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8 Tips For Models,
to Make Sure Photographers Love Them
Being a model is a high pressure job. You’re constantly being judged based on your looks, your body, your performance, your personality, and just about any other personal trait imaginable. It can be overwhelming. Here’s 8 very easy tips that will automatically make the photographers you shoot with love working with you. ByDana Pennington
1- Don’t wear tight clothes
to your shoot: If the clothing you
are shooting reveals any amount of skin, you should NOT wear tight
clothes to your shoot. Leave your skinniest of skinny jeans at home. They will
leave impressions in your skin along the seams and waistband. That’s just one
more thing we have to retouch. Showing up in yoga pants is perfectly
acceptable. I promise.
2-Do your research: I
realize many of you are only finding out about test shoots shortly before the
shoot is to happen, but try to do at least a little research on the person you
are shooting with. Ask your booker who the photographer is. Look at some of
their work. Even if it’s just on your phone. Read the bio on their website.
Taking some initiative and looking into the photographers you are shooting with
is beneficial on multiple levels. First and foremost, it helps you be a safe,
aware model. If you are uncomfortable with provocative images and you’re being
sent to test with a photographer that likes to push boundaries, it’s a recipe
for disaster. It also shows a bit of respect to the photographers who are
shooting you. Their time is just as valuable as yours. They saw something in
your book that they liked, you should at least take the time to check out their
work as well.
3-Have a little imagination: Some
photographers want a completely blank canvas that they can mold into whatever
their vision is. However, having some imagination in front of the camera will
almost always be a total hit. You’ll know almost immediately which side of this
coin the photographer lies on. If he or she meticulously poses your every shot,
just go with it. Some people prefer to work that way. But if they are a little
more open minded, try different things. Move. The model 101 poses get boring
really fast. Bring some of your own creativity to the table. Experiment. Again,
4-Don’t post RAWs: If
a photographer sends you some preview images, don’t post them without
permission. Sometimes as a photographer I like to send the model a few raw
previous if I’m excited about the shoot. But they are just between you and I.
This shows the images in an unfinished state that they are probably not intended
to be seen by the public. It can also jeopardize any possible publication of
5-Learn where your light is: Good
models understand where their light is coming from. If you’re shooting in a
studio, pay attention to where the photographer puts their lights. If you’re
shooting outside, take not of where the sun is. USE THIS INFORMATION! Avoid
turning completely away from your light. Avoid putting things in between the
light and your face. It will cast a shadow on you. If you don’t know where your
main light is coming from, ask! It shows initiative and helps you better
understand your range of movement and how free you can be with your poses.
6-Be punctual: Try
your best to show up on time. Or at least be close to it. We get it. You just
came from a casting in Soho and now you have to get to an obscure studio in
Brooklyn and the train isn’t running on time. Just do your best to be punctual.
If you have to get from West Hollywood to downtown Los Angeles, don’t leave
your apartment 15 minutes before your call time. That’s just common sense. If
you are going to be late, send a quick text or call to the photographer saying
“Sorry! I’m running a little late. I’ll be there as soon as possible.” For some
reason this common courtesy seems lost on our industry sometimes.
7-Tag your team: If
you’re posting your images on social media, it’s common courtesy to tag the
people who contributed to making the image happen. Tag the photographer,
stylist, makeup artist, and anybody else who contributed. I’m not saying you
need to tag the photographer’s 4th assistant and the stylist’s dog walker. But
the main creative team all worked hard. Share the limelight with you. It goes a
long way to make friends and you never know when someone might come in handy to
you later on down the road.
Last but certainly not
8-DON’T PUT FILTERS ON OUR PICTURES: We
spend years honing our skills by studying and learning Photoshop and other
software (or developing and printing film in some cases), taking color theory
classes, and developing our skills. When we send you a final edit of an image,
that’s how we’ve intended for it to be seen. Don’t cover that up with a stupid
filter. It’s annoying and disrespectful. If you REALLY hate the way a
photographer has processed an image, respectfully talk to them about it. Just
don’t go out and throw X-Pro II on it because you think it looks cool.