I showed up late to a shoot I was booked for. The producer was very upset and almost sent me home. Should I have called ahead and told them I was running late and let them know I was going to be about 4 hours late?
First of all, when I received this question I honestly thought it was a joke, but the editor told me it was a legitimate question. The actual business and profession of modeling is just that… PROFESSIONAL. It is a job and should be treated as such. If you work retail, or at a bank, etc. and show up 4 hours late with no phone call… you are written up, if not dismissed. Emergencies do happen, however your question does not have that your tardiness was due to an emergency.
The fact that the producer was still there after 4 hours and hadn’t replaced you is astonishing. If a model is not going to be on time, she ALWAYS calls either her agent or her contact for the shoot. Time is money and don’t think that producer didn’t have to pay the stylist, makeup artist, and photographer for those 4 hours of sitting around waiting for you; even if it is a free shoot. That is almost worse because you are sending a message that you don’t care at all and being the stereotype that working models are trying to break… the self-centered, entitled, ditz.
I know I may sound harsh, but do you know how blessed you are that someone wanted to pay you to use your image? Thousands of women would kill just for the opportunity and I hope you realize that. The good thing is that you did feel that maybe it was wrong and you are coming to professionals for advice. Also, any models reading this may learn from your mistake. I hope your pictures ended up coming out polished and the end result was positive.
I would send a thank you note to each person attached to the project so you can redeem yourself professionally. The producer may not want to use you again, but the word may get out that you sent a handwritten thank you note. This alone makes you look as if you really do care and are truly professional.