I love models who project attitudes, especially those bad girl attitudes. When I'm shooting hot chicks, a generous helping of bad girl goes a long way with me!
That's not to say the BG persona is all I want from the model. I want more. I want a range of attitudes and emotions. But I'll admit, my favorite is the bad girl thing, with sneers and snarls and sexy, in-your-face, unabashed, expressions and body language.
Some models instinctively go that way: They understand that beauty is not enough. To stand out, they have to sell themselves and one way big way to accomplish selling themselves is with some not-so-subtle attitudes and emotions. Admittedly, a lot of these pics end up in the cyber-round file for one reason or another. But quite often, one or more of them really stands out; leastwise, in my mind they do.
I recently shot with Jayme. She's the eye-candy accompanying this post. One of the first things Jayme did was snarl. I wasn't sure I liked it but I kept my mouth shut and my finger snapping the shutter. Later, the client was perusing the pics and he said, "Dude! Those snarling pics..."
I was about to make some lame excuse when he interrupted my stutter.
"I love 'em! You d'man!"
"Uhhh... Thanks," I said.
Sometimes, we should simply go with the flow. And the model pretty much is that flow! It's easy to assume we, as shooters, know best regarding what looks best. After all, we're the ones peering into the viewfinders. On forums, I often see discussions regarding how to encourage models to sell themselves with attitudes and emotions but few regarding models who accomplish it all on their own. When that happens, when a model goes for it all on her own and with little urging, it might not be a bad idea to let them go for it--even if we're unsure of whether it works or not--before making instant judgments about the artistic and emotional impact she's having on the images. (Besides, if you're shooting digital, it's not like you're incurring extra costs for film and processing.)
You never know-- The images you end up with might be very cool. More importantly, your client might think they're very cool and, when that happens, it is completely cool.