Cezar B, Get Testing With Him!
So yesterday I talked about why it’s important to test; getting in lots of practice, new shots for your book and generally letting people get a bit more creative than they’re allowed to on paid shoots.
Us models are always looking for someone to test with, because it keeps our minds and our energy and our portfolios fresh – but it’s such a gamble that it often doesn’t really feel like taking the risk. Not only can a bad test result in a wasted day and a cold from standing outside in Hackney alleyways, but now everyone has social media some really unfortunate pictures can get spread far and wide and turned into memes!
So models, I’ve got a great recommendation: Cezar B. Well, Cezar Banaszczyk but I think we can agree Cezar (pronounced cez-arr rather than geezer) B is somewhat catchier!
I met Cezar through Instagram, liked some of his photos, he proposed doing a little shoot and I just thought ‘why not’? And I’m so very glad I did! Cezar is a real talent and I’m always inspired by people who are super-focused and ambitious and hard-working, because they make me slightly panickey that I’m not working hard enough and give me a much-needed kick up the bum sometimes!
Fair play to Cezar, he is in his first year at LCC (one of the best photography schools in the world) and he’s making the most of the facilities, the equipment and any spare time he has to get as much experience in as he can, testing with models. When I was at Uni, I watched Hollyoaks on E4 AND THEN AGAIN ON E4+1 (THE SAME EPISODE TWICE IN A ROW), ate ice cream, went to charity shops and attended the two lectures a week I had. I could have worked on the Uni newspaper but no, though I did work hard I also frequently slept ’til midday and ate a lot of potato smilies.
So back to Cezar. With two years experience of working at a photography studio up his belt too, he’s not totally green. We met up and just pootled around Southwark and took pictures whenever a location struck him. I doubt you’d assume that in this shot, I’m croched next to a tiny plant patch in a carpark on an estate in Elephant and Castle…
We were blessed with some beautiful sunshine, which I lapped up…
And to be honest, we just had fun running around, hair swooshing, leaping, striding, sitting, attituding, smiling, using flash, backlighting, direct lighting, black and white, full on colour, film and digital…Just generally letting loose!
Thanks Cezar for a truly excellent couple of hours. I think Cezar is a true talent with a lot of ambition and potential, and totally worth a couple of hours of your day getting some great shots for your book! Not only that but we had some lovely chats and I walked away feeling full of motivation and general good vibes.
Just in case you’re curious, my make up (a bit smudged by the end, but I like that!) was Laura Geller Spackle, Balance-N-Brighten Foundation and mascara, Ilia lipstick in Wild Child and my hair was just freshly washed with Lavera Basis Sensitiv shampoo and dried with my trusty Aquis towel! I’m wearing head to toe vintage.
* I DO have to say, however, that randomly meeting photographers who have contacted you over Instagram/social meda DOES need to be treated with caution. I could just tell from the way Cezar spoke, and his Instagram feed, that he it legit. However it’s definitely best to ask your agency advice and to maybe call the photographer themselves, to check it’s safe. CC the photographer in an email with your agent and say ‘this person has contacted me about a shoot – I’m definitely up for it but I just wanted to organise it through you’. The photographer will completely understand and if they don’t – they’re not worth risking your safety over!
Also, meet the photographer in a very public place with the intent to shoot in the streets where there are people around. Even though I intuitively felt that this was all cool, I would never have just gone round Cezar’s flat on first meeting, or in one of the estates we ended up shooting in! We met at the entrance to Elephant and Castle station so it was a busy area and I could have just got the tube home if I got bad juju off him. Being safe is MUCH more important than getting good photos!