Working with models

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Markus234, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. Markus234

    Markus234 TPF Noob!

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    Hey there,

    Was really looking for a bit of advice to do with working with models.

    I've done a quite a number of shoots with just friends in order to get my own style, which I feel I have now achieved. I want to start working with actual models but I have pretty much no chat.

    I attempted a shoot the other day with a friend of a friend of a friend, someone who I had never met before and had only contacted though Facebook. She came along and I got some great shots out of it, but found I couldn't really get into the shoot. As a result, the whole shoot lasted a mere 12 minutes. I don't know what happened, my mind just blanked and I couldn't think of anything.

    I don't want this to happen with a proper model as I'm pretty sure it would come back to haunt me later on.

    Is there any tips anyone can give me to avoid this happening again?

    Much appreciated,

    Markus


     
  2. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    How much can you afford to spend to hire a proper model?
     
  3. Markus234

    Markus234 TPF Noob!

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    I would say up to £250
     
  4. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I don't see how much he has to spend on hiring a model has anything to do with being able to talk to/direct a model while shooting... feel free to enlighten me if i'm wrong.
     
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  5. Josh220

    Josh220 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have the same problem. What I ended up doing is finding a local photographer who would allow me to intern with them to see how they interract with their clients. Maybe first hand experience like this, where your work isn't on the line, would allow you to loosen up a little for your own shoots. IMO it's a confidence thing... When you know you are ready it will be easier to direct people into the proper poses.

    Another option is to find models in your area who need practice. They can worry about the poses and you can focus on the technical stuff. She gives you experience in return for pictures for her portfolio. No money needed.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There is a characteristic that most successful photographers, that I've met, possess...and that is that they are extremely outgoing and personable. They could talk your ear off...or listen to your life story. They make a connection with people, and that lets the subject open up and become relaxed.

    This, probably more than all the camera gear in the world, is a key ingredient for good/great portrait photography.

    For many people, this is something they either have or they don't. But it is a skill and it can be learned and practiced. You just have to put in the effort.
     
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  7. 12sndsgood

    12sndsgood No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    im working on this right now. im a quiet person by nature, seems most of my close friends are the talkers. so instead of trying to talk someones ear off i have been working on asking questions. get them to talk about themselves, there job there signifigant other or anything going on in there life. its not something you learn every night. 12 minute photshoot is kinda bad. i find that once im setup and start shooting there is less talking in general and more just explaining how you want them to stand, look etc. more instruction then general chit chat. with a experience model you will likely have less need to instruct them but its no diffrent then your shoot you just had wether you paid them or they are a friend of a friend. if your concating someone thru facebook, dont invite them over that day. maybe just spend some time getting to know them in a general way so that when they do come over you have something to talk about and its not like meeting a complete stranger. you can also go thru there posts to just see how they are, how they act, respond to people and find out a little bit about them.

    my mind goes black sometimes during shoots, esp when it comes to posing. so now im going thru and printing out poses i like before hand so that i can show my model and help me remember what i had wanted.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    That wasn't the issue.

    The issue was "I don't know what happened, my mind just blanked and I couldn't think of anything.", ie apparently he had no plan, and apparently the 'model' wasn't a model.
    Paying the model has a real tendency to generate some planning, and an experienced model can often help by not needing quite so much direction.
     
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  9. MReid

    MReid TPF Noob!

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    A photoshoot with a model is not a date.
    Approach it in a business like fashion. She shows up, you talk about what you want out of the shot, and what she wants out of the shots. Talk about the clothes, looks she brought. Chat with her for a few minutes....chat the nervousness out a bit.
    Don't be overeager, Do Not flirt with the girl.
    Don't be in a rush to start shooting, shoots have a flow to them. Let it progress naturally.

    If you get stuck, ask her is she has any shots she wants to try, or poses she really likes. Try to pose the model as little as possible.

    Sounds like you need to stick with shooting people you know until you get some "game". Once you are confident in your abilitities and "know" your stuff it gets pretty easy.
     
  10. chuasam

    chuasam Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Cut pictures that you like from Magazines like Vogue, W, Bazzaar, Vs and others of the sort.
    Paste the pictures in a scrap book. Bring it with you. Refer to the pictures whenever you're in a rut.
    Also, plan each shoot, the looks, the poses. Storyboard it if needed.
    Good Luck :) I've had my share of uninspiring models too.
     
  11. I love building mood boards, although nowadays they're simply a bunch of images on my iPad. Although it REALLY helps to print a few out. That way you can show the model what you're after, and it gives her some poses to start from... and then you can see where it goes from there. They don't have to be from glossies, they can be from other photographers, or just images in general which you should be collecting in a folder. Mine is called "Emulators" because it is perfectly ok to get inspiration from other photographers.

    Most models won't notice you're nervous, because they're nervous, too... Money makes a huge difference, because you can afford a more professional model. On Model Mayhem in the UK there are some very nice and generous models who are used to working with emerging photographers. Don't be shy about hiring. Check out Lady Bink or Roswell Ivory or Ivory Flame (don't know the last one well, but considered a leader in the UK.)

    A good model will know what you're after, though you'll still have to fine-tune a little... she can't see through the viewfinder what you're seeing. Chin up, turn to me a little, straighten your back a little... and then get a rhythm... shoot a frame every three secs, and she'll adjust the pose each frame. Check the back display of your cam to make sure you're exposure is in the ballpark, but then stop worrying about it. Don't look at the images on the back, you can do that when you get home.

    And just be creative. You're making pictures. Be nice, but remember she's a service provider, you're the one taking the pictures, and you're after a certain look. Don't apologize the whole time... Just. have. fun. It's a hobby. You'll live. Just take some cool pics.
     
  12. Tee

    Tee Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    YouTube model posing. I think for starters learning good rules of posing is a good way to get your feet wet. I've seen photographers who rough sketch poses on index cards and keep them in their back pocket when they get a brain freeze. There's a ton of visual information out there to get you started. For fun, check out Coca Rocha's 50 poses in 30 seconds.
     

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