As an amateur photographer I can tell you finding a good and flexible model is not always an easy task.
Here are some of the tips and tricks I use when working with models and when I am modeling for other photographers.
Making your model smile out of enjoyment is one of the most important things during a session. As an aspiring photographer and a newer model, I know it’s not always easy getting your clients to warm up to the camera.
Compliments, jokes, and random statements can help your models become more comfortable with the situation, instead of making them feel stiff or irrelevant.
Before shoot day even rolls up, you can get to know your client as well as get inspiration for their photos.
I cannot tell you how important speaking to your client is. If your client is silent during the session, it is very possible that they are not enjoying the experience.
The last thing you want is for your client to not enjoy the experience and not want to continue.
Bring up the weather or sports, ask about their hobbies, their family, or their friends. Getting to know your client during the photo shoot can bring up more ideas for poses or pictures leading to an even more personal and unique session.
Blurs and single object focus can easily bring a photo to a new level.
In the photo below leaving the background trees and streets completely in focus would have distracted from the model herself. Adding the soft filter to take those background objects out of focus allows for definition of the model, and benefits different features of the model’s body such as eyes, skin tone, or even hair color.
The model themselves may seem disappointed or uneasy if you tell them about this blurring effect, but ensuring your client about the outcome will help take away some if not all concern.
Making the Final Cut
Picking the specific photos to feature or share with the world or your clients can be tough. Personally, I always take too many pictures and want to use and share them all.
My biggest piece of advice…
Never use the phrase “this one is messed up because…” or “this photo has flaws.”
Let the not-so-perfect pictures shine. The ones that have little errors from your vision can sometimes lead to more authentic and unique results.
In this picture, my good friend was taking pictures for her portfolio. The session was going great until a breeze came out of nowhere and kept blowing my hair all over my face!
As you can see though, the picture looks incredible!
In my opinion, the “flaw” in the picture makes it look more authentic and less staged. Many clients may come to you about their pictures looking stiff or boring and using these “flawed” photos can help show them the one of a kind style they were wanting.
At the end of every session, always give your client the rundown. Tell them how the session went (always strive to say nice things), give them an estimate on when they can expect to see the final results, and be kind and tell them they were a great model.
Also, whether you actually mean it or not, tell your client that you would love to work with them again and that you will be in contact in the future.
Everyone wants to feel good about themselves and paying it forward by offering that small dose of kindness can make clients even more willing to work with the photographers.
I know I am not a professional, and I may never come close to the talent of some photographers in the industry. But I am working hard towards getting better.
That being said…
If any professional photographers reading this have any input, please feel free to make comments or send me feedback on my writing. I would love to get your feedback!