Will we’re getting ready to for our main event, "Back to the Ranch" (BTTR) next week, featuring some top, top photographers as guest instructors, so I’m running like a chicken with my head cutoff right now! Whew! As we line everything up for what promises to be the best event of the year, 30 photographers, 15 models, 5 VIP photographer instructors, 5 mentor/assistants, 4 make-up artists and an outstanding location, we’re actually updating the website for the ranch event, though it’s basically sold-out! It sold-out before we could even finish the website and it was just announced after the 4th of July holiday! Imagine that?

That’s what happens when you get some great models, though only a few were mentioned. Why are we able to get some great models for all our events? The answer is not hard and I took an excerpt from the BTTR website and put it here for you to see below. Often I see other workshops "poking" fun at my "releases," implying that we suprises our photography workshop attendees–not so, it’s on every photography workshop web page, and the release are always voluntary, though encouraged. Besides, other workshops provide, very questionable promotional releases.

So enjoy the words below, and if you want to get in on BTTR 2009, please email me ASAP as we’ll be preselling it at a discounted rate. Thanks, see below and don’t forget our military troops, their families and friends in your prayers! rg sends!

Models know in “our” photography workshops they get compensated monetarily, not with half-promises. They know we’re the best workshop to be in, not just because we have more credentials with our host alone, than other workshops have in combined instructors, but because we ensure our models (and our make-up artists) receive more than promises of photos from the VIP’s, mentors and attendees–hence why our models tend to be exclusive to our workshops and why we can provide you top models. We also require you do your part in letting the talent know you’re happy with their hard work, none of this is ever hidden, always upfront on our workshop web pages and email updates.

Rest assured, when models know they’ll receive compensation for their efforts, they will give you more than a 110% effort.  Our models aren’t "suckered" into signing "promotional" releases which great attorneys frown on.  Our models will sign "full-releases" (with adult/porn restrictions to protect the model) not questionable promotional releases.  Promotional releases are nasty and if ever challenged in court, well let’s just say, that’s probably why you’re in court. In fact, the Cambridge Dictionary defines promotional as "intended to advertise something." Advertising is a commercial. Our model release system is tested tough in the past seven years and designed to protect you and the model–there is never a question of what is promotional and what is commercial use.  

Promotional is the adjective for promotion.
pro·mo·tion  (pr-mshn) n.

Advertising; publicity.

pro·motion·al adj.

Advertising is a commercial. ad·ver·tis·ing  (dvr-tzng) n.

The activity of attracting public attention to a product or business, as by paid announcements in the print, broadcast, or electronic media.

Our model releases are always voluntary for our attendees and our workshop terms allow only use of the images in your professional printed portfolio if you choose not to sign releases with our models. We encourage full-releases, which we provide, between you and the model for a small fee–$40 (for this event) paid directly to the model.  We supply the releases for the model and your protection and we never take a dime from the model. In fact, we pay for our model’s transportation, meals and lodging, more than any other workshop today.

Our releases allow the use of your images taken at our workshop for your on-line portfolios, websites and commercial use.  For releases to be valid, a model has to receive something of value–what’s $40 for three days of hard work? That’s barely over ten dollars per day! While you’re sleeping in bed, models are usually up at the crack of dawn in make-up.  Note: If you’ve ever attended a workshop or model/photographer event where a model signed a promotional release and you failed to supply her with images or something of value, that release is invalid. Also, if a group of models signed one release for one photographer, especially if it was photo-copied and given to all the photographers, the validity is seriously questionable. Ever wonder why mentors and VIP’s in other events use their own releases and not the promotional event releases? That’s why they’re pros. We do it right for you and the model! Think of our releases as an added incentive for the models to work harder for you verses promises of prints.

Knowledgeable attorneys frown on promotional releases because anything of "promotion," like posting photos on model and photography sites, forums, on-line portfolios, personal websites, etc., is in fact a "commercial" for your work and abilities.  Don’t be suckered into these workshops where models are also suckered.  In fact, we’ve heard the horror stories from many models of these (promotional release) workshops and it’s unfortunate. We’ve proven that professional photographers know that models need proper compensation for their talent.  A workshop is a place to learn and being up front with our releases is the way it’s done in the real world of photography and modeling, not promotional promises.

Again, while it’s voluntary, we encourage our releases and ask that you budget appropriately for our models so we can continue to keep our costs down and pass them on to you while supplying top-quality models who understand it’s OK to be paid for their hard work.  We settle for nothing less, top models for you, happy models for your camera and models that will work with you again as they respect your professionalism.

So that’s it, above, from the BTTR site, and we encourage anyone to boycott any workshop that involves models if the models are not being compensated, including their travel expenses paid for. Thanks, rg sends!