So often, we as photographers rely on our personal preference and intuition to decide how to handle a model. But what advice can we get from the models themselves? I called on two of my favorite women and asked them if they had tips for photographers on getting the best shot, Diana Georgie and Thais D’Lima.
“Yes, that’s amazing, I love it!!”
“Ok, DON’T MOVE! Hold that pose for a moment.”
“OMG, so beautiful, I friggin’ love that pose!”
These are just a few of the things I hear myself say during every photo shoot. It’s so second nature, sometimes I don’t know I’ve said a thing until I see a BTS reel later that day.
My set is my stage, the models are my dolls whom I get to mold, and move, and tell a story through. Their gorgeous lines, cheekbones, spacious eyelids, and full lips create a playground of never ending geometric possibilities.
As a beauty photographer, my preference is to allow models to move on their own. I’ll make only small tweaks along the way, slight changes to their positioning or expression. To me, it feels more of an organic working environment, rather than static and micro-managed.
So often, we as photographers rely on our personal preference and intuition to decide how to handle a model. But what advice can we get from the models themselves?
I called on two of my favorite women and asked them if they had tips for photographers on getting the best shot: Diana Georgie and Thais D’Lima.
Here’s what our experts had to say:
Modeling, more often than not, is a form of role play.
Share the theme of the shoot with your model ahead of time, along with a moodboard for visualization. The moodboard should demonstrate the style of lighting, mood, energy, style of makeup, hair and wardrobe you’re intending for the shoot. Explain as much as you can about the final images and what you are trying to capture in the moment.
Story from Diana: During one of her shoots, the photographer sat down with Diana and painted an entire picture by telling a story of the character he wanted her to play. By the time the shoot started, she was able to channel the full essence of the character.
Many models move incredibly well on their own, and others prefer more guidance. If you can find a middle-ground when it comes to guidance, it tends to work for everyone.
Not sure what “middle-ground” means? You know it’s too much direction if you’re physically positioning a model for every single shot. It tends to be tedious and static, and usually the photographs reflect rigidity. The model never has an opportunity to settle in. This tends to be frustrating for everyone.
When a model is doing a great job or has gotten into an awesome pose, let them know.
Your encouragement assures them that they’re on the right track. (See the ridiculous opening quotes of this article for inspiration.)
Bring your smile to every photo shoot.
Make sure that you’re taking care of the people on set. A photographer’s job is to oversee nearly everything on set. Being in charge, the success of the shoot is entirely up to us.
Here’s the thing. Every shoot is a collaborative effort between people who are engaged in creating amazing imagery. Your personality as the photographer (and set manager) sets the tone for the entire shoot. If you’re keeping everyone in good spirits and steering the shoot toward your perfect shots, you’ll get them and everyone will walk away happy, remembering how awesome it is to work with you.
Since I (Kate) started shooting beauty photography I’ve loved the shared energy on set; the better the energy, the better the shot, every time. When I’m shooting I probably look like a commercial for an energy drink, I’m so pumped. It’s definitely infectious.