Saturday, August 07, 2010

Shooting Newbie Models (Part Two)

Someone once said, "The most beautiful thing a woman can ever wear is confidence."

Gaining rapport with models and promoting their levels of comfort during a shoot is one of the most important ingredients to good glamour photography. More so when working with newbie models. For me, it's probably the most important ingredient.

The rapport you gain and the comfort it creates often translates into confidence and when the model is wearing confidence great results are far more likely.

The things you do to create rapport, increase comfort, and promote a model's level of confidence are free to employ. (How cool is that?) Better yet, it's often quite easy to accomplish. That's not to say good images cannot be captured when the shooter and model aren't particularly getting along or their level of rapport isn't so great – although it certainly makes it more difficult – but, when the rapport is good and the model is comfortable and confident, the process of achieving excellent glamour pictures becomes easier and more likely. It's all about trust and simple trust is often a by-product of simple friendliness, consideration, minding your manners, acting professional, and always treating the model as the single most important element of the shoot.

In addition to your naturally friendly and likable ways, here's a few tips for helping build a model's comfort level and, in so doing, gaining trust and rapport with her. These work whether you're dealing with a newbie or an experienced model. Sorry they mostly take the form of "Don'ts" but I've seen these simple "rules" violated quite often.

1. Don't Touch the Models: Whether you're paying a model to pose for you or it's a TF (Trade-For) shoot, it doesn't mean she's agreed to let you get touchy-feely with her. I'm not merely talking about touching skin. No touching includes hair and clothing.

2. Avoid Intimate Talk: Just because you're comfortable speaking in a fairly intimate way with models doesn't mean they are comfortable hearing it. Intimate talk includes an over-use of ToA. (Terms of Affection.)

3. Give Models Their Space:
Don't hover or intrude too closely. If you need to get in close to get the shot, do so, then back away.

4. Always Be Aware of Your Demeanor: When your demeanor appears low-key or noticeably less than up-beat, many models, perhaps most, will assume it has something to do with them. (It is all about them, after all.) If you're having problems with gear, exposure, or anything of that nature, let your models know why your demeanor seems less than upbeat or you seem preoccupied. Otherwise, guaranteed, they will think it's because of them and they will begin feeling insecure or, in the case of new or less experienced models, more insecure than they already might be.

BTW, I talk about this stuff in much more detail and with lots more info regarding working with models, new or seasoned, in my ebook, Guerrilla Glamour. If that sounded like I'm pimping my book again, you're right. I am. I can't help it. They write me this way.

The pretty girl at the top, the one in the schoolgirl outfit with her skirt blown up while she's blowing a bubble-gum bubble and being photographed by your humble scribe and photographer (i.e., photographed in a somewhat prurient and less than "artsy" way) is Devin. I shot Devin in Vegas. They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas... That's often true except when you have photographic evidence.


Anonymous said...

As usual your advice is spot on.

I've been shooting for 15 years now and newby models are the most difficult to work with until I can boost their confidence to the point they "feel" like a model.

A positive atmosphere plus a confident model equals killer images, provided I compose the image correctly and keep the camera in focus.

Rick D.

John said...

Delightfully voyeuristic image.

And it's OK to promote your ebook.