About two years ago we did a fairly large commercial campaign where we ended up booking approximately a dozen professional modeling talents through an agency that we worked with over a two-day period.

The campaign itself was and aggressive schedule at around 8-to-10 hours per day plus post work that was several months in preparation.

When I look at the project in hindsight, the reflection of it is highly positive. We achieved a great number of looks and shots and had a stellar team of people to work with from the client’s creative team to the stylists, to the talents we hired.

However in the entire project there was one thorn that nagged at us. One of the dozen models we hired, despite having one of the most pedigreed resumes, showed up on set saying that they were injured and were not able to do any of the shots we needed from them. The ironic part was that this was an athletic campaign shoot. This left by my team and the client’s team wondering why this talent would accept a gig that they couldn’t actually perform?

On the spot the creative lead from the client and myself came up with a few poses we could have this person do, but for the most part they sat around all day and were paid to do nothing. The client didn’t end up using a single image of theirs, which meant that money, time and energy was waste on this talent. The question even was circled on if we should ask for a refund on this talent’s lack of performance but eventually we decided not to do that.

The reason being, is that you have to keep in mind that this was just one small thorn in an overall highly successful campaign. Every single one of the other talents that were booked was exceptional.

Flash forward a little over two years and we were casting for another project when the agent reached out to me to pitch this talent and promote their abilities and experience.

It took me a few seconds of looking at his portfolio to think that they looked quite familiar. I went back to the project files from two years ago and sure enough it was the same talent who we had issues with – ironically once again applying for an athletic-based photo campaign.

I responded to the agent to remind them of the issues we had with the talent and that we were not comfortable working with them again, at least on an athletic-based campaign. Hopefully this was the appropriate thing to do, what would you have done?

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto