There's a fine line, as shooters, we sometimes walk. It's about asking ourselves this question: Who's more important to showcase, the models or ourselves, the photographers?
Obviously, certain genres are a no-brainer when it comes to this. If you're shooting artistic nudes (or artistic anything) the artist comes first. In fact, the model is often little more than a prop. That's not to say the model doesn't contribute immensely to the final product, but the final product isn't usually about the model. It's about the final product as a whole. And since this "whole" is a product of the artist's vision, it's the artist who comes first.
Other genres, however, aren't so much about the shooter as they are about the model. Certainly, if you're shooting for a model's port, the model comes first. But that's where the "fine line" thing comes into play. The shooter's #1 priority is to showcase the model in exceptional ways. Doing so requires snapping some great pics. The line between the shooter's skills versus the model's attributes, however, can be very subtle. As a shooter, your goal is to take great images without upstaging the model. It's still about her (or him) after all.
I sometimes think about this when I'm shooting pretty girl images that are supposed to be about showcasing the model. I know I can do certain things that might make the images more photographically impressive but, if I do so, am I doing the model a service or a disservice? Sure, people might look at the pics and say, "Wow!" But are they wowed by the model or wowed by the photography? Hopefully, both. But I think if it's going to lean towards one side or another, it should lean towards the model. Obviously, the goal, in this case, is for viewers to be wowed by the model yet impressed with the photo... which requires a delicate balance of wow value between the model and the shooter.
Hey! No one said this stuff's easy!
Or maybe I'm thinking too hard?
More pics of Devin from this past week's shoot. Hope no one's bored looking at her. I know I wasn't bored shooting her. Here's another...