Not long after Ji Anning returned home, she received a phone call. It was the response she had been waiting for regarding her modeling application for several days.
“Today afternoon? I won’t make it in time. Can we do it tomorrow?” she asked. She had plans to go to the coffee shop in the evening, so after negotiating with the person on the other end, they scheduled the appointment for the next day.
After hanging up the phone, she felt a bit excited. In the evening, she couldn’t wait to tell Shu Chen at the coffee shop.
Shu Chen was also happy for her. Although he didn’t understand the modeling industry of X Bao, he had some knowledge about the cosplay scene. He advised her on some precautions, such as how to guard against male photographers taking advantage.
Ji Anning agreed to his suggestions.
In fact, she was looking for a new job to replace her job at the coffee shop. If the income from the modeling gig was sufficient, she planned to resign.
Shu Chen was still completely unaware and enthusiastically offering her ideas and plans, making Ji Anning feel a little guilty.
On the other hand, Yang Bo received a phone call from his father, Yang Yuan, that night and was scolded by him.
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“Ebyv yal usw vaukdt vs es?” Tkp vsdl oyp nsze yde nsxrzlvlzu ekqqlaldv qasx vbl zshkdt yrrlyaydnl bl bye kd qasdv sq Eld Zw. “Gv pwnb y nawnkyz xsxldv, esd’v nywpl wddlnlppyau vaswczl.”
“R saktkdyzzu oydvle usw vos vs tlv nzspla, cwv qsatlv kv, usw pbswze jllr uswa ekpvydnl qasx Eld Zw!” bl pyke.
Usxryale vs Eld Zw’p yaastydnl yde plzq-nldvlaledlpp, Zydt Js nsxrzlvlzu zspv bkp yka yp yd sdzu nbkze kd qasdv sq Zydt Zwyd. Xd vbl rbsdl, bl bwxczu yexkvvle bkp xkpvyjl, lmrzykdkdt vbyv kv oyp fwpv y xsxldvyau kxrwzpl yde bl vbswtbv Eld Zw oypd’v kdvlalpvle kd vbl tkaz.
Gqvla scvykdkdt bkp qyvbla’p qsatkhldlpp, Zydt Js’p tygl vwadle nsze yqvla bydtkdt wr vbl rbsdl.
Mbyv tkaz vssj bkp cwpkdlpp nyae, lhld pyke pbl oswze yee bkx sd ElUbyv, cwv wdlmrlnvlezu vwadle yaswde yde psze bkx swv.
Tl eked’v lmrlnv Eld Zw, vbkp zkvvzl twu, vs byhl y clvvla fwetxldv sq osxld vbyd bkp sod qyvbla.
G nsze pxkaj yrrlyale yv vbl nsadla sq Zydt Js’p xswvb.
Xd Fwdeyu xsadkdt, yqvla qkdkpbkdt bla vwvsakdt plppksd, Kk Gddkdt vssj y cwp vs vbl zsnyvksd pbl oyp dsvkqkle sq sd vbl rbsdl. Rv oyp yd sze yaly, y nwzvwayz ralplahyvksd gsdl kd vbl rashkdnkyz nyrkvyz, okvb y zyatl dwxcla sq pxyzz Elpvlad-pvuzl bswplp cwkzv cu qsalktdlap ewakdt vbl oya lay, lmwekdt y pldpl sq bkpvsau.
The place she was going to was one of these houses. The owner had decorated the interior in a small-scale, bourgeoisie style, flashy but insubstantial. The owner was someone from the industry, and the decoration was not intended for living purposes but specifically rented out as a studio for photography. Every corner of the house was a potential backdrop.
Ji Anning listened to Shu Chen’s instructions and felt a bit nervous when she arrived, afraid of encountering scammers or perverts. But when she arrived, she found that there were about two or three groups of people simultaneously taking photos on different floors, and everyone was busy, working at a fast pace. Ji Anning felt relieved.
Among the people she contacted, the photographer had a neat chin-length hairstyle and a small curly bob tied behind his head. He looked to be in his twenties, a typical artistic youth, quite handsome.
There were two young assistants, one male and one female. The other person from the studio was a middle-aged lady in her thirties.
The photographer was busy shooting, and the assistants were also occupied. Ji Anning approached them to ask a question, but it was the middle-aged lady from the studio who received her and said, “Your surname is Ji, right? You belong to our group!”
The lady was satisfied with Ji Anning’s appearance and asked her, “Have you done this before?”
Upon learning that Ji Anning had no experience, the lady said, “It’s not difficult. Just pay attention and learn from others.” She pointed to the middle-aged model that the young curly-haired photographer was currently shooting.
The model was a woman in her fifties, and they were shooting clothing for middle-aged and elderly people.
Ji Anning had thought that being a print model meant posing like in regular photos, simply striking a pose. Little did she know that it was completely different.
The middle-aged model clearly had a lot of experience. She kept moving and changing poses with each outfit, from various angles, resembling a dance. The photographer kept clicking his camera non-stop.
What surprised Ji Anning even more was the speed at which the model changed outfits. There was a portable dressing room nearby, and the model would almost dash in and dash out, changing clothes like magic tricks.
“This lady can earn several thousand in a day,” the lady from the studio chatted with Ji Anning. “She looks great in the photos, which significantly boosts sales. Many sellers of middle-aged and elderly clothing seek her out.”
That meant she already had a reputation, right?
Ji Anning asked, “How much can a typical model earn?”
The lady replied, “What do you mean by ‘typical’? Some can earn a few hundred in a day, while others can earn tens of thousands in a day. And there are some who can’t even get a single job in a whole month.”
“But I think you’ll do well,” she carefully assessed Ji Anning and smiled, “You have a small frame, a slender figure, a small face. Whatever clothes you wear will look good on you. Oh, those who have attractive looks but big faces don’t photograph well, and the clothes don’t look good on them.”
Ji Anning waited for another half an hour until the middle-aged model finished shooting and hurriedly left after changing clothes. It was said that she had another job waiting for her in a neighboring building.
That’s a way to earn a lot of money, right? Ji Anning was very envious.
“It’s our turn! Let’s go!” The lady from the studio stood up abruptly, instantly entering work mode, and pulled Ji Anning along.
“Have you done this before?” The photographer, busy with his camera, glanced up at her and said, “Go change clothes, quickly.”
Everyone here was especially busy, as if time equaled money, and indeed, the models were paid per assignment.
But the lady had already told her earlier that since she had no experience, today’s shoot was just a trial and there would be no payment.
Ji Anning agreed.
The lady from the studio had already prepared the outfits and ushered her into the changing room. Ji Anning changed clothes swiftly, as fast as she could, but still couldn’t compare to the speed of the middle-aged model from before.
An assistant took a spray bottle and spritzed water on Ji Anning’s head, smoothing down her hair, and pushed her to stand in front of the camera.
While it seemed easy and smooth when the auntie posed, Ji Anning became stiff when it was her turn.
After a few shots, the photographer was dissatisfied, saying, “Move, move. Don’t mind me, just move on your own.”
But as a newcomer, Ji Anning was completely new to this. It was her first time, even less experienced than those amateur models who hadn’t received formal training. The photographer was very dissatisfied with her.
“Come here, come here,” he beckoned to her.
Ji Anning obediently walked over.
“Take a look.” The photographer raised the camera for her to see.
Actually, Ji Anning thought the photos looked pretty good, but of course, she couldn’t say that to the photographer. When the photographer showed her the photos, it meant he was dissatisfied with them.
“You, you’re very pretty! But! My camera tells me,” the photographer imitated a cartoonish voice, pinching his throat, pretending to be his camera, “this girl is like a wooden doll! A wooden doll!”
“Too stiff,” the photographer said, “relax, but not too much. Your arms shouldn’t naturally hang down like they normally do, they should support a certain angle, showcasing the clothes as much as possible…”
The photographer gave her some on-the-spot guidance.
With further shots, it improved somewhat. But it still took more time than others.
They even had lunch in between.
The photographer’s female assistant ordered food, only asking the photographer what he wanted, ignoring Ji Anning. On the other hand, the lady from the studio said, “I’ll order you some food,” and placed her lunch order together.
Ji Anning thanked her and felt that the lady was quite nice.
After finishing lunch, they continued shooting. Because Ji Anning was slow at changing clothes and didn’t know how to find her angles, it constantly displeased the photographer, causing the efficiency to decrease.
By the time they finished shooting, it was almost three o’clock in the afternoon.
“That’s it for today. You, with no experience, should learn more. I’ll contact you if there are any jobs in the future,” the lady said. She packed the clothes into two large bags and hurriedly left.
Ji Anning finally breathed a sigh of relief.
The assistant ordered milk tea for the photographer, as his next appointment hadn’t arrived yet. He sat on the equipment case, sipping his milk tea to take a break. While listening to the conversation between the lady and Ji Anning, the assistant exchanged glances with the photographer.
Once the lady had left, they called out to Ji Anning and asked, “Didn’t she pay you?”
“It was just a trial shoot today, no payment,” Jia Anning replied.
“Bullshit! She scammed you,” the photographer cursed.
The assistant grumbled, “She’s shameless, taking advantage of a young girl despite her age.” The assistant himself looked to be around nineteen or twenty, likely experienced in society, as he referred to Ji Anning as a young girl.
Ji Anning was a bit confused.
“Every brand has a budget for promotion, even small brands. She deliberately seeks newbies, offering low prices, and then reports a higher price to the clients, pocketing the difference. When she comes across someone like you with no experience, she fools you into thinking it’s just a trial shoot, and she keeps all the money for herself,” the photographer explained, laughing at her naivety.
As for the mention of “future jobs,” for this small brand, they probably only have these few designs for the quarter, and anything beyond that would be for the next season.
The lady handling things was not trustworthy. She swallowed the budget for promotion, and it’s highly unlikely she will contact Ji Anning again. So today, she essentially worked for free.
Ji Anning was speechless for a moment. “She bought me lunch, and I thought she was nice.”
Ji Anning realized that her attitude towards work and money in this life was completely different from her previous life. Perhaps it was because she had learned a lot of new things today, she surprisingly wasn’t too regretful or angry.
“Let it go. Consider it a lesson learned. Next time, I’ll remember,” she said, finding the lady’s actions both laughable and frustrating. She then thanked the photographer and the assistant, saying, “Thank you. Today, I wasted a lot of your time.”
Being beautiful and having a good personality made her quite likable.
The photographer smiled and said, “Well, newcomers often fall for these kinds of losses. Just remember, when it comes to money matters, don’t be too easy-going.”
“Leave us your phone number, so we can contact you if there are any future jobs,” he praised her, “Your camera presence is quite good.”
Even though the photographer had been scolding her during the shoot, some people are really… Once they enter work mode, they become complete professionals, and they revert back to being themselves when they’re done working.
Despite being scammed for a few hours today, Ji Anning gained quite a lot.
Not only did she learn how to pose and find the right angles, but she also exchanged phone numbers with the photographer.
The photographer’s name was Du Qing, and he said, “I’ll add you to a group chat. It includes photographers and models. You can communicate with them and ask questions if you don’t understand.”
In the evening, Ji Anning went to the coffee shop and told Shu Chen about what happened today. Shu Chen was also at a loss for words. “How can there be such people?”
“I won’t fall for it again in the future,” Ji Anning said.
“That’s right,” Shu Chen agreed. “Sometimes, suffering a loss is a blessing in disguise.”
Ji Anning usually didn’t use mobile data, but the coffee shop had Wi-Fi. By the time she finished work, the model and photographer group chat had accumulated hundreds of messages.
On her way home on the bus, Ji Anning eagerly read through the chat history of the group.
Since it was a large group, casual chatting was not suitable, and most of the conversations revolved around work. Some things Ji Anning didn’t understand, and others she could grasp partially, but she learned a bit about the industry and its dynamics.
People in the group discussed how many shoots they had done that day and how much they earned. This allowed Ji Anning to gain some understanding of the market trends.
Even though she didn’t make any money that day, Ji Anning felt fulfilled.
Du Qing added her on WeChat, and he asked her to send him her specific details: height, weight, measurements, and when she was available.
This photographer seemed much more reliable than that lady who took advantage of her.
On another Wednesday evening, after preparing dinner for her grandmother, Ji Anning crossed the road from KFC to the school gate, intending to go to the bus stop. Unexpectedly, she saw Wen Yu’s Hummer.
Wen Yu had promised not to wait for her at the school gate. Being chauffeured like this was too much; Ji Anning felt she didn’t deserve such treatment.
But what surprised her even more was seeing Sun Yaxian talking to Wen Yu.
Sun Yaxian was truly beautiful. Ji Anning had never understood why Wen Yu couldn’t look past Sun Yaxian in her previous life and had to confront her.
But Ji Anning vividly remembered that in her previous life, Wen Yu didn’t have the patience to talk to Sun Yaxian. He wouldn’t even show such a gentle and kind expression towards her.