Trading Game

Photoshoots aren’t always in exchange for green dollar bills. Sometimes the trade is model’s time for prints.  Other times, my photo buddies trade photoshoots. It’s a ‘you shoot me, I shoot you’ sort of a deal. We both get our pictures taken, everyone is content. Social media gets spammed. Then there are occasions where it’s far more unique.

One time I traded headshots for a plane ride. He was a pilot who pursued acting on the side. I think this was by far my best trade – but it’s also one that never got fulfilled due to stormy weather. Another one that didn’t get sealed was a dinner at a fancy restaurant in St. Helena. I was hospitalized the week we were supposed to do it. That person now lives in a foreign country.

Lunch are dinner are actually fairly common in addition to the monetary amount. Sometimes it’s ice cream from à la minute, other times a picnic or dinner at an Indian restaurant. It’s fun to hang out with the people who become subjects in future projects. It’s great to get to know them and plan on who their personalities will shine best on film… fine… maybe Facebook.

There have been trips too. One to Napa, and another for a camping trip in Mexico which gave me a pretty awesome cover photo. May not have been the most glamourous ordeal, but it was definitely a lot of fun.

Sometimes the agreement involves props onset. Typewriter borrowed from a thrift store in exchange for exposure. A U-haul truck and furniture for a customized film shoot after pictures were taken. A flower crown that would have otherwise cost $78… the list goes on.ContrastIn a recent photoshoot, I asked the model if he could help me with Arabic. After the pictures were taken, we sat around a library table. He provided the Arabic book he had learned on as well as journal pages from a stay in Egypt.

After he had gone, a fellow patron asked if the model was a French tutor.

“No,” I responded, “he was actually helping me with Arabic. We both just happen to speak French.”

Butterfly Break

You just never know what kinds of cool things you might end up acquiring as a photographer.

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