I absolutely love working with new models as they enter into the exciting but stressful world of modelling. Here in Victoria we’re blessed with a plethora of models, agencies and events requiring models and of course commercial opportunities are everywhere in our amazing city. This in turn attracts new models and as a portrait, wedding and fashion photographer I quite often get invited to shoot them for their portfolios and comp cards.
So here are my top tips for working with a new model.
- Arrive on time, prepared and organized. This means having the model release filled out in advance (digital is awesome for this), camera batteries charged and memory sticks empty and ready. This will allow me as the photographer to arrive and be present for the shoot.
- Prepared and ready to shoot, I am now available to listen to the model. Listening to what their expectations are for the shoot. How long it should take, what they’ll receive after the shoot (how many photos, edits, retouches etc.)., and especially with new models listen to what they have to say about their fears of being shot.
- After listening to the model, I like to give a brief overview of the shoot. I like to let the new model know how long I expect it to take, review the outfits they have brought so I can determine locations, backgrounds, and change times and locations.
- Positive and encouraging. Models need to know that they’re not going to be perfect and amazing in their first shoot but that we’re just aiming for getting more comfortable in front of the camera. Photography and being a model isn’t natural so shooting for a portfolio can be very stressful. Being positive and calm, encouraging and helpful can make all the difference.
- After taking a few shots, show the model some of the best ones, keep up the energy and you’ll find that they relax. At this time I like to help them with some role playing. I find that if I ask models to give me an extra 10 – 20% more…be more “New York”, I call it….when walking, take longer strides, when creating angles ask the model to go a bit more and pretend to be a top New York model. I find that this helps the model to use their inner energy and perhaps inner model to come out and have found that models almost become actors and pose so much better.
- Bonus Tip: After shooting in a particular location, I try to remember to ask the model to give me a few more shots. I give them about 30 seconds warning to just give me 12 looks/poses that we haven’t done and to just have fun doing it.
Hope these tips help. 🙂
Mickayla was amazing on her first shoot and she certainly warmed up during the shoot and was comfortable and happy to work hard. She must have heard me say ” More New York” several times but it was so worth it. We captured so terrific photos for her portfolio.
Mickayla has an Instagram account here:
My Instagram account is: