I do like photographing people and whenever it is possible I try portraits and fashion shots. They are maybe part of a professional assignment or just a creative experiment. In either of cases I need models. In this kind of photography models are the main and the most important part of the picture. Maybe I try to create some high end shots for an advertising campaign but anyway the first thing most viewers focus on will be the model, his or her face, body, pose and so on. Therefore it is of vital important to make use of your model professionally and in an optimum way.
Furthermore in many cases photographers (or their client) pay for the models and this adds the importance of high efficiency working and dealing with models.
Considering the above, here are some hints which most professional models expect professional photographers to satisfy. Sticking to them will most probably enhance the outcome of the photographing session and will be beneficial to both the photographer and the model.
- Know what you want as the photographer. Think of your setup, required gears and assistance in advance of the each session.
- For sessions requiring change of outfits, dedicate a private space. Models shall have their privacy there.
- Stick to your professional manner. Try not to touch the model too much to suggest poses. This could be easily done by verbal instructions in most cases.
- Try to encourage them by using positive and energizing compliments after almost each shot. This will do miracle.
- Provide some drinks (hot and cold) on the scene and short breaks for the models. Also provide warm clothes for their rest times in case of shooting in cold places.
- Some young or amateur models are shy to the camera at first. Use of positive comments, encouraging and of course some dozens of shots will make them feel better and more comfortable. So do not try to push hard to achieve relaxed poses by the first few shots, instead take your time to make the model comfortable and confident, the rest will come automatically.
- In some cases especially with fresh and inexperienced models it would be beneficial to show her/him some of the shots.
- In most cases it is of vital importance to have a very short briefing at the beginning of the session with the model to clarify what moods or expressions you want and even how the lighting and camera angles could help it. This way you ask your model to get harmonized with other elements of the photograph. This also reveals the models level of understanding of his/her role and help you determine your strategy throughout the session.
- Male photographers are advised to have some female assistant beside all through the sessions of shooting female models.
- Highly experienced professional models may cost more but the smoothness of the photographing session progress and the higher level of mutual understanding make them preferable in many cases.
- Very important! If the model is not provided by an agency, have a complete and thorough Model Release to be signed by her or him. Samples of the model release could be easily found in the internet.
Noting the above and a straightforward, positive, encouraging and professional approach will in almost every case make dealing with models rewarding, energizing and even fun!