So you want to be a Maxim model, eh? All you need are good pro shots to send them and you should be good, eh?
Every year I’m contacted several women asking to be photographed so they can send in professional images to Maxim in the hopes that they will be picked. Some even come to me and ask if I wouldn’t mind doing a “shoot for Maxim” only to find out a couple lines later that it’s for the Hometown Hotties contest.
My answer is always a resounding NO.
I have nothing against the company itself. Lord knows…I mean, I already shoot that type of content. So no worries there. I have nothing against the ladies that want to do the magazine either! I think it’s great that you’re shooting high! I hope you land it!
So what’s my problem for shooting for the HH contest? Well…there are at least three main reasons.
The first reason I’m not too keen on it is the contract/release for the images. If you’ve ever taken a moment to read it over you’d see that they are asking for the full, un-restrained, forever usage of the images. This means they can use my images (your likeness) for free, forever. So anytime from now till eternity you can open any number of the magazines owned under the Maxim label and you may find your image for any kind of use that they wish and you get nothing from them in return!!!! So you’re letting a billion dollar company use your likeness to make money…and not give you anything.
The second reason I’m against it is the fact that most people that want to shoot for this publication do not want to pay for the images either. This ties back to the first reason. Basically, someone is asking me to photograph them for free “for my portfolio” so they can sign away the rights to the images for nothing so a third party can use the images to potentially make money off of me. I don’t like where this is going…
Third, as I understand it, I wouldn’t even get a nod of the head to my contributions to the magazine. Not only are they taking my photos for their use for nothing, but they are aren’t giving me the decency of a shout out on their facebook page or even on the image. This ties back to reason 2 which ties back to reason 1.
Another issue that comes from all this are the people that want to take advantage of the models and/or talent that dearly want to make it in this industry. This isn’t restricted to individuals either. There are “talent agencies” and agents out there that want your images “for submission” to the magazine.
Some people will send me a message saying that they are working with an agency out of Lexington (where I am based) and they are wanting images for Maxim magazine because they “work closely with the magazine to provide them with talent.” These agencies are talking out of their butts most of the time.
To further this point, here’s my question to you: why would a WORLDWIDE company like Maxim – who owns several different magazines – come to grand ol Kentucky to look for talent? If YOU owned that magazine, would YOU come to KY? NO! Why not? Most of the talent in this industry is in LA, Chicago, Miami, NY, and Vegas. Do you think any of these people (other than college b-ball fans) would know where Lexington KY is? Probably not. It’s not impossible, it’s improbable.
Someone recently cited another massive company and franchise that does come to different cities and look for talent: America’s Next Top Model. My argument for this would be to look at the content. Someone like ANTM is looking for TV personalities as well as talent in front of the camera. They aren’t running a beauty contest where the hottest girl or the girl with the most votes gets a contract.
Here’s a reality check for you:
*** WARNING—MODELS & PHOTOGRAPHERS—PLEASE READ!! ***
Maxim has recently received several communications from individuals (men and women) who have been contacted by people purportedly on Maxim’s behalf, claiming to be agents, photographers or international modeling agents for Maxim.
These communications, typically sent by email, have generally stated that this person is authorized by Maxim to find new talent for Maxim magazine or a new magazine as yet to be published by Maxim. These “agents” typically offer to pay for traveling expenses and modeling fees for a photo shoot, or they will offer to buy photographs from you. Once a fee is agreed, they send you a bogus check for an amount that is much higher than the amount that you agreed to. Then, they ask you to wire the excess amount back to them. So far, we have uncovered two names associated with these activities: Glenn Morrison, and Leah Christiansen from CDN Models, a fictitious Canadian model agency.
Maxim generally does not hire agents to locate new talent for photo shoots. If someone contacts you by email, on Facebook, or MySpace, or other chat or social sites regarding photographs or modeling for Maxim, please be very cautious. If you have any questions regarding the legitimacy of any communication from someone who claims to be employed by Maxim or an agent of Maxim, you may contact our legal department at email@example.com with the details.
Please remember if you are a contestant in our Hometown Hotties program, only the Hotties Coordinator will communicate with you about upcoming events and requirements. The Hotties Coordinator can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legitimate Maxim-sponsored sweepstakes will be located on our websites at www.maxim.com <http://www.maxim.com/> , www.blender.com <http://www.blender.com/> or www.winstufftoday.com <http://www.winstufftoday.com/>
So, there you have it. Maxim does NOT typically work with modeling agencies and/or agents.
They do NOT have some random people shooting for them either. So if a photographer comes to you and says “I’m a photographer for Maxim” check the references. I cannot count the number of women that have come to me over the years saying “I did a shoot for Maxim last year” but they cannot cite where the images were published or if they were published. Then, when I ask who did the shoot, they always say some local photographers name that shoots horses or something of the sort. No, honey, you didn’t shoot for Maxim. You helped someone get off that evening. Sorry.
Don’t get fooled and more importantly, don’t fool yourself because you want to be published so badly. There’s a difference in shooting for the Hometown Hotties and doing a spread for the magazine just like there’s a difference shooting Under Armour clothing and shooting FOR Under Armour. Watch yourself out there, ladies! There are people everywhere trying to take advantage of you! You’ll be smart to check credentials and ask for references for these folks asking you if you would like to “model for Maxim.”
This has been a Gustavo Alfaro Photography PSA. Now you know and knowing is half the battle…the other half is getting it right in camera. 🙂