craigslist is a joke. I remember trying to find work on it years ago and how unbelievably ridiculous it was to find anyone willing to pay even a decent rate that was worth getting out of bed. Of course, at the time, I was starving so, I kind of had to. And looking even further back, I remember a situation where there was an ad looking for someone to work full time and the money was good. The only catch was I had to interview in Long Island. So I took the train to the LIRR for about 1 1/2 hours out to the middle of nowhere. Then had to take a cab from the train station to the address listed on the ad. When I get out there it’s some random house. I knock on the door and the guy informs me that it’s some cruel prank. They aren’t sure who did it, but they imagine it was one of his daughters friends. He said that there were about 50 people lined up outside the house just a few hours ago. I was fucking livid! Not only did it cost me about $30 that I didn’t really have to get out there and back that day, but it wasted my entire day. Ever since then, i’ve been very weary about craigslist ads.
I recently posted an Ad for a very low budget job. I wanted a second assistant for the job and the client wasn’t willing to pay so I was willing to take anyone that was brand new, cover their expenses for the day including food and train them to do digital work, which if you are good, pays really really well. No one bit. I even put the word out to a really well known photo instructor about it and I got one response. The girl came out with us for one day and she was absolutely great. I was so eternally grateful for her giving me her time and I put her at the top of my list when I needed another assistant for a paying job. She had even asked to work more days to gain more experience.
Back when I was starting out, I worked for free a lot. I interned at a big studio in NYC, which paid nothing but the pay off was exposure to big photographers and their first assistants. Meeting those people lead to picking up freelance work as a second assistant and tech for them.
The problem with craigslist is that everything is mostly anonymous and even if not, it is highly anti social. You really need to, and this is especially true for female models, meet people in real life before you commit to doing any work. And it’s better if you know them from prior work. I’m friends with a model who is very successful. I suppose she is considered a supermodel since she has a fan following and a wikipedia page. I’ve known her for years and at one, very brief, point in my career I considered being a fashion photographer. I knew she was someone I could approach if I had a good idea for a shoot. She’s very generous in that way, especially when she commands 10’s of thousands of dollars a day for shoots. And she’s a good recognizable face to have in your portfolio. I met her by working with her on multiple jobs. These are the kinds of connections you really have to make. Craigslist models and model mayhem models are not really models. If they were, they’d probably have an agent and wouldn’t need these sites.