From a Model's PerspectiveSometimes it's a good idea to take a look from the opposite perspective to yours. So today we have a guest contributor, model Miss Voodoo Valentine, sharing her thoughts on collaboration photo shoots between a photographer and a model. (The types of shoots she's mainly referring to today are fine art, pin-up, portfolio builders, TFP, and small scale commercial and/or fashion. The following tips and information may not necessarily apply to large production shoots for editorial, commercial, or fashion where both the photographer and model are hired by another person, agency, or company.)
- Listen to comfort zones, and pay attention to what the model is interested in, so that the shots do not turn out flat.
- Communicate on shooting.
- Offer basic amenities, to show some sort of genuine care at working with us.
- Talk yourself up. We know your abilities are amazing and world renowned, please stop telling us. A photographer’s work does speak for itself, and where there is no harm in talking about method and inspiration, it is a huge turn-off to listen to you sing your own accolades.
- Make it so rigid that when the time to shoot comes, the project is stifled by guidelines.
- Suggest channeling a favorite model, not to recreate, but to inspire them to reach the next level.
- Let them peek at the camera, so as to self-critique.
- Keep a mirror handy, so they can be assured that they look their best.
- Ignore your intuition if they are falling flat (they want a good image as much as you do).
I admire skill, creativity, and investment equally. To me, the thing that discerns a great photographer from a good one is not only the visual clarity of their work, but also their dedication to it.