Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or just starting out in model photography, it’s important to understand the key elements that go into making a successful modeling photoshoot.
I am a fashion photographer in LA and shoot for brands worldwide, plus modeling portfolios. In this article, we will explore my ideas and methods for creating beautiful model photos that stand out from the crowd.
1. Breaking the Ice
Whenever possible, have the model see your portfolio before the shoot, even your social accounts, this is your best icebreaker.
You should create a friendly and relaxed atmosphere during the photoshoot, and by taking the time to get to know the model before the shoot begins. Most photographers find that building a rapport with the model before the shoot can make the model feel comfortable, at ease, and less intimidated by the camera. You need to ensure a combination of good communication, trust, and a relaxed atmosphere.
You should take the time to explain the process, show the model your portfolio, and provide tips and advice. A good photographer will make sure the model understands what’s expected of them, they don’t have ESP!
2. Red Alert
There are always stories of negativity floating around in the modeling world. Based on SKU, most fashion and beauty brands are for female customers, 3 to 1, and that holds true for the volume of money traded worldwide, so it is not a surprise that most models are younger women, while face it most photographers are men. Now you see how there are such sexual misconduct stories, lawsuits, and arrests that have happened and do happen.
As a photographer, know that the female model who is about to walk on the set or to your studio or the shoot location has many red alerts and fears in her head already without having spoken a word with you, and believe it or not, that is your first job on the set, to erase and remove all that negativity as soon as possible, and not doing anything which can validate or add to this mentality.
This should be your greatest red alert too. It’s a very quick end to any photographers reputation and career, so deal with it in the most professional manner possible.
3. Model Shoot
A model shoot or session can be commercial for a brand or the model’s portfolio. You may also be shooting a model just for practice and building your portfolio.
The pressure is on when shooting a model for money, you have to perform, and the results must be pre-meditated, rarely do I shoot for money without any planning.
One of the most important tips for model photography is to never forget that models are people, not just objects, so always treat models with respect, especially if you are working with a model for the first time, male or female it doesn’t matter.
4. Posing is Everything
A model’s pose can make or break a photo shoot, as it can help to convey the intended mood and emotion to the viewer. For this reason, it’s crucial for you to understand how to direct your models.
Posing is a critical component of model photography. A good pose will accentuate the model’s best features, while a poor pose can make even the most beautiful model look awkward or unprofessional. You are the mirror of the models and should discuss the desired look and feel of the shoot with the model.
From standing to sitting, headshots to full-body shots, the right pose can make all the difference in a photoshoot. Models must be able to capture a moment and convey the right emotions, while also showcasing their figure and style.
5. Dramatic or Bland
Some models prefer a more dramatic and high-fashion style, while others may prefer a more natural and relaxed approach. You should be open to exploring different styles and working with the model in a fluid manner, so instead of saying don’t, say that it was great, now let’s try it more this way.
It’s your job to guide the model through the process. Some models have experience in posing and may already have ideas for their shoot, while others may be new to modeling and need more guidance, so be patient as the model finds their comfort zone.
Understand the art of posing by working together, communicating effectively, and having fun, both you and your model need to be in a comfort zone, stress is a terrible thing when we are talking art.