Never Underestimate the Power of Social Media…

In every life, a little rain must fall…

This week was hectic! I was fighting off illness with both hands, experiencing a heavy work flow at my day job and had a pretty extensive final due in my Lighting course.

The assignment required the modeling skills of an older teenager to sit for some modest senior-portrait type shots outdoors. Although I didn’t really know anyone with children this age, minus one who was out of town, and I couldn’t really think of anyone to use as the model, I figured this would be an easy nut to crack.

Soon, I had 4 possible models lined up and a decent location to shoot in. All was going well until the big “S” hit the fan! Model after model cancelled as they realized they were unavailable for the shoot night. Locations that could or would accommodate my lighting rig, which had to be used per course requirement, began to dry up due to prior arranged events taking the space or just lack of facilities. My lighting assistant wouldn’t be available for the first half of the shoot and it was looking as if I might not have a final project at all!

Then, I turned to Facebook and simply queried my friends via a short and simple status message:

Does anyone know someone between the ages of 15 and 19, is in need of modeling/dancing/acting head shots and is available Wednesday evening for about 60-90 minutes?

We are seeking a model for some **FREE** tasteful, senior portrait type pics for Wednesday evening! Previously contacted models are unavailable at the time we need them: Their loss equals your gain! Interested parties, please reply ASAP!!

Normal people more than welcome! No modeling experience necessary!!
Kansas City Area for this shoot, please!

That was it. No big promises. No inflated claims, just the bare bones, here’s what I’m giving and this is what I want statement. Within 12 hours I had 5 respondents. By hour 24 a total of 9 had responded, leaving me with 2 real possibilities for this shoot and 2 slightly more experienced models that were interested in some of my creative projects in the future.

The location was also found via social media by polling the Facebook pages and blogs of local parks and recreation departments. Within a day I had my model and location all worked out and I can point to social media, especially Facebook, as the hero here.

When all was said and done, I’d narrowed it down to Jasmine, a 15-year-old girl who photographed well and was a really good sport throughout the shoot. (As was her mom.) In exchange for her services, I offered low resolution digital files of some of her best shots and print orders at cost. I see this as a very even trade! We shot the day’s images at Macken Park in North Kansas City, MO… and we had no troubles, even though there were several events happening at the same time as our shoot.

As for the moral of this story? Never underestimate social media and don’t ever forget why it was created. At it’s most raw form, it’s all about networking — Knowing the right people at the right time to help you get things done! Remember: Help is out there in your network of friends, all you have to do is ask!

Until next time,

Jasmine, Up Close


5 Responses to “Never Underestimate the Power of Social Media…”

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  2. I couldnt have said it any better to be honest! keep up the awesome work. You are very talented & I only wish I could write as good as you do :)
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  3. renren876 says:

    Saw a link to this post over on Delicious. Thanks for posting it. Im sure Ill be back one day.

  4. Ophelia says:

    Great post, thanks.

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