bunch of bullshit because there are plenty of girls that want to model!"
The second half of the comment is absolutely correct; "there are plenty of girls that want to model", however my instincts tell me that most persons sending that type of comment most likely didn't read the entire post, and may not have even made it past the title line "Jimmy's Great, Fantastic, Awesome, Failed Model Search". Within the first 5 or 6 paragraphs of that February post I tried make clear that I was searching for somebody "that has it", meaning somebody special and not simply any female that is willing to pose for photos and be called a model.
We must remember that just because "there are plenty of girls that want to model" it doesn't indicate that they fit the rare type of model I was looking for. To refresh the discussion let me outline those things again.
• The search, while venturing into the TrueBabes ages of 18-20, was primarily for a new TrueTeenBabes age range (14-16) girl or two to start new solo-model websites.
• Girls in that age range that would like to model are very easy to find, as many commenters correctly pointed out, but we must remember that in my search I'm not looking for fashion models or to shoot high school year book photos. I'm looking for them to not only pose in tiny thong bikinies and lingerie, but to do so in a confident "show-off" manner and to look fantastic doing so.
• If I find that super attractive teen girl and she is motivated towards my style of work I must next inform her that the photos and videos are going to be published on a website marketed to an audience comprised primarily of credit card holding adults, and that those in her peer group, her school and her family, will very likely see the photos and video, and be upset. Some of those detractors will attack her on social media and others will insist she quit the website modeling. After this discussion I must be convinced she can withstand the social justice warriors, and family pressure, and will continue the project at least one year, because opening a website that I feel is only going to last a month or two is a big waste of time and money.
• Next I consider her location and lifestyle. If she lives far away it complicates scheduling and is more costly due to airfare, hotels and meals for her and her mother, therefore she must be far enough above average to provide above average subscription sales. As for her lifestyle, as I called it, she can't be a high school dropout with a 22 year old boyfriend and an infant at her side, because those things just cause too many hassles, and too much silly drama, leading to skipped photoshoots and a closed website.
• If I manage to accomplish what I mentioned in the four previous paragraphs I must then expand things to include a supportive parent. If the girl is motivated, but mom says no, there is nothing to work for. If mom is tentatively supportive now but seems likely to have a change of mind as soon as grandma finds out, or the ex-husband threatens to withhold child support payments (true story), it's not a project worth starting.
Again, the commenters are correct in saying "there are plenty of girls that want to model" but they are not looking for the same overall package as I am.
Imagine for just one minute that I had written about searching for a classic car such as a cherry red 1965 Corvette Stingray that had been completely restored and I had been unable to find one, and the commenters sent messages about "that's bullshit because there are plenty of old Chevy's for sale". The statement they send is correct, but they are not talking about the specific "model" I'm looking for (pun intended).
Some of the commenters also happen to be photographers - most amateur, and two or three professionals. In various email discussions with them I asked for leads, links or referrals, and even offered to pay them anywhere from $250 to $2500 if the girl they referred was hired. None of them provided even one connection to a teen girl or teen model - much less a teen girl/model interested in doing a solo-model website project while posing in the daring outfits that her friends and social justice warriors would jump her shit about.
Clearly, it's just not as easy as they thought it would be when the search goes from a girl wanting to model, to a girl wanting to model in my style of work for a website.
Most of the model/parents hesitation is caused by, and likely will always be, the showy nature of the outfits and the fact the photos and videos are on a pay to view website. If it was a teen fashion and style shopping website with the girls asked to model clothes they would wear to prom, the mall or a Friday night date, 80% of the high school cheerleaders and prom queens in my home state would volunteer to pose for free this month.
Another comment I received several times was along the lines of "adopt or die". This is an old business term that means you should adopt your business methods or prices to current trends or the business may die. It is a good strategy in a business such as a pizza shop where you can do things now such as online ordering, having a branded application that tracks the pizza order right to the door, or changing to gluten free ingredients.
In the case of searching for teenage females to model for a solo-model website there isn't that many variables I can change to adopt the business in a manner that would make the search more successful. Lets take a few minutes to look at some of the suggestions or other alternatives.
One main suggestion was to hire girls with tattoos. Most persons writing seemed to refer to models 18 and above, but some clearly indicated models around age 16. Yes, I understand that many girls get tattoos these days - even illegally at a very young age - but in the website business they don't lead to a website that sells a lot of subscriptions.
I've been running websites for 16 years and have never received a request for models with tattoos. Not on TrueTeenBabes (models ages 13-17) or on TrueBabes (ages 18 and above). I have, however, received plenty of complaints when models had tattoos and I showed them, or they had tattoos and I retouched them off in photos but never used the girl in videos. While I could "adopt" a tattoos are OK policy, I can't make the customers do the same and customers clearly speak with their credit cards. A dead site is not any fun.
Another suggestion was to use and old porn company trick and lie about ages. The theory, which has been used by others a few times in the past seven years, is to take a slim girl that is 18-19 that doesn't want to pose nude, and have her pose in lingerie and tiny swimwear while calling her 15-16. While that has worked in the past with porn companies calling a 24 year old "18", in the age of social media and widespread communications, the scam would be exposed within days.
Yet another emailer thought I should just go ahead and use thicker girls and not hold out for a slim and trim girl like Jaclynn, Victoria, Libby or Kelsey. That is not a outrageous idea but doesn't overcome the issues of finding girls that want to do the show-off type outfits, can handle being teased online, and has parental permission. it's a mental block and the fear of reprisals that is stopping teenage girls from seeking these modeling jobs and her waist size is not part of that equation.
I always keep in mind the people I call my audience (AKA customers). It so happens that those that have subscribed over the years, continue to complete their collections on the TrueTeenBabes archive site now, and read this silly blog are predominately fans of slim and trim models. That usually means capturing the model in photos and videos at a younger age (under 20 or so) before she gets tattoos, before she is off at college adding on the "freshman 15" pounds due to fast food and drinking parties, before she jumps into a serious relationship and becomes pregnant, and before she settles in to a career that may occupy all her time or restrict what style of modeling she can do on weekends.
That slim, trim and fresh look just happens to be more interesting to them as compared to gals that are thicker, gals that are heavy into tattoos, gals that have children at home, etc. As they say - it is what it is. It also relates to other subjects such as car racing.
One Saturday this past month I decided to make a 95 mile drive to a small dirt race track. They run Saturday events for street stocks, pony stocks, and more. Those drivers are busting ass on the track, and most of them work on their cars evenings while maintaining full-time jobs during the week. Certainly a bunch of good guys doing the best they can on a wild dirt track in the fresh air of the Colorado high country (Routt County).
To me it was boring and I left for the drive home before the final event of the night. I'm a huge car racing fan, but the clean and sharp lines of an IndyCar or Formula 1 car are what attracts and holds my attention. The older beat up cars covered in mud (tattoos) at that track, while certainly fun and exciting for some, didn't keep my attention or make me want to come back and purchase another ticket the next weekend.
They didn't provide the fast smooth style I was looking for and I won't be going back to buy another ticket (equal to a subscription) or food and beer (equal to a DVD).
Similarly, with a customer base here that clearly pays more attention to the clean and sharp lines of a slim and trim model I wouldn't expect to garner their attention, and payments, by venturing out to build some hybrid website featuring a thick 22 year old with six tattoos being called a sixteen year old bikini babe.
McDonalds won't be removing the Big Mac and Quarter Pounder from the menu any time soon to make room for spaghetti or lasagna because they would likely lose much of the customer base, like myself, that consider it a convenient place to go while performing waistline expansion exercises.
At that McDonalds some might be looked at by strangers as being out of shape and not needing to eat more McDonalds, but that silent criticism is rarely heard and even more rarely prevents a person from visiting McDonalds as often as they wish.
Teen modeling, on a website, in tiny outfits for an audience that is primarily adult, is not the same thing and the detractors will be heard, they will spread the news, and will do all they can to embarrass and destroy the models.
Yes, we adults all know that the thicker girl that didn't make the cheerleader team has choices. One is to get in the gym, lose some weight and practice more to sharpen up her dance routines before they next series of try-outs. Unfortunately, over the last several years the "in thing" to do has not been to make herself better, but to do what she can to destroy the girl that was in shape and ready to be a flyer (tossed in the air). If that more athletic and prepared girl also happens to be a model for somebody like me, she'll be socially and verbally attacked.
Social media and the so called "Social Justice Warriors" are very clearly the main reason myself, and other teen model photographers, receive far few applications these days, and if we do get a good one, why the girls and/or her mother have second thoughts and don't follow through.
Yes, I know I'm repeating the theories I've typed here in the last blog, and even going back a couple of years. I only repeat them because I continue to receive many comments (some very rude) that there are plenty of girls out there "that want to model". That is correct, but modeling in a class at Barbizon or at the mall fashion show, and appearing in my style of work is two entirely different things (89' Ford Tempo versus 89' Lotus Esprit Turbo SE).
Between the posting in February and now there have been at least 4 more young women driven to suicide on social media (see here). Seems even Barbizon related companies are having issues these days (see here).
Things are just plain different these days and the changes don't allow for what I did in the past and was hoping to do again - solo-model website with a super attractive teen model or two.
That doesn't mean myself and others are giving up. While receiving all the comments and questions over the past few months I was also buried in messages and calls from photographers and webmasters. They all had their own stories to relate that are close to what I've been discussing but in many cases they are active and need models to stay in business, where I had been model searching to get something new going with a few new ideas. I was not under pressure to update an active website.
Some of them had suggestions for methods they couldn't try themselves due to time or budget constraints. After several weeks of bitching and whining and feeling sorry for ourselves we decided to try some of the other suggestions.
The one thing we agreed on is that we can't use lies or tricks to get teen models, or their parents, in the studio. Non-nude, but daring, websites with females in the younger age range have always been a tad on the controversial edge. Lying to get somebody to participate has never been our practice, and starting now - in the age of social justice and bored keyboard jockeys out for vengeance - would certainly not be a good thing.
Back in the previous post I explained how companies can advertise on Google by bidding for keywords and common search terms to have their own link show at the top of the search results page. That actually provides a lot of traffic to a website but it appears to be visitors of all ages, male and female. It just doesn't have a method in place to narrow down the visitors.
Frankly, if I was running those ads today and the readers here typed in "teen modeling" hoping to find a new website like TrueTeenBabes, they might see my ad and click to the website I have set-up for new models to apply. Of course, that wouldn't do me any good in my search, but would cost me around $1.00 per click.
Google also has a system titled the Google Display Network which is used to place banner style advertisements on website not owned by Google, but that are related to the keywords. This would include modeling websites such as ModelMayhem, and others that have something to do with the subject matter.
The idea was to create an all new website, not specifically related to my business or that of any of my photographer friends, and advertise it using Google and Facebook ad networks. The website would be short (fast) and not get into details about the outfits or where the photos would be used. Girls would visit, read the brief information, and hopefully complete the form and submit images. From those submissions we would pick out the best of the best and approach them about the website business.
Overall, this is not a new idea. Some of the adult companies do this, and I tried a variation of it in the past, but had not done so using the Google Display Network to feed graphical and banner ads directly into modeling websites - where in theory girls that really did want to model would hang out.
After reviewing additional websites and discussions with the other photographers, I ended up creating two websites. One gave the appearance of a partnership spanning 5 photographers in 2 states that all wanted to hire new models that hadn't appeared on other subscription websites. The second was fashioned after a website one of the adult companies successfully used with just a single page, limited photos and text, and an online form for information and photo submissions.
I also hired a couple of different guys to create a total of 62 different banners in the various sizes suggested for the Google Display Network, Facebook ads, Craigslist and others.
Both the websites used images purchased at IStockPhoto.com or DepositPhoto.com so none of the images would be recognized as having come from any of our websites. The most daring of the images would be pretty basic bikini shots, but most are fashion style photos.
The goal is to collect contact information and images of girls that want to model in a general sense. In the past I would try to make clear I was looking to pose models in swimwear and lingerie right from the start to avoid wasting time.
For Google I created new Display ads and new search (text) ads that I ran on various days between May 20th and June 20th. Combined they were displayed a total of 402,710 times, were clicked a total of 921 times, at a total cost of $1094.45.
You can see the chart here, but first let me explain a few details. The top line doesn't relate to this conversation because it is an old campaign not used in May/June. The five lines that start with 2017 are what I'm talking about for May/June and you can determine which are Display Network campaigns and which are Search listing campaigns from the names.
s The main goal with the Display Network campaigns was to show our ads (banners & links) on sites where females under age 21, hopefully interested in modeling, may see them and click over to one of the sites for more information and to submit photos.
Unfortunately it didn't work out as hoped. Take for example Display-Only-002 that shows 377,391 total impressions (times it is displayed). Of that total only 8768 are on ModelMayhem, and just 4 on ExploreTalent.com. The remaining 368,619 impressions are pretty much evenly distributed among 126 other websites such as: justourkids.com, mischicago.org, hip-hop-model.com, captionite.com, moneytalksnews.com, grunge.com, jobtome.com, odinjobs.com, menupix.com, newszoom.com, flightrising.com, closetfulofclothes.com, prizegrab.com, gloriousa.com, celebritysizes.com, alfastories.com, gvenny.com and castingnow.co.uk.
In February I explained how Facebook advertising works and I won't rehash it all today. This time around I ran entirely new advertisements, using entirely new text and photos, sending those that clicked to entirely new websites.
A new variation of Facebook advertising was tried this time by using what is defined as an "Event" and a "Boost".
On Facebook, when you have your own profile, you can also start a page for your business. Say you are John Doe and own a local coffee and bagel shop named "John D's Bagels". So, off your profile you create a Facebook Page for your business and list things such as location, hours open, the menu, driving directions, and even display a bunch of photos from happy customers. That's cool, and you hope many in your area find that Facebook Page and decide to visit your shop. One concern is that only those following you know about the page, and for others to find it they must be searching Facebook (not Google or Bing) for a coffee shop in your area.
One thing you can do is to create an "Event" on your page such as "Half Price Saturday" where you are offering something that should get the attention of those following the page. Then, once the Event is created and posted you can Boost it, which actually means spread it out to the timeline of other people not normally following you, but within your market area.
A Boost is much like advertising but has a few less options and the tracking is less precise. If you have a demographic defined and saved in your Facebook Advertising control panel you can use it to narrow down in which timelines the Boost (ad for Event) will be displayed.
In May I created Facebook Pages for the two different new photography business websites I had created a few days prior. I used those pages first to advertise, then later created Events and paid to have those Events Boosted.
The events I created were simple: "Model Casting Call" and went on to describe how we would be conducting test photoshoots at the studio in Denver on a certain date and time in late June.
This is the basic text:
On July 1st, 2017 we'll be in the Denver, Colorado area conducting a model search / casting call.
This free event will allow us to meet Denver area girls that are interested in modeling, have our make-up and hair girls work with them, and conduct some fun test shots.
This is a one day event and we can only interview / test shoot one girl per hour. You must be scheduled in advance. Please complete the form on this page and if we wish to schedule you for a test shoot we'll call or email as soon as possible.
Notice that it doesn't mention anything about age, tattoos, modeling in bikinies & lingerie or anything else. Short and sweet just to get them to the sign-up page, with the goal of booking the most attractive and getting them in.
For those asking - Yes, the plan was real. My old studio space is being used for something else right now but I made arrangements to have one available on that Saturday.
The Boost was shown to 5988 Facebook profiles of females, under age 21, within Colorado. The post was commented on 48 times (none negative), but only 14 left Facebook to visit the site and complete the online form.
Sadly, of those 14, only two appeared to be worth talking to further. The others are likely very nice people but simply do not fit the modeling game, much less my long term goal of a website with photos and videos so good that fans are willing to subscribe. For examples of those that apply but don't fit see here and here.
This is what an Event Boost looks like. Note that I have cropped off along the top text and a profile name, and all the comments and profile names below because - as we all know - some people hate this show-off modeling stuff and would quickly put on the Social Justice Warrior hat to attack those that post, share or discuss the topic.
Damn, I actually thought the free casting call / photoshoot thing would be a good idea. I can't explain why it failed, but some I discussed it with made the comment that I selected the wrong date because July 1st was actually the start of a long holiday weekend and many people would be out of town or at events they had planned much further in advance. That could be correct, but it doesn't fully explain what happened next.
That Boost (ad) ran for 7 days. It was pretty obvious after that time period I wasn't getting near the response I was hoping for. I waited a few days, started this Boost for 7 more days, and also started another using another Facebook Page (business page) and in different areas.
The second Event and Boost was also planned to be a Model Casting Call, but I decided (with input from others) to try searching in different areas. Yes, I know it goes against my stated goal of having the new model be in Colorado so shoots would be easy to plan, but I just wanted to see what would happen.
I selected Birmingham, Alabama; Mobile, Alabama and Biloxi, Mississippi as places I would target the model search / casting call Event posting, and set the Facebook demographic options to be females under age 21 within 250 miles of those areas.
I also altered the text just a bit by adding the term "glamour style" and asking that the photos they submit be in a bikini. I also used beach and swimwear photos in the ad.
The production crew from ProModels is visiting Alabama and Mississippi in July scouting for new models! These free events will allow us to meet new girls that are interested in glamour style modeling, have our make-up and hair girls work with them, and conduct some fun test shots.
We'll be spending one day each in Birmingham, Mobile and Biloxi. We interview / test shoot one girl per hour and you must be scheduled in advance. Please read this page, complete the form and submit recent photos or selfies of yourself in a bikini. If we wish to schedule you for a test shoot we'll call or email as soon as possible.
The reach of the this casting call Event & Boost would include most of the Florida Gulf Coast where there are tons of beaches and girls should be comfortable in a bikini.
Because I had selected 3 cities I created three different Events, and Boosted each of them with the plan to run 7 days, take a break, and do 7 more days as I had in Colorado. Each of them received fewer comments below the post, but each of them sent more clicks to the website (both in total and by ratio of views to clicks). I can't say which of the 3 worked best because I only know the girls that submitted information and photos came from Facebook, but not which of the 3 Event / Boost / Posts they had actually reviewed and clicked.
Each of the 3 Event postings received some sort of negative comment. Two of them no big deal, but one got bad, with a couple of girls repeatedly called it everything from racists to sexist to illegal because we are not hiring gals in their 30s. I thought I screen captured that before I had deleted it but can't find it today. I did capture one of the others that wasn't bad, but was interesting.
Note - As with other screen captures from Facebook I am hiding the profile names of commenters to save them the hassle of dealing with some anonymous jerk or jerkette.
The first and second comments are a thicker girl sharing the post with her slimmer friends. By sharing, and the comment on her second share, I assume she thinks they other girls should check out the website.
It's the third comment that I wish to discuss. She says A "tiny slim & tight" body is best for them. RIDICULOUS. (ITALICS) and I have a few issues with that.
1- The website didn't actually say what she places in quotes. It actually states "A slim and trim body style is best for our shoots". In typical "Social Justice Warrior / I'm a Victim" fashion, she is altering the words to make it sound different and because she isn't "slim and trim" she wants to claim victim status. The real text is not bad as written, but she doesn't fit into what we need so she wants to make it sound bad.
Quick Rant Time - Imagine that in any other job where your body size and style is important. Say, pro basketball player - should most of us be whining about how the NBA teams won't hire us because we are too short, or not fast enough, or our big beer bellys indicate we are far out of shape? Are we victims of some sort of discrimination because we didn't chose to eat a proper diet and workout hours per day like others do? Among today's youth, and many of their parents, the answer is yes - the thick girl with a slice of pizza in one hand and a Big Gulp in the other should be considered just as qualified to be a bikini model as Jaclynn or Kelsey, and if we don't acknowledge that and hire her, we are not smart businessmen, but sexist, racist, perverts. It sickens and saddens me.
2- You can see that I tried to be calm and explain. It didn't help. That particular post (Event / Boost) didn't get another comment, while the other 2 did, and the clicks from this one to the website died.
Think about that - as soon as one girl posts the tiniest negative comment about modeling all other girls are afraid of the ad and won't click over. Making it extra odd is that there is almost no chance the girls that see the comments later know the girl that made them because the darn thing was being shown to hundreds and hundreds of girls up to 250 miles away!
The girl that made the comments is not fat, but she also doesn't have the facial features or body style of a swimwear model. It surprises me that she would even click the ad, much less be so upset that she posts untrue negative comments to scare others away. She is 19 years old, her right thigh is consumed by a large tattoo and she has two kids. (see here and here).
The question now becomes: Why the negative comments on all 3 of these posts, but none in the Colorado post? There really is only one possible answer: The posts for Alabama and Mississippi talked about bikini models and had bikini model images in them, while in Colorado it read and looked more like a fashion model search.
I don't know or understand, but it seems that being a model in any manner that might be interpreted as showing off or being sexy is very much frowned upon, and some wish it was illegal (more below).
Just for discussion I want to show another couple of curious comments. While the Alabama and Mississippi Event Posts ran (Boost), I also placed some advertisements on Facebook and Instagram in those states. The image below is one such ad.
The first girl has shared the post with a friend she thinks should apply, and the second girl answers her twice in the comments. Notice the second girl first says "not for fat girls". I saw that, went to her profile and she is not at all fat. Not even thick, but she seems to think she is fat. Does she think that because she isn't as tan and trim as the girls in the photos? Or did she think that before this advertisement ever showed up on her phone?
Her second comment brings us back to that whole "can't show the body" thing when she says "and maybe if it was in winter clothes". Clearly she means "maybe if my body was completely covered I would try it" because by specifically saying "winter" clothes she is going so far as to eliminate modeling in shorts and simple tank tops common in spring and summer.
That exchange wasn't negative and this advertisement eventually had about a dozen shares and comments, including twice a girl sharing it with her mother, which I took to mean she is saying "Hey mom, can I try this?"
Overall, the Alabama / Mississippi experiment got 24 girls wanting to do one of the casting calls, but dozens more hoping to apply online and emailing that they couldn't drive, wouldn't be available on the casting call dates, etc. Interest was high.
Combining the Colorado ads (Google and Facebook), the Colorado casting call Event post, the Alabama/Mississippi ads and the Alabama/Mississippi Event posts we ended up with over 100 sets of information and photos.
Of those 100 only something like 20 actually had potential, and 4-5 showed the super potential as girls like Libby, Jaclynn and Kelsey did when they first came around. The 20 with potential were split between two age 14 and all the others 18 or 19.
I found it interesting that the vast majority of the estimated 100 girls that did complete the online form and submit photos fell into the age 18-20 age range. The ads and Event posts on Facebook and Instagram are set to be displayed to profiles of females ages 13-20. That means 5 possible ages in the lower range, and 3 possible ages in the upper range. I expected the submissions to be roughly equal at something like 50% under 18, and 50% over 18. It ended up being more like 82% age 18 and above. That includes a bunch of girls over age 20.
There was not a single submission or email from a girl age 13, and just 3 at age 14. Of the 200 models on TrueTeenBabes from 2001-2013 two parents had lied and the girl was actually 12 years and 7 months, there was others at 13, and dozens we never got to work with that applied at age 13 that we would have worked with but never manage to because dad said no, they lived too far away or couldn't fit in schedule.
One thing that sort of bugs me or confuses me is the upper ages. The Facebook / Instagram demographics used for all the casting call posts and advertisements limit the upper age to 20. That is managed by Facebook using the age the person has put in their profile. Yet, we had 11 women above age 25 complete the online form, including a 43 year old (here).
That seems to indicate that these women are running Facebook profiles pretending to be younger than they really are, and that when they read the modeling job website they feel the part that states "we are scouting for models up to age 21" applies to others, not them.
The first goal of all this was to see if we could get more applicants if the advertisements, images, and posts sounded more like fashion modeling, or at the most swimwear and never mentioning it was for a pay to view website.
The answer is yes we did. Leaving out the issue of the girls being the right style for my work and looking only at numbers, we learned two things:
• That the percentage of girls clicking ads or posts, leaving Facebook or Instagram, and visiting the modeling job website is about 6 times greater compared to weeks when I run ads strictly for "Bikini Models" or "Glamour Models".
• That the percentage of those that visit the website, and go on to submit their information and images, is about 4 times as high when the website doesn't state anything about lingerie modeling or that the work is for a pay to view website.
The next goal would be to select the best of the applicants and follow-up with them in the hopes we can convert their modeling job interest into glamour modeling job and website interest (under 18) or nude modeling job and website interest (18-19).
Of those under 18 I'm trying to follow-up with a couple of the girls (and their parents) this month and will report on that in the future.
For those over 18 and 19 it would have to be for a nude solo-model website but I didn't follow-up with most just yet. Frankly, I don't see any profit in nude solo-model websites these days due to travel costs (none of the girls from Denver) in the age of so much free content online. Very few new solo sites are being made due to lack of quality models and paying customers. Times have simply changed.
The story is simple - She was 17, but turning 18 in ten days. She was from Nebraska but had seen the Colorado Casting Call / Event post and sent me a direct message asking if I ever did those things in Nebraska. I replied that I had no plans to go there, but had hired Nebraska girls in the past by flying them to Denver, and further explained that the most recent Nebraska girl had been for our nudie site TrueBabes.
At that point I fully expected her to shy away from the conversation but it didn't happen. In fact, it turned the other way. She replied that now that she was turning 18 she had already been looking for "sexy modeling jobs like vs" (meaning Victoria Secrets lingerie company). Over the next few days I the explained websites, how multi-model sites like TrueBabes can be cool but don't do great these days, but that solo-model website could do good if the expenses such as travel can be kept low, if the girl commit's to a long period of time (not just a couple of good pay checks), if the imagery is fairly sexual, and if she is super active with fans on the site, on the webcam and on social media.
Next she tells me travel costs wouldn't matter because she has her own car and is moving to Colorado for college! And she further explains that she has been thinking about posing nude for a "couple of years at least". Well shit, suddenly I'm faced with a beautiful girl that is hitting 18 in just a few days, that's going to be living an easy 1 hour drive from Littleton where I usually shoot and could open the studio back-up, and she is comfortable with nude imagery on a pay-to-view website and interacting online with fans.
Sounds too good to be true doesn't it?
We stopped communicating for a few days as she was leaving on a long weekend camping trip, then back for a big 18th birthday celebration. When she got back in touch about 2 weeks later she had two big surprises for me.
One was a huge tattoo on her right arm that was a birthday present from her mother. It extends pretty much from the elbow to the shoulder.
The second was the start of a tattoo on her back. it's planned to eventually cover the entire back and they need to do it in parts over the course of many months. it's going to be a large raptor style bird, somewhat like a falcon. She explained it was a birthday present to herself.
I'm a grown ass 58 year old man and almost broke down in tears!
We've all seen these deals before. Perfect model, but the peer pressure or internal desire for tattoos overcomes them. Jaclynn, Amanda, and on and on. The more blue ink they add to the body the more green money that is sucked out of the website business to be moved by the paying fans to some other model with less ugly blue ink.
Sidebar - The talk from Alyssa about looking for "sexy modeling jobs like vs" used to be very, very common. Even girls in the 14-15 age range would tell me they wanted to be Victoria Secret models or Playboy models like that TV show "The Girls Next Door" that ran from 2003 to 2009 up until about five years ago. This was the first time I remember hearing it since Jaclynn said something similar in the summer of 2011 when she was 15.
Overall trying these different methods on Google and Facebook/Instagram was a very interesting experiment. It confirmed some things I had assumed and raised a few new questions.
With models under 18 the shortage of photo submissions seems to indicate that it's modeling in general, not just my style, that fewer and fewer younger women are looking into these days. Maybe it is just a fad or trend and things will swing back the other way in a year or two, or maybe it's here to stay.
With models 18-19 it showed that if I still had TrueBabes open, and had the studio down in the Tampa, Florida area like I did from 2005-2010, and was willing to fly girls down from Alabama and Mississippi, I could likely find enough girls using these methods to keep the site active and updated. Unfortunately, the cost of all those ads (over $2500 spent in 25 days), and the expense of airfare and hotels for the new models, would kill any chance of making money. A softcore nude college girl / multi-model website just can't get enough subscribers these days with all the free college girl content out there (much of it more daring).
No matter how informative, yet confusing, that set of experiments was, I'm pretty sure the topless snowboarding test that was conducted prior to them and at no expense has them beat hand down.
Back during the February post I mentioned that I would continue to keep my eyes open, and post a few ads now and then, just to see if things changed. One place to do that, if looking for females 18 and above, is the Talent-Gigs section of Craigslist.
On Craigslist it can be hard to keep ads posted, and they limit how often a person can post in the same category, from the same IP address, and with the same account. To help get past that I have multiple accounts and post from the home IP and cell network IP.
In May while preparing to start the Google/Facebook/Instagram tests discussed above, I was browsing stock photo websites for the images to use and came across a series of images featuring girls snowboarding but with a tad of sexiness featured. I'm talking about girls in a bikini top or with a jacket unzipped with lots of cleavage showing.
For some reason I got the idea to post on Craigslist that I needed a model for topless snowboarding. I just wanted to see what would happen. You can see the post here.
That's all made up crap just to see if I would get any replies. I got around 3 dozen. I can't explain it, but within a few hours I had at least 10 replies. I took the ad back down for a bit to do another test. I put it back up about an hour later, but this time I used another account to post a "nude models wanted" ad just a few minutes later. Once posted they appeared with just 1 ad between them on the Craiglist site. Those scrolling down the Talent-Gigs would see the nude models wanted post before the topless snowboard post.
Over the next 24 hours the topless snowboarding ad got around 27 more replies, and the nude model for TrueBabes only received 5. It seems some of the replies were same girls that had emailed earlier. Those numbers are odd, but even more strange was the quality of the women that contacted me for the snowboarding.
In general the snowboarding ad replies seemed to be a larger percentage of girls closer to the target age (18-20), slimmer and fewer of them had tattoos I could see in the photos. See here, here, here and here.
Only two of those replying to the topless snowboarding ad had also replied to the nudie ad for TrueBabes. Yes, topless and nude are two different things, but to get almost 3 dozen replies for one and only 5-6 for the other seemed weird, in particular with only 2 contacting both ads. My initial thoughts on quality, based only on images submitted, was also odd. The majority of the topless girls seemed pretty cute, but I might as well say it - each of the 5-6 that applied that week for nudies were not photogenic in a TrueBabes sense due to being too thick, having ugly ass tattoos, and in some cases looking like scary crack addict losers.
I took the snowboarding ad down after 24 hours from the second posting. I waited a couple of days, sent photos to my photographer friends while telling them the story, then had yet another silly idea.
I selected the 6 girls I thought seemed the most photogenic and seemed to have some personality based on their emails and looking at their Facebook profiles. I waited a couple of days then sent those 6 an email saying I no longer needed a girl for the topless snowboarding, but that TrueBabes was also located in Colorado and happened to be scouting for new models. I included a link to one of the sites we use to pass information to TrueBabes model prospects and have them submit information.
Three of the six completed the form and submitted pictures to apply for nude modeling on TrueBabes, a forth sent an email asking if it could be done "nude but not showing vag", and another asked if it could be done even though she had tattoos.
Talk about confusing. I can't get quality girls to reply to an ad for nude models, but can for topless. Then many of the cutest topless model applicants reveal they are interested in the nude shoots for the same website and pay rate they avoided on Craigslist.
If I had hair I'd be pulling some out right now!
For no real reason at all I selected another 6 girls from the group that had replied to the topless snowboarding ad and sent them the same information; I no longer needed a girl for the topless snowboarding, but that TrueBabes was also located in Colorado and they happen to be scouting for new models.
Two more went to TrueBabes and submitted information. Overall, out of 12 contacted, there was 8 girls that skipped over the nude modeling ad, contacted us about topless, then later took the time to apply for, or ask about, the same nude modeling job. I can't explain it.
I should note that during the topless snowboarder ad experiment I didn't state "no tattoos" or give a firm age range like I do in ads for TrueBabes models (18-19 or 18-20). That means many of the 3 dozen that replied may have had tattoos I didn't see in photos they submitted or may have been above the age limit. Leaving that aside, in a single week I had at least 3-4 good applicants that had sort of been filtered through the topless snowboarding ad, when in the weeks before or since I get very few applicants to nude model ads.
I couldn't think of a good theory why this would work out but my photographers buddies did suggest it was due to the reputation of Craigslist, and the Talent-Gigs section. it's pretty common knowledge that most of the guys posting there for "nude models" are amateur photographers doing photoshoots as a weekend or evening hobby. Some of those guys might not have the best of intentions or the best of manners when working with the girls, and often fail to meet the payment total listed in the ad.
My photographer friends feels it's very easy for the decent studio operations to be grouped in with the hobbyists, and for the general reputation of the hobbyists that are on the rude side, to spread to the more serious photographers and studios. Basically, it seems that all photographers looking for nude models carry the legitimacy question and most girls just skipped those ads.
The theory continues to explain that in the topless snowboarding post the girls are not being invited to a private home or hotel room, but to an open ski resort they have likely visited many times and where there will be many others around, leaving an instinct of "feeling safer" and comfortable enough to apply. Once they contact me through the Craigslist anonymous email system I can reply from a pro studio website (email address), with links to my own websites full of information and samples. Suddenly, in several instances, they also get that instinct of "feeling safer", compared to meeting a stranger at a cheap hotel, so they will again feel comfortable enough to apply, this time to the nude modeling I list in my email.
The bottom line, in this theory, is that only the "desperate" females would apply for nudes when they think it is an amateur playing around in a private home or cheap hotel. By "desperate" I'm referring to heavier girls, druggie girls, broke girls trying to support their loser boyfriend, and others along those lines.
It's very rare that, when advertising direct on Craigslist for nude models, that I would get a quality applicant, but with the silly snowboarding ad I did, and was able to convert a few of the to quality nude model applicants.
I sure as fuck wish I had done a silly topless snowboarding ad experiment and figured this stuff out back in 2015 when TrueBabes was open and searching far and wide for new models to keep it going.
Above when explaining the comments below the Biloxi, Mississippi casting call Event on Facebook I mentioned how one girl seemed to be acting as if she was the victim of a rude photo studio company because we are not looking for girls with her body style. I even went so far as to say "she wants to claim victim status".
I stand by that now and feel it's true, but after proof reading this blog post, and rereading the long one from February, it seems I am also presenting myself and my business as a victim. I consistently talk about how society has changed and the current mood towards teenage females showing off their physical beauty has made it hard for myself, and all other United States based teen model photographers, to run our businesses as we have in the past, with large numbers of model applicants to choose from.
I apologize for that. I didn't even realize that in trying to explain honestly what has been going on in the business over the past 4-5 years I was simultaneously presenting myself and the other teen model photographers as victims of societies changes.
Maybe, if the United Nations has there way in banning things such as the cute Carl's JR ads (see here) the entire world will become some sort of Utopian Fantasy Island and all other problems will go away and none of us will ever again be a victim, disadvantaged, poor or lacking all we want.
I mean, now that they have rid the world of hunger, terror, the addictive opium trade, institutionalized slave labor, sweatshops in third world countries, and rouge dictators... what the fuck... they might as well save me from being tempted to eat a cheeseburger from some beautiful female.
July 15th, 2017
Avon, Colorado. USA.