Any and every project you take on is just your interview for your next project. A few years ago we had a talent we booked to shoot a workout circuit for a print magazine feature. The day before the shoot she decided to back out because she got a higher paid offer the same day. We left the conversation with me saying “there is something to be said for honoring commitments.” Since then, her name has come up numerous times for larger projects and each time we consciously had to guide the client in a different direction. She has proven she cannot honor commitments and thus cannot be trusted for bigger project.
Just recently I had a similar experience where a talent’s coach felt it was more important for her to do a competition on the day of a print magazine feature photo shoot. I asked if she truly felt doing a competition was more important than doing a print magazine feature and she expressed that it was expected of her at her training group that she had to go through with the competition and thus it needed to take priority.
When another project comes in and she is up for consideration – how am I supposed to trust her to not cancel and honor her commitment to a project she accepted and follow through on it?
Anytime I personally get hired by a photo editor to shoot for a magazine, they are putting their own career on the line. They are giving me a chance, which puts them at risk to their bosses and their bosses’ bosses and so on. Thus when we get hired, we try to make the photo editor look as good as possible affirming exactly why they took a chance on us in the first place. We make them look good to their boss.
When I am in a position to book a talent on behalf of a magazine, I am putting my reputation on the line. When the model proves to be unreliable, as much as it shouldn’t, or as unfair as it is, it does reflect on myself. And I must take that into account the next time any opportunity surfaces.