When it comes to working with models (whether it be aspiring or established), there is one trait that I value above all others. If you're thinking that I'm going to say cheek bones, freckles, or a specific hair color you're way, way off.
I'm not talking physical traits; appearances are neither here nor there. When it comes to working with a model (male or female), above all else and at the very top of my list is one thing: punctuality. The ability to arrive on time will always be the make or break trait and skill that I look for. When I connect with someone able to arrive on time, that person is always going to be a first choice over someone with an established track record of tardiness.
One might think that in such a competitive industry, this would be a basic requirement. Unfortunately, there are people who tend to accept “model time” (an expression used to describe talent that operates using their own clock, perpetually behind, rather than actual time) as just another part of the job. I can tell you right now that as you navigate your way through and move up in the industry, you will find fewer and fewer people willing to tolerate tardiness.
I tend to view punctuality as a reflection of an individual's dedication to their craft. Arriving on time shows me that you value the time of everyone involved; myself, hair and makeup artists, stylists, as well as any assistants or crew involved with the shoot (not to mention your own time). Though I certainly understand that life happens and there are just some days where in spite of our best efforts, everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Family emergency? Of course people will understand, no one could hold that against you.
However, if your plan is to message a photographer ten minutes after a scheduled start time saying you don't feel well or your car doesn't work, I promise you we have heard that dozens of times and recognize a flake when we see one. Though it sounds harsh, I struggle to take someone seriously who can't arrive on time. I keep mental notes about who can and who can't show up. If getting from point A to point B on time is the unconquerable mountain in your daily life, this might not be the industry for you.
Leave a comment with your thoughts on the matter. Do you tolerate tardiness (keep it respectful, no trash talk)? How much slack do you cut someone before it becomes too much? If I'm showing up, I want to see that everyone involved gets the respect they deserve and it starts with being ready to roll on schedule. Agree or disagree?